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Alex P.

6 Level 6 Contributor
  • 108 Reviews
  • 986 Helpful Votes
  • 1 Thank You

Experience: Clothing & Fashion, Computers & Technology, Shopping

Member since March 2011

  • Reviews

    108

  • First Reviews

    44

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About Me

Online shopping is my forte, for better or worse.

How I Can Help

A company's true merit is shown when you have to deal with their customer service.

108 Reviews by Alex

1/17/14
I don't do outdoorsy things and their clothing (even petite) isn't cut well for my height/stature so I don't shop there normally but I needed waterproof gloves to potentially a) hack ice from the wind shield b) clear snow from the windows/roof and c) shovel snow! I have literally, child sized hands so it's hard for find adult gloves to fit me and not many come in xs. So, I came across a model on the ll bean site and it was on sale so I ordered it (free shipping). Alas, it was too big and bulky - even for normal female hands so I had to return it in store. Despite paying using PayPal, they were able to refund a credit card I had linked to PayPal. So in conclusion, although nothing fit properly buying online from them and returning an item was hassle free!
1/14/14
I did not deal with their customer service and/or have to return something but I lost my nikon charger for a dslr battery and was looking for a replacement. The original one is like $60+...and that's kind of ridiculous. There were many alternatives and I almost ordered the original from them but it was on back order indefinitely (thanks nikon for discontinuing older equipment!) and I came across an alternative they recommended which had mostly positive reviews.
At first I thought that they were slow to ship, but I realized that they don't send an email with tracking/shipping update but when I checked the order status the tracking showed that it was almost being delivered. It might have to do with how close you live to a distribution center but I was fine with their free slower shipping.
12/25/13
I joined this site because I was curious about what it is. I requested an invite and was accepted a few days later - I think it depends on whether or not your email is associated with social media accounts. I've never been one to not be blunt so I'll be blunt: it's a product pushing site disguised as a rewards community type of thing where your "popularity" and activity earns you better rewards. When you join, they assess your "influence" by your facebook, if you have a blog, twitter, youtube, etc. You get assigned a number and depending on that number you may qualify for "vox boxes," - sounds fun right? You get to try random products depending on the category which you can sign up to be an expert of - beauty, exercise, geek stuff, etc.

However, I think Influenster is less about trending and more about product pushing and brand marketing. By offering free stuff for their users, they ensure that bloggers and vloggers promote items like gel shoe inserts, hair ties (which I actually want to try) and toothpaste to their audiences. In essence, instead of marketing teams trying to find individuals to try and promote items - Influenster aggregates individuals on behalf of them and then the brands that are featured on Influenster let Influenster handle the distribution and representation. So who's really influencing whom? It's definitely less the users and more so the brands involved. Going back to the dSLR example, for people who've never been exposed to a dSLR - they might see the Canon rebel, look at the reviews and go out to buy one. Sure, google exists for the more knowledgeable buyer but for the people that don't want to wade through long product reviews and spec ratings - Influenster just might influence them with their selective branding.

You cannot add products or labels to their database to review (reviewing earns you more cred with your expert category and ups your overall score - giving you a better chance at being selected for a vox box). This is proof that it's really more about a pre-selected group of item (buy Xbox not PS, buy Canon not Nikon) and social media slowly trickling those brands to consumers. The only influence anyone has is what Influenster tells them to have - any indie, niche or non corporate labels/entities anyone has an interest in does not exist. That being said, if you love KRAFT MAC AND CHEESE, Neutrogena and Taco Bell you can review them to your heart's content (even shady one liners like "Great") and for your hard work, might as well get free samples.
12/23/13
I cannot recommend another company more. Nordstrom has the best customer service ever. It's late and you wanted that color/size but it suddenly went out of stock? Try their online chat (they're up until 1amish I think) and you'll find the sweetest, most helpful people who will search stores for what you're looking for or recommend you alternatives. I've talked to them a few times because if there's one thing that I don't like about them, it's that they tend to stock items rarely and if it goes out of stock, it will FAST and for months. They also don't have coupons, only discounts but the quality of things they carry and the customer service more than makes up. They have reliable free shipping and free returns. They have a good return policy! (It's almost "none" but I hate the abuse of stores like this because there is no Nordstrom near me and I pretty much have to order online and go by reviews).
I also have to recommend them for sometimes unique items that aren't available elsewhere (scarves, jewelry, etc).
12/23/13
Revised review:

I have to split up my review in two parts: one for delivery/purchase and policies and two for customer service.

