Flowers make beautiful gifts. But ordering online can be pretty unpleasant, Consumer Reports discovered. It surveyed subscribers about their experiences shopping at the 52 largest retail websites. Online florists 1-800-Flowers and FTD rated near the bottom. "They had low marks for value, and there were lots of complaints about high shipping charges and customers having to wait longer than expected." Ticketmaster doesn't have a lot to cheer about either. It was at the bottom of Consumer Reports' ratings and got the lowest marks of all for customer support. "It takes so long, and you're entering all this information over and over again." "I don't like how expensive they are." Tony Giorgianni, "A good online retailer should offer great value, have good products and services, and deliver them on time. It also should have great customer support." Among the highest-rated sites - B&H Photo; Zappos; Costco; Nordstrom; L.L.Bean; NewEgg, for electronics; and REI, which carries outdoor gear and clothing. REI stands out with its guarantee that shoppers can return or replace items any time at the store or online. There's no expiration date. Tony Giorgianni, "Zappos also has a good return policy. You have a year to return something, and Zappos picks up the cost." Another way to save on shipping - shop at sites like Walmart, which doesn't charge if you have the item delivered to the store for pick up. ."
More On Your Side Stories
- Back-to-school shopping is the second biggest spending spree of the year, according to the National Retail Federation.
- 44 children died last year from heat stroke inside cars.
- Can you get away with spending less on laundry detergent?
- Consumer Reports tested a 20-dollar device that promises to unclog drains without caustic chemicals or a costly plumber visit.
- Who doesn't love ice cream, especially in the summer?
- a just-released Consumer Reports' survey found that 59 percent of people look for foods labeled "natural" when they shop. But Consumer Reports says it's essentially meaningless claim.
- With grilling season heating up, all kinds of gadgets promise to take your grill to a new level.
- Flying with a carry-on bag can save you fifty dollars or more per trip. No wonder sales are up.
- Summer is salad time, and supermarkets have shelf after shelf of salad dressings.
- If you think there's no such thing as free lunch, think again. There are lots of products you can get online without having to pay a cent.