Hide this


Online Shopping: More than Amazon.com & How You Protect Your Money & Sanity

  • Written by  Mark Garner
Would like to share her online shopping experience… Would like to share her online shopping experience…


Online shopping. I absolutely love it. Love kicking back at home carefully reviewing product choices, comparing prices. Love ordering items and having them delivered for free in a couple of days. Love Amazon.com for not making me pay sales taxes. Love return policies that let me send stuff back no questions asked. Love not having to fight traffic jams and mall parking lots. Online retail rocks.

On the other hand, online retail shopping can be hell. Why so? Because an increasing number of online retailers are scammers.

I encountered a fleet of scammers when I got a house and tried to buy major appliances and furniture online. Here are some of the scams you’ll see from online retailers:

  • They don’t actually have the item you want even though it’s in their online catalogue. The item is backordered but they don’t tell you that. They charge your credit card, they tell you the item will be shipped, but you don’t get the item soon enough or at all.
  • They don’t send you the item you actually ordered, or they fail to send anything, but they’ve charged your credit card, and it’s hard if not impossible to get them to credit back the charge.
  • They send you a defective item and make it hard for you to return it and get your money back.
  • Their fine print return policies say you pay restocking or shipping fees if you cancel an order or return an item.
  • In the case of high-end consumer electronics, they may be selling you “gray market” products or items that manufacturers don’t want sold online, so that the items are not warrantied in the North American market.

 You deal with almost all of these scams ahead of time by using a credit card that has a built-in “dispute service.”

Online shopping can be heaven or it can be…

Make sure to document in writing (via email) every question and problem that is happening with your online order.

If you receive merchandise with damaged packaging or damaged merchandise, either refuse the order, or take photos of the damage and immediately contact the company in writing to ask for a return or replacement situation.

Beware of verbal conversations: you can't prove what was said. Get everything done by email, or else you can’t prove what was said and done.

And before you order from a company, Google them with their company name and “complaints” or “reviews.” If you see a lot of people saying the company sucks, don’t order from them.

Beyond the technical aspects of scams are the more personal concerns you get when online shopping.

In my recent home-furnishing spree, I dealt with phone customer service people a couple dozen times because the companies weren’t responding to my emails fast enough, or accurately enough.

Sometimes you have to do phone calls and then follow them up with an email documenting what the phone call said.

What I noticed was that many online retailers have phone service people who seem to really hate their job. They’re not pleasant or professional. They don’t want to help you. They want to take your money, stuff your complaint, and run you off the phone line.

You see the same bad attitudes when you talk to representatives for utility companies, health insurance companies, government agencies, large corporations, etc.

Some phone reps are just clueless. They have no idea how to deal with customers, and do not know their own product line.

I had some fun, but I also had a lot of bad experiences when I shopped for major appliances and home furnishings online.

Then I called an online retailer called “Olejo” because I wanted to make sure they had exactly what I wanted. Their prices were way lower than other retailers selling the same item, so I had to find out if it was indeed the same item. It was.

Right from the start, I was surprised that the Olejo guys answering the phone sounded like they enjoyed online retail customer support. They were beyond just being competent and helpful…they were fun to talk to.

I ordered an item, but the shipper messed up the order and didn’t provide timely information to the Olejo people, blindsiding them.

I didn’t know what was going on either, so when the product didn’t arrive as scheduled, being the skeptical person I am, I worried that maybe the ultra-friendly fun guys at Olejo had fooled me-- that maybe I was getting scammed.

I called them up and was pretty hard on them, basically accusing them of being online scammers. As it turns out, I was being unfair...

Instead of getting defensive or weird, the customer service people were candid, helpful and professional. They offered to refund the order or get it to me right away, whatever I preferred. I was surprised.

From past experience with other online retailers, I had been expecting them to diss me, mislead me, and try to hold on to my money as long as possible before issuing a credit to my credit card.

Instead, they went the extra mile and expedited the order so I got the furniture I ordered from Olejo, and it’s great stuff.

When I called Olejo back to order other items, I asked the guy what made him and his colleagues so different from other online customer support people.

Were they all in some religious cult, medicated, taking daily “happy thinking” classes, or what? Why were they polite and smart rather than mean and dumb?

Here’s what the Olejo guy said:

“We just believe we have to do whatever it takes to make sure we satisfy the customer so they get what they want and feel like they’ve been treated with respect.”

Did I mention that Olejo has at least 20% lower prices for the exact same items as compared to other online retailers, and free shipping even on very large items?

That's the kind of online store I love!

The Olejo approach is why more and more of us are buying online: it’s more fun, and easier, than buying from a brick and mortar store!

The bottom line is, if you’re careful with how you do online shopping, you really can save yourself a lot of hassles by buying everything from refrigerators to beds from online retailers. But hey, if you have retail horror stories, or retail happiness stories from your online shopping experiences, please tell us about them.

In the meantime, happy online retail shopping!

© Copyright RosebudMag.com, 2012

To create link towards this article on your website,
copy and paste the text below in your page.

Preview :

Powered by Rosebudmag © 2022
Follow Rosebud Magazine on Twitter Check out the Rosebud Magazine Facebook
Share this article with your friends, family and co-workers
Last modified on Friday, 10 August 2012 16:33

Want To Grow Bigger?



Follow growers on Twitter


FacebookButtonJoin grower discussions on Facebook


email-icon-1Ask our expert growers questions at: experts@rosebudmag.com

Growers Underground
© Rosebud Magazine, 2010 - 2018 | All rights reserved.

Login or Register