online ordering http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/8823/all en-US Empty Coupon Code Box? You’re Paying Too Much. http://www.wisebread.com/empty-coupon-code-box-you-re-paying-too-much <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/empty-coupon-code-box-you-re-paying-too-much" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3914750991_57529dcd49_z.jpg" alt="shopping online" title="shopping online" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When you place an online order, there&rsquo;s always that little coupon code box towards the end, beckoning you to enter a promotional code or gift certificate number to reduce your total.&nbsp;You know the box I&rsquo;m talking about, right? Do you ever leave it blank? If you do, then you&rsquo;re paying too much.</p> <p>Here's how to make sure you never leave that box blank again, along with some tips to maximize your online coupon usage.</p> <p>Ever since <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-one-site-you-must-visit-before-buying-anything-online-period">Paul wrote about RetailMeNot</a>, I&rsquo;ve faithfully used it as a resource in my dedication to save money on online orders. But when unable to find applicable coupons on the site (which has happened a lot), I used to shrug my shoulders and pay full price.</p> <p>Whoops.</p> <p>Paying full price was entirely unnecessary. Between a host of other online coupon providers and knowing how to do a proper search for online coupons, you never need to pay full price again. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-money-shopping-online-with-google" title="Save Money Shopping Online With Google">Save Money Shopping Online With Google</a>)</p> <h2>Online Coupon Tips</h2> <h3>Coupons are free!</h3> <p>If you are asked to register your private information or pay to get your coupons, then you&rsquo;re barking up the wrong tree.</p> <h3>Read the fine print.</h3> <p>Check to make sure the coupon hasn&rsquo;t expired and that your intended order fits the criteria (such as minimum order amounts).</p> <h3>Think before you buy in-store.</h3> <p>Although it may be tempting to slap down your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-seven-reasons-why-i-use-my-credit-card-for-everything">credit card</a> for that item while you&rsquo;re in the store and looking at it, you might be able to score a better deal if you order it online. Between store e-promotions and online coupons, even shipping can be free or negligible. Besides, comparison shopping online allows you to really make sure you want or need that item and stave off <a thref="http://www.wisebread.com/impulse-shopping-a-controllable-handicap">impulse buys</a>.</p> <h3>Combine coupons.</h3> <p>Although the fine print might exclude you from using more than one coupon, some retailers allow you to &ldquo;stack&rdquo; coupons to maximize your savings. 25% off <em>plus</em> free shipping? Yes, thank you.</p> <h2>Where to Find Online Coupons</h2> <p>In addition to <a href="http://www.retailmenot.com/">RetailMeNot</a>, here are a few other sites to check out:</p> <h3>PromotionalCodes.com</h3> <p><a href="http://www.promotionalcodes.com/">PromotionalCodes.com</a> is an interactive site that allows users to post coupon codes and comments, rate coupons, and otherwise hunt for bargains. In a quick browse, I found $25 gift cards for $2, free shipping offers, and hotel discounts.</p> <h3>CouponWinner.com and Coupon Winner.ca</h3> <p><a href="http://www.couponwinner.com/">CouponWinner.com</a> offers online coupons for heaps of major retailers &mdash; over 25,000 coupons from over 11,000 retailers to be precise. You can use their CouponScout to compare coupons and sales from different retailers side-by-side (very handy), and the InsideScoop section will give you the dirt on new products.</p> <p><a href="http://www.couponwinner.ca/">CouponWinner.ca</a> is the Canadian equivalent for CouponWinner, and a welcome addition in my mind, since so many online coupons are geared solely towards the US market.</p> <h3>FreeShippingCoupons.com</h3> <p><a href="http://www.freeshippingcoupons.com/">FreeShippingCoupons.com</a> is just as it sounds: a collection of free shipping coupons.</p> <h3>Codes.co.uk</h3> <p><a href="http://www.codes.co.uk/">Codes.co.uk</a> allows UK residents to get in on the online coupon game.</p> <p>If all else fails, you can perform a direct Google search for coupon codes. Simply enter a search string like &ldquo;retailer + coupon&quot; (or &quot;retailer + promo code&quot; or &quot;retailer + coupon code&quot; &mdash; try a few options) and see what comes up. (Substitute the word &quot;retailer&quot; in this example with the actual store name).</p> <p><em>What are your tips and tricks for hunting down online coupons and saving money on online orders? </em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/empty-coupon-code-box-you-re-paying-too-much">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-things-to-never-pay-full-price-for">25 Things to Never Pay Full Price For</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ordering-online-versus-calling-it-in-which-is-better">Ordering Online Versus Calling it In: Which is Better?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/on-cyber-monday-dont-miss-a-single-coupon-code">On Cyber Monday, Don&#039;t Miss a Single Coupon Code</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/online-ordering-wont-somebody-take-my-money">Online Ordering: Won&#039;t Somebody Take My Money?