That was one of my father’s favourite sayings when there was something new that was supposed to be helpful, and wasn’t. He has been gone for many years now, but it is amazing how many times his words have echoed in the chambers between my ears.
Case in point, I needed piece of power equipment for the yard, to make tasks lighter for my senior arms. I dutifully did my due diligence on the computer and researched the available products to ensure I was getting what I needed and not overkill. According to Google, my favourite building supply carried the product, which was great because I had a gift coupon I could use.
To my disappointment the product was sold by them but only online. Before leaving the store, I went to customer service. I said I had a coupon but was having to order online so how could I use the coupon? “You can’t”, was the reply, ”But, when you receive the product bring in the invoice, we will do a return, then re-bill it, and deduct the coupon.” It sounded convoluted, but he assured me it could be done.
So, back to the computer. To order online you had to give them an email address. I entered the email address and pressed return only to get the message, “Please enter a valid email address”. I read what I had written letter by letter and it was correct. I tried twice more and got the same response, so I phoned the number at the bottom of the page that said, “If you need help ….”. Obviously, I did!
The call was answered quickly, and I explained that tried to order online but it kept telling me that my email wasn’t valid. The immediate response was that I needed a valid email and perhaps I should use another one. I persuaded him to try my address I had been entering and it worked. He told me that he could take the order for me, so I proceeded with the product’s information.
When he finished he asked for delivery instructions and I told him that I would like it delivered to our local store and I would pick it up. Even though it said at the top of the online order that I could do so, he told me that, for that product, I couldn’t so I gave him my home address. He told me it would arrive in 7 – 10 days.
On the shipping confirmation I received on my email, it said I could track the shipment, but the link did not work. Today I was upstairs in my office when I heard a loud thud. Since I was the only one home, I decided I should investigate. On my way downstairs I noticed a delivery truck outside so figured it might be my package. By the time I opened the front door, the truck had driven away and there, up against the door was a 60 cm x 60 cm x 45 cm box. The box looked a little bit like it had a bad day, but the product was unscathed.
Don’t get me wrong, I was glad to get the delivery but there are several things wrong with this picture that didn’t happen when you could buy the product by talking to the salesman in the store.
- The unnecessary work created by a coupon that could not be used online.
- The online order program unable to read a proper email.
- The seemingly incorrect referral to delivery through the store.
- Tracking link for the delivery not working.
- The method of delivery.
The last point is the one that really makes me wonder. When we used to receive an order, it wasn’t left unless someone was home to sign for it. If you weren’t home, there was a card telling you where to pick it up. This was a $350 item in a big box left at my front door in plain view of the street. There was no attempt to ring the doorbell or sign that I received it.
At Christmas there were several news stories about parcels being stolen from front doors. I don’t doubt it! It is an open opportunity for those so inclined. If they delivered it and someone stole it how would I prove that I didn’t receive it?
Progress, but in which direction?
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