I have Macs at home, and I get quite frustrated when websites don’t function on Macs as they do for Windows, especially as I test websites and know how easy it is to check basic stuff on Macs and Windows.
There are loads of examples of this (your suggestions welcome!) but this is the worst one I’ve come across:
The site stocks a huge range of high end cosmetics, accessories and other pamper products at decent prices. The shipping is a bit steep, but you can quite often get hold of online codes which reduce or get rid of the costs, which is nice.
The problem is that the site looks good on a Mac (Firefox and Safari, both latest versions), but once you come to checkout, you can’t. It looks to me as if a third party hosts the actual payment, and when it comes to that, there’s a blank space on the page where you should be able to enter the card information.
I have e-mailed them a couple of times about this, but have yet to hear back. As it was at least eighteen months ago, I’m not going to hold my breath.
I tend to use Beauty Bay now – it stocks most of the same stuff, for similar prices but most importantly, I can complete the order in the comfort of my living room!
1. Shana logic
I stumbled across this site while looking for a padlock necklace. I know, I know, but it wasn’t emo at all. Also, I’m still looking, so if you see any, please send them my way.
Shana logic’s motto is “Shop indie”, and the site displays everything from canvas prints to sushi jewellery. Some of the stuff is expensive (taking into account the cross-Atlantic shipping as well), such as the limited edition prints. Most of it is very reasonably priced – you can get brilliant earrings for $10, and the sushi charm bracelet is a mere $60 – all handmade pieces, and some of them include Swarowski crystals. That may sound expensive, but the rest of the sushi range is half of the price with the same beautiful attention to detail.
2. Crowded Teeth
I found this website by accident a good few years ago – I don’t remember how. I do know that I was instantly in love with the designs. Michelle Romo is a hard working artist who has the ability to make simple clothing, accessories and stationery designs that are instant classics. Some of her t-shirts have been worn on Scrubs. As she does it herself, stock changes all of the time. I have a couple of t-shirts, a hoodie and a scarf/glove set, and always get compliments on them.
The pictured apple necklace is only $15!
Where do you go for online shopping?
In the past couple of months, I’ve been double charged twice, in separate shops.
A department store in Norwich, spread over a number of sites and stocking everything from scones to shovels. I bought some clothes in there and when I got home, realised that I’d been double charged for a jumper. Two things struck me: firstly, why didn’t I notice that I’d been charged nearly forty quid more than I’d expected and secondly – how do I return an item I don’t have?
I rang Jarrold’s the next day to explain the situation, and without hesitation the lady I spoke to got me to come in and get a refund, at my convenience, of course. She was very apologetic and there were absolutely no hassles.
2. TK Maxx
The second was last week, in a Scottish TK Maxx store. This is relevant because I only figured out that a t-shirt I’d bought was on my receipt twice, while waiting for the train back to Norwich at Peterborough. Whoops. It was less than a tenner and, I’ve got to be honest, I thought about not bothering. Then I realised that these are difficult times and I may need that tenner at some point, so I visited the Castle Mall Norwich TK Maxx store the next day.
I was appalled by the so-called ‘customer service’ they have there. In previous times, I’ve been served by shop assistants who push you out of the way to get past, don’t utter a single syllable while serving you and even, on one occassion, closed the changing rooms twenty minutes before closing. It shouldn’t have come as a suprise, but it did. The tills in TK Maxx (for those of you who are unfamiliar) usually incorporate some sort of exchange/refund position. As it was a Saturday when I went in, the purchase queue was about thirty people long. There was someone at the refund till, so I stood next to the sign that pointed to the exchange/refund and waited. When that customer was done, I walked over to the assistant and said hello. He replied with “Do you want a refund or exchange?” which I confirmed, but also warned that it was a little bit tricky. After we’d established that, he pointed to the queue and told me I’d have to queue. I asked if he was joking. He confirmed that he was not. After I’d pointed out that it was the shop’s fault that I’d had to come in, and I absolutely refused to wait in the queue, he brought a manager over.
