Category Archives: Online services

Flights booking, printing, and other remote orders

Buying shoes online – don’t do it to yourself

I have been banned from buying shoes online by the resident Frenchman. Why? Because I have had to return 5 pairs over the years, because they NEVER EVER FIT. And then I end up paying extra for postage and more recently, experience anxiety because I worry that they won’t fit.

Continue reading Buying shoes online – don’t do it to yourself

Book Depository: too much security, not enough communication

Christmas time. I decided to order books as presents from the Book Depository, and have them delivered to my son and his family in Australia. It has always worked in the past, with any other provider. Probably even with the Book Depository, but not this time.

When the parcel was not showing up much after the stated delivery date, I started enquiring, but nothing helpful was forthcoming. “[D]ue to security reasons [they] are unable to disclose”, the order was cancelled. No notice was ever sent that this had happened, and particularly not why.

Continue reading Book Depository: too much security, not enough communication

Australia Post’s consistent performance

A few hours ago, I had to look up the details of an Australia Post outlet, on my phone. Fortunately, Australia Post has a rather slick and to-the-point mobile website.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t work…

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Our energy woes continue. We have moved our electricity away from Energy Australia (still need to get gas from them though) to Powershop. New Zealand owned, big on renewables and have an interesting business model in that the customer can sort buy excess power cheaply, to be used at later times.

To get access to these specials however, one has to be on Facebook, or get their phone app which wants access to your contacts, camera and a whole lot of other stuff which doesn’t seem relevant.

Continue reading Powershop

Café Press

I think there must be a problem with your postage calculator. I wanted to order 9 3×3 stickers. Postage came up at $72. Surely this must be a mistake? I sent a 2kg plum pudding to France last week and it cost $93. And I know we are in Australia, but we are on the same planet. It’s not like you to have to have someone deliver the stickers to NASA and have them sent on a rocket to the space station.

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Simply Electronics

Having had the most ancient model of Nokia for a while now, I decided the other week (month) that I would propel myself into the future and order a new telephone from the internet. The wonders of technology blah blah..

So. I went to a shopping website that helpfully told me where I could buy the phone from for the least expensive price. From this list I found this: SimplyElectronics(dot)net.

Don’t. Do. It. To. Yourself.

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BigWarehouse Spares: Positive

Our washing machine isn’t doing a proper spin-cycle – it just kinds of wobbles around slowly like a geriactric lost on the way home from the bingo.

After much research and staring at the base of the washing machine, I determined that the drive belt was loose, as it did’nt make a ‘ping’ noise when I plucked on it.

Deciding that this was was indeed the source of our problems, I looked on the interwebs everywhere to replace this part.

Eventually I stumbled upon BigWarehouse Spares which has the most user friendly seach of all the sites. They also happened to have some evidence that our washing machine did actually exist (it is an older model) and even had some parts for it.

Though they didn’t have the exact part that I needed, I emailed them. Within the hour, I received not one, but three emails from them, updating me on their search for the part. The third email detailed the link to their site where I could purchase the item.

A positive experience indeed. Though lets hope that it was the loose drive shaft making the spin cycle go so slowly.

Unending spam from LastMinute

LastMinute does not care for their customers on spam matters. Make sure you don’t give them your email address unless you are willing to receive their “communications” ad vitam eternam

To: "" <[email protected]>, [email protected]
Subject: Re: 50% off restaurants | 50% off theatre | 50% off spa | More


Please stop spamming me.

I have received half a dozen of messages similar to the ones below recently, for all of which
I’ve followed the unsubscribe link and was enventually greeted by a
message of the “You have been successfully unsubscribed” type. Or not.

Not to mention that, whenever I gave you this email address, I carefully
opted *out* of any promotional communication from you, as I always do.

Please unsubscribe *immediately* my address <XXX>
from *all* your databases, as I don’t trust you to use it “reasonnably.”

Also, let me remind you that the standard for electronic mail is *not* HTML, but plain text. You are therefore cutting yourself from a portion of your possible customers by not providing the content appropriately. I doubt they’d bother following that single link anyway, so it may prove to be a time saver for them…

On Fri, May 06, 2011 at 11:20:06AM -0000, wrote:
> This is an HTML email which could not be displayed by your email client. To display it in a web browser, please click here:
> [url=http://XXX]http://XXX[/url]

Nobody replied nor acted on this complaint. Same for the next two or three others I sent. I eventually got something looking like a satisfactory answer by writing to their infrastructure provider.

Continue reading Unending spam from LastMinute

Easy Flowers from – Not quite

Dear Sir/Madam,

RE: Sale #: XXXXXX

I am writing to complain about your service.

I simply ordered some flowers (The Jospehine bunch) to be delivered to my mother on Mothers Day on Wednesday 4th May.

Thursday: I received a call from your customer service people to say that the florists were not able to deliver on Sunday, and that the flowers would have to be delivered on Friday or Saturday. Though annoyed that the flowers would not be delivered to my mother on Sunday, I agreed for Saturday on the proviso that the delivery fee be refunded, as I had paid extra to have the flowers delivered on Sunday. The fellow that I spoke to seemed a bit cavalier about the refund, but nonetheless assured me that the delivery fee would be refunded.

Later that day, I received a call from my mother, thanking me profusely for the flowers! The florist had rung her and asked her if she could deliver the flowers on the Friday – thus spoiling the surprise and moving the delivery day forward to Friday.

Friday: My mother rang me again to thank me for the nice white flowers. White. The flowers that I ordered were yellow and pink.

Please do something about this – my order has been completely stuffed up.

Yours etcetera,


Continue reading Easy Flowers from – Not quite

Ticketek and their “Entertainment Made Ezy” email subject header.

Dear Sir,

Please have your marketing people fired.

‘Ezy’? Is it too difficult to spell ‘easy’? One would think that it would be rather..well.. easy.

I shall unsubscribe to this mailing list if I get any more ridiculous spelling like that in your advertising.

Yours etcetera

J. Cuthbert