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Old 08-16-2019, 11:23 PM   #1
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E-commerce hell (long)

Summary-- I have an extraordinarily hard time buying stuff online (and in stores for that matter, but that's another story). I haven't heard anyone else complain about this, so I wonder if for some reason it's just me. In particular, I find that:
- search engines don't work
- websites don't work
- voicemail is a confusing mess
Do others have this problem?


Long rant-- A couple of years ago Fred (Red Dog) posted an excellent tutorial on how to convert the closet in an Escape 21 into a pantry using pull-out wire drawers:
http://www.escapeforum.org/forums/f8...cape-9425.html

I decided I'd better go ahead and do this before my next long trip, so I tried to order the pull-out wire drawers from their manufacturer, Rev-A-Shelf. It turns out that Rev-A-Shelf's website is a mess. I couldn't find the item by model number and the website was arranged so that similar items didn't seem grouped together. They have a downloadable catalog. I tried this but the catalog isn't in PDF format and it had problems downloading, for some reason. I gave up.

Next I tried to search the model number via a search engine. This gave me Amazon, which had similar items but not the one I wanted, and a deep link into Lowe's website. When I went there I was denied permission to look at the page. But that gave me a hint that Lowe's might have the drawers.

I started from the top of Lowe's website and searched. Sure enough they had it. Yay! I started to place the order, filling out my name and address, credit card info, etc, until I got to the bottom of the screen and it said we will ship the item to your nearest Lowe's in Metairie, Louisiana. This store is more than 200 miles from me, but for some reason both Lowe's and Home Depot think I live there. To correct the nearest store to Pace, Florida I had to go back to the top of the webpage and make the change. This erased everything else I had entered so I had to enter it all again (name, address, payment info, etc.). I got to the bottom of the page and it barfed on my phone number. It didn't like it. I tried another number and it didn't like it, either. Finally I got a message that the order had failed. Time to call Lowe's.

I called and got Lowe's automated answering system. I followed it and may have made a mistake, because it took me to dishwasher sales. Fine, I thought, I'd just ask the person who answers to redirect the call to the proper place. I ended up talking to a woman whom I couldn't convince that I didn't want to buy a dishwasher. I finally hung up on her.

I started over, being careful with the voicemail this time. I finally found an intelligent person who walked me through the purchase process and took the order. I made sure I got an email confirmation from him before hanging up, and praised him effusively in the follow-on survey. But, dang!

I have to go through stuff like this quite frequently. I can't be the only one. Do others have this problem?
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Old 08-16-2019, 11:31 PM   #2
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E-commerce hell (long)

I think it’s just you. Unfortunately I have the opposite problem where it’s way too easy to buy stuff online. Consider yourself lucky.
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Old 08-16-2019, 11:33 PM   #3
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Of course.
I tried to order pizza last night, as I've done before. Got through it all and it asked if I wanted delivery or pickup and displayed my address. I clicked on delivery. Next step was confirmation and I couldn't.
Eventually, I discovered a small circle to click to confirm my address. Have no idea why clicking on the delivery button that displayed my address wasn't adequate.
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Old 08-16-2019, 11:39 PM   #4
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Definitely not a perfect world when it comes to websites.

My most common annoyance is when I go to the Home Depot site. It defaults to a small town 300 miles away. I dutifully "change stores" and it lets me select the local store as my store. (Quantities and availability are different in different locations) Next time I go online to Home Depot............, drives me nuts.

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Old 08-16-2019, 11:42 PM   #5
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My Mac thinks I'm in Vernon, BC.
When it comes to Home Depot and Canadian Tire, I think your preferred store will stick if you register. Otherwise, clicking on a link probably won't follow the same route.
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Old 08-17-2019, 12:16 AM   #6
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I feel for you Mike. I agree with Scott, for some websites it's waaay to easy to buy! Others, are a PITA. Especially if they have multiple locations. Lowes and Home Depot are amongst the worst. First I ALWAYS check to make certain "MY Store" is the correct store. Just like Jim, mine is almost never right. I fix that. But truly, I'm often just trying to check their inventory, not ordering 'online,' and if I AM going to order online I'm checking to see if they have "free ship to store" and it better be the right store!

The most important thing I've found, is I must slow down and read absolutely everything on the page before I click "submit." Trying to fix it after the fact is
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Old 08-17-2019, 06:54 AM   #7
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I have to change stores too, thinks I live 100 or so miles to the east. The IP that is sent to the stores server can be kind of convoluted. If I look at what this forum thinks is my IP and look up it's location, it shows NYC. 100 or so miles south.
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Old 08-17-2019, 07:27 AM   #8
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Would agree about some frustrations. One of the things that bothers me is how many items they sell that can only be shipped not an in stock item. Many times I want things now so have to spend that extra time seeing if they have it and at what location.

Enjoy the journey.

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Old 08-17-2019, 07:39 AM   #9
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Sometimes you have to leave the house and breath the air and then go to a local store where they can not put you on hold nor ignore you!
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Old 08-17-2019, 08:17 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
The most important thing I've found, is I must slow down and read absolutely everything on the page before I click "submit." Trying to fix it after the fact is
Good point. I didn't even notice the "My Store" variable until I was at the bottom of the page on Lowe's website. It probably didn't help that this is the first time I've tried to order something online to be picked up in a store (I think). I'll be more careful next time.
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Old 08-17-2019, 08:29 AM   #11
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The point of my long tale was that this happens to me a lot, which makes me wonder if this "web friction" is a common occurrance. If so, it's shaving a point off of our GDP.

