Saturday 23 December 2006

Internet Shopping

The grocery shopping is done; just got to pick up the prime rib tomorrow at the butcher's and a few bits that the grocery store was all out of and we are good to go. Marc is wrapping a couple presents (think those might be for me) and we've got a few more to do.

Jackie had the day off yesterday, so Abigail spent the day with me but it was all a bit of a whirlwind. The supermarket was jammed so doing the shopping took an extra long time. We had lunch at Starbuck's and then went off to see Sebastian as a spider in his production of Sleeping Beauty. I swear I thought it was Cinderella and it was a good 10 minutes before I realised I had the wrong fairy tale. I was soooooo confused. He was a spectacular spider despite missing 2 out of 5 days rehearsal. That's his mate, Lewis, standing behind him. Sorry about the red eye but my camera doesn't seem to cope with zoom and flash simultaneously.

We've had a snafu with some internet ordered pressies and I have to say I am not impressed. A few years back (the year Abigail was born) we ordered some VERY important pressies for Sebastian online (using When they hadn't showed up and we were down to 5 days before Christmas I called them to chase. They informed me that the item was out of stock and would be delivered to me in mid-January. I explained that wouldn't work and it would have been very nice of them to have let me know when I ordered or in lieu of that, when they realised they couldn't deliver it by Christmas. Surely these people realise the purpose of gift orders in November/December tend to be for holiday pressies. Needless to say, I have never ordered a critical item from them and will go out of my way to see if I can find what I do want to order from somewhere else.

Well, it happened again with Now this catalogue always has loads of nifty little creative stuff, particularly the gifts for girls part. Well, I ordered loads of stuff from them several weeks ago. Yesterday I got a letter in the post saying they were having trouble with my credit card authorisation. So I rang them because I knew there shouldn't be a problem. I gave them 3 different credit card numbers to try and the lady kept saying none of them are working. When I offered my husbands card number, she told me she doubted that would work. I suggested maybe it was their system that was broken and not my credit cards. She said she doubted that. So I hung up. I called my credit card companies. All of them agreed there was no problem with my cards and in fact confirmed that they hadn't even tried to make a charge against the card. So I rang them back. I spoke to a different lady who managed to put the order through but given it is Friday before Christmas Monday, there is not a snowball's chance in hell the items will arrive in time for Christmas. Lot of good the order does me. So let this be a warning to you, don't use them. I will not be using them again.

I must say this internet shopping isn't all it's cracked up to be. You order and then hold your breath. Many US sites won't take credit cards from foreign banks or worse still, they require information like State, zip code, and phone numbers in US format only. Many UK sites won't allow for US shoppers to send to addresses here. What is up with these businesses? I've got friends all over the world and rather than use the postal/courier option which is unpredictable and accident prone, not to mention really really bad for the environment, I would like to buy them something from an internet site. I want the reality of the global economy not the promise of it. Even amazon requires that I have an account in and .com. The only eShop that seems to be dealing with these issues is eBay. Thank god for eBay. Have you used the facility for transferring money? It is a beautiful thing! Minimal commission and now my sister went out and did all the shopping for me! Thanks Sis!!!!!

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