Beggars can't be choosers. Should I complain about online shopping when it's all I have? I don't know, but I'm going to anyway. I would like to clarify that I am beyond thankful to be able to buy almost anything at a premium and have it shipped up to me, but doing so is not exactly as fun as one might think.
Here is a little list of drawbacks from personal experience:
1. My cheese grater broke the other day. I want one NOW (I grate cheese nearly everyday!), but I will have to wait for it to arrive in the mail. So until then I'll have to pay the highway robbery price of shredded cheese here at the store.
2. I've run out of hair conditioner. It was the first thing I ordered from Well.ca (amongst many other items) and so far, I've received the other, less pressing items, but not my conditioner. I'm so happy that both my sister and friend Jenna kept giving me the little free shampoo and conditioner samples from hotels...
3. It's not worth the shipping and duty fees to return items. I recently purchased some items from L.L. Bean and, had I been close to the store, I probably would have purchased the smaller bathing suit, I would have made sure the sweater and T-shirt had the same shade of white, I would have returned the bedspread and exchanged it for a different coloured coverlet (I somehow purchased the wrong thing - even though I checked my order many times!).
4. I was misinformed on the website (pictures were not available) and purchased two "Asterix et Obelix" movies that, instead of being the cartoons that I used to watch when I was a kid, they are real movies with real actors... My boys are not impressed!
5. Free shipping doesn't always mean FREE shipping (ask my sister-in-law Sara). It always depends on the item (if it's heavy) or where it's coming from (my order from L.L. Bean had free shipping but I had to pay duty fees).
6. I've lost many partial or full orders because our internet connection decided to cut or be slow at that moment. I've wasted so much time trying to put orders through and/or trying to call the customer service people.
7. The customer service people are often not very nice or knowledgeable. One didn't know where Nunavut was (he kept asking me if I lived in the NWT. I educated him that day). Another was rudely brushing me off when I was trying to explain that I had just lost a big order of free publications and pamphlets from Health Canada (for my class) and was trying to avoid using the internet...
Maybe living in the North will help me be less picky or will teach me to be an efficient shopper. Some of you know that shopping with me isn't fun (Bless Jenna and my mother-in-law for their patience in coming with me on separate occasions to shop for jeans in the fall - I'm surprised either of them are still talking to me). I NEVER buy the first thing I see. No siree. I hold, touch, try on, ponder, wonder, smell, pace and sometimes even break out in cold sweat... I'm very indecisive. If I buy something (anything - even clothes for the kids), I always made sure I ccould return it (and I often did). So not being completely satisfied with my online shopping orders have nearly sent me over the edge.
I guess I'm just going to have to shop twice a year when we come out of the North or suck it up and deal with whatever CalmAir delivers. There's hope that I'll get better at it.
P.S. My favourite site for online shopping right now is www.well.ca They sell ALL kinds of health, personal, and beauty supplies and so much more. I've only explored the tip of the ice berg so far, but I've been very pleased with FREE shipping anywhere in Canada. Still waiting for my hair conditioner though.