Online shopping problems are all too common. Read about frustrating purchases, scams, and delivery issues.

Grocery Delivery Gone Wrong - Missing Items Dilemma
Online shopping problems

After returning from a weekend trip, I went online to place a delivery order for groceries from a nearby store. I needed about 30 items but was informed right at checkout that 5 of those were out of stock. These were just snacks, so I wasn't too bothered. However, to my surprise, instead of an in-store employee, my order was assigned to a third-party shopper. I've noticed store employees doing the shopping before, so this was unexpected.

As the shopper proceeded, she kept informing me about more unavailable items. When she reached the point of telling me that a sixth item couldn't be found, I asked her to cancel the order. The shopping fee plus a tip seemed unjustifiable with such a substantial number of items missing. She then texted me explaining she was nearly done with the shopping, had already spent money on gas, and was relying on this for her income. I found this response quite unprofessional—it wasn’t what I expected, thinking a store employee was handling my order. I ended up calling the store myself to cancel, as my order had dwindled down to 19 of the original 30 items. Among these, some were just individual fruits and vegetables costing just a few cents. Because of these missing items including essentials like milk, meal replacements for an elderly family member, ground beef, and popsicles, I still needed to visit the store. It seemed improbable that they were out of all these things.

If this scenario unfolded in a reality show, viewers might be split. Some would sympathize with the shopper trying to earn a living, while others could relate to my frustration over not getting what I paid for. Debates could flare up over customer rights versus the personal circumstances of gig workers, possibly making this a poignant, controversial episode.

I just wonder, how would viewers react if this situation was on a reality show?

Caught in the Cycle of Online Shopping Addiction
Online shopping problems

I never really thought about this before, but now that I’m reflecting on a lot of my behaviors and what triggers a shopping spree, I noticed I never really feel an urge to shop in person. It’s almost like the instant gratification is something I avoid, because the waiting/tracking makes it more satisfying. I think I’m addicted to the process, really. You see “the” item, it’s perfect, it’s the last thing you’ll need in a while. Actually, it’s the whole outfit you’re iso, I mean the top might not look as good if it wasn’t styled the same way right? This way you can be sure you stop for a while. You scroll for hours and hours finding the perfect item. The hunt has your heart beating just a little faster, you feel good. Along the way you see a couple more items you like, you add it to the bag. You need the perfect top for that event next weekend right? After all, it’s the only thing that would go with what you plan to wear. The total keeps racking up. Unbeknownst to you, because you’re too excited to check or think about exactly how much you’re spending. At this point, you’re beginning to feel a little guilty because you spent a little more than you could afford earlier this week. But that’s okay, because you need more long sleeves for winter right? You’ll get good use out of that extra top. You go to check out, you begin to feel nervous and paranoid about spending the money. This is will be the last time. You hit “checkout”. You’re entering your card information but you’re not really thinking clearly, it hasn’t truly set in. The part of you that wants these items so badly tells you you can’t live without them.

It’s been a couple days, and by now you’ve received your items. You’ve opened them up (or not). Your excitement has kind of fizzled out at this point. You’re happy, but you’re nowhere near as elated as you were when you were checking that tracking number every couple hours.

A day or two goes by, or maybe it was just an hour. you’re scrolling endlessly through social media again, and that’s when you see it. You’ve finally found “The item”.

Then the process repeats itself, and the funny thing is that you’re still convinced you’re going to “quit for good this time”. It’s really an awful cycle!!

I sometimes wonder, what if I was on a reality show about shopping addiction? How would people react to my habits being broadcasted? Would they understand or judge me harshly? It's scary to think about, but maybe it would help me break free from this cycle.