Web works better than Black Friday
TBO.comI almost got caught up in all the Black Friday hype last week. I say "almost" because there was a really great deal on a laptop that I wanted to buy for my husband, Chris. He's returning to school in January and could benefit from a portable computer system.
Published: December 1, 2012
Published: December 1, 2012
I'm not ruining any surprise by discussing this right now because Chris already knows about this gift and, in fact, picked out the laptop himself.
When he bought my laptop a couple years ago, he asked what was important to me and I told him, "It must have a number pad."
Chris has more parameters that needed to be met. He knew exactly the amount of ROM and RAM and what type of processor and, for goodness sake, the kind of battery he preferred! I took notes, but I wanted him to double-check the product to make sure it would measure up.
I won't mention the store's name, but I scoped out the lay of the land on Wednesday afternoon. I asked an employee exactly how crowd control would be handled and what time they expected the madness to begin before the doors were opened.
I was ready to go through the Friday morning hassle until I discovered I could get the exact same laptop for the same price with free shipping, minus the aggravation of the crowd, by ordering online at this store's website on Thanksgiving morning.
Why on earth would I leave my house in the predawn hours?
The deal was sealed when I saw a delivery date for the following Tuesday, which was one of my days off. This was perfect.
Tuesday arrived and I waited around the house all day watching reruns of "Americas Next Top Model."
About 2:30, I got antsy and decided to check the delivery status. I logged onto the store's site and saw the following: 3:18 AM-1 Items scanned and received; 7:58 AM-1 Items scanned to truck; 9:02 AM-Out for delivery; 9:06 AM-Not delivered, closed b/c holiday.
I was a tad bit bewildered by that last line. How could they be closed for a holiday on Tuesday? The transport company was one I never heard of before so I called the original online store to question the transaction.
The woman on the phone told me that my order had been rescheduled for Wednesday. I told her that would not work for me and asked what would happen if no one was home on Wednesday. She said that the order was set to be delivered on Wednesday. You can probably guess how things went from there.
After several minutes of no progress and none of my questions being answered (one of which was what holiday warranted the cancellation of my delivery), she asked if my needs had been met.
I said, "No. Consider my problem on pause. I may or may not call you back after I talk to the shipping company."
The shipping company was more than helpful. It turns out that the "not delivered, closed b/c holiday" is a coding issue on their end to ensure packages are automatically placed on trucks for delivery the next day in case no one is home the first attempt. My blood pressure returned to normal in 10 seconds.
The laptop arrived at 3 p.m. and I finally took a shower. Now I can wrap it and make Chris wait until Christmas. I expect him to act surprised.