One: Macy's online in my opinion doesn't have the best layout and there are definitely less things online than in store, which isn't that odd but they tend to have cheaper prices. The only caveat is that $99 minimum for free standard shipping. That being said, it's great if you need to order a few things that meet the minimum. Keep in mind though that store employees can adjust the 20% discount if you own a Macy's credit card while codes won't work online on certain sale items. Nonetheless, you can trust them to ship items to you - if different items are at different warehouses they will arrive separately with no extra cost.
The other thing mention worthy is that if you order something online and change your mind, it's better to cancel it within the hour. Otherwise they cannot alter something once it's processed. This leads me to the next point that makes my review meh.

Two: I wasn't able to cancel an order and they shipped the item. I contacted customer service and they told me to refuse the package. I refused the package on 12/9, it was delivered 12/11. I contacted them three times (twice via email, once over the phone) that the delivery date 12/11 isn't TO ME but to their warehouse. The UPS shipping number even shows that I refused the package on 12/9. No matter how I explain it they keep telling me that once the items arrive, I will be issued a refund. But the refused package arrived on 12/11. I understand that it's the holiday season and things get hectic so my issue isn't with them not processing my order per se but with their refusal to acknowledge what happened with proof (UPS tracking #) that the package was already delivered to them!!! They keep replying with "when we receive your items..." when the items were delivered. At this point, I would suggest that instead of refusing a package you cannot cancel to instead return the items in store. That way you can be sure you are personally returning the items and not dealing with customer service that don't seem to address anything.
12/20/13
Update: To reiterate, they have a terrible inventory system and will cancel your order even if at the time of order their items show up and you are able to add to cart. I believe they have preferred customers (Jcrew credit card) and I suspect they ship to those customers first, then everyone else. It's irritating and not unlike what flash sale sites do. I recently had an order cancelled because of low stock, and I remember that this happened to me before, but for another reason. Something about them not recognizing my method of payment (PayPal) which is allowable. It's frustrating to say the least and I try not to shop there often but when I do and this happens well ... watch out for orders during sales. Their inventory may be inaccurate.

Jcrew is you know Jcrew, not exactly my thing but they're clean, polished and well structured. I find they have schizophrenic sales from 30% off everything to, $50 off $200 and 40% off sale items. It's something you must check day to day or at least pay attention to email. I've ordered from them twice online and they definitely ship timely with good packaging. It's great to be able to return items in store. I don't like their return policy with finale sale that is impossible to return if you order online for items like swimwear for example. Since they don't carry swimwear in store, you have to order online. If it's full price and you can justify it, returns are allowed but catch something at a good price and it's likely you can't return it! They deduct a $5 for mail in returns which isn't so bad at all but their shipping again can be schizophrenic, ranging from free at any price, free after $150 or somewhere in between.
11/29/13
Based on my personal experience, I think expedia deserves a 2.5 but I feel like rounding down. For 1/2 successful bookings. The first time booking a trip to New Orleans, things went smoothly. I did not use my own credit card but I believe they charge the hotel amount as soon as you place an order if you're booking an entire package (flight + hotel). I hate that there are TONS of random ads for random tourist events/attractions that you have to scroll through and try not to accidentally click PLUS the other ads for add-ons for your flight that you don't really want but it's not overtly confusing, more so annoying.
The second time I had to let someone else book the trip, their site flaked out and gave server errors. It was annoying because the trip was booked by a school, where the person doing it didn't have limitless time trying to refresh the page, create an account to submit and/or both. We ended up giving up and just going with Southwest for the flight and doing the hotel separately. The worst part was entering 2 different people's information and having the site flake out. Really irritating and time consuming.
11/29/13
Once again, I would rate this store 3.5. In terms of a website, and as far as my research has shown (Fragrantica, Basenote, etc) they carry authentic fragrances and beauty products. They offer free shipping promotions and a point system that allows you to get discounts after a certain amount (or so I assume). I ordered one fragrance from them and it arrived well packaged, not broken along with free samples. However, I have somewhat mixed feelings about the actual product. While it is authentic, it smelled somewhat different from the testers I've tried at department stores. This could be due to storage conditions or the fact that it's a bit old and thus the more ephemeral components have "turned", leaving the more stable components. This isn't a huge deal but the experience itself is changed. I ended up keeping the fragrance and did not pursue their return policy but I would be cautious.
11/29/13
Update: I ordered some fragrances from Overstock. The first order I submitted didn't have a coupon applied, so I canceled it right away. I paid via PayPal and usually when I cancel orders, the amount is refunded automatically. It's been over a week and the transaction still shows as "pending." I've contacted PayPal AND Overstock and despite the charge not actually being deducted from my account, it's still there. I find this frustrating even though it's not an actual mistake. It's because transactions that show - but don't count can be confusing. I'm not sure if I will pursue this further but it seems like Overstock's financial department may not know how to handle PayPal correctly. I've also found that their customer service representatives don't know how to answer questions in depth. Nonetheless, their shipping and products seem to be legit (esp. fragrances!) so it's a give and take.

