I get really frustrated with on-line retailers who have no understanding of how this whole Web thing works. I won’t name the retailer (hint, hint: read the title of this post. ) I was buying jeans for Tim for Christmas (he knows he’s getting them, so this is giving away nothing.) I had a really frustrating experience with their Web site. First, it was very difficult to figure out which jeans were available in his size. Then, I didn’t find out that the jeans were on sale until the END of the check-out process, which is just stupid on their part. They almost lost the sale, in fact, because I actually left their site to try to find them cheaper somewhere else, but I ended up coming back again because I couldn’t find any in his size. (For those of you who haven’t met him, he isn’t gargantuan or anything, just tall.) If I had known in the first place that they were on sale, it would have been a whole lot easier. (Plus, who puts items on sale and doesn’t tell anyone? That doesn’t even have anything to do with the Web. It’s just stupid marketing.)
So at the end of the process, a box popped up offering me $100 value if I filled out an on-line survey giving them feedback about my experience. I didn’t expect them to give me a $100 coupon for free merchandise, but I thought maybe it would be $10 off each of my next 10 on-line orders, or something like that. So I gave them very thoughtful, constructive feedback on my experience. Only to find out that it was $100 in magazines. Which had absolutely nothing to do with the product I had purchased, and was a total bait-and-switch. Do you know how long it would take me to read $100 worth of magazines? I don’t have that kind of time. Plus, it’s one of those magazine offers where you have to start paying for them after the first few months, so what kind of offer is that? And one more thing, if I want free magazines, I think there are plenty of other places I could find that kind of offer. Without filling out a survey.
Now, the reason this is so stupid is that this particular retailer has now lost me as a customer because a) their on-line experience was not good, and b) they made me feel foolish for falling for their offer. Even more stupid, I don’t normally shop this retailer, but if they had given me a coupon for $10 off my next order, I probably would have ordered again. Because I just did it last week with another on-line retailer (Victoria’s Secret). I had made a purchase, they sent me a $10 coupon, and I made another purchase. That simple.
I think I just set a new record for how many times you can say “stupid” in a blog post. Stupid, stupid, stupid.