Taking up a hermit lifestyle

Last year, Greg and I had an experience that I like to think of as the Great Furniture Fiasco of ’06. Well, it appears that I am now ensnared in the Great Boot Fiasco of ’07.

The Great Furniture Fiasco involved our order of a couch and loveseat from a certain store that will remain nameless (but if you ask us, we’re happy to tell you). We ordered the pieces so that they would arrive by Thanksgiving, when Greg’s whole family would be here. Well, about three weeks after placing our order, we got a call telling us that they had screwed up and let us order a leather that wasn’t actually available.

We considered canceling our order, but suckers that we are, we went in and chose a different leather. They assured us our order wouldn’t be delayed by their mistake. It was. We tried desperately to cancel our order, but, well, too bad for us that we signed a contract for the furniture.

And now, the Great Boot Fiasco. I found a pair of boots I really liked at a store here a few weeks ago. They didn’t have the color I wanted, so I asked them to order that color for me. I know I could have ordered them online, but I thought I should buy them at the store since they had taken the time to measure my foot and find the proper fit and all of that. I had to make a deposit, of course.

Well, I finally called back today because the store never called to say the boots had come in. They’re not sure what happened, but it appears the boots never got shipped, though the order did go through. So basically, they took my money but sent nothing. At this point, I just want my money back so I can order them online, but, no no, the store has assured me they are still getting the boots. By the time I get them, Texas’ oh-so-short winter will probably be over.

So what is my point here, beyond showing off my whining skills? The one big thing stores have going for them is customer service, or at least that should be their advantage. It’s much easier to order something online, and the shipping is often free. Meanwhile, stores always seem to take advantage of people. And by people, I mean me. I’m always expected to make a deposit or sign a contract or in some way sign a little piece of my life away to the store. The store offers nothing in return though. It doesn’t give any sort of guarantee about when my purchase will arrive.

And that is where the Internet comes in. Oh sure, I’ve heard that Amazon is evil. But Amazon tells me the exact date my item will be shipped. And if a product isn’t available when they say, I have the option of canceling my order. Amazon’s customer service is superior to that provided by humans. Why should I go out into the blistering heat or freezing cold when I can have almost anything I need delivered right to my door? And always in a fun box that Winston can play in. And, most importantly, with a label that has the correct spelling of my last name.