I buy a lot of stuff online, probably 5-10 orders of something a month, be it gifts, music, toys, computer things, software etc, and most the time when I need computer things I go with buy.com because they are cheap and usually have free shipping or something like that.
I was shopping for an external harddrive and figured I wanted to get the one that looks like a giant lego block, lacie brick series, so I shopped around and saw that buy.com was like the same price as newegg but buy had a $10 off coupon if I use google checkout. I have never used it, and am a cheap prick, so I give it a try, and this is when the AWESOMENESS kicks in.
Google Checkout claims the following:
Want a faster, safer and more convenient way to shop online? You got it.
Stop creating multiple accounts and passwords. – With Google Checkout you can quickly and easily buy from stores across the web and track all your orders and shipping in one place.
Shop with confidence. – Our fraud protection policy covers you against unauthorized purchases made through Google Checkout, and we don't share your purchase history or full credit card number with sellers.
Control commercial spam. – You can keep your email address confidential, and easily turn off unwanted emails from stores where you use Google Checkout.
I log into buy, choose google checkout as my tool of payment, need to sign up for an account, add all the info and just about finish the order, hit submit and Google gives the good doctor one of these bad boys:
That is a 503 error:
The server is currently unable to handle the request due to a temporary overloading or maintenance of the server. The implication is that this is a temporary condition which will be alleviated after some delay. If known, the length of the delay MAY be indicated in a Retry-After header. If no Retry-After is given, the client SHOULD handle the response as it would for a 500 response.
Note: The existence of the 503 status code does not imply that a server must use it when becoming overloaded. Some servers may wish to simply refuse the connection.
I thought they have billions of dollars and thousands of servers? Regardless, I hit back and try it again a few seconds later and it works. A few minutes later I get 2 emails, one from buy.com like normal and now a second one from google telling me my order went through. Great, more email for the same proces… Anyhow a small price to pay for $10 in savings…
Well today comes around and google emails me telling me my package has shipped. Nice, that is why I love BUY.com..they ship fast as hell…but I notice something is missing. Usually I get a ups or fedex tracking code so I know when to expect this package. No dice in this email. I try and look at my google checkout history to see if it is there and they give me one of these today:
This time it is a 403 Forbidden Error
The server understood the request, but is refusing to fulfill it. Authorization will not help and the request SHOULD NOT be repeated. If the request method was not HEAD and the server wishes to make public why the request has not been fulfilled, it SHOULD describe the reason for the refusal in the entity. If the server does not wish to make this information available to the client, the status code 404 (Not Found) can be used instead.
After giving it a few minutes I try again and it shows me my order history:
Your order has shipped!
Oct 18 – Buy.com shipped your order.
Oct 18 – Buy.com has sent the following message: "These item(s) on your order have shipped: LaCie Brick Desktop Hard Drive – 250GB USB 2.0 External Hard Drive"
Oct 17 – Your credit card (MASTERCARD xxx-0666) was charged for $113.96. "GOOGLE *BUY COM" will appear on your credit card statement.
Oct 17 – Buy.com has sent the following message: "Your Buy.com Order number is: XXXXXXXXX"
Oct 17 – Buy.com received your order.
Oct 17 – Your order was sent to Buy.com. A confirmation email was sent to you by Google.
It does still not mention how to track the order anywhere…
So I try and enter my order number at buy.com and it does not appear to exist there. So something is fishy. I am not worried about not getting the product, I know it will come. I just want to know when.
To summarize, I feel that Google Checkout is a piece of shit for the following reasons:
- It was not faster, as claimed. It actually took longer and more attempts for a simple checkout
- Was it Safer? I do not feel to safe when a place taking my money cannot handle the server load, or when it refuses to let me look at the shit I ordered. It should be available 24×7 and I feel there are no excuses for downtime.
- Convenience. I guess shopping online has always been a chore… I do not see this being any more convenient at all.
- Extra emails. Just what the doctor ordered.
- Screws me out of shipment tracking.
Now some of this may be the way buy.com interfaces with Google, but I think it is bullshit. I want to know where my order is so I can be here the day it is supposed to come. Since I do not know who to blame I am blaming Google Checkout and my cheapness, because if it was not for that $10 of savings I would have just used my default info on file at buy.com, gotten one email and known where my package is at.
My advice to Google is slap your (BETA) tag on the thing because it seems like it is not ready for prime time. I am suprised it is not shown as beta? What is going on there?
Was google Checkout easier for me? Hell no, and now Sergey Brin is probably using my CC# to buy more cross dressing accessories. Such is life.
Other than me being anal with wanting to know where my order is, what are your thoughts and experiences with Google Checkout??