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Thursday, April 13, 2006

No Irony Here...

Remember how the Internet was going to make our lives easier? Boy, I'll bet the Irony Fairy is having a big laugh about that one. Today I went on line to renew our Costco membership. Now Costco is a great company -unlike Walmart they actually treat their employees like humans, for instance. So, as I looked at the renewal card and saw the promise -"renew online -it's easy and fast!" I must have been lulled into some sort of alternate-universe hallucinatory state, because I actually believed it.

Somebody, quick, sell me a bridge.

I won't go into the various little things that kept popping up that made my experience less than celebratory; suffice it to say that after twenty-five minutes I was frothing at the mouth and screaming obscenities at the computer, and I never did get the membership renewed.

Interesting, I hear you say, but what's it got to do with bookselling? Well, it occurred to me, as I was ricocheting around an exceedingly badly-designed web process, that this is why a lot of people approach e-commerce as if it were a live bomb, just waiting to go off in their faces. Which brought my thought process, such as it is, inexorably around to the latest set of bookseller bitching about the new credit card policies at the Advanced Book Exchange. I won’t go back over the whole thing here, but for me the most important point is that the new policy, which is to have ABE charge the customer’s card for a purchase instead of the bookseller charging it, makes the whole process a little easier and more trustworthy from the buyer’s viewpoint, and that’s the name of the game, isn’t it?

And as long as I’m on the topic, try this on for size- the latest bookseller’s gripe about ABE doing the credit card processing is along the lines of “well, how do we know that ABE will still be around a month from now to pay us our money? What if they all run off to Mexico or something?” Gimme a break- that’s a level of paranoia I have always had trouble dealing with. I find it especially amusing, though, when it comes from the same people who simply cannot understand that perhaps a customer might possibly be a little apprehensive about sending their credit card info to a third-party bookseller they’ve never heard of.

I suppose that brings us right back to our friend, the Irony Fairy. My, she’s a busy bee, isn’t she?


UPDATE: Last week I wrote about a new bookmark being issued by ABE that some folks construed as making fun of the President. The Freepers and others worked themselves into a lather over it, and when I tried to order some I got a message saying they were out of stock. I doubted it at the time, but apparently it was true- the bookmark was so popular that they did run out, but they're making more, and this time I'm gonna get me some!

5 comments:

Mike said...

This must be the night for bad internet experiences. Now I admit that I exist only due to the graces of pirated internet, but the irony of that existence hit me in the brain pan tonight with the force of a 56k connection.

I was connected and it said that I had "low or no signal." While connected with low or no signal, I was bouncing around the internet like I was flying in the Concorde. After a while, another little message popped up saying I had an "Excellent" connection. Guess what? I could not go anywhere. It took forever and a day to go to any web page and it was constantly freezing up on me.

Is there a God, or what?

Colonel Colonel said...

Oh Mike, you post that picture of the biker babe and then ask if there's a God???

c'mon now...

karen said...

The biker babe, the biker babe ... that'd be the FoxNews story on Mike's blog about the perfect butt? Can't see the pictures, they won't load on my machine, but I get the idea.

Tell you what. Y'all get bodies like that, then we'll talk. Or wait. We females'll all get bodies like that, then we'll talk. Until then, it's all mindless poking around in the bushes. blind.

k

p.s. Hi, Mike. Sorry.

Mike said...

I know, I guess I am getting paid back. I shall repent.

Karen, but I like mindless poking around in the bushes.

jgodsey said...

no abe won't be running off with our money..but no corp does anything out of altruism...so basically they are gonna make more money from US. isn't that always the way?

btw...forry...i have all the adobe products and printers i house needed to make those frucking bookmarks..if you really really want one.