Online services should work: A rant about Staples Online

Today I spent the day in the library collecting resources for my research. I saved everything to my jump drive and thought I’d go to an office store after the library to get the articles printed (the library cost $.15 a page and the office store is $.05). I looked at the websites for Office Max and Staples and chose Staples because it looked like it was cheaper and it was on my way home from the library. I registered for an account and the site crashed. I tried again a few times and go no where so I thought I’d do it when I got home and pick it up on my way back to the library tomorrow.

I was able to log in when I got home and I started to upload my files (one at a time because I’m on a Mac with Firefox – they have a tool for Windows users which I assume allows for multiple uploads). So I uploaded my 30+ files one at a time only to have the site crash on me 1/2 way through. The second time around I used the ‘Save My Job’ button (which only worked sometimes). Let’s jump ahead 1.5 hours. I’m ready to go on to the next option (yes it took that long because of site crashes, slowness and stupid design). Now it’s time for me to pick my print options.

I choose B&W and Duplex and the site says – fat chance and crashes again – and again – and again – and again this time in Safari – and again – this time on hubby’s computer in IE. I come back to my computer and Firefox and try again – no luck. I go back into Safari and low and behold I got the site to accept my selection of B&W and duplex only to find out that it takes 24 hours for an online printing request to be completed!!!!! If I want it by 12pm tomorrow 15 hours from now I have to order it Rush – but 12pm is no use to me – I need it tomorrow morning so I can read it at the library instead of waiting a whole extra day.

The moral of the story is this – do not offer your patrons/customers and online service that does not work – and always show the terms up front so that they know what they’re getting into before they dedicate 3+ hours to making your stupid tool work!!!!

My review of Staples Online Copy & Print Center – Zero Stars. And tomorrow I’ll be heading to Office Max to get my pages printed in person.

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Pricey Booklover Gift


If you’re still looking for the perfect gift for the book lover in your life (and you have $80) this might be an options for you.

Even with a heavy duty air purifier and regular vacuuming around the apartment, our book collection can be a pain to clean, gathering dust like a Katamari dustball. The books at the top of our bookshelves are especially hard to dust; we have to hold up the canister vac while standing on a step ladder to reach the top tomes. Using one of these book brushes might make clean up a little easier for those of us with a decent book collection…

Via CrunchGear and Apartment Therapy.

SantaThing is so cool!

Somehow I missed this last year, but LibraryThing has announced its second annual SantaThing event!.

SantaThing is Secret Santa for LibraryThing members.

The idea is simple. Pay $25. You play Santa to a random LibraryThing member, and find them up $20 worth of books, based on their library or a short description. Someone else does the same to you. LibraryThing orders the books and pays the shipping, so no addresses are exchanged and no members are stalked!

Very very cool!!

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Information Today, Inc. Holiday Blowout Sale

Now this is the kind of sale that I love!! Stock up on your library related titles at Information Today during their holiday sale:

40% Off All In-Stock Books When You Order Online!

The discount is good on an unlimited number of orders placed during the sale period—and with more than 150 titles available on our websites, there’s something for everyone.

I’m off to browse around :) Thanks Rachel for pointing it out.

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Holiday Shopping Dealines

There is a very handy list from Dealhack that tells you when you have to order by in order to get your gifts in time for Christmas.

From Amazon to Zappos, here is Dealhack’s 2008 list of holiday shipping deadlines for over 150 top retailers. For each, we assume that items ship out one day after ordered unless merchant guidelines specify otherwise. This year, Christmas is Thursday December 25, so we are targeting delivery by Wednesday December 24.

PayPal Plugin

This is pretty darn neat. You can now use PayPal on sites that don’t use PayPal.

PayPal provides a quick and easy way to pay for goods on eBay,, or other sites that accept the service. But what if you want to buy something from a store that doesn’t accept PayPal, but don’t feel like giving up your credit card information? Last year PayPal launched a service that lets you create a single-use credit card number that is linked to your PayPal account. And the company has also launched a plugin that gives you easy access to the the Secure Card service in your web browser.

This via DownloadSquad.

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New Site

I mentioned that the new Beta site was available back in January, but the new site wasn’t ready until now! If you’re interested in searching Borders online apart from Amazon (which is where Borders has been for years), then give their new site a look.

I certainly like the new homepage and the shelf browsing feel it offers … very Borders-like :)

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Download Digital Content at Borders

This via USAToday:

When you walk through the doors of Borders’ (BGP) new concept store, the place feels familiar. As with any big-box bookstore, you’ll find a coffee shop over here and some strategically placed leather chairs over there. And, of course, lots of books.

But follow the table of books snaking off to the right, and you’ll come face-to-face with Borders’ newest retail strategy: a digital center where you can download music or books, burn CDs, research family histories, print pictures and order leather-bound books crammed with family photos — with help from clerks who know how to do those sorts of things and won’t embarrass you if you don’t.

Now – I don’t fault Borders for trying something new – but why am I going to go to Borders to download content when I can do it from home on my couch in my PJs? I guess it would be something for me to do on those occasions that my husband drags me out to the bookstore to look at the latest RPG release – but I’ll be interested to see how successful this really is.

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