THE DIVA: Why I will never buy anything online ever again

Saturday May 19 2018


By Caroline Njung’e

I am generally a Doubting Thomas, one of those people who actually have to see to believe. And not just see, I also insist on touching to ascertain that what my eye is seeing is actually there, that it is not a mirage. I also insist on testing the product before I buy it, besides asking a bucketful of trying questions.

I am such a die-hard sceptic, I had never bought anything online until recently, even though that is the route the world has taken, the argument being that online shopping not only saves you time and money, it also delivers the globe to your doorstep at the click of a button.

Anyway, a few weeks ago, against my better judgement I must say, I bought some water glasses online.

It all started with a relative who is familiar with the contents of my kitchen cabinet sending me photos of glasses on WhatsApp accompanied by a message that read, “Can you believe that 12 of these are going for just 1K?!”

Well, I couldn’t believe it because the glasses looked like something The Queen would have on her dining table, all delicate and slim with an elegant, expensive-looking cut.

The Doubting Thomas side of me typed, “Are you sure?” This relative assured me that the glasses were legit, that if I had 1,000 bob with me, they would be delivered to me that same day.

“Si you know, you remember you don’t have enough glasses when you get visitors?” She commented before going ahead to forward me a link to a website, saying that the company selling the glasses had other designs I could consider, if the one she sent me had not impressed me.

Still unconvinced, I clicked on the link, which, sure enough, revealed glossy photos of various household items on sale, including glasses.

I scrolled through and eventually settled on the set she had sent me. Even though an inner voice was screaming “Don’t!” repeatedly, I dialled the number at the bottom of the website and ordered the glasses, which I was assured would be delivered within the hour.

Forty-five minutes later, the delivery person informed me that she was outside the Nation Centre. I knew that I would not get what I had seen on the website immediately she handed me the package — the glasses were so heavy I almost toppled over.

Obviously, there was nothing delicate about the contents, and I was pretty sure that the glasses I was struggling to hold on to would never have gone anywhere near The Queen’s palace, leave alone her table.

Swallowing my trepidation, I handed the young woman Sh1,000 and took the package with me to the office. I gingerly unwrapped the glasses, only to be confronted by what can only be described as 12 very distant cousins of the glasses I had seen online.

Ladies and gentlemen, I was the proud owner of 12 dangerous weapons. I call them that because they are so heavy, if I smashed one on your head, you’d immediately keel over and die.

As you can imagine, there was also nothing elegant about the cut, what I was looking at were 12 functional heavy-duty glasses manufactured with tear and wear in mind, glasses that would easily survive a hurricane.

Nothing short of a miracle will convince me to buy anything online again, not even a handkerchief.