Google Checkout First Impressions

August 22, 2006 | Comments Off

When I was ordering a lens from RitzCamera yesterday one of the checkout options was Google Checkout. There was a $10 discount for doing so and if you know me you know which one I picked. The actual checkout process was fine, no surprises and easy enough. But there seems to be some inefficiencies between getting the data to RitzCamera and back. I still don’t know what my order number is and it’s been 24 hours.

RitzCamera, for its part, is completely useless. I talked to one customer service rep who said he’d call me with my order number “at a later time”. When I asked what that meant, he clarified “15-30 minutes”. No call. I called two hours later and got a different representative who told me it could take 24 hours for the order information to be processes.

How are these guys communicating? Homing pigeons? If only someone could develop a technology that could instantly transfer information across long distances…. if only…

One nice thing about Google Checkout is it can provide to each vendor a vendor-specific email address, so the vendor never gets your real email address, if they’re the spam-happy type (this means YOU Dell) but this feature is working against me when I call RitzCamera and they ask me for my email address and I have to give them a 100 character long unpronounceable email address. So I try to use the Google Checkout “email the vendor” feature to ask them what my order number is. Here’s what I get back in an autoreply:

We have received your email message with the subject:
Questions about order #XXXXXX
If you do not get a response within 48 hours, please send your message again.
Thank you.

Really, that’s your solution? If I don’t get a response within 48 hours, send it again? Isn’t that the definition of insanity (doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results)?

Thank you RitzCamera!

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