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Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Adventures in Online Shopping

I'm not a huge fan of shopping in general, so I tend to order lots of things online and I've been doing it for years. What happened on this order, though, was something unique in my experience and I hope I don't have to deal with anything like it again.

It all started because I wanted a hot pink purse big enough to put my 2017 planner in because I wanted to bring it to work with me. I can't tell you how many times I've been frustrated because my planner was at home and I needed to record something. Writing it down on Post-it notes and bringing those home was okay, but I wanted my planner. I found a super cheap bag that I liked at Amazon from a third-party seller, but with Prime shipping through Amazon. It was listed as NEW! Perfect.

I was excited when the purse arrived. It was in a plastic bag and I tore it open, took out my hot pink beauty, and unfolded it. It looked good. I liked the color, the size was about right, and there were convenient outside compartments for my phone and stuff.

My happiness began to fade when I opened the bag to look inside. The zippered pouch on the bag wall of the purse had a safety pin through it, something a person would do to make it easier to open, not something that would happen at the factory that produced it. My brand new purse clearly wasn't new. Someone had it before me and used it enough to want that safety pin there to make it easier to open the pouch.

Still, the bag was in good condition. If it weren't for the safety pin, I never would have known it wasn't new. It was disappointing, but not a huge deal.

Then I noticed there was a bulge in that zippered back-wall compartment. Hmm. I pulled it open and reached in. I found a stack almost an inch thick of cards. Not playing cards. I mean like customer loyalty cards, pharmacy cards, and yes, a woman's credit card!

I'm like OMG! I have some stranger's credit card! I don't want her credit card!

I call Amazon customer service. I get someone in the Philippines. I tell him that I received a purse today that was supposed to be new, but I found a woman's credit cards inside it. He asked if it came in a box or a bag.

Um, bag, but I have a woman's credit card!

It was delivered USPS?

Yes, but I have a woman's credit card!

It came today?

Yes, and I have a woman's credit card!

It's new?

It's supposed to be new, but I have woman's credit card!

He put me on hold. The guy literally couldn't grasp my problem from the phrase, "I have a woman's credit card." I'm guessing that issue wasn't on his list of possible script scenarios. After about five minutes or so on hold, I was disconnected.

At first I was like WTF, but then I decided it was an opportunity to speak with someone else. Whoever I got next had to speak better English than the first man I spoke with. I called back.

And this time I talked to a woman in the United States who immediately grasped the seriousness of the situation when I said, "I have a woman's credit cards!" She was like OMG! And arranged to have UPS come the next day and pick up the purse and its contents to return it to Amazon.

There is definitely something to be said for customer service being staffed by people in the country where the customers are calling from. Like if I was Filipino and had a problem, getting a guy in the Philippines to help me would be fabulous, but since I'm in the US, having an American to talk to was awesome.

My guess--and this is only a guess--is that she wanted a hot pink purse for one event, used the bag, forgot to take her stuff out of it (there was lip gloss, too), and returned the purse. Then the third-party seller just sealed it up in another plastic bag without checking the inside.

I don't have any idea what happened after the bag left my possession, but I'm just relieved that this strange woman's cards are out of my house.