I explained what the problem was, and the manager asked me to contact the store in Scotland. Odd, but fair enough as they may need to confirm stock counts. I called the shop when I got home, and explained what had happened. Now, I know I’m biased, but the service I got over the phone was light years ahead over the face to face in Norwich. Both people I spoke to apologised and gave as much information/advice as they could. I spoke to the deputy manager, who said that they were actually unable to refund over the phone as their security requires a card to be present. I took his name and number, and promised to call if I needed to, as I went to tackle the other TK Maxx shop in Norwich.
I didn’t need it – once I’d explained what had happened, I got my refund without an issue. The only thing I objected to was that they asked me to sign for it, but that is a security measure to stop staff stealing from the tills, and my signature tells you nothing about me, so I didn’t really mind.
Three lessons learned, then.
A. ALWAYS check your receipt. If you’re buying a lot of stuff, add them up, at least to a rough count. This will alert you to a higher total than expected and you won’t do what I did and just pay it.
B. Customer service varies between locations and stores for TK Maxx.
C. If at first you don’t succeed, ask someone else until they do it for you.
My X is for Xiaolu Guo. 20 Fragments of a Ravenous Youth is the second book I’ve read by this young Chinese author, and the second one where I’ve read it as if written by a man. It’s strange how it affects how you read books when you don’t know who’s written it (ah, Barthes will be having a field day) in the same way as you watch films differently when you don’t know anything about the actors/actresses in it. I for one, am wholeheartedly with Daniel ‘James Bond’ Craig, when he says that he prefers his private life to be kept private.
When I read Shopgirl, I said it was difficult for me to divorce what I knew of Steve Martin, funnyman and Oscars host, from what he was telling me as the writer.
The other book of Xiaolu’s I’ve read is A Concise Chinese-English dictionary for lovers, where part of the joke was that the title is obviously not concise. For both books, the main characters are female, and I was going to applaud the author for managing to express himself in a feminine voice, without reverting to standard male tactics to prove how sensitive they are. Of course, that backfired on me because I didn’t check first.
Perhaps I should commend her instead on how well she writes as an emotionally detached woman – modern and sometimes shocking in her language, without being needy and dramatic. No Jimmy Choos or Louboutins in sight!
In 20 Fragments of Ravenous Youth, Fenfang moves from her village to Beijing at seventeen. She then writes in snapshots of her life as she encounters boyfriends, cockroaches and menial jobs. It’s written beautifully – it’s stark and startling at times. One episode sees Fenfang visit her parents, and the journey takes her three days and three nights. It’s then that the magnitude of China itself, and Fenfang’s decision to come to Beijing, sinks in properly. I enjoyed that you don’t see every twist and turn, every lights out or first meeting for Fenfang. People come and go without fanfare – just as in real life. At the end of the novel she is ten years older – physically and mentally.
Her time in Beijing has been difficult, but somehow you feel that she is better for it – more fulfilled than she would have been if she’d stayed in the village she grew up in. Incidentally, in the book she describes this as so small it’s not even on the map, but she mentions that it’s home to thousands. It’s the little comments that mark the location out as different, and yet Fenfang wants the ‘shiny’ things in life – just like the rest of us.
I would recommend this to people who enjoy Murakami – it’s definitely the ‘lite’ version, but has the same minimalist feel to it. It’s also really quick to read – this took me a couple of hours on the train to read.
Wendy Holden used to write for Tatler. That is basically, all you need to know.
Not really, I will discuss her book as well. Fame Fatale is about two women, Grace Armiger and Belinda Black. Grace is an unassuming, hard working PR girl for a failing but honest publisher. Belinda is a scheming, manipulative tabloid hack whose only goal in life is to snare herself a rich husband, preferably from the pages of the Tatler’s Little Black Book. Quelle Surprise. On a side note, I’ve just wikipedia’d Tatler and their list of past editors is made more interesting with the inclusion of a list of why they stopped being editors – one of them was killed by a train, while another died ‘in office’… Intriguing.