The item I bought was listed as "refurbished", which wasn't an electronic item so per Overstock's description, it refers to items that have been returned to retailers but are otherwise not damaged or defective. The item arrived in a reasonable amount of time (at $2.95 shipping) for half the price of the new item and after checking it, it was in great condition. However, it wasn't terribly well packaged which didn't matter in that case, but I hope they send more fragile items with better packaging.
11/16/13
Yoox is an Italian based discount luxury goods online retailer. They carry brands like McQueen, Louboutin, etc and then some Italian brands. A lot of their products are made out of real leather and during one of their after summer sales, they can be found for very reasonable prices from belts, shoes to handbags. I ordered from them twice and each time my order was delivered within three days! That's crazy, especially since my items were shipped from Italy. I've read that some products may ship from an American warehouse but both of my orders were from Italy. The shipping was free over $150 and returns using their pre-paid label is about $7.00ish deducted from your refund. I believe you can get a full refund if you choose Yoox currency. In addition, the refund may or may not include taxes depending on where you are (I can't remember but I think my tax amounts were refunded). The instructions for returns ARE specific but not any worse than say ideeli. The items that have straps or hooks have a Yoox label, that cannot be removed if you want to return them. Other than that, if you request a return online and follow instructions everything was processed and refunded pretty reasonably. I like that you can add things to a dreambox which is basically a wishlist and you can view how many are left of the items in there, or they will show out of stock if that's the case. The only thing I don't like is that through the way the site is organized, it takes forever to look through everything. Due to the items being from the EU, sizes are in Italian or standard EU and you have to click on the item and look at Yoox's sizing commentary. It helps if you're familiar with brand sizing already, otherwise it can be a blind gamble. In general, I find the shoes to be 1/2 size too large from the Italian labels but the bags are great quality for the price and worth it. In general, I recommend Yoox if you don't mind doing a bit of research and have an open mind.
10/29/13
Technically I would give them 2.5 stars but whomever processed my return was courteous. I received a pair of shoes on Sept. 18th (the order was placed on Sept. 12th). I use their USPS generated label to return the shoes on Oct. 12th. For me that's 24 days - within their 30 day period because usually vendors like Amazon for example count from the day you receive your order and the day you drop off the package for returns. The package gets to them on Oct. 25th. It's out of my hands if the return service mail they commissioned takes two weeks. But for future reference, it seems like the return of 30 days is actually 30 days including possible time in transit to return and if that's two weeks for me, the return period is actually half of that - maybe 14 days. I received an email notifying me that my return was out of the period (it is if 20 days are counted for shipping) but they processed the return as a courtesy. That was kind of them but I'll be sure to either avoid ordering from them or at the least return anything the very next day.
8/21/13
I booked a vacation via SouthWest. I got an email that told me to check in to their resort hotel and sign up for Disney's Shuttle Express service. I don't know who designed and/or programmed the website but it is the most incompetent, flawed and poorly streamlined site. It's only a smidge above those news sites that play advertisements for 15 seconds before you can click an X and/or has some video ads in the background. Everything is laggy and takes seconds to process. I know it's to entice the Disney goers but when I book vacations I expect things to be efficient, not slow as hell.

First, the Disney Shuttle Express pages are BUGGED. I could not enter in a flight number. The calendar for arrival and depart dates were messed up on all computers I tried. My macbook pro's three browsers: Safari, Chrome and Firefox had the same issue. I tried on a pc with IE and Firefox and the same issue was there. It could very well be that all of my computers and browsers were having simultaneous issues but I think their website is programmed poorly, very poorly. I mean, do they outsource their programming to overseas for a salary for $2/hour? Is that why it's so buggy?

