I figure you online folks can appreciate the following anecdote. If you've ever dealt with tech support or online ordering, you'll know where I'm coming from, and I figure, if you're reading blogs, you've probably done at least one or the other at some point in your life.
We have a special "VIP" website through my job whereby we can order discounted things. In this case, I was looking for a new washer and dryer. A pretty hefty purchase.
The site itself is good enough. Plenty of pictures. Some adds. And a Live Chat feature.
Aside: If you happen to be a phonophobe (or is it telephobe, hmm) like me, you surely appreciate the advent of Live Chat. I have no problems reading and writing, I just don't like talking to people over the phone. It's not completely rational, I'll be the first to admit it, but if I can PuG in WoW, I can Live Chat with the best of 'em. Nothing these Live Chat folks can throw at me will be any worse than a random PuG, amirite?
I select a washer easy enough and they go to fetch the matching dryer. I mean, they have to match. You can't have a non-matching washer and dryer. Can you? Wouldn't that anger the Laundry Gods? You know, the same guys who steal your socks.
First model I select: out of stock. It's cool, this model is a similar price, just without the door window: out of stock. How about this version? Out of stock. Are you kidding me, you don't have any of the matching models in stock? What is this madness.
/click Live Chat
Steve: Hello, how may I help you today?
Me: Hi, it says all of these are out of stock. Do you know when you might get more in?
Steve: Which model?
Me: The Nonintuitivename model here. Nonintuitivenumber.
(Left Brain: What a pretty name.)
Steve: I looked it up. It says out of stock.
Me: Right, and you might get more when?
Steve: It doesn't say.
(Right Brain: There are only two logical reasons for that...)
Me: So does that mean it's been discontinued, or that we just don't know when it'll be restocked.
Steve: It has not been discontinued, I just cannot give you a date.
(Left Brain: Think outside the box!)
Me: What about others of a similar price range of the same model?
Steve: Which model? Which numbers?
(Right Brain: Must I do everything here...)
Me: /ctrlc /ctrlv, /ctrlc /ctrlv
(Left Brain: Ahhh copy and paste. Clever!)
Steve: They all say the same things.
Me: Hmm, not the answer I was looking for, but thanks anyways.
Steve: Is there anything else I can do for you today?
Me: Not right now, thanks.
Now a personal philosophy of mine is that if I'm going to err on a large purchase, I might as well err on the side of quality. I also believe that you basically get what you pay for in life. So I decided I'd just look at the more expensive models and give those a try. I try a few and get to the top-of-the-line model. Of course it's in stock. Well, whatever, I'll just go with that. It's only a couple hundred bucks more, and we do need new machines. Seriously, it takes three rounds to dry a pair of jeans.
So I filled my cart with the necessities: A washer, a dryer, a three prong plug, and some nylon braided hose. I'm all excited because, hey, clean clothes are cool. Our current washer seems to add oil spots to our shirts. It was time to upgrade. The ebay special from our apartment days had done it's noble duty. It could burn in a heroic pyre.
I view my cart, review my purchases, and click the holy "proceed to checkout" grail button. Sort of like a grail shaped beacon, only far less sexy.
Next comes, you guessed it, the delivery options! Much rejoicing. Having the aforementioned ebay special, I elect to go with the "they bring it her and take my old crap" option for a modest price of 50 McDonald's double cheeseburgers.
*ERROR: Some shit about how I can't find shit in the database random number strange code ampersand*
WTF is this, say I. Wherefore am I to go now?
/click Live Chat
Steve2: Hello my name is Stevenottheotherguy. You can call me Steve. How may I help you today?
Me: Hey, I'm getting this error /ctrlc /ctrlv.
Steve2: Do you have a browser with a popup blocker?
(Left Brain: What does a popup browser have to do with a database lookup error? I'm pretty sure that's on their end and not mine. I may be making a leap here, but I'm pretty sure Right Brain has my back on this one. We sort of do this stuff all the time. Also, this whole chat with Steve Part Deuce is happening in a popup. I've obviously disabled the popup blocker like a good employee. And why am I judging poor Steve? I know he's just on a script. He's just reading step one. Maybe I can skip a few steps...)
Me: They are disabled.
(Right Brain: Whoa now there, Left Brain. That's progressive thinking. You can't skip steps. Steps are meant to be followed. You've probably just thrown this poor, rational fella totally off his script.)
Steve2: I'm sorry for the inconvenience, but the VIP site is currently off-line. You can make your order by phone.
(Right Brain: OMG we broke him.)
(Left Brain: Wow, we just skipped from step number one to step number the last. That's pretty badass.)
(Amygdala: Did he say phone?!)
Me: Do you know when it'll be up again?
Steve2: We hope to have it back working within the hour, but I cannot make any promises.
(Left Brain: Of course not.)
(Right Brain: Left Brain will have to translate. *shudder*)
Me: Well, I'll just try again later. Thanks.
Steve2: Have a nice day!
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