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Saturday, September 12, 2015

Dear Random Business: I'm Just Not that Into You

It seems to me that most online businesses must be run by needy teen-aged girls.  At least they certainly behave the same way.

I can remember a time when I wanted to buy something, I would simply hand over some cash or a credit card, then take my item and go home.  Everyone was happy.  I had my shiny new purchase, and the store had my money.  Today though, buying just about anything online seems to be more like getting into a relationship.

Step 1:  I see something nice on the Internet and am interested.  So far so good. I get to take a look at it and decide I want to buy. If I don't already know the store, I may ask around by checking reviews by third parties or previous customers to learn your reputation.  If most people say you are ok, we can move to the next step.

Step 2: Getting to know you.  Typically, I can't just enter my credit card information and go.  The store wants to know more about me by getting me to set up an account.  How old am I? Where do I live? What are my other interests? Do I have a Facebook page? Can you be friends with me? etc.

Step 3: The purchase. Ok store, now you know all about me and consider me worthy to buy your item.  But before we can complete the transaction, you want show me a little more about yourself.  No, I'm not interested in other items that customers who bought this also bought.  I don't want to reconsider the extended warranty or other things that go with this thing. If I did, I would have added them before trying to make my purchase.  Let's not try to stretch this out or make this into more than what it is.  Just take my money and go.

Step 4: Our friends apparently need to know we are together now.  After our transaction, you want me to tell all my friends about it.  Thanks for asking, but no, I don't want to brag to all my friends on Facebook, Twitter, or Pintrest about buying some thing from you.

Step 5: Communication is fundamental to any relationship. Now that I've completed my purchase, we apparently have a relationship.  As a result, you seem to think it is important to call me, email me, or text me, with whatever you like.  It may be about what you are shipping me, it may be about other stuff you want to sell.  One email is fine. Six, seven, eight just to tell me about my delivery status is getting to be too much.  Emails unrelated to my purchase are simply unacceptable.

Step 6: The need for feedback.  Apparently you think communication needs to be a two way street in our relationship.  You start begging me to tell you what I thought about our transaction.  You want to feel validated and told how wonderful you were about giving me what I wanted in a reasonable time, whether I felt you communicated with me enough during the process (hint- too much, see step 5) or whether anything could be different.  If I don't respond, you think it's fine to badger me repeatedly or get your friends (a third party survey company) to ask me more about it.  If I dare to say you were less than perfect, you whine at me even more to tell you in greater detail why.

Step 7. Leaving your things at my place.  In addition to our communication, you seem to want to move in.  I see that you are leaving cookies on my computer.  Look, I'm glad we could do business, but that does not mean I want you to move in and start leaving your stuff on my hard drive.

I'm sorry to tell this to you store, but I really wasn't looking for a relationship.  I really didn't care that much who sold me the thing. I just wanted the thing.  Now that I've got it, I've moved on.  Please leave me alone and stop contacting me.  I hope you can do the same.

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