NoScript Online Wine Shopping
December 9th, 2008 by David Bradley >> 8 Comments
I drink a lot of wine…not too much, I’m not quite a connoisseur, but not plain sloshed either (Fawlty Towers circa 1975). I’m also hoping that polyphenolic antioxidants are helping with the excess saturated fat in my diet too.
So, in rather seasonal advance news from the January issue of the International Journal of Electronic Marketing and Retailing, Michael Sheridan of the College of Business at Southern Illinois University and colleagues Joseph Cazier and Douglas May of Walker College of Business at the Appalachian State University in North Carolina explain how the wine industry is one of the few industries that has not made an entirely successful transition to ecommerce (you don’t say?):
The wine industry is one of those industries experiencing some difficulty, as it contends with the heterogeneous state laws regulating wine shipments: in some states, the practice is allowed, while in others, it is considered a felony. Additional complexities arise when one considers the issues of taxation, age verification and the great diversity of the wine industry.
In their study, they found that almost all (97.9%) of their respondents bought wine regularly and while 81% used ecommerce, just 5% bought their wine online. They explain further that the “online” wine consumer faces a various issues when trying to buy wine, not least the problem of knowing what’s drinkable, quaffable, or useful for stripping paint.
Anyway, I had a voucher for an online wine company for a cheap case of good-old-fashioned plonk at a discount. Case arrived within a couple of days as expected and I checked my credit card statement to make sure my voucher had been accepted. It had, but then there was another entry for Wine-RECUR (for about $35). Odd, I thought, the voucher was for twice that and had definitely gone through.
I contacted customer support. The response was that in using the voucher I accepted myself into the company’s “Banking” scheme, which debits one’s credit card monthly by a set amount, and then pays you “wine interest” amounting to the same value every third month. Sounds like a reasonable deal, but like I say I’m neither connoisseur nor sloshed so didn’t really want to commit.
More worryingly, though is that I had accepted nothing. I’ve looked at the saved pages from my initial purchase and there’s no mention of the banking option. Then, it struck me! I use NoScript and AdBlockPlus belt-and-braces in Firefox to block the cr*p. Maybe one of these tools had blocked a popup alerting me to the auto-signup. It’s the only explanation I can find.
So, here’s today’s short tip, written long. If you’re shopping online, ensure you “Allow all” on the shopping page you’re using, even if only temporarily, this will ensure a smooth purchase and avoid cross-site errors when you enter your credit card details, but more importantly, it will ensure you see all popups from the company and can make sure you uncheck any boxes that you don’t want checked!
Meanwhile, where’s that corkscrew?
Michael J. Sheridan, Joseph Cazier, Douglas May (2009). Leisure, wine and the internet: exploring the factors that impact the purchase of wine online Int. J. Electronic Marketing and Retailing, 2 (3), 284-297