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-that-cost-more-in-2016">9 Things That Cost More in 2016</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping coupon codes online coupons online ordering Fri, 24 Dec 2010 16:31:26 +0000 Nora Dunn 405000 at http://www.wisebread.com Ordering Online Versus Calling it In: Which is Better? http://www.wisebread.com/ordering-online-versus-calling-it-in-which-is-better <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/ordering-online-versus-calling-it-in-which-is-better" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/signing up for service PIC.JPG" alt="phone and mouse" title="phone and mouse" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="159" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoNormal">Let&rsquo;s say you struggle with internet terms &amp; conditions and privacy policies that go on forever, a slow connection, or an enrollment form that just won&rsquo;t accept your information. Or you try order that item or sign up for that service (like internet, or telephone, or a subscription) online, only to find that <i>after you have entered your credit card information no less</i>, some error was encountered, and you are asked to call customer service.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">So you call customer service. Or maybe you don&rsquo;t even bother with the internet side first and go straight to the telephone, weary of your information being stored or lost in electronic purgatory, or <a href="../../../../../../lower-your-credit-card-interest-rate-and-reduce-your-phone-bill-immediately-and-easily">hoping to get a better deal</a> by talking to a human being.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">The customer service agent seems nice enough, however they don&rsquo;t actually speak English. Or they don&rsquo;t understand your query. Or you spend another half an hour trying to accomplish that which could have been done online in half the time (had it worked). Or you just plain sit on hold for&hellip;ever. <o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">It has happened to all of us.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">It seems we&rsquo;re damned if we do and damned if we don&rsquo;t. If we sign up for a certain service or place an <a href="../../../../../../online-ordering-wont-somebody-take-my-money">order online</a>, we may miss the fine print that could have saved us money by calling the order in. Or we try to place the order by phone, only to become so frustrated by the lack of efficiency that we hang up and go back to the computer.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>And in running between the phone and the computer, we wonder how badly we really need that service or product after all.</strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Here are a few pros and cons to signing up for services or placing orders online, versus calling customer service:</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <h3><strong>Why Calling Customer Service Rocks</strong></h3> <ul> <li>Talking to humans (especially if you are nice) can result in <strong>additional discounts</strong>, and even the possible discovery of special promotions.</li> <li>Customer service has the ability to <strong>customize and discount a plan or product</strong>, especially if you <a href="../../../../../../lower-your-credit-card-interest-rate-and-reduce-your-phone-bill-immediately-and-easily">ask for the manager</a>.</li> <li>Having somebody&rsquo;s name builds in <strong>accountability</strong> (keep records of your calls) if you run into trouble later on.</li> </ul> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <h3><strong>Why Calling Customer Service is a Pain</strong></h3> <ul> <li><strong>Humans make mistakes</strong>, and you have no way of knowing what they are entering into their computers.</li> <li>Phoning in an order can take longer.</li> <li>Calling cues are a bitch. I recently heard &ldquo;Your call will be answered in approximately&hellip;4&hellip;minutes&rdquo; &ndash; which turned into the <strong>longest 4 minutes in my life&hellip;45 minutes later</strong>.</li> </ul> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <h3><strong>Why Using Online Platforms Rocks</strong></h3> <ul> <li>There are often <strong>additional discounts available to online customers</strong> (just the other day, I spent 10 minutes on hold while a customer service rep tried to find the online discount I was referring to in a botched online order. In frustration I hung up and re-placed the order&hellip;online).</li> <li>You can ensure that your <strong>personal information</strong> (like your name and address) is properly entered.</li> <li>If you sign up for a service online, it usually means that ongoing bills and communication will also be sent online,<strong> saving paper.</strong></li> </ul> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <h3><strong>Why Online Orders are a Pain</strong></h3> <ul> <li>Signing up for a service online can launch you into a category of customer that is entitled to <strong>little to no customer assistance</strong>.</li> <li>Signing up online for an internet service (when you don&rsquo;t have internet to begin with) is a little difficult.<o:p></o:p></li> <li>Security of credit card and personal <strong>information can be compromised</strong>.</li> <li>Once you press that &ldquo;submit&rdquo; button, <strong>you always wonder</strong> if the order will actually go through properly. Horror stories abound.</li> </ul> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">For me, the jury is still out on whether it is better to use customer service to place orders or sign up for new services, or to simply live my life digitally. I have had both success and horror stories for each. What about you?