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By View From Falling Downs
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Confessions of a digital dummy

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I must admit I don’t have much use for internet shopping, and avoid it if at all possible.

Partly that’s because you can’t shop on-line without putting your credit card info out there, and it seems to me that sooner or later even the most reputable on-line vendors get hacked, and that’s when you get a bill for a Bali vacation you never took. 

The other part is that it’s very hard to think on-line-shopping without thinking Amazon. Don’t get me started. Amazon opens a warehouse… oh, I’m sorry, a “fullfilment centre” in Brampton that’ll bring 600 jobs at min wage plus fifty cents, and PM Fluffy is right there thanking Jeff Bezos for “creating solid full-time jobs that will strengthen the middle class.”

Oh fuck off!

Amazon does not create jobs, it kills them. Depending on how you look at it, for every job Amazon “creates,” it will eliminate somewhere between two and five in the bricks-and-mortar economy. Thanks Jeff!

So then my lawnmower goes for a shit, and we’re under lock-down, and while you can go and spread your germs at Foodland or the corner store or the LCBO, you can’t go into a hardware store, and until they sell lawnmowers at Foodland or the corner store or the LCBO, I’m outta options. 

I crack open my laptop and check my favourites first. I’ve decided to go with another push-mower. Ya, I know nobody with a lawn this size cuts it with a push mower. I’ll leave the rider till after my first serious heart event. In the meantime, pushing a lawnmower around hopefully pushes that date back a bit.

My first stop is Home Hardware’s website. It’s my first stop because it’s a Canadian company with a folksy origin story. Out of St. Jacobs Ontario, deep in the heart of Mennonite country. First time I get to their site, there’s no prices on any of their stuff. I’m told to put in a postal code to get pricing.

I must have put in the wrong postal code. I know it starts with “n,” but how often do I write letters to myself? By the time I went to the Canada Post site to retrieve the correct postal code (and I did have the first letter right) I never again saw the little window to enter it, even after a half hour of repeatedly trying. You gotta spruce up your web-page, folks.

My second choice is Canadian Tire. Still Canadian, but way more corporate. I see prices right away. I find my lawnmower. I’m ready to buy!

Alas, I’m looking for curbside pick-up, and there is nothing I can do to convince the Canadian Tire website that my nearest store is 25 km away in Owen Sound, not 600 km away in another province. You gotta spruce up your website, folks!

Hate to do it, but my next shot brings in the US multinational, Home Depot. Things start off promising! I can see on my laptop that the Owen Sound store has 8 of the model in stock that I want. Prices are right up front. Finally! 

I can almost smell the fresh-cut grass!

But then I hit a snag. I simply cannot find curbside pickup on the website. I call the store. The person who answers tells me she’s on a “chat” and therefore cannot view her screen to direct me towards any possible link to curbside pickup.

By now I’ve spent three hours on-line trying to buy a lawnmower, and there is no prospect of one in my immediate future. 

The FM gets home. I spell out the situation. She gets on the computer. Within two minutes she’s figured out that to find curbside pick-up at Home Depot, I have to go into my cart…

How am I supposed to know?! Spruce up your website, folks!


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