On the Joys and Pitfalls of Online Shopping: Well, Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad, I Guess….

Photo by Negative Space on Pexels.com

Hi, there, Dear Reader. It is late morning in Lithia, Florida, on Wednesday, March 16, 2022. It is a warm spring day here in the Tampa Bay area. Currently, the temperature is 76˚F (24˚C) under cloudy skies. With humidity at 85% and the wind blowing from the south-southwest at 7 MPH (12 KM/H), the feels-like temperature is 75˚F (24˚C). Today’s forecast calls for rain showers and a high of 78˚F (26˚C). Tonight, skies will be partly cloudy. The low will be 61˚F (16˚C).

We left off yesterday on a hopeful yet somewhat troubling note regarding the three separate pre-orders of the newly released West Side Story (2021) multi-format home media release  – the Collector’s Ultimate Edition from Amazon, the Art Edition from Target, and the Steelbook from Best Buy. Two (the Best Buy and Target orders) were on their way to Lithia, at least according to the retailers. The third (the Amazon one) still had not shipped, but it was still scheduled to arrive by Friday the 18th.

Well, after I posted yesterday’s blog post, I waited a decent interval – until after 6:30 PM, the absolutely latest that I’ve seen UPS make deliveries based on our local UPS Store’s operating hours. I had, after all, been reassured by Best Buy that my order with the West Side Story Steelbook was on the way and would be delivered on time per the Best Buy order’s current status.

Unless a miracle occurs or someone can get me one somehow, someday, somewhere, I will not be getting my Steelbook order. (C) 2022 20th Century Studios via Best Buy

But when I didn’t see any movement on my order in the UPS website – my Best Buy had had a shipping label printed in a Dublin, Georgia store or warehouse, but no package had been handed over to the shipper as of last evening – I decided to go to Best Buy’s website and initiate a chat with a Customer Service representative.

For the sake of accurate reporting, here’s the transcript of that chat:

Juliana M (21:41:12 GMT) : Thank you for choosing Best Buy. My name is Juliana. How can I assist you today?

Visitor (21:41:55 GMT) : Hi, Juliana. Can you tell me where my order really is?
Juliana M (21:42:09 GMT) : Hello, Alex. Happy Tuesday!
Juliana M (21:42:21 GMT) : Please, let me check your order current status for you. In order to access to your Best Buy account, may I have your phone number, please?
Visitor (21:42:46 GMT) : XXX-XXX-XXX
Juliana M (21:43:34 GMT) : Thank you, Alex.
Juliana M (21:43:44 GMT) : Let me take a look to your order latest update. Can you hold for me 3-4 minutes while I do so?
Visitor (21:43:55 GMT) : Sure.
Juliana M (21:44:23 GMT) : Thank you.
Juliana M (21:48:21 GMT) : Thank you for holding.
Visitor (21:48:42 GMT) : No problem
Juliana M (21:49:27 GMT) : I was checking for your order current status and I found is currently in transit, It should be delivered today at :   XXX XXXXXXXXXX XXXXXX LITHIA, FL 33547. Is that your correct shipping address?
Visitor (21:49:58 GMT) : Yes. Yes it is.
Juliana M (21:50:20 GMT) : Thank you for confirming.
Juliana M (21:51:04 GMT) : It was shipped last Sunday from Georgia, and today is scheduled to be delivered up to 9 PM local time.
Visitor (21:51:32 GMT) : It is so confusing when I look at my order status and all it says is “Ready for Shipment.” But okay. That is reassuring.
Visitor (21:52:16 GMT) : By 9 PM today? That would be nice.
Juliana M (21:52:38 GMT) : I completely understand your concern, however, this is the last update on file.
Juliana M (21:53:33 GMT) : Yes. It is scheduled to be delivered today. However, if by any reason, you don’t receive it, please, contact us back tomorrow to be able to help you to have the item as soon as possible.
Visitor (21:53:39 GMT) : Ah. Okay. I guess sometimes someone forgets to scan something or the website gets stuck or something.
Juliana M (21:53:43 GMT) : Remember we are always here to help you.
Juliana M (21:54:24 GMT) : Right. Everything could happen during the shipment, so, please, let us know if you don’t get it today.
Juliana M (21:54:26 GMT) : Please, let me know if is there anything else we can do for you today?
Visitor (21:55:14 GMT) : No. That’s fine. I will just try and relax till 9 or so.
Juliana M (21:55:22 GMT) : Perfect!
Juliana M (21:55:48 GMT) : Have a wonderful waiting time and I hope you enjoy your new movie.
Juliana M (21:55:50 GMT) : Thank you for choosing Best Buy! This chat session will now end.

