Date:         Wed, 3 Nov 1999 16:36:58 -0600
Sender:       The Internet TourBus - A virtual tour of cyberspace
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Comments:     Originally-From: Patrick Douglas Crispen 
From:         Patrick Douglas Crispen 
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      _________ ____________ ________ __________ ____________ ___ _
     /         |            /        |          |            /   | \
    |         FLYING NOODLE PASTA OF THE MONTH CLUB         /    |  \
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|  $27.50 includes shipping - 2 Gourmet PASTAS, 2 SAUCES |//////|    |
|           and recipes. A great gift or a small         |//////|    |
|                 indulgence for yourself.               |//////|    |
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        /   \  /   \                                             /   \
        \___/  \___/  T h e   I n t e r n e t   T o u r B u s    \___/
    More Online Shopping Safety Resources
Howdy, y'all and greetings from the charming city of Tuscaloosa,
TOURBUS is made possible by the kind support of our sponsors.  I thank
the folks at "Flying Noodle," "," and
"" for making today's post possible.  As always,
please visit our wonderful sponsors and thank them for keeping the bus
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On with the show ...
More Online Shopping Safety Resources
I am happy to announce that two and a half million people now know
what *I've* been telling you for years: Patrick Douglas Crispen is an
complete and total IDIOT!  :P
In a recent AnchorDesk column, Jessie Berst -- by the way, did I
mention that he is a fan? -- discussed the problems I have been having
with both CompUSA and  You can read Mr. Berst's column at .
As my father so astutely observed:
      So CompUSA and decided to [mess] with somebody who
      runs a newsletter that has 90,000 readers -- who then told
      the story to someone else who has 2.5 million readers?
      Y'know, you can't buy that kind of advertising.
      The only downside I can see is that now 2.5 million people
      equate your name with "moron". But, hey, this could be good.
      Look at Adam Sandler.
Seriously, though, I am happy to know that people will be learning
from my mistakes.  As Mr. Berst points out, I am no newbie.  And if
*I* can be taken by an online merchant, ANYONE can be taken.
Berst's article also shows you a few resources that will help you
avoid being ripped off by online merchants.  The first two resources
-- The Better Business Bureau's "Shopping Safely Online" report at
[ ] and The American Bar
Association's new "" Web site at
[ ] -- should be familiar to you: we
visited both of them last week.  If you missed that or any other
TOURBUS post, point your Web browser to .
Another resource that Berst mentions is Forrester Research's ecommerce
Power Rankings at 
Forrester Research, in conjunction with online market research company
Greenfield Online, shows you the highest rated e-commerce sites in
eight market segments:
      1. Brokerage [financial]          5. Toys & Games
      2. Computing                      6. Health
      3. Apparel                        7. Flowers
      4. Books, Music & Video           8. General Merchandise
On the PowerRakings homepage, you'll see the top five e-commerce sites
in each market segment.  Click on a particular market segment (like
Computing) and you'll see the top ten sites in that segment.  To get
an even more in-depth look at how the sites in a particular segment
compare against each other, click on a market segment and then click
on the "View By Categories" link on the bottom right hand side of the
page.  This shows you each e-commerce site's score for cost, customer
service, delivery, features, transacting, and usability.
Where do these scores come from?  Well, Forrester Research
      tests all aspects of the eCommerce experience by opening
      accounts, conducting financial transactions, researching and
      buying products, contacting customer service personnel, and
      returning purchased merchandise. This series of tests is
      performed in a consistent and rigorous manner for all of the
      selected sites.  Finally, the Forrester shopper's experience and
      the consumer data are synthesized to generate an overall
      [quote from a pop-up window on the PowerRankings homepage]
Berst's article also mentions a couple other online resources you
should visit, but I have stolen enough from him today.  To find the
rest of Berst's list of great online e-commerce resources, visit .
Consumer Reports e-Ratings
In his last Tweney Report [], Dylan Tweney
talked about how Consumer Reports is now rating e-commerce sites.
Tweney writes that:
      Knowing Consumer Reports, I wouldn't be surprised if the
      company placed actual orders and attempted product returns in
      order to do thorough evaluations of each site. I also
      wouldn't be surprised if a lot of these sites score poorly ...
Actually, knowing Consumer Reports, I wouldn't be surprised if most of
the American sites score poorly while identical Japanese sites score
phenomenally well.  :P
All kidding aside, Consumer Reports new e-Ratings can be found at 
but you have to be a Consumer Reports site subscriber to be able to
access these ratings.  Site subscribers can access not only the e-
Ratings but all of Consumer Reports other product and service ratings
and recommendations as well.  The cost to subscribe to the site is
US$3.95 per month or US$24.00 for a full year (or US$19.00 if you're a
Consumer Reports magazine subscriber).
Unless you are a big Consumer Reports fan (like me -- I've been a site
subscriber for over a year), save your money.  You can find a similar
e-commerce rating service for free at .
That's it for this week.  Have a safe and happy weekend, and we'll
talk again soon.  :)
    More Online Shopping Safety Resources
[I liked last week's word so much, I am running it again!]
LAR (noun).  A dishonest person.
Usage: "Lar lar, paints on far!"
[Special thanks to Ken Sawka for today's wurd]
You can find all of the old Southern Words of the day at 
The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2239
Copyright © Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen - All rights reserved
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