A drugstore.com AND Google SCAM?

No Hurry To Alert Consumers



I stumbled into this today while ordering two items from drugstore.com. A screen box lured me to buy more, “You’re just $7.12 from free shipping.” I fell for it. I ordered a third item for $19, doubling my total to $38. As soon as it processed the order, there was a S&H charge for $6. Hmm, by my doubling my order, my free shipping charge was $6? Had I had tripled my order, would my free shipping be $18?

OK, it may not be a scam. But it is another consumer abuse built into an Internet transaction, unintentional or not. Management at drugstore.com in Seattle credited the 6 bucks and confirmed there were problems with the system. They were working on it. The drugstore site allows customers to use Google.com for processing—if the customer chooses. Not this time: Google snapped me up like a tasty cookie, processed me, and ate $6. Gobble, gobble, Google at work.

I got my money back, so why a blog post on small change? Answer: It’s a 21st Century “near-scam” to not alert customers about erroneous charges via technology and speed. If it happened to me, it’s happening to thousands of other people similarly entrapped by a processing problem they fell into. The consumer issue is Google and drugstore.com’s unwillingness to use their systems to warn customers of past or immediate over-charges. Why tell the buyer and lose the extra $6 per order? Caveat emptor via the Internet.



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