This Is Why I Shop Online: Episode #6: “Return of the Salesman”

Oh, where to begin? All I wanted was a new iPhone. My contract with my carrier had ended, so the world was wide open, choice-wise. But (fool that I am) instead of shopping around online, I decided to go to a nearby “brick and mortar” store to check them out first-hand. That was Mistake #1.

Mistake #2 was going while it was raining. I live in Los Angeles and people here do not know how to drive when that happens: “Water fall from sky. Me no understand.” After a trip that should have taken 5 minutes but took 20 because of those weather-challenged imbeciles, I finally pulled into the parking lot of the mini-mall where said store was located.

Of course all of the close spots were taken on account of the rain, so I had to park at the edge of the lot. I made a mad dash through the downpour but it didn’t help. Great, now I was soggy. I do not like that. Then, as I neared the store, I stepped in a huge puddle that went up past my ankle, completely submerging my shoe. Excellent.

I enter and my dripping visage is immediately greeted by a smiling sales associate who asks me if it’s still raining. I resist the urge to say “No, pinhead, I’m drenched in liquid sunshine,” and tell him I want to buy an iPhone. He informs me only two people are ahead of me, so it shouldn’t be that long.

Me and my new companion Soaky The Sock then sloshed over to the Apple area and began to browse, killing some time. Cut to...45 MINUTES LATER. Yes, 45 – not 4.5, or 4 or 5, but 45, as in almost an hour. Finally, they call my name. Hoo-friggin’-ray.

I tell the guy what I want and he proceeds to try to sell me every iPhone accessory ever invented. The guy was nice enough – I knew he was just doing his job – but by this time I just wanted to grab my phone and out of there. Then he pitched me on an insurance plan, saying that he couldn’t let me out of the store without insurance. Well, guess what? You ARE going to let me out of the store without insurance, cuz I’M NOT GETTING IT! Just give me my phone!

I apologized for my attitude but the headache I had now developed, along with my lingering sogginess, didn’t make it easy. I agreed to buy a car charger for $32 just to get him off my back. That was Mistake #3. Here it is:

Finally, I get my phone, sign the contract and bolt out of there – into the still pouring rain.

When I got home, I showed my wife my new phone and charger. She asked about the cost and the contract terms, and then tells me I could have got a way better deal online using coupons. I searched and sure enough, I could have – from either AT&T, Sprint, or Verizon. I also found out I could have got the same charger from Best Buy for $9.99. Hoo-friggin’-ray. Oh, and she also asked why I didn't take an umbrella with me.

They say it never rains in Southern California but that’s BS - it does. But you know where it really does never rain? Inside my house, sitting in front of my computer when I’m ordering something online! So, in the end, Mistakes #1, 2 and 3 caused me to spend more than I needed to and get soggy because I went out to shop. Oh, when will I learn? Get it through your head, self – Shop Online Every Time!

Please read more in this series by checking out my whole “This Is Why I Shop Online” litany of horror stories.

By: Peter

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