I guess an upside is that the emerging surveillance state is not as all-encompassing as we fear, or not yet anyway. The hardware folks think I live in Metairie, the weather apps think I live in Klamath Falls, Oregon, and so forth. This could work to one's advantage:

My lawyer: "Your honor, it could not have been my client because his web traffic said he was in Metairie, Louisiana at the time of the crime."

Judge: "You're right! Case dismissed!"

District Attorney: "Dang."

Me: [walks free again. Sneers at D.A. on the way out the door.]
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Old 08-17-2019, 08:43 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
Sometimes you have to leave the house and breath the air and then go to a local store where they can not put you on hold nor ignore you!
Ah, yes-- shopping in person. This happens to me about every couple of months:

Me: "I'd like to buy ___________".

Store clerk [paraphrasing]: "You can't do this because you can't do that because you can't do this because you can't do that."

Me: "I am a customer with *money* trying to buy something from *you*. Don't you want to make money and stay in business? Let's make a deal!"

I've actually started saying this verbatim. Sometimes it gets the point across, other times I have to talk to a manager (yeah, I'm one of those people). It's as if fear of making a profit keeps some people awake at night. I don't get it.
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Old 08-17-2019, 09:01 AM   #13
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Ironic timing!

We live in Lanesboro, Minnesota, a tourist town of 750 people, but during the summer has a population in a ten mile radius of 5-10,000 tourists. The adjacent town is Whalan, a town of perhaps 50 residents. The story is, in the 90's the US Post Office in Whalan was closed and combined with Lanesboro. Instead of using Lanesboro's zip code they chose to keep Whalan's zip for both Lanesboro and Whalan.

A week ago I purchased a Google Pixel 3 phone. Google would not sell it to me because of the "Whalan" zip code. Rather than using the name of the town they use the zip code to determine service. Both Whalan and Lanesboro are in the Root River Valley. Because of the winding river valley there is little phone service in Whalan, only 4 miles away, but we live a block from the phone towers in Lanesboro and have great service. In fact, Lanesboro is listed on Google's service map as having perfect service.

After a number of calls to Google Fi, I finally found a support person who told me to use our daughters address to purchase the phone so we could move to the next screen. On that next screen we were able to ship the phone to another address ( our address! ). Had Google just put the "send to address" on the first screen it would have saved a couple of hours tying to purchase the phone. Luckily I finally found a support person who had seen this problem before and had already requested the "send to" address be put on the previous page.

The phone arrived a couple of days ago and was setup last night. Today I will change my Google physical address from my daugher's to our's in Lanesboro.

BTW, I spent my last 35 working years in IT, and 1,000's of hours using support. Most support is horrible! However, after the fact, I should have known to use our daughter's address.

Enjoy,

Perry
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Old 08-17-2019, 09:04 AM   #14
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customer service NOT

Mike and others I feel your pain .The worst is trying to speak to a representative ,Speak to a Representative ,SPEAK TO A REPRESENTATIVE , Then hang up or get disconnected and try again .
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Old 08-17-2019, 11:56 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Lewis View Post
I guess an upside is that the emerging surveillance state is not as all-encompassing as we fear, or not yet anyway.
I'm not so sure about that now. Yesterday, after posting the nuisance of always having to change my local Home Depot store, I went to their site to see if registering an account with them would end that nuisance.

Much to my amazement it came up with my nearby store. Just to make sure, this morning I went back to HD and yet again it came up with the correct location. First time in about 20 years this has happened.

So, I'd have to be really suspicious of how much surveillance our web musing receive but just after I complain online about this issue it magically gets resolved.

Ron
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Old 08-17-2019, 12:15 PM   #16
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So, I'd have to be really suspicious of how much surveillance our web musing receive but just after I complain online about this issue it magically gets resolved.

Ron

"Magically" ?
Didn't I suggest registering?
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Old 08-17-2019, 01:00 PM   #17
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You did, but I only went to their site with the intent of doing so and suddenly it was showing the correct store. How spooky is that.

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Old 08-17-2019, 01:10 PM   #18
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Alright you guys, I had to check Lowes. My default store is in San Jose.... ROFL. Guess I'm not being tracked as much as the rest of you. Yea ME.
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Old 08-17-2019, 01:45 PM   #19
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do you guys use 'cookie cleaners' or other such anonymizing/privacy software? wiping the web 'cookies' resets a lot of preferences you've set on sites. home depot defaults to thinking I'm 50 miles away in San Jose, but once I set the local Soquel store, it remembers it for months even if I don't 'log on' to my account on their site.

I order a lot of stuff online, and generally I find it way too easy. But then, I'm a recently retired computer software engineer, and spent 40+ years beating sense into these artificially stupid boxes
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Old 08-17-2019, 03:47 PM   #20
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Yeah, the site reads cookies on your computer to sense where you're at. So, delete cookies and start fresh.


I don't have much trouble buying online. Like many commenters, it's waaaay too easy for me. Especially with Prime free shipping.
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