imyeyes-banner-sqIn My EyesBy Edward B. Antonio

Broken helmet, shattered phone glass

When the Bantay Kalsada, the Highway Patrol Group (HPG), the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the various town traffic enforcers became extra active in apprehending motorcycle riders who do not wear helmet at the national highway and in the poblacion proper, the helmet business peaked.

But what is amusing is that the apprehensions are randomly scheduled and so when it’s not scheduled, non-helmet wearing motorists are not apprehended. How do I know, fellas? Well, I drive a motorcycle, too.

 I don’t know if this is true, but I heard there ought to be a volume of apprehensions or quota in order to be rated an excellent law enforcing-agency, and in being so, there is a monetary incentive from the penalties collected at the end of the year.

And so, people had to flock to the malls and department stores to buy helmets which include helmets for their family members. Netizens would then compare the price online only to discover that those sold online are cheaper.

Online shopping is increasing each day. Now, people prefer online shopping over offline shopping because of the ease and convenience it offers, availability of a wide variety of products on a single platform and also due to offers and discounts. But online shopping is both pleasant and unpleasant, fellas.

Last time, I ordered a half-faced helmet with tinted visor. It was delivered by the courier to my office after 7 days. I requested him if I could open it first before saying, but he refused.

“It’s a company policy, sir,” he said.

“I’ll just check the color if it’s black as I ordered,” I said.

Much to his refusal, I cut it open on top and took a peek. It was indeed black as I ordered. I felt satisfied and paid the parcel. As soon as the courier left, I carefully opened the box. Taking out the helmet from the box, a black splinter fell into the floor. The helmet’s front rim was broken.

I called on the supplier to report the matter. The voice said the courier would take it back in 3 days and they will be shipping the replacement as soon as possible. But no courier returned (to date) to pick up the defective parcel. I called on the supplier several times later but he never returned my call.

So what did I do?

I rated my purchase a one (1) star and in the comment box, I narrated the story. When I saw the local courier some months later, he informed me that that’s one of the setbacks of purchasing online. I told him it could have been mishandled by the shipping company of which he replied I should have reported the matter to him immediately.

Another incident was when I ordered a buy-one-take-one liquid spray for motorcycle flarings. Much to my regret, I should have read first the reviews and comments before clicking the “Buy Now” icon. When the parcel arrived three days later, the liquid spray smelled used motor oil. I compared the smell with the genuine one I bought at Henry’s in Vigan City. They are really different. Although the labels are identical, the ones ordered online lacked the contrasting color. They are really fake!

I have lots of unpleasant experiences shopping online, fellas.

For not opening the parcels immediately or for opening them days or weeks later, I received the following: 2 shattered tempered glasses for my android phone, 90 instead of 100 malunggay supplement capsules, a “waterproof” wrist watch that went misty after walking for an hour under the rain and a bottle of fake vitamin supplement.

Fraud in online shopping is the biggest disadvantage of online shopping. Many people are attracted by great offers which seem too good to be true. Fake online shopping portals display some great products on the website and attract customers to buy the product

Another setback is you can’t touch the product. You only see the image and read the description. You cannot bargain

If one is good at bargaining, he can save a lot of money during offline shopping.

Sometimes, online orders have hidden costs and shipping charges. When you first saw the product on a portal, it generally looked cheaper. But when you proceeded for payment, the extra charges like shipping charges, tax and packing charges were added. These charges will make the product more expensive than the one sold at the local store. Some portals offer free shipping if you shop more than a certain amount. Sometimes just to avail free shipping, you end up shopping more than your requirement.

Shopping online denies you of open interaction with the seller. In offline shopping, sales assistants shower personal attention on customers and give complete details of the product. If you have any queries, you can ask right there. But, this does not happen in the case of online shopping. All you can do is see the picture and read the description. Some what is best is to read the reviews and comments posted by earlier buyers.

Returning the product is also time-consuming. There is an option to return the product, if you do not like it. But again, it is a big headache. The return policy differs from one company to other.

But shopping online is also a pleasant experience, fellas.

It is convenient. You can shop anytime of the day 24/7without going to the malls. You don’t need to line up to the cashier. You can compare prices, read reviews and comments and go “window shopping” by hopping from one store to another without experiencing leg cramps.

Online products have better prices, too. Cheap deals are available online because products come to you direct from the manufacturer or seller without involving middlemen. Many online sites offer discount coupons and rebates, as well. There are more varied products to choose from online. The choices online are amazing. You can find almost any brand or item you’re looking for. You can get in on the latest international trends without spending money on airfare. You can shop from retailers in other parts of the state, country or even worldwide instead of being limited to your own geography. You can send gifts more easily.

There are no crowds to deal with especially during holidays, festivals, or on weekends. In this time of pandemic, shopping online is still the best to avoid getting infected outside of your home.

Above all, you get to browse and order things within the comfort of your own home anytime.

I have had a lot of unpleasant experiences buying online, fellas, but in this hi-tech era, I still go for the advantages.

And what else? You can order and buy here your most intimate gadget or apparel or whatever it is without public scrutiny. It will be sent to you as discreet as possible!

Try it, fellas.