Amazon works pretty well as an online merchant. There’s a reason they’ve become a competition-crushing behemoth (for better or worse). Unfortunately, other online merchants often don’t seem to work as well, and more than once I’ve paid a slightly higher price to buy something from Amazon b/c I know what I’m dealing with.
Here are just a few recent ones crappy experiences I’ve had online at sites other than Amazon, in just the last month:
- I ordered two clearance mugs from Crate and Barrel minutes after the deal became available. The order went through and I received 2 different confirmation emails. 3 days later my order was inexplicably canceled (likely they screwed up on stock).
- My wife ordered 4 coats from Sears.com for a clothing drive our church is doing. Two of the coats were the wrong item (hideous denim shirts). She then drove to Sears and waited over an hour for them to sort out the mess.
- I bit on a Gevalia.com deal for cheap Keurig pods, but had to sign up for auto delivery. It turns out you can’t cancel the autodelivery online like with Amazon. I forgot to call customer service and ended up with an unwanted refill a few months later (my fault) and had to call customer service just to cancel it. I got the Comcast-style* hard sell to keep it, and the order still shows on my account as “deactivated.”
For what it’s worth, I have had good online experiences with other merchants, like Best Buy and Walmart. Which is funny, because I always have miserable experiences at those places in-store.
The moral of the story is that I should probably stop spending money.
* PS: To be fair, I actually had a smooth experience cancelling my Comcast service a few years ago.