Saturday, June 29, 2013

Keeping the Keeper

         Yes, Internet shopping and the explosion of catalogs came along just in time for my old age.  Instead of hobbling painfully through stores, I sit here at the computer and order what I want.  Even the returns are easy – there’s always a label included, with instructions.  Often return postage is pre-paid in some fashion.  Then I can just park in front of the post office or UPS and hail some young person on the way in to please take this package and just leave it on the counter, thank you.  
          But last week came this Bread Keeper.  Never mind why I thought I needed one, or why it turned out to be the wrong size – that’s another story.  Turns out (I had hardly noticed) it came from “Amazon Fulfillment Services”.   And there wasn’t a single word enclosed about how to return it.
  So I went on Amazon, pulled up “My Orders” and sure enough, there was a spot for clicking on “Returns.”  I entered the numbers for my Bread Keeper, clicked “Continue” and was surprised when a question came up on the screen – would I like to just keep the Keeper and get a credit anyhow?  Of course I was suspicious: would I have to get an Amazon credit card, or agree to buy something else, or whatever?  So I clicked “No thanks”.
          And then another screen came up.  They had just sent the refund to my credit card, and don’t bother sending back the Bread Keeper.
          Now of course I always feel bad about returns.  No matter how carefully I re-fold that turned-out-to-be-too-pink shirt, the plastic bag with the stock label has been torn.  I picture a huge room full of people re-folding shirts, re-bagging them, re-labelling – and then someone has to put it back in the spot in the warehouse with all the other pink shirts.  Maybe they don’t even bother.  But, I console myself, they keep sending me the pink-shirt catalogs, so the system must be worth it to them.
          So what about this Amazon development?  Clearly some executive realized it costs  more than it’s worth to bother re-stocking Bread Keepers.  Would they make this offer only once per customer?  Otherwise it’d certainly be open to abuse.  Only on inexpensive items? – and where would the dollar cut-off point be?  Years ago I would have been investigating for an article in a trade magazine.  Maybe someone has already written that.
          Meanwhile, does anyone want a Bread Keeper?  For that matter, would anyone like a sturdy cardboard box?  I can’t bear to throw it out, and with all this Internet shopping, they’re piling up in the closet.




  1. Quis curet ipsum curatorem?

  2. Plastic bread keepers make great terrariums (terraria?). Just add some moss. They need no attention.