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Famous Last Words : Web 'Stoopidity' ...

December 2012 By Denny Hatch
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OK, I am addicted to buying stuff over the Internet. It's easy and convenient as hell. For example, we have an ancient dog that requires prescription low-residue food by Iams. The stuff is sold only through veterinarians and not at pet stores. No problem, PetFoodDirect.com has a prescription from my vet. I can go online and order a 60-day supply literally in two minutes and it's on my doorstep three days later.

How eBirdseed.com Lost a Customer
We have a small patio behind our 1817 Center City Philadelphia row house. In the cold months, I put up a bird feeder and stock it with sunflower hearts. This is not gourmet fare, but it gives wild birds nourishment and serves as MTV for the ancient dog. The advantage of sunflower hearts: they're hulled, so there are no shells and pods to turn the ground into a disgusting mooshy mess for the rats.

For years, my purveyor has been eBirdseed.com. As with PetFoodDirect.com, the ordering process takes two minutes and the shipment is at my door in three or four days. I give a cursory look at the price and shipping charges. If the costs look reasonable, I buy. (I won't spend two hours comparison-shopping in order to save $2.98.)

Gearing up for winter, I went to eBirdseed.com to order a supply of seed and got the following message:

We currently do not have sunflower hearts and chips in stock.
We will update the site as soon as they become available. Quality sunflower hearts are hard to come by … for anyone in the birdseed industry.

I Googled "Sunflower Hearts." At the top of the list was—you guessed it—Amazon.com. I found 50 pounds of sunflower hearts in stock and ordered them with the One-Click function. The huge box arrived on my doorstep three days later. The sender was a company I never heard of, ozbo. On the shipping document:

Thank you so much!
We hope we've WOW'd you with your order.
If not, please contact us so we can make things better.

If eBirdseed's management had any sense, they too would have cut a deal with ozbo (or somebody) to supply sunflower hearts. Customers are not interested whiners. We want service!

 

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