Friday, February 28, 2014

Internet Shopper

I've gotten quite used to ordering things on the internet. EBay was the start, engaging me enough at times to set my alarm for a 3AM auction end to be there at the finish. That was only for some very special snuff bottles where the seller was in Australia and the strategy was to lie in the weeds and pop up with a last minute bid, faking out other unlucky bidders.

I don't do that any more. Oh, I still hit eBay when appropriate, but I don't lose sleep over it. became my next go-to site, and currently is where most of my purchases come from, if free Kindle books can be considered a purchase. I've also wandered here and there when I can't find the rare item at either of the first two sites.

Last night when checking the Phoenix weather forecast, I saw an ad that intrigued me. Nevermind for what exactly, except that it was a dietary supplement I'd never heard of before. It was time to do some research. If it did what it claimed, it would be well worth the price. After about an hour, I found out all sorts of contradictory things, research puporting to show results and opinions that it wouldn't work because nothing does. There were also studies about which formulations work and which don't, which are independently sampled to see if ingredients are as claimed, and whatever else might be written about the product.

The upshot is I decided to give it a try. The particular company offers a money back guarantee, and Consumer Reports said they tried it and got a hassle-free refund.

There was a form to fill out. Then there was a link to PayPal to pay, and I've used them a lot. Next I was sent back to the order page to finalize the order. This consisted of about six web pages of special offers, either a "don't you want more of this for a special price?" or a "Don't you also want this other similar thing?" kind of offer. They were so persistent that I started to wonder if I were ever going to get to bed. Eventually, though, I finished and got my email receipts from both the product company and PayPal.

This morning there was an interesting follow-up. I received a call from an area code I didn't recognize. To my surprise it wasn't a wrong number. At least not in the traditional sense. It was a call from the company I ordered from. The woman started by telling me that there was an error in the on-line order, meaning it was going to have to be finalized over the phone, and they were very sorry for it. To apologize to me for the bother, they were going to give me a free bottle. Of course this would be after I bought another one.

Now mind you, the reason I ordered the precise quantity I did last night is that I figured it would be enough to tell me if it worked or not. It was easy to turn down deals for additional bottles because I'd thought out how much I wanted before ordering.

Of course she was blathering on and on and I waited her out a bit. I figured she had to breathe in at some point, even though she was demonstrating enviable lung capacity, and finally, breathe she did. I interrupted her schpiel. "So, you're telling me that your website messed up and as a result you want me to buy two more bottles?"

I suspect there was a little hint of something in my tone to give her the hind that this was a not altogether welcomed idea. She asked me if I had gotten an online receipt. When I replied I had, both from them and from PayPal, she mumbled a quick couple of words about receiving my stuff in three to five business days and hung up.

Apparently my order was now magically finalized. Oh lucky me.

Time to go back to BookBub to see what the latest free e-book is.

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