Especially when it was they who did something wrong.
I ordered a t-shirt from a band I like, The Killer and The Star (they're new-ish; lead singer/songwriter is formerly of the band Cold). I paid via PayPal, and my credit card was charged that same day. This was June 25.
Five weeks later, and I still haven't received my shirt. Five weeks - that's more than a month.
I've been patient. I understand shipping takes a while. But I'm starting to think something's wrong. So, as PayPal suggests, I attempt to contact the seller first.
I send an e-mail on July 21 (last Tuesday, three weeks after the order). You know, just a "Hey! Haven't gotten my shirt? Can you help me?" sort of thing.
So today, I open a dispute with PayPal.
And today, surprise! I receive an e-mail from the seller:
From: The Killer and The Star (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sent: Thu 7/30/09 4:55 PM
Your shirt is being shipped tomorrow. The website said shipping time was 5 weeks. Please in the future if you have questions about an order contact us instead of opening a dispute with paypal. This all could have been easily avoided with a simple email to us. Please go to paypal and drop the dispute so we can ship out your shirt. The money is frozen in our account until the dispute is resolved.
I have two problems with this - outside of the snotty tone.
1. I did contact you first, bee-yotch! Over a week ago!
2. Wait, I'm sorry - did you ask me to drop the dispute because the money has been frozen by PayPal? How about I get the damn shirt first?
I guess I didn't really think about how long 5 weeks is; it's rare to wait over a month for something.
I ain't dropping the dispute until the shirt is in my happy little hands.