Flash Fiction: Online Spell

[Flash Fiction: Online Spell – July 7, 2006]

“I’m sorry, sir,” came the high-pitched voice over the tiny speakers, “but you agreed to all our regulations.”

“Come on!” yelled Juan Sangier slamming his fist down on his desk. “How many people actually read the Agreement Forms they’re presented with? It came up, I clicked ‘Accept’ and went through with the installation,” he finished, pointing to the avatar on his computer screen.

“Sir, I understand your frustration,” replied the Customer Support Representative calmly, “however the A.K. Corporation cannot be held responsible for those who surf without supervision.”

“What?! Are you insinuating that I need someone watching over what I do?!”

“No, sir, I am simply stating that we cannot be held liable for actions taken by persons who ignore or refuse the Agreement Forms and Online Rule of Conduct. Our logs show that you accepted, approved, ordered, and then used our services. We did not force you or coerce you into doing it. Your payment cleared and your license to our site was granted.”

“I demand my money back for false advertising!” he pleaded.

“I’m sorry sir, but all purchases are non-refundable,” she replied, her avatar showing no emotion. “You were presented with that information prior to your final order.”

“Can I return or exchange it?” he asked, desperate to find any solution that he could live with.

“Sorry sir, but that is not possible. Once granted, the features cannot be taken back.”

Juan broke down and sobbed into his hands, unable to stand the pressure any more. It was completely unlike him and that only frightened him more.

“Is there anything I can do to reverse this?” he sniffed.

“One moment please,” she answered and then blinked out. After an indeterminate length of time during which Juan continued to sob, she popped back on-screen. “Sir? According to my research, there is a reversal possible, but it can only be executed one month after initial install. I can give you a small discount for being a repeat customer, but that is the extent of it.”

“One month?! I have to live like this for one month?”

“I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you, sir, but there are many who live that way permanently and don’t complain about it.”

“…a month,” he whimpered. “I just wanted you to find me a woman, not bind me into one…”

“As explained, we are not responsible for any typos committed by our clients. In the future, please ensure you read the fine print before proceeding. Thank you for contacting the Abra Kadabra Corporation. We look forward to casting for you again!”

[Story (c) Mike Aragona]
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