Wednesday, September 14, 2016


Neither here nor there
Life is if nothing else a dichotomy.
A mixed bag of pros, cons, surprises,
disappointments, highs, lows. Within
such a bi-polar existence it's easy to
become rather jaded. Particularly if
nothing ever seems to be easy or is
more complicated than it should be.
However deep at the root of most of
our discontent is the realization that
we rarely get what they bargained for.
Thus in a world where there is never
 a free ride, completing a round trip
excursion can be a circuitous journey.
Express delivery
Sadly while I do everything possible to shop locally there are times when one must go beyond Central Montana to find what you need. While not a fan of Amazon, I must admit that much like some popular fellows - it's fast, easy, and cheap. As are the majority of on-line retailers. They understand that digital shopping is a journey of discovery. You win some, lose others. Hence they make it just as easy for one to return as receive. All one has to do is slap a label on the same box and send it back. Now that's service!
Best foot forward
If only everything were that simple.
Recently Frank spied a new pair of his
favorite shoes on-line. However they
weren't available in his size. Soon I
was googling my guts out to find him
what he wanted. In the end I hit the
jackpot of a website with thousands
of shoes. There deep within were
what seemed to be exactly what he
wanted. Same name, look, however
at a MUCH lower price. Quickly I
threw said bargain into my shopping
cart and paid. Within days they arrived.
Back at you
Sadly the color was off, styling wrong,
and most important, they didn't fit. So
back they went. My problem was how
to return them?! After digging through
the debris I found one tiny - 3 x 4 inch
piece of paper with return instructions
that sent me first on-line to log on, then
to my transaction history, then to a return
request. After several hours I received a
"return confirmation" e-mail which had
me log in again and print out the form.
Finally I had to pay their way home in
their "original" packaging. What heels!
Slow returns policy
Similarly, I recently purchased some gate
hardware from a "discounter" on-line.
Upon receipt I realized I'd ordered the
wrong size. After searching the package
and website I finally figured out that the
only way I could return it was get their
approval. First I dialed an 800 number.
Several attempts later, I got a human
who informed me that prior to returning
(again at my expense) he would have to
get approval from the manufacturer and
also find out how much the "restocking
fee" would be. So what's the big deal?!
Shop till you drop
When shopping on-line perception is
rarely reality. While in Lewistown a
theoretical fact may be fiction.Rumor
is our local merchants charge more.
However in my experience that isn't
the case. Recently I rushed downtown
to purchase cleaning supplies at our
hardware store. Once my mission was
accomplished, buyers remorse set in.
So I comparison shopped at Shopko
on the edge of town. After coupons
and discounts, their price was higher
than the locally owned store. WOW!
More than you bargained for
In the end we all must pay our way.
Rarely does it make sense to drive
two hours to save ten percent. Nor
does one gain much if they have to
pay the round trip ticket for an item
that may or may not suit their needs.
Expending time and energy may not
be worth a discount. Therefore I've
learned that convenience is worth
every extra cent. If it makes my life
easier, I'm more than willing to pay
for an upgrade. My time is valuable
but my peace of mind is priceless!