Why Oakleygate has left me confused...
Its a bizarre question to ask at a time when social unrest and thieving are dominating the news wires and headlines.
I was, like many others, quietly surfing through internet cycling forums when I saw the various threads kicking off about a pricing error at Oakley’s custom website.
I am not even sure why, but I was on it like a flash building my dream pair of matt black Jawbones with transitions lens option. After saying to the wife “they will never honour these orders” I clicked speculatively and like a number of other people waited.
At that point the adrenaline was kicking in. For others whose stories you can read on various other cycling websites, the buzz was stronger, ordering as many as 5 pairs of customised sunglasses for more than 50% off the price.
The wait then started, first the orders were cancelled and then they were re-honoured at the discounted price. The furore on Facebook when Oakley cancelled everyone’s order and the bad PR had caused them to back down and my Jawbones were legit and delivered.
And then a bit of conscience kicked in… what if the person responsible at Oakley had lost their job as a result of hordes of cyclists (and others, granted) jumping online and exacerbating their error?
Watching the looting on TV last week didn’t help me feel any better. Had my actions in jumping online to get a bargain and beat the big corporation been similar in their origins (although far less serious in violent consequence of course)?
I am not sure how I feel to be honest. I am pleased with the glasses and more than happy to pay the discounted price, which as many people have pointed out will probably still offer Oakley a hefty profit on the deal.
But I am not sure what picture it paints of us as a group in this bargain voucher driven culture if we can get alerted to a mistake by a company.
What does it say about cyclists? Opportunists or greedy?