Read on to hear my story...
I want to purchase something, I research it, determine how much it costs and make the decision to buy it or not. Shopping, I'm pretty sure that's the definition of it.
While shopping online at Nordstrom, was purchasing a NorthFace jacket and shipping it to MA. Simple enough, no tax on clothing in MA, right? Wrong, according to Nordstrom.
I live in NH, changed my shipping preference, and blam, no tax. Placed my order and sent Nordstrom customer service an email, asking why they wanted to charge me tax to ship to MA...here is thier response:
"I am sorry for any confusion regarding our online tax. Our website quotes an estimated tax based on the shipping address. The actual tax charged to your credit card will reflect the applicable state and local sales taxes, and will be calculated when your order is shipped. Once your order is processed for shipping, the tax will be adjusted to the correct amount. If no sales tax is applicable for your merchandise, the tax will be removed from your order."
I am confused, apparently.
This violates one of my basic principles of shopping, how much is it going to cost. Apparently, Nordstrom doesn't feel the need to tell you that. I asked them, fairly nicely, please fix your tax calculator so I can make my decision at the time of purchase, and not be required to "check up" on you later to make sure you got it right. Response number 2:
"Currently, our systems work to fulfill your order from any Nordstrom location which may include any Nordstrom store, or any one of our warehouses. This allows us to provide a better selection to you online. Our systems also search to send you the merchandise that is also closest to you, to reduce the time you would wait to receive your item in the mail. At this time not only does each state have it's own tax regulations but there are also interstate regulations. Since we don't know where your order will be shipping from at the time your order is placed, we cannot guarantee your tax percentage at that time."
Taxes are hard. Waaaaaaaa. What do you think I am, a major retailer, with an accounting department? Oh wait.
Ever run into this with any other online retailer? I haven't. We all know that buying things online takes time to ship, if we want it faster we'll pay for the faster shipping, calculating tax and determining your inventory is your problem, not the customers.
Not everyone is going to be as up in arms about this as I am, obviously. A better response, like we're sorry, we'll fix it would have at least made me think they cared. Alas, they don't, and now I'm just going to shop at Bluefly.