TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Touch Tone Grocery Shopping - Promise Never Realized?

Re: Touch Tone Grocery Shopping - Promise Never Realized?
7 Aug 2006 07:23:41 -0700

Robert Bonomi wrote:

> Grocery-delivery, or other local services, *are* vulnerable to these
> kinds of frauds 'over the internet', just as they are vulnerable to
> them when executed using other means.

I think the original concept when Touch Tone shopping was first
proposed was that the customers would be pre-registered with an
existing account. In those days, credit was only approved in advance
or the goods were COD. I don't think there was as much intentional
fraud against the corner grocer or pizza delivery place. There were
some accident screwups where a customer ordered the wrong stuff and
refused delivery or forgot to pick up a pizza.

In today's Internet world, the big theme is instant gratification and
anonymity. That allows for more opportunities for fraud. No delayed
credit review first.

Further, unlike the world of 1964, we are more anonymous from each
other and our merchants. Supermarkets are much bigger than they were
back then and the old corner grocers no longer exist. Today's
convenience stores are very anonymous.

The old corner stores had to eat a lot of bad credit from customers
and their prices were higher. Supermarkets, by offering no delivery
or credit, could offer lower prices. (Initially trading stamps were
offered but then discontinued to save money and lower prices).

Ironically, today supermarkets do take credit cards which annoys me
since it adds to the cost of the food. Indeed, pizza places, fast
food, and convenience stores take credit cards too.

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