The dreaded time was finally upon me a few days ago. A time came when I needed to go out and make a purchase or two of necessities. Since I was going to be out and about, it made for a good opportunity to hit a couple of other stores that needed to be hit, and this is where the trouble began.
I went out basically as soon as I could, as my son was in the process of going to sleep for the night. I told myself I would be back in an hour and a half for some nice downtime. Was I mistaken.
My first stop for a few groceries was nice and quick, as was my stop in to pick up diapers on sale at a great price at another store.
Then I hit the first retail roadblock. I had placed an order online, this was an expensive order, in the 100s of dollars. I knew that this particular national chain (I’ll withhold the name of the store) had only recently started accepting on line orders, so I was not expecting an in and out trip. To be honest, I expect everything but the most basic transactions at this store to be most painful. So I thought this might be a 20-30 min process, so I went with very low expectations. I’m going to keep this very long story as short as possible (I ended up ranting a bit, sorry). After a mind numbing 50+ minutes, yes almost a full HOUR, I left the store….WITHOUT MY PRODUCT!!!! All I want to say is I may very well cancel my order, as the processes that appear to be in place for this transaction are as clear as Pat’s sex (1990s SNL reference). Four copies of six different invoices were printed, which I had to deliver to various departments in the store. I paid online, only to get refunded, only to have to pay again so the store can get credited? Wait in line 5 minutes for employees in different departments, and when I finally got to them they had no idea what to do with my paperwork (I know it is probably not the employees fault for not knowing, and surely they didn’t come up with this process, that was clearly done by some manager who had to come up with some new work process so he could get a fat bonus) and finally, they just need to scan a bar code on page 3 of my documents, oh page 3 didn’t print, wait while they fix the printer….10 minutes later…oh it’s not that at all, you need a paper receipt for you on line order, do you have that with you? No I don’t have it with me for about 17 different reasons. The website did not tell me to bring it to the store, the message on the phone did not tell me to bring it to the store, I have a picture of the receipt with me on my phone with 5 different reference numbers and invoice numbers….none of these are good enough? I have the credit card I bought the stuff on with with me. I can provide you with anything to do with this transaction in mere seconds, with the exception of providing you a paper receipt. I’m going to decide over the next few days if I want to go through with this purchase, the price was right, but after this, I feel this corporation does not deserve my money.
My next stop was smooth, but painful because it is in a far off corner of the city, but I had to go because the shoes I recently purchased had a slight defect in them that only my wife noticed when I brought them home.
All this to say that I can’t imagine the agony that people must go through when they shop 10 or even 100 times more than we do. They must spend half their lives dealing with returning things, going here to exchange this, waiting for this order.
I wasted almost 2 hours of a rare free evening just dealing with my on line order and my shoes. Your life, keep it simple, the less stuff, the better.