|The lost art of selling stuff online
||[Wednesday 1st March 2017 at 11:02 pm]
Okay, so some of this is my own fault for not placing the order sooner, but still that's no excuse for the sheer amount of fail on some online stores.
Argos get particular bonus fail points for teasing me with the appearance of it actually being available - yes, on the item page it comes up as out of stock for home delivery but that's an ambiguous message as this is for a pre-order and in any case the site will happily let me add it to the virtual trolley. So far so good, right? Well, on the trolley page it lists two options: store collection which comes up as "not available" (again, unsurprising), or home delivery which says - wait for it - "Pre-order to be delivered on 3rd March 2017". Complete with a green tick! Except, the Continue with Delivery button underneath the table is greyed out and doesn't do anything, so apparently the delivery options given are blatant lies and it's not available at all. But it get weirder - if I add a random unrelated widget that is definitely in stock, then suddenly I can continue with the order! So is it available or not?
On to Game's website. Searching for the item didn't list the variant I want, which is odd as I know it was on there a week ago. So I pulled the URL out of the browser history and it loaded up the correct page with all the right details and the message "1 Day to Release - Preorder Now"... and a total lack of any button or link to actually pre-order it. I suppose that does explain why it didn't appear in the search results.
I could try Game-the-physical-store, except what they have on display bears absolutely no relation to what they actually have in stock and last time I pre-ordered something from them (a good few weeks in advance!) they "ran out" of the pre-order bonus, because apparently how much stock they get shipped bears absolutely no relation to how many pre-orders they've actually taken.
Amazon... they list it in the search results, complete with price and the message "Available for pre-order". Cool! And then I actually go to the page for the item, and instead it says "Currently unavailable. We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock". So that bit on the search result was another blatant lie, then.
At least Nintendo have the grace to actually say "Out of stock" on their website. Well, on the item page - the search results has a "More info" link rather than "Out of stock", but that's instead of the usual "Add to basket" and so at no point does their website pretend it's in stock when it isn't. Congratulations, Nintendo, you've created an online store that doesn't lie to the customer!