Online Shopping! Is It For Us Baby Boomers

Issue #116 * Blog #29-2019 * Read Time: 6 Min * Section: Life away from the Keyboard

Would you look at what time of the year it is. Counting today there is only 5 days left till Christmas. Time to grab those last minute gifts!

I started my Christmas shopping on the 13th of December. That’s right Friday the 13th.

That was two weeks after Black Friday and a day after I put the tree up. My thinking, I would miss the crowds. I mean think about it. The real shoppers with money and credit went on Black Friday.

That eliminated that group of people. Since most people are superstitious to a certain degree, those shoppers would stay home. No one in their right mind would risk the bad luck Friday the 13th could bring. Heck you could get hit by a runaway buggy, stuck on an escalator, and/or your cell phone stops working.

Yes, while these people were avoiding black cats, I would be shopping. With my almost negative cash flow and limited credit I would be in and out the stores in a blink of an eye.

Wrong!

Eight hours later I returned home. I felt like I had been run over by a team of reindeer but… I had completed the shopping. I was thankful no one killed me and/or I didn’t kill anyone. I had maintained the Christmas spirit throughout the adventure.

With packages inside, I poured a double shot of bourbon and lit a cigar. After the rock tumbler was empty, I refilled it and began to wrapping.

One the wrapping was done, I checked my list. !@#*!.

I should have checked my list twice in the stores as there was several gifts missing. I’m a man who knows my limits. I knew going back out and dealing with the masses to finish my list wasn’t going to happen.

I was working on the third bourbon, sipping it of course and blowing smoke rings. The grin began to spread across my face as it came to me.

Online shopping! It’s all the craze with the younger generation.

That’s how everyone, 3 people, would get something for Christmas. I had started ordering grub from Kroger earlier in the year and was pleased with the service. During the summer time I would go pick it up. During the winter, I would have them suckers delivered to the door.

Heck I had even started using Uber Eats. That didn’t last long as the fee was more than the quarter pounder.

I contacted the shopping grue of the family and ask her about Amazon. She had nothing but good things to say about them. I had seen their delivery trucks in the neighborhood so I knew they delivered to the area.

Then I remembered the problem with Amazon. I don’t like them as we are in competition. They have the books I write listed, so does my online book store. I’m required to list them on my website at the same price they are listed on their site. Amazon gets more than a fair cut, whether it’s an eBook or paperback transaction.

Another option, Walmart. I hate this company with a passion. Have not stepped foot in one of there stores for over three years.

But hey, this was online shopping. It’s like slipping in the back door getting what you want, leaving cash on a table, then leaving through the same door. I decide to place an order with each and see what happened. Since this was a scientific test I order the same item from both places.

I almost feel out of my chair. Amazon’s price for the identical item was $3.97 cheaper than Walmart. Shipping was free from both sites.

Amazon: They stated the item would be on my porch by 9 pm Thursday December 19. The next morning I got an email. The delivery date had changed to 9pm Wednesday December 18.

Walmart: I noticed one advantage Walmart has over Amazon. You could order the item and go pick it up at a local store. However the item I wanted was online only. They informed me the item would arrive by December 23th. Hey that’s still before Christmas. I can get it wrapped and under the tree in two days. Next morning I received email. Shipment Delayed, no reason given, order now will arrive on December 26th.

Someone is going to be disappointed on Christmas and Walmart didn’t do a damn thing to change my mind about them.

I waited to see what would happen on Amazon’s delivery date.

The day had come. About 1:45pm my phone dinged, it was an email. I figured it was Amazon telling me my delivery was rescheduled. I was right it was Amazon.

They were not telling me my package was delayed, but telling me it would arrive between 2-3pm. The email contained a GPS map that tracked the driver. The icon was a an elf in a sled and my delivery was four stops away. I watched the sled all the way to the house. Hell yeah, talking about customer service and I found watching the sleds movements entertaining.

I got the box in the house and secured in the hiding spot where packages go that need to be wrapped. Then I headed straight for the laptop.

From Amazon I ordered the last 5 items that would complete my list. I was a little worried as it was now 7 days before Christmas. I was ready to pay extra for faster delivery. With free shipping Amazon guaranteed the items would be on my porch by 9pm on Friday December 20th.

December 20th had arrived, would be packages from Amazon do the same?

Like before I was sent a notification of how many stops the delivery truck was from my house. All of my items arrived at my door by 4:45pm. The driver placed the items on a small table that sets by the bench on the front porch. Then with a twinkle in is eye he vanished, to deliver more holiday cheer.

Once in the house I checked the order, it was correct and free from damage.

Although I’m not fond of Amazon I will have to say there service cant be beat. Their packaging is excellent, speedy delivery, and ordering was a snap. Their communication with the customer is unbelievable.

Thanks to Amazon my Christmas shopping is done and I can enjoy the weekend!

I’ll wrap this up with the Walmart order. Walmart’s communication, like the company sucks and their website is also harder to navigate than Amazon’s.

With what I needed wrapped and under the tree I headed to their website to cancel the order. You will need to work for an IT Department to figure out that process. I finally gave up and called customer service. That’s when the nightmare began. I could not cancel since my order had already shipped and would be arriving on Monday the 23rd.

I explained about the email about the arrival date being changed and I had not been notified the item had shipped.

Get this, they had changed the delivery back to the original date of December 23rd. I was informed that they don’t always send emails when the delivery gets changed to an earlier date. They also may or may not inform the customer when an item ships.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night,

-JC-

P.S. Does any one need a pair of bedroom shoes – Size Small. I have an extra pair under the tree.


Blogger: Joseph Clay

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