I hadn’t planned to participate in the much-hyped “Cyber Monday” shopping day. In fact, if it were not an online thing, I’d have gone out of my way to avoid it. But I got an unexpected suggestion for the one gift I still hadn’t purchased, so I jumped in.
Slippers for my son were the objective; Zappos.com was the merchant. In less than a minute, using the list of brand names on the site, I found what I wanted. There were just three pairs left in the size and color I wanted. Click. Ordered.
Oops, that looked like the old credit card number that I swore never to use again. Great. After my unbelievably quick, easy purchase, I was going to have to call Customer Service to change it. On a day they were probably much busier than usual. I positively detest auto-answering systems and waiting on hold forever.
Surprise. I found myself listening to a very pleasant chat between a young-sounding man and woman and before recovering from my surprise, I was talking live to an equally cheerful young woman who took my information quickly and left me smiling — yet again — over Zappo’s wonderful service.
Bottom line: Buy from these people! Zappos.com. They have just about any shoe you want, plus all kinds of clothes and accessories. There are hundreds of customer reviews to help you make up your mind about a purchase. Their service is AAA 5-Star. Friendly. And fast. (I placed my order yesterday afternoon. It arrived at my door this morning.) And the best part: always free shipping and free zero-hassle returns and exchanges. I’ve been shopping with them for about three years and have always been very pleased with the service.
Then last night, I ended up browsing at Macy’s, curious to see what they might be offering in the way of Cyber Monday specials. Free in-state shipping, yesterday only. Okay, I’ve been needing some new towels. There were some really, really plush expensive ones on sale. Rated 5 stars by lots of reviewers. I deserve some of the nicer little things in life, I thought. And I clicked to order two.
Oops, the screen said: Our inventory system is currently out of service. At last report we had those towels in stock, but right now we can’t confirm it. If you’d like to place your order anyway, we’ll confirm it later by email. How annoying, I thought. Cyber Monday must be hitting them hard. But I clicked again anyway.
I went back to read again about the towels I’d just ordered. What!!!??? Now it says they’re only rated 1 star. I must have ordered the wrong ones! Ack. I’m not about to pay that much for 1-star towels!
I clicked back to my account screen, then to View Your Order. There was a big red error message saying they had no record of that order number (the order for which I’d already received an email confirmation). And there was a bold notation: You have one hour to change or cancel your order before processing begins.
The customer service line would be closing in 30 minutes, so I hurriedly placed a call. After all the typical voice mail menus, delays, and holds, I got through to a woman who insisted she couldn’t help me because their system was down. After I explained several times what had happened, she finally said I could call back either after 11 or today and there would be a record of both my order and my phone call.
After I hung up, I went back to see if there were any other good deals on towels; as it turned out, the ones I’d ordered, or thought I’d ordered, had a 5-star rating after all. Doh. I gave up and went to bed.
This morning there was an email waiting for me, sent at about 3 a.m., confirming they had the towels to fulfill the order.
Cyber Monday. Love it or hate it.