Monday, July 26, 2010

Internet Shipping Woes With Various Merchants

Usually I do not have problems with online shopping.  Lately, it seems, things just haven't been going my way.  I suppose that considering the amount of shopping I do online, I am bound to have problems at some point.

My first incident was with Discount School Supply.  Let me say right up front, it was NOT their fault.  It was the fault of our stupid mail drop.  Discount School Supply was AWESOME!  I received a fast, personal response to my question.  I couldn't believe that it wasn't a generic script.  This was a conversation with an actual English speaking person who was trying to help me even though my situation was not their fault.  The customer service rep helped me come up with a few possible solutions.  They truly went above and beyond.  I even fell below minimum purchase for free shipping (not to mention they had to ship things out more than once for me!) and they refunded money to me for the undeliverable merchandise but did NOT charge me for shipping.  I love Discount School Supply.  They have fun things, good prices, and the best customer service I have encountered.  Even so, I had to deal with it and was disappointed by the whole mail drop issue that I couldn't resolve.

Next, I placed an order with Toys R Us.  They were having a fantastic sale on Thomas Wooden Railroad things.  Some of the items were 50% off!  I am not a big Thomas fan (probably an anti-Thomas, person actually), but Justin and Ryan like the stuff.  How could I resist this (and some of the other) sales?  It was a one day thing, and I quickly took advantage!  Got my order confirmation and was good to go, or so I thought.  A few days later I get an e-mail saying that my order was canceled because of an error with my billing address.  Please contact my credit card company if it isn't correct, blah, blah.  The only thing I could come up with was that Toys R Us refused to allow the apostrophe that my billing address contains.  Back and forth I went in e-mails with their customer service.  FINALLY I got someone who told me that it wasn't my billing address, it was my IP address, they just didn't have an error message for that.  Well, indeed I am ordering from outside of the US. They have sent me things here before without any problem, so what was the issue?  I was told I could re-order, but the sale was over so things would be full price.  Great deal, huh?  I was ticked!  Phone calls and e-mails were not very helpful.  Ironically, I became a "fan" of Toys R Us on facebook and it was there that I actually got some real help.  From there I was able to get information that would actually help.  Eventually, I got my order at the sale prices.  It was a lot of work though.  I thought that since I had a confirmation number, tracking number, etc. and they canceled my order without contacting me first that it should be easy to fix, but no.  They made me fight for my sale items.

Last month I wanted to take advantage of a sale at Linens and Things and get a comforter for Ryan since he is sleeping in a twin bed.  When I would get to checkout, it kept telling me that my credit card could not be processed at this time.  I thought it was a problem with the site, so I tried again later.  I decided that it might be a problem with my IP address, since I was ordering from Namibia.  I have had that problem before.  I decided to block my IP address and try again.  Unfortunately, our internet is so slow here that when I did that, my session would time out.  Frustrating!  I noted that they take paypal, so I decided to pay that way.  I forgot to unblock my IP address first, so Paypal put a hold on my account because they had reason to believe someone was trying to access my account fraudulently.  Sigh.  It took awhile to get things squared away with them.  It was a bit of a pain, but I understand why they did it and don't blame them.  Just an annoyance for me.

A week or so later, I decided to set up an iTunes account.  I don't have an ipod, iphone, or ipad, but have been exploring my options.  I went to sign up and it told me that my e-mail already had an account.  Oops!  I figured that I had set one up sometime and just forgotten.  I had it reset my password via e-mail.  I signed in and set a new password.  I looked at my security questions and they were bizarre.  They weren't mine!  Then I noticed that the account was set up for a Larry B--complete with address, phone number, etc.  Guess he must have a very similar e-mail address because I can't see any benefit of him giving my e-mail address instead of his own.  I sent iTunes an e-mail.  They said they would take care of it.  They were very prompt with their reply.  Unfortunately, it has been 22 days and they haven't taken Larry's credit card or other info off.  I also have credit.  Poor Larry B is now locked out of his account.  He hasn't used it for about 15 months, so maybe he doesn't care.  My friend, LT, had trouble with iTunes charges on her credit card for several purchases that she did not make.  Now I am a little wary of iTunes.  Anyone else have problems with them?

I wish my sister were here.  I would rant and rave and tell her my woes and have her write my blog.  I just find that I am not very motivated to make these the great stories I know she could make out of them.

Happy Shopping!