Tag Archives: shopping

Shopping Wiki from Overstock.com

Via Judd Bagley from Overstock.com:

As you may know, I’ve spent the past few months as director of social media at Overstock.com creating something we’re calling Omuse, which is an open environment for people with similar interests to find one another and jointly “write the book” on the activities that most inspire them.

We’ve just entered an open beta phase and I want to give you the opportunity to get acquainted with Omuse and, if you wish, be among our earliest contributors. At this point, the question we most frequently hear is: “what should I write about?” The answer is simple: Imagine you won the lottery tomorrow and never had to work again. What activity would you immediately set about doing day after day? This is likely the activity that most inspires you, though the one most people around you – spouses included – don’t entirely “get.”

It may be the same thing you blog about, but not likely. It’s almost certainly not the thing you do for a living, but if it is, you’re very lucky. Whatever that thing is, that’s what we want your guide to be about. As a guide’s creator, you are in charge of it. You may build it alone or – as we would recommend – with the help of others who share your passion. You get to decide who joins your team and the direction you take together.

Omuse is built on a wiki platform, so we’re frequently asked what makes it different from Wikipedia, for example. I’ve arrived at two answers to that question:

  1. Where Wikipedia forbids the inclusion of original research, we like to think of Omuse as being built exclusively on original research, recognizing that everybody is an expert at something, and it’s usually the thing they most enjoy doing.
  2. Where Wikipedia endeavors to be like an encyclopedia, where one version of the “truth” must be consistent throughout, we’ve built Omuse to be more like a library, where alternate approaches to the same topic set side-by-side are not only acceptable, but a sign of our success.

We expect Omuse to become the foremost source of practical and applied knowledge online, and hope you’ll help us accomplish that goal by creating a guide and encouraging others to help with yours or create their own. To get started, go to Omuse, register (free), click the button reading “Create a Guide,” give your guide a title, and you’re on your way.

Well, at least they’re trying. I’d be much more inclined to help if they, say, helped me furnish this damn house.

ThinkGeek Problems

On December 15th 2006 – at 1:16 in the morning – Ponzi placed an order for three eStarling Wi-Fi Gmail / Flickr Enabled LCD frames through ThinkGeek’s Web store. To my knowledge, that’s the only way to get ’em. They were out of stock, but at least our names were on the waiting list for new units.

On December 27th 2006 – hours before we were to leave on our honeymoon – Ponzi received a genuinely nice form letter from ThinkGeek’s order support staff. Our shipping and billing information were not in perfect alignment (no surprise, as we had just moved into our new house and she’s still in the middle of a name change). They needed physical documentation of the billing address – which was only days old for us. Ponzi responded:

Is there still a discrepancy in billing and mailing address? Everything is updated according to my credit card company, AmEx. If I need to mail in a bill stub I can do that now that we are starting to get bills in. I do not have a scanner to send you one via email. PS: Is this in regard to the picture frames I ordered?

ThinkGeek responded:

This is in regards to the frames you ordered. Also, we will need to receive one of the requested documents before this order can be processed and shipped out. If you have any other questions, please let me know.

I scanned Ponzi’s driver’s license, which had the old address on it. Again, we had absolutely no physical proof that we had moved across town into a completely new address. We returned:

Here’s a photo of my driver’s license and the credit card used for the purchase. We just moved to a new address last week, and if at all possible (since this is a gift for my husband), send it to [insert business address here, where packages were to be sent during our extended absence]

We didn’t hear back from ThinkGeek, so we (wrongly) assumed that they would understand that we no longer lived at the address which was used in the original order. Upon returning from the Caribbean, we checked her ThinkGeek account and discovered that there was trouble in geek paradise. This time, I sent an email to their support team on January 12th – which was later clarified with the following addendum on January 14th:

Upon further inspection, it seems the tracking number associated with that order revealed more details about the journey (and destination) of our package. Indeed, it arrived in Seattle – but as noted by UPS (and by Ponzi before the item shipped in the first place), “THE RECEIVER HAS MOVED. UPS ATTEMPTING TO LOCATE RECEIVER TO COMPLETE DELIVERY, NO DELIVERY WAS MADE;PACKAGE RETURNED TO SENDER.” Now, it seems the package was returned / signed for in Edison, NJ by Rojas on 1/11?

Maybe Pete Rojas moved to New Jersey, signed for our frames, and didn’t tell anybody?

I understand that ThinkGeek couldn’t ship to any address other than the one on file, but we told them that we were under a unique set of circumstances. Why they continued to send it to an address where we told them that we no longer lived, if it was the right address to begin with (as the one on the order form was missing a crucial “South” modifier), is beyond me.

I’ve yet to hear back from anybody at ThinkGeek on this issue – and I don’t know if the frames will be resent to our proper address, if we still need proof of billing (even though most of our mail is still forwarding from the old address), or what? The last message we received from ThinkGeek regarding this order was the 27th of December. I’ve sent several messages seeking clarification since then, and am really not sure what else to do at this point other than wait for someone to sit up and pay attention.

If we need to reorder, fine – but tell us we need to reorder. If we’re placed at the end of the waiting line again, fine – but tell us we’re at the end of the line. If we need to find another way to order several eStarling Wi-Fi Gmail / Flickr Enabled LCD frames, fine – but tell us that we need to find another way.

I’m chalking this one up to the holiday season; ThinkGeek gets the benefit of the doubt for now.