When “Click and Collect” isn’t

The trials and tribulations of trying not to shop on Black Friday!

I needed to replace my mother’s computer, which as her sole means of buying food had died and was effectively beyond repair. I wanted to buy an iMac, because it’s a safer product for those with a tendency to load ambiguous games and click on random links. I chose to buy online with a national store with an annoying yuletide pianist, and ordered the iMac “click and collect” from my local store.

Paying, I found they rejected my credit card (odd, since I’d been using it for years and on large ticket items), but after trying twice and calling my credit card provider it turned out the store had suffered recent fraud attacks and was playing safe. I chose the other option of using PayPal, which in fairness just recharges my credit card, and this went through fine and I received an order confirmation with a collect time of 2pm the next day.

So, four in the afternoon, I sail into the store with my order number. No computer. Yes, I’ve paid, and yes, they do have three in store. No, I can’t have one because I ordered online and online orders are fulfilled from central warehousing. Several managers, telephone calls and frank discussions later my only option was to cancel the order and hope the payment could be stopped.

Left store, went into the Apple Store and was met by friendly, dynamic, efficient staff from the meeter and greeter to the floor manager and the lovely tattoo’d lady who took my credit card. And found it had been stopped again because of the telephone calls in previous store. How good it is to have an accommodating wife, with her own credit card.

Moral of the story is, there is risk as well as convenience in click and collect, and sometimes you may as well just turn up at the store in the first place. Happy Black Friday everyone. Hold onto your wallets (or buy from a local craftsperson). I’m hopeful I’ve only paid for on iMac…

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