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Entertainment, Food & Beverage

Shopping goes digital

As addictive and convenient online shopping may seem, there lies potential dangers beneath making purchases via the Internet.
CATS Classified In The Straits Times - December 20, 2007
By: Linda Lee
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Shopping goes digital

Tired of jostling with the crowd this month, I decided to stay away from shopping malls and hole up at home to watch a Korean drama.

The show was Dalja’s Spring, about a talented managing director of a home shopping channel (played by Chae Rim). At 33, she frets over whether to remain single or conform to cultural norms and marry before getting any older. Besides the usual shenanigans and love triangle, the story highlights what it is like for someone who, despite her accomplishments, is trapped by societal expectations.

Engaging as the plot is, right now it’s her home-shopping management job that reminds me: It’s the season to shop – and some of us may be shopping from home, online. If so, it’s important to be clear about certain rules, terms and conditions in a cyber transaction. When making purchases via the Internet, keep these pointers in mind:

  • Make purchases from reputable or well-supported sites that offer a recognised payment mode. Stay clear of options that that look dubious.

  • If you are tasting several wines, begin with the lightest, then proceed to the heaviest (sparkling, light whites, then full-bodied). Take a sip of water after tasting each wine to refresh your palate.

  • Refrain from hitting the “back” button in the midst of a transaction as this may disrupt the process and result in errors. Should you get stuck, hit the “stop” button or scan the screen for alternative “stop transaction” options. If in doubt, call the site customer service hotline immediately. It also helps if you keep a (printed) copy of the pages as proof of the confirmed transaction. You can either save, copy and paste your copies onto a document file, or print the page out. These could come in handy when you need to give details of the transaction later on.

  • Familiarise yourself with policies (hidden costs, warranties, refund period, shipping insurance, exchange provisions et al) and legal terms. Always read the fine print before buying!

  • Make sure your Internet connections are secure before making payments.

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