Shopping from Hot Topic is less straight forward than most websites. I know about Hot Topic for years but never try to buy anything. I used to think they are quite expensive. But they seems to be running promotions more often. So I was having a bit of extra money, so I decided to try to buy something. I want that Ron’s Sweater Funko anyway! It seems to be much more expensive everywhere else!
I was having problem checking out my cart. I tried both payment method – Credit Card and Paypal. The customer service wasn’t helpful. Firstly, they told me to talk to bank. Obviously, the problem doesn’t come from the bank. I was able to shop at US sites (Amazon, Etsy etc) often. And I never have a problem. I was so frustrated that I accidentally got my Paypal account locked out.
Paypal. I have to talk about them. I have been a customer since 2000. I set up back then due to the ease to transact on eBays/now defunct Yahoo auction. But gone were the days that I shop anything from eBay. I now uses it to pay for my newspaper suscription. Their customer support gave me 20bucks Wow. I mean I never recieve free money from any customer support before! LL Ban’s customer service gave me a giftcard but it’s not quite the same as actual money isn’t it. The money was used to offset a thinkgeek order. Super happy!
And last week, I finally managed to place my orders. So I found the problem. It’s obviously an technical issue.
First attempt was placed using an US address (for shipping) and billing address is indicated as my own.
Second attempt was placed using my own address (for shipping) and billing address is the same. And it went through!
Same card was used. So obviously they have blocked it to ensure that it go through unless it’s the same address. This is abit silly if you asked me. Some people might want to send stuffs to their office. I used to do that often. However, I am not sure if the same restriction applies when you are using different US addresses. So I wrote back to the customer service and tell them to fix this. But they never get back to me. The last email was they would let the relevant people know (The tech people maybe..).
The reason why I placed order and ship it directly is that they were running promotion – 50% off international shipping. The shipping cost (after 50%) is much affordable but still it’s not comparable to the saving I would get from using a forwarder!
It was shipped using DHL but it isn’t as fast aTs the regular DHL. It took 12 days to arrive as it stopover at Germany (!!) before flying over. Nobody was at home as usual but I got a little note to collect from Popstation. Popstation is my favourite way of collecting parcel as it would be available there immediately. And it is always somewhere nearby! So, I ran off to collect the parcel when I saw the note!
Overall, the shipping is efficient although it isn’t fast. The shipping cost is only worth it if there is promotion.