In the old days, let’s say 2003, online shopping was the Wild West. You didn’t know whom to trust. Today folks like Amazon.com have really reformed online shopping and made it uniform, safe and secure. But it’s still on us to educate ourselves and shop smart online.
Here’s my not-terribly horrifying online shopping horror story from the old days.
I ordered a laptop battery from a place I had never heard of, but who had a great price. The battery worked great for about two days, and then just died. Like, completely dead.
Knowing I had a two-week return window, I contacted the company’s help desk using the email address from my original order confirmation notice. It bounced back as undeliverable. Somehow, they contacted me anyway and I noticed it was a different email address.
As the return process dragged out, with me never actually getting instructions on how to return the battery, I noticed that EVERY time they contacted me, it was from a different address. Finally I told them, “The rotating email thing is cute, but I totally see that the purpose here is to drag this out beyond the 14 day return period. That’s probably the way you burn people and, if the BBB doesn’t know that already, they’re about to.” That (admittedly limp) threat was all it took to get action, and I got my refund.
I am sure if I had taken the time to read the vendor reviews, I could have figured this out without the headache. But I was blinded by the idea of saving 60 percent! So, again, the point is to educate yourself on the vendor, and some common sense rules of online shopping. Here is your reading list. You’re welcome.
- WikiHow.com: Shop Online Safely
- Things To Be Aware Of When Shopping Online
- Microsoft: How to shop online more safely
- 10 Tips for Safe Online Shopping