Push My Button - Online.
During this last weekend I received an email and Facebook notice telling me the computer that controls our on-line shop had started to say " I'm sorry, I can't do that Dave." Apparently all the products disappeared. The technicians were set to work on it and it may have been restored by now. This is great - I believe their next project will involve the HINDENBURG and a tube of model airplane cement.
Imagine my distress last night when the news of the massive SNAFU of the Click Frenzy saga came through on the television. It was reported in the small spaces between the advertising for the steak knives and carpet shampoo on the shopping channel. But wait...there's more. Apparently this cyber version of The Great Train Robbery was meant to forestall a similar sale in America that is coming up. The local purveyors wanted to soak up all the money that the punters were set to fire across the Pacific. In the event they managed to fry the local circuits - that is if cyberspace still has circuits - and irk the unsuccessful bidders. Picture all those people sitting there with their credit cards out cooling in the breeze and no sound but the occasional cicada and a muffled groan.
I should not laugh - I indulge my Jones with on-line purchases of toy cars occasionally. And I am never unhappy with the results - my toy cars just have to look good, and they do, and there are no warranty issues to fight with. Just as well - how the hell one would enforce a warranty on anything when the seller is in Butte, Montana or worse is any one's guess. That is because the answer is that there is no chance. You shop online from North America, or England, or Uzbekistan, and you on yo' own.
Even getting justice and satisfaction from on-line shopping to our own eastern states is a wry question. You might be able to get it right first time or you might be able to get it right eventually or you might be able to sit there staring blankly at a screen. Remember that "closure" in any situation sometimes involves a door and your nose.
SO - I have decided to explain how to purchase things on-line successfully. Implement these suggestions and your life will be filled with bluebirds and chocolate cupcakes. Make sure you get the cupcakes away from the bluebirds before the little beggars eat all the icing.
Rule 1. Do not shop drunk. Friends do not let friends buy gold lycra bike shorts when they have been drinking.
Rule 2. Do not shop after 10:00 at night. The only products that can be recommended after this time are bottles of beer and the attentions of paid women, and these are better got in Northbridge.
Rule 3. If it has more than two moving parts be aware that they may not. If they do not, and you cannot make them do so, and cannot get anyone else to so do for free - you're stuffed.
Rule 4. Your brother-in-law can buy it cheaper and better than you can, and will make sure you know it. Deal with the pain.
Rule 5. If you wonder who is making money with all this business, look at the expression on the face of the man who owns the delivery firm.
Now - run to your computers, children. As Australians you have been trained to regard Americans with contempt. You express amusement and disgust with every aspect of their products, lives, and country - military, social, intellectual, you sneer at it all. This is your chance to show them up - wait until Cyber Monday..... and send them all your money.