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Thread: Is this really random?

  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Is this really random?

    I took delivery today of of some timber flooring . I had ordered 168 linear mt's (all the same width) and was told that it would be supplied in random lenghts each between 400mm and 1800mm. The timber arrived in 8 boxes each of which contained 21 linear mt's. Each box contained 30 pieces of timber. The distribution of lenghts was as follows:

    LENGHT (CM) 40 50 75 80 85 90
    PACK1 10 10 10
    PACK 2 10 10 10
    PACK 3 10 10 10
    PACK 4 10 10 10
    PACK 5 10 10 10
    PACK6 10 10 10
    PACK 7 10 10 10
    PACK 8 10 10 10

    I have two questions for which I would appreciate input -

    1. Can the timber supplied really be considered random lenghts given that none are greater then 90 cm and that each box contained exactly 30 pieces and that the contents of 6 of the boxes were identical.

    2. What could I reasonably have expected to have received if the lenghts were truly random given the stated range of 400mm to 1800mm.

    At present the supplier is claiming that what I have received meets the specification as all pieces are between 400mm and 1801mm - whilst this is true in my view these are not random lenghts - am I being unreasonable?


  2. #2
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    This clearly is NOT random in the mathematical sense, but it is likely any contract on which you may be relying does not define clearly the word "random".


    Notice how the word "random" has several accepted meanings. I was actually delighted that there was one specific to building materials. In the construction business, "random" just means "there's a bunch of stuff in there and we really can't say exactly what it is."


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