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Online shopping's all easy and fun until Best Buy cancels gift orders and ruins Christmas. Overwhelmed by a backlog of Internet purchases it got on Black Friday, the electronics giant has informed some customers that it can't complete their delivery. Rage ensued on Best Buy's forums. And bad press followed. Hoping to smooth things over, Best Buy has apologized. "There was an unacceptable delay between order confirmations and cancellations, and for that we are very sorry," company spokesperson Susan Busch told The Wall Street Journal's Miguel Bustillo. That won't exactly explain the presentless tree. 

All of this wouldn't have happened if shoppers had gone to the mall. This is the dark side of online shopping. Like many retailers hoping to lure shoppers, Best Buy decided to offer free shipping from on Black Friday. With this perk, the retailer reported its first sales increase in six quarters. Yet, unprepared for the rush, the electronics store had to cancel orders placed all the way back in November. Imagine! Now some excited kid doesn't get his PlayStation. Laziness comes with a price. This year's price: Christmas dreams.

Shoppers value free shipping when it comes to online shopping, as we noted, ranking it as an important part of the experience.  Internet shopping becomes much less attractive when consumers have to pay extra for delivery. Considering stores are desperate to entice buyers, places like Best Buy offer free shipping even if it doesn't have the infrastructure to support it. Now it's crushed Christmas for people like Scott Mitchell, who had orders for his 10 and 14 year old sons canceled. He probably should've just gotten them puppies, instead. 


This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

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