mad in pursuit journal

DISPATCHED FROM THE CROSSROADS, AT THE intersection OF desire and obsession

Vanity becomes compulsive (continuing saga)

Customer service is surely a lost art in today's electronic age. Maybe our expectations are too high. I was going to say how perfect Amazon.com is, but once we did get stuck in hell trying to get multiple non-English-speaking service reps to understand that a gift certificate would not work. Jim's son finally had to ask them for a refund and cancel out the transaction altogether. So even the best aren't flawless if you get a slight deviation or glitch.

Why is it that it's always easy to sign up for something (credit card, phone service) and consumer hell to discontinue? Nevermind. I know the answer.

And yet face-to-face retailers can be just as annoying.

I modified my ambitions for a phone/PDA upgrade yesterday. My plan: upgrade my Palm T3 to a Palm TX to get WiFi wireless internet access wherever there's a Hot Spot, plus Bluetooth connectivity. Advantage over a Treo or a Blackberry: no costly data plan to pay for every month. Disadvantage: not a phone. So I also decided to upgrade my phone — something smaller, with Bluetooth.

I set out on my happy little buying adventure, deciding to go to the local big boxes, Best Buy and CompUSA. Both items at Best Buy were more expensive than online stores, but I did see enough of the phones to decide on a Motorola KRZR. At CompUSA, the clerk (when I finally found one) was an idiot. The stores had Palm TXs in stock but he couldn't find them. Nevermind.

My gotta-have-it compulsion in high gear, I went home, poured myself a glass of wine, ordered the TX from Amazon and the KRZR directly from Cingular. Not exactly instant gratification, but my toys are on their way.

This morning we have to nail down our car rentals/B&B vouchers for Ireland. The choice is face-to-face at AAA or online directly with the tour company they use. I did the research online — maybe that will give me the patience to endure the face-to-face person and allow us to ask more questions.

2.22.07