Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Cons of!

Shopping on a website should be easy, otherwise we would just shop the old fashioned way by walking into a store. 

After receiving an email reminder from about an upcoming birthday, I thought I might actually send some flowers.  I went ahead and started the order process.

Once I made my flower selection I continued onto another screen, where there was an option for a "morning delivery" for $14.99 or "standard" delivery, for which there wasn't any price posted.

By the time I got to the page to enter my credit card information, I still had not seen the cost for shipping.

So I called.  At this point it all went downhill.  The representative told me that I wouldn't see the price until after the credit card info was entered and I hit the "continue" tab.  My question to her was, "Why can't you tell me what the cost will be?"  I already assumed that standard delivery had to be less than the "morning delivery" cost.  Her response was that there were too many factors involved for her to give me a cost without her having to use a calculator.

How did I deal with that response?  I told her that I shop online all the time, and I have never shopped where the shipping cost was not disclosed, whether in a drop down menu, or a link at the top or side of the page, etc. 

I feel that if a company is not upfront about their shipping costs, I don't need to do business with them.  She then got all bent out of shape and told me that she had shopped on and didn't know what the shipping cost would be until she put in her credit card information.  I said that I never have encountered that on and always get free shipping by spending $25.00.  And even if you are spending less than $25,  the shipping costs are found by opening a link under the heading "Product Details" after scrolling down the page.  I told her she should learn to be a better shopper.

Again she asked if I wanted to place an order.  Again I said that I needed to know the shipping cost before I gave her my credit card.  At this juncture, I sensed a really bad attitude.  When she asked again about placing an order, I asked for a supervisor.

It took her about 2 minutes of typing before asking for my name, phone number and email address and said that it would be 24-48 hours before anyone calls me.  Needless to say, it will be too late by then to send flowers to arrive on time.

I decide to go back online and pretend to place an order.  After giving credit card info, the next page asked to confirm the order.  Here's the best part:  I kept looking for the pricing and shipping costs and finally found it on a side bar in very light typeface making me believe that it was something they don't really want you to dwell on.  On top of this, they added another fee for handling and then tax. 

Buying flowers should make you feel good.  This made me feel just plain lousy.

P.S.  I did get a voicemail the next day from a supervisor who said that shipping rates vary depending on time of day, product, where it is being shipped.  I already knew that time of day was more money since that did show up on the order form, but there still should be an easier way to determine what you are spending to ship a product.  In fact, I looked at and under Frequently Asked Questions they have a chart showing all the shipping charges.  

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