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What the Store Stores

If you shop online, you know that specifying the correct shipping address and the correct credit card are key. Take a minute to be sure these details are right for your purchase, especially if you keep this information stored in your online account.

Some examples from my clients:

I bought a gift for my niece and had it shipped directly to her. Unfortunately, the next few things I bought also went to her. Ugh!

I shop online for items for my business I and keep my business credit card number stored at the site as my “default” card. But occasionally, I’ll buy personal items so I also store a personal credit card number in my account. The last thing I bought was with my personal card and, without my permission, the site changed that credit card to my “default” card. The next business things I bought were charged to my personal card by mistake. I didn’t catch it until later.

I hear this kind of thing all the time.

Perhaps it is best not to keep any card on file, but if you do, be sure you are charging your purchase to the correct card and shipping the item to the correct address. It only takes a moment to review — and change — the order.

Also, beware of the return protocol. When I last returned something to an online store I was given the choice of crediting my credit card or receiving store credit …. and “receiving store credit” was already selected. Of course they’d prefer I do that, but that was not my preference. Pay close attention.

Yes, these online purchases are quick and easy, but too quick and too easy may not get you what you want.

Serving All Night

If you are both a tennis fan and an insomniac, good news: the Australian Open started today!

For the next two weeks, the first match will start in Melbourne at about 11:00am, which is 7:00pm the night before on the US east coast. And when they play all day, you can watch all night. Woo hoo.

If you choose not to watch on your television, you can watch tennis — or most anything else — on your smartphone, tablet or computer. Just download your TV provider’s app (DirecTV, Comcast, Dish, Verizon, etc.) or visit the provider’s website, sign in*, and choose your channel.

If you are concerned that the late-night volume will wake others, use your earbuds or mute the device.

*You may wish to test your User Name and Password before the middle of the night, in case you need to contact your provider for assistance. If you think you can do it without a password, well, dream on.

Plan B

In computer use, just as in the rest of life, it is good to have “Plan B” in case “Plan A” fails. Here’s what I mean:

  • If your computer can’t get on the internet, your smartphone still can. Use it to get your email and get to the internet until your computer is working again.
  • If your email doesn’t work through your email program (Outlook, Windows Live Mail, Apple Mail, etc.), use your web browser to go directly to the email site itself(,,,, etc.).
  • If you need to email a hard copy of a document or picture and you can’t scan it — or don’t know how to scan it — use your smartphone to take a picture of it and then email the picture.
  • If your Smart TV isn’t working, connect your laptop computer to the TV with an HDMI cable and play your show on your TV from your computer.
  • If your printer isn’t working and you must have a hard copy immediately, email the document to your neighbor and ask him/her to print it for you. (I’m sure you will return the favor someday).
  • If you can’t send an email from your smartphone, you still may be able to communicate by text. Try it.
  • If you don’t have your phone or can’t access your smartphone voicemail, use any other phone to call your own cell number to retrieve your voice mail. Each phone carrier does this a little differently. Check with them for specific instructions.
  • If you have an internet connection but your browser (Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox, Edge, Chrome) is behaving badly, jump to another browser to get where you need to go.

I recommend that you practice the “Plan B” options before you need them.

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