Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The perils of online bargain-hunting.

Online shopping has given us previously unimagined options and convenience, but it has also given us frustrations by the ton.

When I needed a case of copy paper and a couple of small items for my job, I went online and found the prices, but since the vendor had a local store, I decided I would go there, pay and bring the supplies back with me. But at the brick-and-mortar store, the prices were considerably higher. An item that was $4.50 online was $6.50 in the store — the identical item. I'm no fool, so I went back to the office and placed an online order. The two small items could be picked up at the store in just a couple of hours. I picked them up with no problems. The case of paper, however, was a delivery-only item, but it was $25 cheaper than the case in the store. I was promised delivery the next day (Thursday).

I waited all morning for the delivery, but it never came. I tracked the delivery online, and it said the package was received at some vague location and would be delivered Thursday. Then I received an email saying it had been delayed and would be delivered Friday. I waited all morning on Friday to no avail. Back online for an online chat, I was told the delivery would be by local courier, not UPS. I could not be told the name of the courier service. The paper would be delivered by 5 p.m., I was told. It wasn't. Then I was told it would be delivered Monday. Back to online chat. The package would be delivered between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. I couldn't wait all day in my one-person office. I was told to leave a note on the door for the courier asking him to leave it in another office. I did. It did no good. 

Late in the day, I received an email offering to allow me to cancel the order because it would not be delivered on Monday. I canceled.

On Tuesday morning, I still don't have any paper, and I will have to go out after all and pay more to bring home the paper.

Progress isn't always so much fun.

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