16 November 2023

Tempted to shop online? Warning: All that glitters can just leave you cold

| Sally Hopman
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Handy hint: You know how they say nothing good happens around 3 am? They’re right – particularly if it involves shopping for shiny stuff online. Photo: Sally Hopman.

With all this bitter and twistedness going on around the world, don’t you think it’s time we brought back “nice”?

Changing the world in our lifetime probably isn’t going to cut it. It won’t make a mark even for those who go around carving up each other’s reputations.

What we need to do is remember what it feels like when nice stuff happens and pass it on.

We’re not talking grand-scale here. Just little random acts of niceness that bring a smile to a face – or stop you from imploding from all the Iced Vo Vos you’ve eaten because that’s the only thing that makes you feel good. Or fostering yet another puppy – and not even pretending you are going to rehome it.

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When did we get so cynical about people doing nice things for each other?

Probably when Adam and Eve decided gardening was a fruitful idea. Or it could have been yesterday when I read that a Kardashian had kindly put details of her baby shower register online so people could buy her more stuff she didn’t need. Rather than stick to what’s on her list, think I’ll be nice and send her some nappies, decorated inside with a melted chocolate bar, that we prepared earlier.

The thing about nice is that it’s good for you. You do the right thing, someone reciprocates. All is not well with the world but at least you and one other person feel better. And they’ve stopped, temporarily, being horrible.

To bring back nice we just need to give up a few little things, like lies and greed.

Like almost falling for an online scam that would have rid me of a couple of hundred bucks. Of course I didn’t fall for the trick of, being unable to get back to sleep at 3:34 am, deciding to go online and buy stuff I didn’t need. What was I to do?

I went online at 3:35 am – after giving the idea a careful minute’s consideration.

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A piece of jewellery sparkled at me. A simple handmade gold thing on a chain with the letter “s” on the front. Amazing I thought, how did they know my name started with that letter? And how sensible it would be to have such a piece of jewellery that would come to my rescue next time I forgot my name.

I’m pretty cluey when it comes to online scams. I’ve recognised many, some a little later than I would have preferred, but it’s all good. Or so I thought. This one got me hook, line and was a real stinker.

The website looked right: pretty girl making prettier jewellery as doves floated about with equally floaty messages using words like “bespoke”, “Queensland hinterland”, “you deserve this”.

Turns out it wasn’t legit. I yelled and screamed at my bank as if it were its fault that I was taken in, but nothing happened. They kept putting me on hold. Then they tried to make me hold for hold. That’s when I knew I needed to try another tack. A sharper one.

I started being nice. Explained how I made a mistake but could they help me. How I paid for the jewellery online only for the company to take my money but refuse to process the order because my card had been flagged as “dodgy”. A clear case of the dodgy calling the not-dodgy dodgy.

Within a day, the money for the jewellery I was never going to receive was refunded to my bank account and I took the fatwa off banks. It remains, however, on all internet sites featuring jewellery, beautiful women and words like “bespoke”.

All that glitters …

Original Article published by Sally Hopman on Riotact.

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