There is a certain beauty in early Christmas shopping, especially when you shop online. You get the best sales, the great deals and you don’t have to mingle with the crowds or fight over parking spots. Of course, that terrific online shopping experience all hinges on one critical detail – shipping.
When Packages Don’t Arrive
Most people start shopping right after Thanksgiving. Big sales are starting and if you buy online most stores offer free shipping. You simply load up your cart online, use up those online coupons and arrange your shipping.
Your Christmas presents should be at your door within the week in most cases. That leaves you plenty of time to get them wrapped and under the tree before the holiday season really gets going. But what happens when you don’t get the presents when you expect them?
It can put a serious wrinkle in your holiday fun.
In our modern age of shipping, companies provide you with a tracking number when you buy something online. That way, when the product ships, you can watch and follow up on your items to know when they will actually make it to your doorstep.
Online tracking is great, of course, but it still relies on one important detail – the company must actually ship your items for the tracking to work. Since the labels and numbers work so well on the system, you can easily see when companies actually ship the item for you. If your package gets a label, you’re often notified. When it ships, you’re notified again.
But what if it never ships?
You’d think a large retailer would be on top of order and make sure that packages were actually making it from the warehouse to the post office, but occasionally they don’t.
And when you call to figure out why your package never shipped – especially after you’ve been charged for it – you shouldn’t be too surprised that the company incompetent enough to forget to ship a labeled package now can’t find it and wants you to wait two more weeks to receive it. When you cancel your order as most of us would, you learn that it will take up to two weeks to process the cancellation and return your money as well.
It’s a no win.
Wrong Shipping, Wrong Contents
Something worse than never getting your own packages is getting someone else’s presents. How exactly do you handle a situation like that anyhow?
Your package shows up only a few weeks late. You’re relieved it finally made it, and you’ll need to rush and get the presents wrapped up and under the tree. When you open the box up, however, you find a packing slip and items that belong to someone else. And it’s not just your neighbor’s package, but items belonging to someone eight states away.
Now you’re stuck in a double disappointment. Not only do you not have your own gifts ready to wrap and deliver, but you’re holding someone else’s gifts which means there are now two of you in the same boat. You have no choice but to ship the items back after a lengthy phone call with customer service.
But then the worst is yet to come.
Instead of sitting back and enjoying the holiday season at home with family, you’re going to need to go out into the madness in the week before Christmas to find new giftpacs. All of that careful planning and early shopping was for nothing.
You might not even have bothered – at least not with one major retailer.