Well, 9 PM local time came and went, and UPS – not surprisingly – did not leave the promised package. I checked the front porch twice before I went to bed to watch Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (with cast and crew audio commentary) at 10 PM, but there was nothing there.

I also checked the UPS website to see if the shipment’s status had changed since I chatted with Juliana M. Again, not surprisingly, UPS still insisted that a shipping label had been printed but that it could not give me an estimate for a delivery.

Best Buy’s Customer Service online service goes live at 9 AM Eastern, so I had to cool my heels before I could start another online inquiry regarding my order of the West Side Story Steelbook edition. It did not go well.

Here it is:

Visitor (13:34:33 GMT) : Hi Carolyne
Carolyne L (13:35:00 GMT) : Thank you for choosing Best Buy, my name is Carolyne L. How may I assist you today?
Carolyne L (13:35:08 GMT) : Hello,  Alex. How are you doing today?
Visitor (13:35:51 GMT) : Fine. I am having issues with an order.
Carolyne L (13:36:40 GMT) : I am sorry to know that you are facing an issue with your order, I will do my best in this detail and help you with the best possible options.
Carolyne L (13:36:54 GMT) : BBY01-8066008787XXXXX, is this the order number?
Visitor (13:38:08 GMT) : Yep. I was told yesterday that it was going to be delivered last night. However, UPS still says it is waiting for the item so they can deliver it.
Carolyne L (13:38:37 GMT) : I completely understand how disappointing it can be, not getting your product on the expected time of arrival.
Carolyne L (13:38:37 GMT) : I am sorry to hear that you haven’t received the product, let me quickly check and help you in every possible way.
Carolyne L (13:39:00 GMT) : May I have your phone number for verification?
Visitor (13:39:23 GMT) : XXX-XXX-XXX
Carolyne L (13:39:39 GMT) : Thank you for verifying.
Carolyne L (13:40:42 GMT) : Please allow me 3 – 4 minutes while I check this for you right away!
Visitor (13:40:55 GMT) : Okay
Carolyne L (13:41:08 GMT) : Thank you.
Carolyne L (13:44:05 GMT) : Thank you for staying connected. I appreciate your patience and time.
Carolyne L (13:45:52 GMT) : Alex, I’m so sorry that you haven’t received your order. I know that you were expecting your package by now and the fact that it’s past your Get It By date is not the experience we wanted you to have. Please do not worry as our team will do the research for your order to find out what’s going on with it.
Carolyne L (13:45:57 GMT) : Please do not worry, you are a valuable customer for us and we have two options for you to get this resolved. If you are still interested in getting the item, I can go ahead and reship the item for you which will be delivered to your home by . If not I can also help you in initiating a full refund.
Carolyne L (13:45:59 GMT) : May I know which option you would prefer?
Visitor (13:46:37 GMT) : Reship it.
Carolyne L (13:47:07 GMT) : Sure. Please allow me 2 minutes while I process this for you right away!
Carolyne L (13:48:23 GMT) : Thank you for staying connected. I appreciate your patience and time.
Carolyne L (13:49:51 GMT) : I have looked into it and I apologies for the inconvenience but the product is currently only available to be picked up from the store as it is not available to be shipped. Would it be okay for you to pick it up from the store?
Visitor (13:50:23 GMT) : No. I have mobility issues. That is why I ordered online.
Carolyne L (13:51:41 GMT) : I understand,  I apologize for any inconvenience or frustration you encountered with our services. But the product it currently not available for shipping and only available for the pick up.
Visitor (13:51:42 GMT) : I don’t understand how these things happen. I pre-ordered the item a month ago. Best Buy tells me it shipped, then it doesn’t show up at all and you can’t reship it.
Visitor (13:53:03 GMT) : Is it possible that someone in the Dublin GA store took my package for the resale market? I mean, seriously…
Carolyne L (13:54:22 GMT) : I understand your concern, if that happened to me I’d be really upset too. But do not worry as I have escalated this issue to our backend team and they will look into this for you.
Carolyne L (13:54:23 GMT) : If your order hasn’t been received within the next 72 hours, we’ll automatically reimburse your order and you should see that refund in your account up to 48 hours after that.
Visitor (13:55:47 GMT) : My problem is this. I can’t go to Brandon to get the steelbook myself. If I could, I would. So okay…I’ll just have to accept the solution you offered, but this is the second time I’ve had issues with an order.
Carolyne L (13:56:40 GMT) : I’m sorry to hear that you’ve had to contact us repeatedly about the same issue. But your concerns has immediately been escalated to the relevant department to handle this matter.
Carolyne L (13:56:57 GMT) : I appreciate the time you have taken to bring this to our attention and for giving us an opportunity to rectify the situation. We will do everything possible and also make sure nothing like this happens again.
Carolyne L (13:57:51 GMT) : I have also generated a case ID: 283399132. Please keep this case ID for reference.
Carolyne L (13:57:52 GMT) : If you have any question in the future regarding this chat please help us with the case ID number and we will be glad to help you with the information you need right away.
Visitor (13:58:14 GMT) : I understand that errors are made, but you know, $41 is a lot of money for me.
Carolyne L (13:59:09 GMT) : I totally agree with you. We are sorry for any trouble caused to you, Being a consumer myself, I can certainly understand your concern.
Visitor (14:00:51 GMT) : Okay. Well…I hope you find out what happened and let me know at some point. I’ll just have to wait 3 days and hope my package turns up.
Carolyne L (14:01:37 GMT) : Do not worry as you will receive a confirmation e-mail regarding the updates of the order from our team within 24 hours. Please make sure to check your junk and spam boxes if you didn’t receive it.
Visitor (14:02:11 GMT) : Sure, no problem
Carolyne L (14:02:51 GMT) : You can also check back within us anytime regarding the order by providing us the case ID  and we will be glad to help you with the information you need right away.
Visitor (14:03:03 GMT) : Ok
Carolyne L (14:03:12 GMT) : Is there anything else I can help you with?
Visitor (14:06:08 GMT) : Nope. I’ll just have to see what happens within the next 72 hours. I’m really disappointed, though. I rarely buy steelbooks because they are more expensive, but I really wanted one. Best Buy needs to have a local delivery option.
Visitor (14:07:04 GMT) : Well, that’s it. Let’s see what happens in 3 days.
Carolyne L (14:07:27 GMT) : I apologize for any inconvenience or frustration you encountered with our services. But do not worry as I have escalated the issue and dispatched a case regarding the order. We will make sure you received your order in the promised time.
Visitor (14:07:49 GMT) : Thank you
Carolyne L (14:08:07 GMT) : You’re welcome.
Carolyne L (14:08:13 GMT) : Thank you for choosing Best Buy! This chat session will now.

