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HO HO HO... MERRY CHRISTMAS
3 December 2005
Scrooge really had a point.
I really want to run around with holly in my heart and a smile on my lips and the essence of gingerbread men wafting through my head in December each year, but merchants sure do make it difficult.
My frustration today is with Lane Bryant. My frustration is frequently with Lane Bryant, the fat lady store. I don't know why I keep getting sucked into their promotional schemes because I rarely ever actually get anything, it's so frustrating to deal with them.
Today my daily Lane Bryant catalog arrived.
This one proclaimed a huge sale, with an additional 25% off on any item purchased. It also had new stuff, especially for Christmas.
So far so good.
I found a pair of very cute Christmas pajamas and went to their web site to order them. And imagine my delighted surprise when I discovered that if I order the items on line instead of by mail or telephone, I get not a 25% discount but a 40% discount. Even better.
I put in the item number and waited for a long whle. The web site could not find the pajamas. Perhaps I had made a typo.
I put the item number in again, very carefully, double checking as I typed. It still couldn't find them.
Well now there's a pickle. How can I order and get my big discount if the web site can't even locate the item.
So I placed a call to New Delhi, or whatever Indian village is handling things like this these days and I explained my dilemma.
"Do you want to order?" came the reply, seeming to completely misunderstand the fact that if I order with her I'll only get 25% off but if I order on line I will get 40% off.
I explained the situation again, very slowly, very calmly.
The snippy answer came back that I could order on line and just give her the catalog number and I would get my 40% off.
(Well, why didn't she tell me that in the first place?)
Things were looking up.
I gave her the number. She found the item, took the information (kind of scary that she asked for my last name and immediately had all of my information, including address at hand!), took my shipping information and then informed me that the Christmas pajamas which I have just received information about today, which go on sale on the web site today are back-ordered until the end of January, and did I still want to order.
I hung up.
Why do I keep hitting myself in the head with Lane Bryant? I guess because they are the fat lady store that I am most familiar with. But, first of all there is the store and there is the catalog store, and the two are not connected at all. So if you find something while you are walking around the mall and decide later you might like to have, you can't go to the web site because they have different merchandise. Likewise if you find a really cute thing in the catalog, you can't run out and buy it from the store because they don't carry it.
I'm sure there is a story there.
But the catalog is forever (there's another problem--how many forests have died so that I can receive daily catalogs?) dangling the carrot of huge discounts in front of my eyes and rarely, if ever, do they have the item I am looking for in stock.
Or if they do, it's in the fat-lady petite size, which I don't wear.
So there will be no cute little fat lady Christmas pajamas for me, which is really OK because I can't really afford them (but how could I pass up a 40% discount?) and I just bought myself some cute pajamas anyway, since the ones I had been wearing are so threadbear the elastic is in danger of falling out completely, so I don't really need them--how many sets of night clothes do you need anyway?
But it just makes me so angry that it is so damn difficult to buy anything at Lane Bryant ... or anywhere.
And now that we have entered the season of greed and rudeness, the thought of going out in to a mall with endless repeats of Muzac White Christmas recordings, pushing and shoving people to get to the last...whatever...
Well, it does not bode well for letting nothing me dismay. I'm more likely to bop a merry gentleman over the head than rest him.
I remember the year when on-line shopping took off. Actually, I remember the previous year, when only those of us geeks trusted businesses enough to order from them. Ahhh...the glory days of yore.
Now everyone is squabbling over stuff on line just as they are at the bargain counter at Filene's Basement and all the fun has gone out of it.
In this morass of frustration, there still stands Amazon, now becoming the Costco of the Internet, with the addition of just about everything in the world, in addition to books, but still pretty reliable for getting goods and shipping goods on time.
I hope everybody wants a book for Christmas this year, cause may be another Amazon Christmas.
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