online shopping is not for amateurs

For the past few years, one of my collateral assignments is  as a trusted purchasing agent at work, with credit card and director’s  pre-authorization to spend up to several thousand dollars for our engineering teams.   Where once I might have called our Supply Chain representatives for expertise,  I now have several established vendors who support our company taking my calls or returning them expeditiously.

I am not a timid shopper when it means getting what I want or obtaining a manager’s response for damaged, delayed, incorrect, or incomplete orders.   I understand a lot of the nuances about shipping and receiving.   However, when it comes to some personal purchases, e.g.  clothes,  I was once less particular.    I am not a svelte Millennial, and so sometimes the COSTCO jeans or the DSW shoes might just do.  A t-shirt  with a VFW logo might pass for casual Friday attire at work.   I went a few times over the years with my wife to J.C. Penney’s  or Macy’s or Saks or Off Fifth where she told me to go find something for myself while she shopped for a dress or work attire.   There seemed to be a LOT of people with my waistline – except they must all be Hobbits!

While most of the shoppers online appear by the apparel and models to be my kids’ age,  I found that certain mid-life girths are also available from the online Penneys -( for the savvy)  or Macy’s or pricier retailers.   And while Amazon and Ebay are absolutely the juggernauts in the online shopping universe,  I found some great deals at the brick-and-mortar store.   But nothing in my size.   All of this was due to my wife encouraging me with  my “needing  something nice” to wear to church.

I gave in of course.  That’s why I am writing tonight.    You see,  in an age where I order something — other than from a manufacturer in Taiwan –  I EXPECT it to arrive within three business days.  I get virtually everything for work on overnight delivery.   So when five days passed, each day the website stating my ‘shipment’ was en route,  I noted that neither the company nor the shipping agent site indicated that it had left the shipper en route.   Actually finding a TELEPHONE number on the retailer’s website was tedious;   placing a call was moreso.    But Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or another messaging app were centered on the website.

I tweeted my situation to the store’s Twitter feed.  In ten minutes I had a request to contact them by DM.  In thirty minutes I had an answer.  The  items were lost prior to shipment.  I was refunded.    It pays to be a bloodhound.   Now I just have to stay vigilant for that refund.   In my former line of work, we have a saying,

“In God we trust; all others we monitor”.  



Bloodhound on Scent --- Image by © DLILLC/Corbis




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