Beware The Holiday E-tailer

When I’m not doing my online shopping at Amazon, I’ve often used Though they don’t quite have Amazon’s selection, has often been more reliable for getting items, especially electronics, quickly. No more apparently:

Title to goods and all risk of loss passes to you upon delivery to the common carrier. Terms and Conditions, Section 8. Order Acceptance Policy

Did that hard drive you just ordered disappear after leaving’s warehouse? Well tough! claims that, once a package is delivered to the shipper, they are no longer responsible for it. Moreover (per The Consumerist), they supposedly empower their shippers to leave packages at your address without delivering the package to a person, obtaining proof of delivery (i.e., a deliver signature), and without assessing the security of the delivery location. Now, I don’t know how things are where you live, but if you drop a package at my front gate, it’ll disappear within minutes.

Seems to me, considering how dismal this holiday shopping season is shaping up to be, e-tailers like would be working hard to kiss their customers asses, not working hard to cover their own.

6 thoughts on “Beware The Holiday E-tailer”

  1. Well, I know who I won’t be patronizing.

    I think this kind of “tough shit, it’s not my problem” syndrome might get more common. A few years ago, somebody had his car being serviced in a Sam’s Club garage, and the car was stolen. I forget the circumstances, whether it was a Sam’s Club employee who stole the car. But Sam’s Club tried to claim it wasn’t their fault and the car owner had no recourse.

  2. I’ve never tried, but on two separate occasions, once when the wrong thing was sent, and once when I got doubles of something, Amazon told me to keep the wrong/extra and were pretty quick about getting the right thing sent. Anecdotal, sure, and I have no clue if that’s their official policy in the fine print.

    That said, Tom’s probably right, unfortunately. It’s always someone else that fucks up.

  3. Tom, Randal… I haven’t experienced the “It disappeared in transit? Bummer for you…,” from But I have had DHL drop a package in front of my building without a delivery signature, then claim that the shipper gave them permission to do it. (There is a bum somewhere thoroughly enjoying a copy of TurboTax 2007.) Can’t remember which e-tailer that was. Probably Amazon, but I usually get pretty good service from them.

  4. All customer service is getting worse over time, and who can you complain to? (customer service?) heh heh.

    I’ve had trouble with UPS over the years. They’ve just left stuff on the doorstep without a sig whether I authorized it or not. That might depend on the particular employee, but I’ve had an item left on my porch, in the rain! I was out of luck on that one and ordered another one, which was left beside the porch, behind a bush in the mud AND rain. Both were ruined.

    Amazon is good to deal with, but I’ve been boycotting them for a long time because they continue to sell magazines and videos promoting dog and cock fighting. I also know from experience that some (negative) customer reviews are deleted, which, among other things, raises the star rating. grrrr.

  5. Blueberry… Around here UPS is slightly better than DHL, but with DHL gone, that’s not saying much. I’ve had UPS drivers claim to have attempted a delivery without out a tag or a call on our doorbox. (When they’re behind on deliveries, they often just scan the package and claim we weren’t home without ever stopping.)

  6. Tom is probably right about this getting worse. As more and more brick and mortar guys go under (circuit city etc.) and the online retailers compete with ever declining margins they will look for every way they can to skim the business. Look for less friendly terms and increasing “shipping and handling” which is easy money.
    I decided to solve the problem by stop buying anything except the basic necessities. Only wine, cheese and bread for me.

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