CompUSA, “Brother, Can You Spare a Paperclip?”

Mike writes in tale of CompUSA exhibiting classic “bullet in foot” syndrome.

“Imagine my surprise when FedEx delivered a small box today containing (drumroll, please)… one tiny box of paper clips.”

His shoppin’ n’ shippin’ partay continues, after the jump…

Earlier this week I made an online purchase of a hard disk drive from
CompUSA. The product, normally priced at $169.99, was reduced to $149.99, thanks to a coupon I found on DealHack. I also had a free shipping promo code that could be used in conjunction with the discount. But when I got to the “checkout”, I was charged $5.00 for shipping. I “spoke” to an online CSR who told me I wasn’t eligible for the free shipping; that perk applied only to purchases of $150.00 and above. In other words, I was one penny short. My argument that the item I purchased was really priced at $169.99 didn’t sway him. He suggested I purchase paper clips for $1.00, which would then allow the system to waive the $5.00 shipping fee.

He was nice enough to provide a link to the paper clips, so I bought them. I still saved $4.00 (plus the $20.00 discount) and got paper clips to boot.

Imagine my surprise when FedEx delivered a small box today containing
(drumroll, please)…one tiny box of paper clips.
The disk drive, according to CompUSA is being sent from the manufacturer; the paper clips were sent directly from CompUSA’s warehouse. So, in order to enforce its own “no free shipping unless the order is over $150” policy, CompUSA incurred the added expense of an additional FedEx delivery to my home. I’m sure they have a very, very nice deep discount with FedEx, but still…why insist on a policy that costs them (not me) money. Couldn’t their crack programmers add a few lines of code that lets the on-line shopping system know whether multiple items are coming from multiple warehouses?

-Michael Theodore


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