</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ordering-online-versus-calling-it-in-which-is-better">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-effectively-complain-to-the-manager">How to Effectively Complain to the Manager</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/debit-or-credit-which-one-should-you-choose-at-the-checkout">Debit Or Credit? Which One Should You Choose At The Checkout?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-a-refund-when-something-is-non-refundable">How to Get a Refund When Something Is Non-Refundable</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-secrets-of-amazons-pricing-strategy-will-help-you-find-the-best-buys">These Secrets of Amazon&#039;s Pricing Strategy Will Help You Find the Best Buys</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-everyday-products-with-the-biggest-markups">The 9 Everyday Products With the Biggest Markups</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Shopping customer service online ordering Tue, 24 Mar 2009 08:05:53 +0000 Nora Dunn 2966 at http://www.wisebread.com Online Ordering: Won't Somebody Take My Money? http://www.wisebread.com/online-ordering-wont-somebody-take-my-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/online-ordering-wont-somebody-take-my-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/online ordering.jpg" alt="fed ex guy" title="fed ex guy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="236" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoPlainText">I have finally decided to take the plunge into the wonderful world of online ordering. Partly at the cajoling and encouragement of my peers, as well as due to sheer necessity (I am currently in Hawaii, to where very few specialty items find their way). </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">And almost perfectly coinciding with my decision, both my cell phone and laptop gave up on me, making it (somewhat urgently) necessary to move on this. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">Here are a few lessons I learned by being plunged into the wonderful world of online ordering:</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <h2>Credit Card Addresses Must Match</h2> <p class="MsoPlainText">This was the big and terrible downfall I fell pray to. My credit card billing address is my permanent address at home, and my shipping address is different. Sometimes online companies will allow you to have separate billing and shipping addresses, and some won’t. Beware. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">The big issue I had was that my permanent address is in Canada, and many US shippers don’t seem to want to recognize foreign addresses. (Gee – I didn’t have this trouble when I ordered stuff from the US while I was in Canada, but there you go). </p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><strong>Solution:</strong> I called my credit card company, and had them change my billing address to the temporary address I am currently living at, with the provision that statements will still be mailed to my permanent address. Problem solved. Sort of. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">Even if you aren’t fighting cross-border issues, the <strong>address verification process with credit cards is meticulously scrutinized</strong>. Even if one address spells out “Street” and the other is entered as “St”, you can expect problems. Names, initials, dashes, number signs, and apartment numbers must all be absolutely identical. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <h2>You Must Baby-sit the Order</h2> <p class="MsoPlainText">On my first attempt to order a laptop, I went through PC Nation. They sent me an email confirmation of the order, and I received nothing further until six days later, when I got an “urgent” email to call the customer centre (which of course closed shortly after the email was sent) to resolve a credit card issue. Interestingly the “urgency” was communicated via email, not telephone – a much more immediate way to contact somebody. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">The following day I called, only to find out that the order had been on hold for days and days now (nobody told me), because they couldn’t verify the credit card billing address. And now – seven days had lapsed since the order was placed, it was automatically cancelled, and in the meantime they ran out of stock. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">Thank you for calling PC Nation, have a nice day. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">I ran into similar trouble with my next vendor of choice (Buy.com – to whom I had to pay an extra $100 for the same product), but this time I was wiser. When I hadn’t received anything further than the confirmation email for a few days, I called in to see what was up. You guessed it – credit card verification problems.</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">Over the next 3 days, I went back and forth between my credit card company and various escalated levels of Buy.com to resolve the issue. It was extremely time consuming, painstaking, but ultimately effective. The order was only delayed seven days before being shipped out. Ha. Only. