In-store Pickup – Why do they even offer it?

So a couple of weeks ago once again I made an attempt at ordering an item or two online from Futureshop.ca – I’ve blogged about my Christmas time experience with their site and the site of sister company Best Buy in the past but I hoped this time would be different.

Ugh.

I don’t know why I even bother sometimes. Somehow I ended up having to go through the checkout stages three times before it decided it wanted to let me pay and order the items. I checked stock in the stores before I ordered and picked the store with the shiny green check mark that indicated that my items were in stock. Then in the checkout stage it re-verified that the item was in stock and available for the in-store pickup service so I went ahead.

I get my confirmation email and it lets me know I’ll get a response from the store within 3 hours. 20 minutes later I get the standard “Your order could not be filled” email.

The item(s) you ordered on Order ######## are not available for pickup at the Downtown Toronto store.

Huh?

But your site just told me they were available!

Here’s the real kicker…

You can re-order your item(s) at futureshop.ca – choose another store for pickup or have the item(s) shipped to you.

So you tell me the item is there, and now it isn’t but instead of offering me the choice to have it shipped you kill the order entirely???

When this happened at Christmas I logged back into the site in hopes I simply had to go into the order and change the shipping process – no dice. At this stage they kill the transaction completely, total dead end. To order again I’d have to basically start from scratch.

If anyone at Future Shop is reading this you really should fire whoever is responsible for this disaster of a site (Best Buy too since it seems to be the same platform).

Why on Earth, when you have an order in hand, credit card details attached would you, under any circumstances, kill the deal? Your site is already painful enough to deal with – I’ve got no interest in going back and rebuilding my queue and re-entering all my information. Would it kill you to just give me a “Just Ship it” option? You could put it right in the email and I would have clicked it!

I’m going to guess that if Future Shop went back and reviewed all of their in-store pickup cancellations they’d find that very few people actually bother to recreate their shopping cart again and buy the product. For me, I figured I could take a crap shoot with their system or, in the same amount of time, walk over to Staples and buy the items for a few bucks more than Future Shop was offering. I chose the latter. At this rate, with me alone, this one stupid “step” has cost you several hundred dollars since the beginning of this year.

The timings of the emails are always suspicious too I find – the perception I get is that someone at the store level is basically getting these requests and ditching all but the big ticket items with a “Can’t be bothered” attitude. Reality or not it doesn’t look good and I can’t be the only one who feels this way.