The Long and Winding Road: Online buying, bad for business?

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Liverpool

On-line buying , bad for business?

This year I have bought 95% of my Christmas presents online. I detest shopping at any time let alone the Christmas shopping season and the mass groundswell generated by it. There is nothing that cannot be found, researched and purchased online. I am glad to see that there are many more videos being used to explain and entice than last year. Many sites offer multiple currencies for payments, we really have perfected the art of securing the impulse purchase as well as the considered purchase.

When this system works well it is fantastic, when it doesn’t, it is a nightmare.

I found and ordered a phone on one such website, the offer was good, all looked simple. I proceeded to the ‘basket’ to perform a ‘secure checkout’. So far so good.

Normally, when an order is placed we get a confirmation email within seconds; even though we know it is on it’s way we all still chuckle at how quick it’s arrival is.

On this occasion, I did not get my confirmation e-mail and my item remained in the ‘basket’, so naturally I understood that it had not been processed.

Sometimes, through volume of internet traffic, some sites get a little overwhelmed and fail to conclude some actions. Undeterred, I repeated the procedure the next morning trying to make sure that my purchase was done in plenty of time for Christmas.

I did receive a confirmation e-mail for the second attempt and I thought all was well.

Imagine my amusement when two days later a knock at my door signalled two packages with, yes you have guessed it, two identical phones!

Obviously my first attempt at ordering had worked despite there being no confirmation e-mail and the item remaining in my ‘basket’ the next day.

Well, these things happen, it should be easy to clear this confusion up…shouldn’t it?

Since December 5th , I have sent 4 e-mails requesting assistance, spent 45 mins on a ‘live chat’ with the service provider ( not the seller) trying to determine how we can unwind this mistake.

All to no avail…. their information says I went to a store and bought this device so it had to be returned to a store. Well . I didn’t but anyway I went to my local store who would not take it back because it didn’t come from THEIR store!

My only option now is to use the high priced phone line provided by the company to speak with their customer service department and/or package up the phone and send it back with accompanying letter at my expense.

Boy oh boy, what a mess! Not only has the seller lost future business , so has the service provider for being so anal and refusing to take the item back into their stock.

As we used to say ‘Slick work, Exlax!’

All the online effort, the website development, the building of the portal etc has been wasted and is actually counterproductive because the people they have working for them are inept. In this instance the technology has merely served to highlight a common trend in business today, pay peanuts, employ monkeys and let the website handle everything.

Humans need other humans….period! These transient companies which come in and out of the market for the low hanging fruit are doing an immense amount of damage to the integrity of online business.

In future I will return to the store where I have bought three phones purely because the quality of the staff and the advice I have been given has proved to be superior.

The motto for this experience? ‘Be careful what you wish for, you might just get it…..twice!’

see you on the long and winding road……. Patrick

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