How to do your Christmas shop: go out, buy stuff, go home. Easy

 

Share
Related Topics

This year, I will mostly be doing my Christmas shopping in shops. This is not because I am a Luddite who has never heard of internet shopping; but because I'm over it. I am living in a post-internet-shopping world. It saves time, stress and energy.

Some of you might think that internet shopping was invented to save time, stress and energy. That means either that you haven't done it very much, or that you work at home. Because it's not the shopping itself that causes all the trauma – the internet shops are quite able to accept your money, via credit card, debit card, Paypal … there are plenty of ways of taking your dosh. It's just that delivery companies are completely incapable of delivering. At least to the right place, on time, when you are there.

Already this year, I've had Christmas shopping delivered two days late, to the wrong city. (The shop has worked hard recently to improve its online shopping "experience". Its customer services department offered to refund the postage and give me a £10 voucher, but it couldn't refund my order: it was "policy".) I've had things that could easily slip through my letter box returned to a depot somewhere because nobody told me that I had to be in to sign for them. A friend ordered a wooden cheese board from a well-known online retailer and was sent a "revolving carousel" instead. She tried contacting the retailer to ask how to exchange it – and that was when she started crying.

I too have spent hours online searching for a "Contact us" button that actually tells me how to contact someone instead of taking me to a Frequently Asked Questions page that doesn't once feature the commonly asked question "Where is my bloody shopping?" And I have answered the dreaded question, "What, you go out to work… every weekday?" in the affirmative. Not once have I made an online purchase and had it delivered to my home at a time when I can actually be there to let it in. Perhaps I could, but I'd have to pay more for the "delivery slot" than for the shopping itself, and that would obviously be insane.

I am fortunate in that the place where I work has some shops. In these, I have the opposite problem. Last week, four staff chased me around a shop asking "Are you all right there? Do you need any help at all?", and plucking goods out of my hands to extol them as soon as I picked anything up to look at it. When I did manage to choose a purchase and take it to the till, there was a winding queue, with only one harassed staffer at the head of it. Shops, do you not want us to buy anything?

Here is the answer: of the four clueless do-you-need-any-helpers, take two and put them behind the till so that people can buy stuff. Sit one beside a telephone to answer questions, and publish the phone number on your website. Give the other one a van and an A to Z, and tell her to take your products to people who have bought them. In the right city. At weekends.

You're welcome. Happy Christmas!

twitter.com/katyguest36912

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Austen Lloyd: Private Client Solicitor - Oxford

Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...

Austen Lloyd: Clinical Negligence Associate / Partner - Bristol

Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Consultant - Solar Energy - OTE £50,000

£15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...

Recruitment Genius: Compute Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Syrian refugee 'Nora' with her two month-old daughter. She was one of the first Syrians to come to the UK when the Government agreed to resettle 100 people from the country  

Open letter to David Cameron on Syrian refugees: 'Several hundred people' isn't good enough

Independent Voices
Amjad Bashir said Ukip had become a 'party of ruthless self-interest'  

Could Ukip turncoat Amjad Bashir be the Churchill of his day?

Matthew Norman
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us