I try to check in with their resort online, two rooms were booked. They were unable to check in the other guests in the other room because of their website limitations. As much as they like to promote a stress free experience, I've never had as many issues with Disney as with any other website in my life. Even Gmarket and the Korean language were better experiences. For the two things I attempted to complete, I give 0/2. I ended up spending almost an hour with Southwest Airlines who ALSO ON MY BEHALF attempted to complete the booking but THEIR browsers were also having issues. They ended up calling Disney to do it for me. So that confirms it wasn't just my computers or browsers. For a company that has so much revenue, there's no excuse to scrounge on a better web experience. Sure it might save them a few $$$, but it wastes my time and my time is money also. It's disappointing that it's so glaringly obvious they value their own profits a lot more than their customers.
6/24/13
Zara's online shop launched in the US not too long ago. I used to love Zara but not living near one I decided to try their online shop. I did not order any clothing due to an aversion in needing to return items, but at time of review they offer free shipping in the US (with no minimum). I believe they offer free returns within 14 days as well but I did not deal with them in terms of returning items so I can't comment on how easy/hard it was. The item was shipped to me via Fed-Ex and it arrived very quickly. It was packaged very nicely and I was pleased!
6/24/13
Surprisingly, Best Buy sometimes has great deals on certain items. I've also pre-ordered a couple of video games through them. I've regretted choosing the free option and shipping to home because it takes their Fed-Ex + USPS almost a week and a half (or two weeks if it's holiday season) to get to me by mail. Of course I realize upgrading shipping options would guarantee faster times but I have a feeling that even with the Fed-Ex + USPS method of shipping, there are tiers and Best Buy must be the cheapest tier because every other retailer that might use UPS/Fed-Ex + USPS has come in under a week, usually 3-4 days. Basically, free shipping is free shipping after all but it would have been easier to just pickup items at their store.
6/22/13
Urban Decay is well known for its high(er) quality make-up with popular eye shadows and eye liners. I bought some stuff to try during their sale, their prices were really good on sale and at the time of review, they had free shipping over a certain amount (I think it was $50). The package was shipped very timely and arrived very quickly. It was packaged well. One of the eye liners was in a ziplock bag instead of the original box but it didn't look used. The rest were well packaged. There was an option to chose USPS priority or UPS Ground which I find helpful since for me, USPS is more convenient and comes earlier. Overall, I am impressed with their service and products!
5/29/13
Yves Rocher is a French beauty products (think Body Shop) chain that's in Canada but not the US (as far as I know) and I like some of their products. They have many promotions ongoing and they ship a ton of free samples along with free gifts...it's a bit much but I like their tote and cosmetic bags that they sometimes give out for a minimal purchase. It's weird but they didn't send me a shipping notification so I was worried but my package came within a reasonable amount of time. I've only ordered from them online once so I can't comment on how reliable they are for multiple orders. Everything was packaged fairly well and nothing leaked. Until Yves Rocher decides to open up in the US, online ordering is an alternative to making a trek up to Canada.
5/29/13
It might seem odd to order tea online but when you can't find the brand you want, you have to try, right? I was introduced to Ahmad Tea a while ago and tried it a few times. I ended up really liking it but couldn't find it anywhere close by (for all I know it might be somewhere but I'm too lazy to call and ask x local stores). Enjoy Better Tea stocks Ahmad Tea along with some other brands and ships it to your home. The prices are reasonable from what I can tell and so is the shipping. The tea is packaged very well and it arrived in a timely way. Definitely a legitimate site for ordering tea online.
5/28/13
I placed an order for a book online seeing that there was only one left from a seller. There's a place where you can view pending orders and after 15 minutes, when the page showed nothing but I knew my order had gone through I contacted customer service who told me that it had gone through. I received an email sometime after with a tracking number notifying me that the book had left the warehouse. So, for the most part it was worry free except their orders not showing up on your order list. They also had a thing where if you return the book within a time frame (for school, a semester) they can give you up to a certain amount which is useful if you want to 'rent' a textbook. I chose to keep mine so I can't comment on that process, but it's helpful to know.
12/7/12
The first order I placed, it was cancelled because their vendors failed to deliver...this practice is 'stock inflation.' Overestimate the inventory you have to make sales, later on, you cancel the ones you know you can't fulfill. They gave a $25 credit to my account but it's kind of disappointing - not that not having anything is that important but it's the principal.

One good thing is that their customer service via live chat is timely and competent. But it's a hassle to stake out a sale, then have it cancelled two weeks later - I don't think I would buy anything from here again just because I don't have the patience and time to gamble on whatever it is I'm buying to be in stock.
10/26/12
Chictweak is a scarf-centric online boutique that sells from brands like Bindya NY, Chan Luu, DvF and many others. They carry gorgeous multi-print, long scarves that are made from wool, silk or cashmere. I love that they have a sale section for scarves up to 70% off. Shipping is via UPS and at time of writing this review, is free for a limited time. The shipping was very quick, packaged well and the items looked very close to as photographed on the website. Very highly recommended! No more polyester scarves for me.

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Cammie N. thanked you for your review of Thumbtack

“Thanks for your review! I hope they go out of business and someone with integrity replaces them!”

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