Floss loss: how Amazon screwed up an order for the world's best dental floss

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As you may know, the ultimate in dental floss is Oral-B’s Ultrafloss. Puffy and inviting, yet able to glide between the tightest of toothy configurations, this stuff is is the preferred instrument of the flossing elite.

But not all is perfect: Ultrafloss is ultra-hard to find in area stores. The local Wal-Mart doesn’t have it. Nor does the local grocery store. Even the large and newly renovated Giant Eagle in Bethel Park seems to be skimping on Ultrafloss. When they do have it, it is merely the puny 25-meter size.

What on earth is going on? How can this be? The way I always imagined it, store managers would pull stock boys aside on their first day of work and establish the priorities: “Listen up, Billy. Everything you know and everything you’re going to know is worthless. Except this: Ultrafloss is our life. When customers want Ultrafloss, they had better find it. I don’t care if you show up late, ogle the checkout girls, or even steal from the cash registers. That I can understand. But, heaven help you, if you ever fail me when it comes to Ultrafloss, Billy, you’re done. Done.

Whatever the local stores are doing, clearly they are doing it wrong because I was forced to go online to replenish my depleted Ultrafloss stockpiles. I purchased twelve 50-meter cartridges of the miracle fibre from Amazon. To be precise, I purchased two six-packs – one mint, one regular.

And guess what arrived in the mail today? My Ultrafloss! Upon receiving the package, I ran to the kitchen, where I opened the package to find not twelve but only seven cartridges. WHAT?!?!

Amazon, it would seem, has not yet learned that when they sell a six-pack of something – Mint Flavor Ultrafloss, for example – the requisite number of items to place in the package is six. And, as the Fates would write mockingly, Amazon’s return system was down when I tried to address the shortfall online. So I had to call their phone number. (BTW, here it is: 1-800-201-7575.)

As it turns out, there is a “known issue” with the fulfillment of this product. This my helpful representative, Michelle, informed me. Instead of sending me a replacement, which she feared would also come in the incorrect one-pack format, she gave me a refund for the missing six-pack. She also said that I could keep the one-pack of mint Ultrafloss that they had sent in error. (That the return shipping would have cost more than the floss may also have been a factor.)

So here I am, with seven cartridges of Ultrafloss. I don’t know. Somehow, it does not seem like an adequate stockpile for my personal Strategic Floss Reserve.

Maybe it is time to order more.

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