Being in a third-world country presents a problem when one sews, crochets, knits or cooks! Even buying good cotton clothing is difficult at best here. There is little available in quality products to purchase. Therefore, I constantly turn to on-line ordering through Amazon.com, Chefs, JoAnn Fabrics, Nancy's Notions, Bealls, etc. The pluses sometimes outweigh the minuses, but not all the time.
Take for instance the Nook I just ordered from Barnes and Noble. I was at a Barnes and Noble store in the U.S. last November and quizzed the representative about his product. I informed him that I have a U.S. Satellite service and can download and order anything that one can living in the States. I explained the situation to him stressing that I live on an island and that an Electronic Book would be a real plus for me. No longer would I have to wait weeks/months for a book. However, I stressed to him that I wanted to make sure this item would work with my WiFi set up on my Internet Service. He assured me that it would and saw no reason for it to not function properly. Over and over I quizzed him as I did not want to spend a lot of money on something that would, ultimately, fail to work.
So, I ordered it! It was not shipped until the first part of January and I only just received it last week when a friend from Florida showed up with it in hand, err in his suitcase. Now the big test. To register it on-line. I turned on my computer, went into the Barnes and Noble Website where I have an account with all the relative pertinent information and attempted to register. Lo and behold, it would not connect! It kept saying "unable to connect" when clearly I was on-line looking at the site. I went into their ordering book mode to see what would happen and it said it could not detect a connection!
I did the next logical thing - which is always difficult from a computer in a third world country when you e-mail for help and the people are in Bangladesh! They do not read your e-mail and take into account exactly what you are spelling out for them. Invariably I tell people my situation ..... I'm on an island, no roads, cannot call an 800 number, there is no service tech available, etc., etc. Well, they never get past the first words that their product is not working and immediately stop reading and tell me 1) call an 800 number 2) go visit their tech at the nearest store or 3) repeat information that I have already tried! It gets very frustrating having to go back and tell them they are not reading my e-mail and sending a pat answer.
Of course, I got just such a response from a B&N representative through an e-mail when I spelled out my problem. They immediately told me that currently they do not have service outside the U.S. Now, what happened when their representative in Florida told me it would work because I had a U.S. Satellite service? I wrote back and told them I would have to return the Nook for a full refund and please do not hit me with re-shelving fees as they misrepresented their product to me. Now I will sit back and await their answer.
Next, I ordered a waffle pan that can be used on a gas stove and a Panini Pan with Press (10" pan with cover). The shipping Invoice said I was to get a waffle pan, a Panini pan and press and a 10" Panini component and a 8" component. I received a waffle pan, a 10" Panini pan and a 8" press top - no 10" top! So, I'm currently writing to them to see what it up.
At least the waffle pan was what I wanted and I hope to try that out tomorrow.
I ordered yarn on-line to crochet with and should have known better. I can purchase some yarn here in Honduras but it is an inferior product and they don't have the variety of different weights that are necessary for specific projects. The problem of ordering on-line is that you cannot get a feel for the actual true color of the yarn. So, I ordered what I thought I would like and when it arrived I could have kicked myself for choosing it!
I would have never picked out the pink/purple color I received - it is not my color and if I had seen it in person, I would have turned away. The same for the blue I received. But, this is my fault and I will have to deal with it and use up the 12 skeins of each color I have for some project to give away!
Then one has to get the items here to the island. I rely upon 1) friends to bring it to the island when they come to visit 2) friends to send it to me via DIP or Cargo Rapido or 3) I bring it with me when I return from a visit to the States. No matter how it is shipped, it takes time! We can wait anywhere from the shortest length of time: 2 weeks, to more than 3 months or more depending upon how it is coming!
So, while on-line ordering is wonderful for the most part - parts for machines, computers, shoes, clothing, vitamins, cameras and various gifts I want to give - it can be a big headache when something arrives that does not work or is totally not what you expected.
Did someone say gamble?