The Chronic Consumer

I buy things — all the time!

Kids Bedding

We’ve been redecorating my son’s bedroom in bits and pieces. We started with wall hangings and shelving, and now we’re finally ready to move on to furniture. We’ve gotten rid of the rocking chair that had been in there since he was a baby, as well as some of the plastic storage containers that we were using for his toys. We’re buying a bureau and a night table next.

After that, we’re going to look at bunk beds. We’re not planning on having another child or anything; my son has just expressed an interest in getting a bunk bed because he loves the idea of climbing up a little ladder and sleeping so high off the ground.

Anyway, that’s still a couple months off, but I’d like to start shopping around now just to see what kind of prices we’ll be looking at.

bunk beds

Christmas Shopping

Don’t look now, but it’s already time to think about Christmas shopping! October is just a few days away, which means Halloween will be here before we know it, and then we’ll be into November, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and December. It’s going to happen quickly, folks!

Every year, I set a goal for finishing my Christmas shopping before Thanksgiving. I usually fail, but this year I’m determined to buck that trend. For instance, I’ve already come up with several good Christmas gift ideas for my husband and son, which means that I’ll only have extended family left to think about. Oh, and random grab-bag type gifts for the various exchanges at the office and other organizations I belong to.

Preparation is definitely the key to successful Christmas shopping. You can’t just wander aimlessly around the mall for hours on end and expect to find the perfect present. You should have a pretty good idea of what you’re looking for beforehand, so all you have to do is go in, find the best price, grab the item, and get out of there. Or, better yet, order everything online so you don’t have to deal with traffic or crowds at all.

Hopefully my plan will work this year, because the last thing I need is to stress over Christmas for the next 3 months!!

ESPNShops.com Review

smith jersey I told you last week that I was planning on buying another women’s NFL jersey because I like them so much. I already have a Tom Brady Patriots replica, and this time I wanted to order something different. I spent a lot of time considering which player’s jersey to buy before settling on Alex Smith of the 49ers.

My Brady jersey is a size L, which fits just fine, but isn’t as roomy as I would like it, so I wanted to order the Smith jersey in XL. I couldn’t find that size at any online sporting goods stores except for ESPNShops.com. I kept looking for a few more days, but finally decided to buy from ESPN. Here’s what I thought of the process.

First of all, the ESPN shop’s prices are much higher than, say, Amazon.com or even Dick’s Sporting Goods, but they had the size I needed whereas the other places didn’t. That’s fine, I guess. I’m willing to pay more to get exactly what I want — if I have to, that is.

While I was shopping on the site, I noticed that there was a promo code for $15 off a purchase of $75 or more. I was close to that amount with the jersey anyway, so I decided to buy a Bears t-shirt to put me over the limit.

But when I went through the checkout process, I didn’t see any place to enter the promo code! I’ve been shopping online for years and years, so believe me, I was on the lookout for the promo code box, but never saw it. The only thing I saw was a place to enter gift card numbers (with PINs), and I tried to enter the code there even though I knew damn well it wouldn’t work (which, of course, it didn’t). I kept going, thinking maybe it would be at the very end or something, but no dice.

Oh, another thing about the ESPNShops.com ordering process that bugged me was the way they don’t show you your total price after shipping and taxes are added in. All you get is a subtotal, and you have to confirm your order without knowing what the full total is. Once the order is received on their end, they’ll send you a confirmation email with shipping and taxes included. That’s complete b.s., if you ask me. This is critical information that should be added before shoppers are asked to submit their orders.

Anyway, because of the snafu with the promo code, I had to call customer service right after I placed my order. The girl on the phone said that she couldn’t take the discount out of the order that was already submitted, so instead she would open a new order with the same items (adding the discount this time), cancel the old order, and that would be that.

An hour after talking to customer service, I got a confirmation email for the new order, with the discount code applied and everything. Perfect.

Until yesterday, when I also got a confirmation email for that first order I placed. Yeah, the one that Phone Girl was supposed to cancel!!

So I had to call in yet again to explain what happened and get that first order canceled. This time a different person answered, and he said he would take care of it. But even though it’s more than 24 hours later, the status for that unwanted order still shows as OPEN.

This is crap. I hate having to follow up on customer service requests like this just because employees are too lazy and/or incompetent to do their jobs right in the first place.

The issue is still unresolved as of this writing, but no matter how it plays out, I think it’s safe to say I won’t be spending my money at ESPNShops.com anymore. It’s just not worth the hassle at all!