Ugh.

Thankfully, my Art Edition variant of West Side Story is marked Out for Delivery – by the time some of you read this I should have my package in our mailbox, since it’s scheduled to arrive by 12:30 PM Eastern.

(C) 2022 20th Century Studios/Buena Vista Home Entertainment

As for my Amazon Collector’s Ultimate Edition set (the one with the least impressive packaging), that one has not shipped but it has a Friday, March 18 delivery window.

If the people I live with were not so busy with their lives or if I felt comfortable asking them to go to Best Buy to get my order for me, I would have gone for the in-store pickup option. But the Caregiver works until 5 PM, and both of the kids that I would trust to run an errand for me are busy with their own lives – college, work, and personal lives – so I am hesitant to bother them with such a trivial (for them) concern.

Two out of three West Side Story orders going right is not too bad, I suppose, but I really wanted that damned Steelbook.

Oh, well. Can’t win ‘em all, I guess.

Published by Alex Diaz-Granados

Alex Diaz-Granados (1963- ) began writing movie reviews as a staff writer and Entertainment Editor for his high school newspaper in the early 1980s and was the Diversions editor for Miami-Dade Community College, South Campus' student newspaper for one semester. Using his experiences in those publications, Alex has been raving and ranting about the movies online since 2003 at various web sites, including Amazon, Ciao and Epinions. In addition to writing reviews, Alex has written or co-written three films ("A Simple Ad," "Clown 345," and "Ronnie and the Pursuit of the Elusive Bliss") for actor-director Juan Carlos Hernandez. You can find his reviews and essays on his blogs, A Certain Point of View and A Certain Point of View, Too.

2 thoughts on “On the Joys and Pitfalls of Online Shopping: Well, Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad, I Guess….

    1. I convinced my caregiver to pick up my order, so after she gets off work, she’ll go to Brandon Best Buy and retrieve my steelbook of West Side Story.

      Updated to add: Unfortunately, the Best Buy in Brandon did not have any copies of the West Side Story steelbook. I did receive my Target Art Edition version, but (a) either I wait till the 23rd to see if my order materializes or (b) I’ll cancel the order if it does not get here by then.

      Liked by 1 person

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