The first week of December always finds me dizzy from staring at the computer screen too long.
Sunday night was particularly bad. Bill was flying to JFK airport, and I was waiting for his call to let me know he had arrived. The kids were asleep and there was nothing to distract me and occasionally pull my eyes away from the glare.
But I put a major dent in the shopping that needed to be done.
If you shop online, I highly suggest you go through Ebates. It doesn't cost you a penny, they send you money every so often, and sometimes they have really good coupons.
Last month, I had the kids go through a catalog that came for Back to Basic Toys. There are plenty of good things in here for kids of all ages. Lucky for me, they had a coupon through Ebates for 10% off the total order. I noted the promo code and followed the link. I threw a lot of things in the cart, and ended up keeping most of the stuff. It was a sizable order (one or two things per kid times six adds up quick), but in the checkout I missed where to put the promo code and submitted my order without that 10% discount.
Undaunted, I called the company and talked to Harry. Their order system is a bit sluggish, and doesn't post things right away, but Harry took my name and number and promo code and promised to call me back as soon as he could access my order. Twenty minutes later, my email announced the arrival of my order confirmation, and five minutes after that, Harry called and told me all was well and the discount had been applied.
Now this may seem like basic customer service, but it is not. Yesterday, I spent 20 minutes on the phone trying to reach a department in a store to ask a simple question about availability. I was put on hold FIVE times and disconnected once. The only reason I got through was that when I called back, I asked the associate for her name, got the proper spelling, and then asked for a manager. That, I fear, is basic customer service for this time of year.
So, kudos to my friend Harry, who did a great job at a busy time of year and saved me a nice chunk of change. Shipping on that order was free, just so you know. I saved gas money, time wasted in trying to find a parking spot, and Advil-costs to treat stress-related migraines and backaches from hauling bags of gifts.
Now I just hope the packages don't have pictures on the outside.