I recently purchased a pistol crossbow online from a major New Zealand company. I received the usual courtesy email and was assigned an order number. The next day, I received a second email purporting to be from the company asking for a copy of my photo ID. On a second look, I noticed that my name in the second email had used my middle name as my surname, and the order number did not match the original. All this raised my 'spider senses', and I honestly thought I was dealing with a scam. I decided to phone the company's nearest store, which happened to be in Wellington. I voiced my concern to the disembodied voice. They said they would pass it on to their 'Software Team', and he would call back after I forwarded the second email to them. I waited for 24 hours, and after no response, I sent a reminder email. I received an email that the 'team' was diligently probing my issue (please note: this did not relate to any 'issue' emanating from any orifice of mine). I politely waited a further 24 hours and thereafter decided to phone a different store based in Auckland. I connected with a delightful young man, who, during the conversation, checked the order numbers I had received. It turns out that it was all legit, and indeed, it is company policy to ask for ID as proof of age when dealing with items such as crossbows. I have bought a crossbow previously online, admittedly from a different company, and this was the first time I had been asked to send a photo ID.
I'm not a naturally trusting soul, and in addition to the telephone checks, I also passed the URLs through a verification tool available online. These tools are free and easy to use. As with all things, it is wise to exercise due diligence when we navigate this difficult path called life.
I was asked for feedback concerning my purchase experience. It was acknowledged that there was room for improvement, and my apposite comments will be passed on to the 'men in suits' or, more likely, placed in the filing receptacle labelled bin.
Anyway, I have decided to share my email exchange for edification and training purposes. Names have been changed to protect the innocent.
Random Gun Shop
Due to the nature of your purchase, we are required by law to see proof you are over 18 years old.
Two ways you can provide the required information:
- Reply to this email with an attached copy of your photo ID
- Email email@example.com with an attached copy of your photo ID
The moral of the story: Don't eat soup with chopsticks