I accept some of the consequences of living in rural Alaska. I accept that it will take packages longer to get here than the estimated shipping time. I accept that certain items, such as bleach, simply can’t get shipped here due to hazardous cargo restrictions. I even accept, although somewhat reluctantly, that sometimes we will have to pay more for shipping. What I don’t accept though – odd shipping policies.
Example 1: Alaska Is Not in the United States
We received a coupon for $10 off dog food from Chewy.com. After checking to see if they had Thunder’s dog food, we attempted to place an order. I wasn’t getting complete shipping information from the website, so I decided to chat with a customer service agent. Here is the result:
I was astounded, but all I could do is laugh.
Example 2: Hidden Shipping Charges
I realized recently that my jewelry organization system was a bit inadequate. I decided that I wanted a jewelry armoire. Kyle and I searched diligently through many websites, comparing item prices, shipping prices, and reading the fine print to see if the website would ship it to us. We were thrilled when we found an armoire on HomeDecorators.com that would ship it to us for free. We went through the entire checkout process and didn’t see any notices about extra shipping surchages. Then, a day later, we were not only charged for the item, but an extra $80. Wondering what that was about, I called the company and found out that they do have a separate charge for shipping to Alaska- even though there was nothing about it during the checkout process.
Example 3: Really?
We realized that I needed a desk where I could work on my grad school coursework. Kyle successfully purchased a desk from Amazon.com last year, so that is where I began my search. I found a desk that was the same manufacturer and same color as his, but had a slightly different style that would better fit my workflow. I placed the chocolate colored desk in my shopping cart and attempted to check out. It came up with an error message saying that they could not ship it to our address. Frustrated, I attempted to see if one of the other desk colors would work. I put the cherry colored desk in my cart and did not get any error messages. Unfortunately, I didn’t want the cherry colored desk since it didn’t match our other décor. There were then numerous calls to customer service agents at Amazon.com. I do have to say, their customer service agents were all helpful, knowledgeable, and great at following through. Yet, the end result was that they could only ship the cherry desk and not the chocolate because the two were actually manufactured in different facilities. The Amazon.com customer service agent was as incredulous as I was, but there wasn’t any way to change it.
Overall, we find that most companies actually have reasonable shipping policies regarding Alaska. We really love how many items we can order in the mail, but these few exceptions do have us scratching our heads and wondering what is going on.