I did almost all my Christmas shopping on computer this year. Keeping in mind that these are only my personal experiences, I thought it might be worthwhile to post an evaluation of the service I received from different merchants. Of course, I realize that any one transaction could just be a one-time glitch, so please take that into account. Yes, I would have shopped locally, but I live in a very small town in which items that I wanted to purchase were not available. Adding in 35-70 miles, one-way, in gasoline costs made shopping on line seem like a good alternative.
- Amazon—I found their customer service to be superior. The most difficult thing is hunting down the appropriate place on the web site. I used their chat service twice, once for a shipment that did not arrive and once for a digital download that I was charged the customary price for instead of the sale price. They immediately shipped a replacement for the first item by next day air, and they refunded the entire price of the download and did not charge me anything. In both cases, the resolution was more than I would have expected.
- Target—I had difficulty placing an order on the Cyber weekend. Telephone customer service was also unreachable at the time. I ordered two of the same item. The items shipped at two different times by two different routes. They did keep me informed by email.
- Land’s End—Shipping and customer service were adequate.
- Hobby Lobby—I took advantage of their 40% off and some shipping offers in order to knit for Christmas. Their shipping was very fast and efficient. Orders were correct.
- JoAnns—Service was good. Coupons were good. Hobby Lobby shipping was much, much faster.
- Penneys—an old favorite of mine. I was very disappointed in customer service. I had difficulty placing the order from my shopping bag. It was being sent directly to the recipient, so I wanted to be notified and to be able to tell that person when to expect a package. The tracking system did not work. I called customer service, and they acted as if I were being unreasonable by wanting tracking info.
- Others—I ordered two or three individual items from various sources that were mostly just one-time purchases. All arrived satisfactorily.
- Etsy—every etsy vendor that I bought from shipped promptly and with care.