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <h2>Online Companies are Run By Monkeys</h2> <p class="MsoPlainText">In my tribulations with Buy.com, the issue ultimately lay with the address verification department. Interestingly though, I was never able to be transferred to this department – I suspect because people don’t run it. Monkeys in computers do. Had a human being in address verification been able to talk to another human being at my credit card company, they would have been able to resolve it in record time. But instead a computer program couldn’t make heads or tails of my account and simply put it on hold. Without letting me know (hence the need to baby-sit). </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">In addition, every time I called in to check on the status, I had to go through at least two customer service representatives (and sit on hold for each of them), each time verifying names, addresses, credit card information, and names of first born. Once “level one” verified that I was who I claimed to be, they would immediately see that my file was escalated, and transfer me to the next representative, who would put me through the same paces. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">One sad day when placing a separate order, I decided it might be easier to place the order with a phone representative as opposed to online. After 15 minutes of torturous conversation, where everything from getting my name right (it’s pretty easy – four letters and all) to finding the model I specified was like pulling teeth, I hung up and decided that the only way to place orders with such companies is indeed online. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <h2>Online Ordering is Not Easier</h2> <p class="MsoPlainText">With purchases like laptops and cell phones, there are a million models to choose from, with detailed specs that boggle the minds of anybody not intrinsically connected to the industry. An almost imperceptible change in one of the specs can mean a totally different machine that may or may not be suitable for your needs. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">In the “old days” when we could walk into a store, we could chat with the sales representative, outline our needs, and they could guide us through the purchasing process, indicating what we need and why. If they didn’t have what we needed in stock, they would order it to the store – no charge to us, the consumers of course. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">In this “new age” of “convenient shopping”, the onus is squarely on our shoulders to research the heck out of what we want. That means scouring countless websites, comparing reviews, asking questions in forums, and finding competitive prices. I wasted days upon days trying to discern what model of laptop and cell phone I needed. It’s not rocket science either, and I’m pretty quick on my fingers with regards to surfing the net and finding what I need. But it was just that difficult. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <h2>Online Ordering is Riskier</h2> <p class="MsoPlainText">Whether you are ordering through a supplier on Amazon or Ebay, or through a direct online distributor, you are always putting money up front for your order. You pay dearly for shipping costs too, and after you pay you simply pray that your item arrives as ordered. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">If it’s not what you ordered, you have to send it back to the supplier, and you must wait for a new product. Gone are the days of walking back into the store and walking right back out again with your replacement or refund. In many cases you are also on the hook for shipping again, especially if you want to make a return. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <h2>Beware of Return Policies</h2> <p class="MsoPlainText">Some companies will only accept returns within as little as fourteen days of the shipping date or even ordering date. So let’s see: if it takes two to three days to process, and three to five days to arrive, then you may have as little as six days to determine if the product you ordered is right for you, before ponying up the cash to return it. Great – all that time spent researching, ordering, and waiting for your item, only to have to pay shipping two ways because you didn’t like it or (even worse) because it wasn’t what you ordered. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">I don’t necessarily blame the online companies for their policies or systems. I simply have had a terribly poor experience with online orders (big dollar ones too), and am jaded by the process. </p> <p> <strong><span>And with these expensive orders, constant hand-holding, baby-sitting, arguing, and escalating, all I can think is “Won’t Somebody Take My Money”??</span></strong></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/online-ordering-wont-somebody-take-my-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/discount-designer-clothing-17-places-to-get-name-brands-for-less">Discount Designer Clothing: 17 Places to Get Name Brands for Less</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-cash-back-sites-to-earn-you-thousands-per-year">30+ Cash Back Sites to Earn You Thousands Per Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-amazon-deal-hacks-you-may-not-already-know">16 Amazon Deal Hacks You May Not Already Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-secrets-of-amazons-pricing-strategy-will-help-you-find-the-best-buys">These Secrets of Amazon&#039;s Pricing Strategy Will Help You Find the Best Buys</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-cool-companies-that-pay-you-for-referring-friends">10 Cool Companies That Pay You for Referring Friends</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping electronic ordering mail order online ordering online shopping Mon, 25 Feb 2008 02:14:14 +0000 Nora Dunn 1842 at http://www.wisebread.com