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.

FYI: I checked on tires from Motorcycle Accessory Warehouse ( A front Michelin M12 was listed at $49.99 >> A very good price. UPS "Shipping" to my house was $25.00 :) ! I bought it local here in NH for $65 TO MY DOOR!

Very often, these mail order companies rape you on "shipping charges" instead of showing you the ACTUAL PRICE paid using unbiased shipping charges. Tires normally go for < $10 to ship.

Maybe you should e-mail your list of demands to each vendor you are planning to deal with before ordering anything from them....

Keep in mind that this is a Buyer Beware world we now live in. The days of ethics in business seem to be long gone with atleast 90% of businesses now day's.

Bonzai :)

Internet Commerce is a no win solution. Meaning 99% of Network Commerce is loosig money. Internet advertisement or products for sale just does not drive revenue as one would think. Mainly becouse of the cost of keeping a site up to date, hosted, secured is far more then what the site brings in.

Hence you see most sites with out dated material or broken links or what you described above. Most companies keep the sites open as billboards. A keep it in your face ttype of a deal.

Bottom line is the overhead cost for keeping the shop site open is more then revenue form that site. That dosnt mean that products dont sell, it just means that the consumer still wants to kick tires hold the product per-say.

I buy selected items, like oil, tires games or if I can get software cheaper I get it online//

Originally posted by Kevin in New Hampshire:

FYI: I checked on tires from Motorcycle Accessory Warehouse ( A front Michelin M12 was listed at $49.99 >> A very good price. UPS "Shipping" to my house was $25.00 :) ! I bought it local here in NH for $65 TO MY DOOR!

Very often, these mail order companies rape you on "shipping charges" instead of showing you the ACTUAL PRICE paid using unbiased shipping charges. Tires normally go for < $10 to ship.

MAW always does that. NEVER buy from them. They advertize the lowest prices and then rape you with the shipping. And the people you will order from dont know a YZF from a pw50.

Rocky mtn MC is fair. Good prices, great site, and the shipping is reasonable.

[ September 11, 2002, 10:35 AM: Message edited by: mikeolichney ]

You can do one of two things:

Shop around town and look for a tire that hovers the $60 range and pick it up yourself and save on the shipping costs. (I just picked up a D739 yesterady for $65 (tax included) out the door)

Dont buy tires anymore because they are getting ever so increasingly more expensive. (not a viable option :) )

[ September 11, 2002, 11:24 AM: Message edited by: MOmilkman ]

I dont buy that internet commerce dose not bring in $$$ so thats why the site sucks BS.

I the cost of running a decent E commerce site is a fraction of the cost of prducing and mailing catalogs to customers when they may or may not want to buy. When a customer is on your site, they are usally ready to buy!!!! It takes much less work to keep a net site current than it dose to make a new catalog every month that usally can not even show 1/4 of what you carry and whose prices may change before the catalog can even get to the consumer.

A poor web site is a great way to tell your dealing with bone heads. A good web site is a good way to tell your dealing with pros.

I would also like to add to Slow Pokes list of demands: I would like a ship confirmaton email with tracking #s.

I do about 85% or more of all my shopping online and have NEVER had a major problem, I get great prices, fast shipping, and NO MALLs. Where else can you compare prices for multiple products with in minutes from your home or work :) ????

Do you remember the agrivation of driveing to stores, looking for parking, scruming with the mall rats for air and a walkway, standing in line, rude clerks,, ect, ect,. I think Internet Commerce has given the consumer a huge leverage tool in the market, and when compitition levels go up, the consumer wins and the inefficnet vendors suffer and are weeded out. E commerce is still in its first few years and will get better, but IMO it already beets drive and shop wich has been around for decades and is getting worse!!!!

About customer service


I run a 1-man Internet company and I pretty much agree with Slow Poke.

* I ship daily, often twice daily.

* If I'm out of something, the customer is notified by email immediately. By phone if he doesn't respond to the email or if there is a question. I've called Canada, TX, KN and several other states to make sure the customer gets what they want and what they need. I'm rarely out of stock, which is my responsibility also. That is how it should be - if you're not going to keep it in stock, it shouldn't be in the catalog.

* checking inventory before ordering - he's right, but in defense of small business, this requires a much more sophisticated software solution that would (for me at least) be too expensive when just getting started. For me, this is part of an upgrade I plan in the spring if I am still in business.

* I don't charge the cc until the evening before or the day of shipment. I think there is a legal policy on this also.

* I notify each customer of the ship date, which is the day of ordering or the next day.

* I have compensated customers for my screwup

- once shipping missing parts (my packing error) via express (cost me $15, all of the profit on the sale) so that he got it before the weekend so he could go ride - of course

- once I overcharged a Brit and though it took me 1 day to correct the error, and he was very polite about it, the change in the exchange rate meant he'd lost ~$20. I compensated him - of course.

The customer is not responsible for my screwups, I am.

Maybe I'm the dumb one, but for me this is the way it should be done.

Is this so hard to see?

About running an Internet company


The basic cost is very, very little - my site costs me $25/month, which gets me the entire world as a potential customer and included site generating software, though I've recently written my own.

Without the internet and associated bulletin boards, my startup costs would have required an extra several hundred (or thousand) dollars in advertising, more for printing some kind of catalog, etc.

Far more than I would have risked, and so I would never have tried.

For a big operation (the multi-million dollar kind like FOX, MSR, etc.) there is no excuse for anything less than perfection.

Just the thoughts of one small guy.

[ September 11, 2002, 02:39 PM: Message edited by: CO Dan ]

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.

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