The internet has changed a great many things about everyday life. From how we do our jobs to research and communication, music, entertainment, and of course buying things. The buying of things has been a significant change. Directly or indirectly, Walmart stores have been blamed for the decimation of Main Street USA. Many of the brick-and-mortar stores that did not or could not embrace the internet have failed because they were already weakened by Walmart. I saw it first hand in my hometown in Pennsylvania. Walmart, and a few other stores have been able to survive the Amazon juggernaut by competing directly against them. They have had to figure out how to fold the internet into their stores. Main Street continues to survive, albeit in a very weekend condition.
Over the past several years, I have shopped less and less in a brick-and-mortar store, and it is easier to order something online. That said, it has not been without frustration. This subject is indirectly tied to my frustration. I find myself on business travel this week. Thus, I have to board my dog this week. The place that I have chosen allows me to access a webcam in their room. The problem is that you have to know which room, and what the camera password is. That said, I have tried the password, including multiple spellings, upper case versus lower case, across all 20 rooms. No luck. Of course, it is after hours and no one is there, or at least no one is answering the phone. I have to assume that there is someone there with the dogs. My dog has stayed at this place four times. I have seen a deterioration in the service in this area in my last two trips. Not happy with the service at this juncture. I do my best to support local small businesses, but the person-on-person interaction is key.
Conversely, I have had very good service from E-Bay, but Amazon has been hit or miss. It is difficult to gauge the quality of the product from Amazon. They provide information, but good luck trying to determine if it is “Made in the USA”. In some categories, Amazon offers the same quality as I have had with E-Bay, but that has been only in a few areas. With either website, I have yet had the experience to return a purchase.
Buying things on Facebook has been a completely frustrating. I have had three items that I have purchased from a Facebook ad never arrived and months in some instances to get a refund; and two items that were purchased and took months to be shipped. The one item has several websites devoted to the fraud associated with the product. Two years and no refund or shipment of the purchase. I have given up on it. It is clear to me that Facebook takes limited responsibility on the vendors, the quality of the ads, or trying to satisfy those who purchase from sites that advertise on their website.
I know lots of people who do not purchase stuff online. Others prefer going to a store and purchase items, often after researching the item on the internet. I like that approach as well. The great unknown in the internet is that people can get credit, purchase things, and the debt just continues to suck people in and have less and less for necessities. The internet fails to make a direct connection with people, who are necessary to create the service.
What do you think. I could go on and on about this. I am not an expert, but I know what I like and do not like.