Thursday, January 18, 2007

Unravelling the arcane world of Amazon.co.uk

Herself was sent an email from Amazon.co.uk to say her sister had kindly purchased a Gift Certificate in her name. Luckily, it has a 12-month expiry, because we'd never shopped on Amazon or any other online store before, and naturally ran into several Newbie pitfalls at first.

First among these was imagining that the Gift Certificate could be used to purchase any item on the Amazon site. It can't. In fact, it can only be used to purchase items available directly from Amazon (and only amazon.co.uk, as it happened). So the information on the site about the number of "New and Used" items turns out to be irrelevant -- you're going to buy it new and that's it.

Even then, buying new can have its own traps. Usually within an ace of completing the purchase process, a "There's a Problem" message appears. If you're buying from amazon.co.uk it appears that even stock shipping from a Jersey island amazon outlet is off limits.

However, problems notwithstanding, we have managed to muddle our way to getting a 4 Disc DVD set of Brideshead Revisited (looking forward to viewing that again after all these years) and also a music DVD, including tax, postage and packing, all for only £24.96 sterling.

For the fiscally challenged such as we, there is an unrelated-to-amazon option of purchasing vouchers from agents of the Permanent TSB 3V system which substitute for a Visa card when purchasing online. As the list of mouth-watering goodies online has now started to pique my interest, I think I may look more into this option. There is a shop selling such vouchers five minutes walk from the office.

Oh my poor bank balance...!

4 comments:

fitz said...

the downside of the TSB 3V vouchers is that they will eventually ask for a notarised statement from you. I tried them for a while - I managed to live for 12 years without a credit card (apart from the card given to me by my employer for business expenses but that doesn't count). After racking up a certain amount of purchases they asked for this statement. I told them to shove it.


and applied for a visa card

made sure I checked the "pay 100% of balance every month"
so far no fees or interest and I plan to keep it that way - I think of it as another 'Laser Card'

Willie_W said...

What, pray tell, is a notarised statement?

Angharod said...

It's probably a good thing I wasn't able to live in Ireland...afraid I'd have to swim away from all the horrors the people seem to be encountering.

I'll try to look at my ability to buy/pay anything online with nowt but a debit card in the kick, as a blessing from now on. I've only had a problem once since 1996, and it turned out to be a bank error that was corrected within a fortnight.

As it stands right now I don't ever have to leave the house, except to buy groceries. I LOVE IT. And I've never had to use an ATM either. Life is good.

Your Amazon sounds like a nightmare, and I'm sorry about that. Gifts should create such pleasure...not a nerve stretching ordeal. Hope you enjoy revisiting Brideshead anyway. I can't afford the West Wing 7 season set, but I'm working on it. It's my latest material 'gotta have'. *S*

Tea & Margaritas in My Garden said...

Online shopping.......fun. But stay away from E-bay...that`s where my poor bank account has taken the worst battering and beating. Far too enticing for me. Great if you can go there for just that ONE thing in mind!

tea
xo