My Internet Expectations

The internet is such a wonderful thing but it just blows me away how many companies cant even take advantage of its potential. Here is a list of things that i expect when spending my dollars via the internet. If your company is selling an item, i want to see a picture of that item. I would prefer to see a picture of said item installed. When ordering, i want to know if said item is in stock. If item is not in stock or requires the company to assemble before shipping, i want to be informed of this BEFORE placing the order. If i'm forced to include my credit card number, email address, shipping address, daytime phone number, evening phone number, cell number ect...ect...then i want the person receiving all this information to actually use it if a problem occurs. I want to know an estimated ship date so i don't pay for overnight shipping only to find out it takes the company 7-14 days just to pull & package said item. I would like an email confirmation that my order has been received. If you ship a defective item or screw the order up, i would like you to compensate for the return shipping without having to argue about it. If your business double bill's every credit card order, i would appreciate them also knowing how to fix it. Make customer service your number #1 priority.

Would somebody please give me a soapbox to stand on, and give this guy a hand. I have been pondering this exact subject for quite sometime now.

Maybe somebody on the other side of the counter could give us some insight as to why mail order companies seem to operate the way that they do.

My feeble, and pretty much useless opinion is, that probably the mail order business is a booming one. Let's all admit it, we are a penny-pinching, lazy society, that would much rather set down in the comfort of our own home, fire up the computer and go shopping, rather than get in our car, and drive down the local shop, where the selection is usually limited, and prices are substantially higher. I am a VERY picky shopper, and when I decide I want something, I want a specific size/color/model, and will look for it online until I find the exact one.

There is also a fair amount of people who do not live anywhere near large cities and therefore are pretty much stuck with ordering via the internet or by phone. Internet shopping affords us lower prices, (usually) better selection, and the convenience of having it just show up at your doorstep. I think that the demand for such things is so high, that the online companies become overwhelmed, and customer service suffers. Let's face it, they are selling way below what the shop down the street is, therefore they have to move more volume. To add to it, online companies probably have to deal with a good amount of returns, simply because what appears to be a good product on your computer screen, may not turn to be so, when you are holding it in your hand. If he pisses the customer off, there is always another guy right behind you placing an order for the exact same thing. So as I see it, as long as there is such a high demand, there is no real incentive to keep from losing a loyal customer every now and again.

As I replied in another similar post, I have dealt with a lot of online mailorder companies through all of my hobbies (RC trucks/guns/mt bikes/camping/hiking/and my XR) and I have had trouble with just about all of them at one time or another. I quickly weed out the ones who are simply disorganized, and/or dishonest. Those are the ones I stay away from. I don't mind at all if a shipment goes out late, or something was backordered, as long as they keep me informed and updated...which I think is all that most people would ask...

I will readily admit though, that I do spend a fair amount of dough at my local shops as well. I always stop by to pick up a pair of gloves, or some oil, plug, or whatever. I try to keep a good rapport with the locals, as they have to put food on their plate as well. My big purchases are usually online, as the price savings is pretty substantial, even with the added cost of shipping.

It would be interesting to hear from somebody from the other side of the counter on this issue...

You guys just don't understand. The line at Starbucks has gotten increasingly long in the morning-School kids, sheesh... Green fees have climbed to a new high these days, and the biggest problem is the lack of information from said buyers... You want a picture? Huh, you wouldn't know the difference anyway...!

I couldn't agree more. A very reasonable and profitable paradigm if you ask me. In fact, I am also an ardent online shopper for all types of merchandise. While customer service can be a weak point sometimes, I have found that there are many online retailers who have a firm grasp of these points.

Considering that very many of my online shopping experiences are one time or first time experiences with that particular merchant, I'd say my customer experience has been quite good overall. I do pay close attention to how well a business presents itself and its merchandise online (if you can't manage to post up a pic then, yes, I can easily tell the difference between your business and one that can). I pay attention to details that paint a picture of either an established well run operation or one I'd rather not do business with.

If I do have a problem, I always expect and usually receive an appropriate and professional resolution. I don't expect their customer service rep to have much sympathy if I ordered red and now want blue, but I do expect courtesy and response to real issues. Also, I don't expect them to be at my beck and call. I am looking for a competetive price from an efficient company. I don't need to have my hand held and I don't want to negotiate with "salesmen". As long as I can make a phone call during reasonable hours and somebody answers, I'm okay with that.

It's nice when things are shipped out right away and delivered quickly. I find a great number of merchants have one day turnaround and reasonable rates on fast shipping. Yeah, sometimes backorder is necessary, but I won't place an order without knowing if the item is on hand or not and I adjust my expectations or find someone else who has it in stock if I need to.

Bottom line is that if I do ultimately have an unsatisfactory experience (based on realistic expextations) I terminate my business with that company at the earliest opportunity. In almost every case, there is another company right around the corner that will take my business on terms that are more favorable to me.

Most everything i listed can be done with the proper computer program. In fact, ebay has a lot of success because it does include many of the things i listed. I have had a lot of success on the internet because i make customer service my #1 priority and have the repeat buyers to show for it. As far as a picture goes, no picture = no sales on the internet. I was going to buy my father a large drz gas tank as a gift. I wont mention the very popular off-road company selling 2 different styles for close to $200 each. No way was i going to shell out $200 plus shipping for something that didnt even have a picture. Ever see those geek looking large drz tanks with the shrouds that hold gas? I bet they bought those off the internet and from a company that didnt have a picture of the

Hey SlowPoke,

What's the address to your website? I want to check out them go-go dancers you keep talking about.

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