Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Let's Hear it for Old-Time Shopping

I will admit that I have a tendency to do things too quickly at times.
Once I’ve made my mind up, I tend to just forge ahead, ignoring whatever lies on periphery. This can cause a few problems in today’s world, where an errant keystroke can put you on a jet to Waynesville, Missouri instead of Key West.

          Like probably half of the continental United States, we have a wedding to attend in July. That meant I needed to get going on the wedding gift. A few years ago, once I finally decided to cast aside all efforts at creativity, I discovered the magic of a gift registry, and now, even better than that, a gift registry on line.

          I called up the Bed, Bath and Beyond website, scrolled through the list, and selected my gift. I filled in my address, thought up a snappy note to put on the card, paid $2.99 extra for gift wrapping, and gave them my credit card number. It took about eight minutes.

          I went back to editing Book Number Two and thought no more about it. An hour later, my brain was sputtering to a stop so I clicked over to check my email. Sandwiched in between Kohl’s “40%,30%, or 20% off? Discover your mystery savings!” and Poets and Writers’ “What You Need to Know about the Book Deal” was a message from Bed, Bath, etc, thanking me for my purchase and letting me know the happy news that it had already shipped.

          Well, great. Buoyed by my own efficiency, I went back to work.

 Except then something went Ping! in my mind.

Where was the gift being shipped to?  Now that I thought about it, I didn’t recall seeing any reference to where the happy couple were receiving gifts.  I called the customer service number conveniently included in the email. Yes, unfortunately, it was coming to my house, but the kind lady on the other end assured me she’d get right on it. If I didn’t hear back from her, everything was cool. Our silent phone (except for three requests for donations and one chimney cleaning cold call) over the next 24 hours reassured me that the delivery had been re-routed successfully.

          The next day when I returned from the grocery store my husband pointed out the 20” X 24” box squatting on the kitchen table. I tried to imagine an elegant entrance to the wedding reception while grappling a gift the size of a dorm refrigerator. Unlikely.

          I emailed Mom of the Bride for the correct address, created a label, and left to mail it. To make the most of the trip, I addressed a get-well card for a friend, and a brought along a package to return by way of UPS.

          At the counter I shelled out another $17 (on top of the $17 I’d already paid B,B & B) to send my giant box 30 miles down the road to Connecticut.

          I left and took my second package to the UPS man up the street. Turns out the company I’d ordered this item from hadn’t given me a pre-paid return label after all, so I turned around and went back to my new friend at the post office.

          I spent another $5 dollars to mail an item I didn’t want (after already paying to get it to my house). As a final blow, the get well card I’d brought had a smiley sticker on the back and my return address label on the front, but no stamp.

          All things considered, I’d spent over $45 and left the post office with nothing to show for it. Any future shopping for me will be of the bricks and mortar kind.


  1. I've shot myself in the foot the very same way. Or, is that the pocketbook?

  2. Just ordered 4 ancestry DNA kits instead of two at $89 plus tax for each kit. Using two but now I'm trying to pawn off the other two. Ordering on like can be very dangerous.

  3. I've never ordered a gift online before, and your experience makes me hesitant to start! :-)

  4. eek! That sucked! Sorry ! :(

  5. It's just too easy to make a mistake.

  6. Oh, brother! Talk about the perils of modern life! Why is shipping always such a nightmare??

  7. Yikes, what a headache. I have done that on line and it went swimmingly. Got lucky I guess.

  8. Some retailers make it more easy to order than others. I order many things online because to go to a real store involves a 90 mile trip...unless you can shop at Wallyworld that is only 14 miles away. Bed Bath and Beyond is a cool store but that again is 90 miles away...so I would opt for online:)

  9. $17 to send a box 30 miles? That's hardly any distance at all, why not just drive it there? You surely wouldn't use $17 worth of petrol for 30 miles? and certainly not the $45 you spent overall.

  10. Marty Marty! I can't stop laughing! Seems you just knew in the back of your mind that sending that gift was way too easy! I've got to read your books. Oh, my sister has got to read this post! I'll be sending her over.


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