Error messages

Okay, so I don’t really need any grocks yet but I decided to start a list today using the Shipt service that’s attached to Meijer. I have a Shipt account and there are three Planet Ann Arbor stores that offer pickup/delivery to my address down there. Somehow I thought it would be a no-brainer to add the moomincabin address. Not so fast, KW.

I followed a “change address” link, which allowed me to *add* a new address. And so I did. Or I tried. I got an error message saying something like “This is outside your service area”. I thought that meant the Ann Arbor stores wouldn’t deliver to the moomincabin, which is totally understandable since they are 350 miles away from the moomincabin. What I expected was that the app would let me add a new address and then FIND the Sault Ste. Siberia Meijer. Nope. It would NOT let me enter the address no matter how many times I tried.

I beat up on computers for a living so I am pretty good at it but eventually I threw in the towel and started a chat session. She asked for the address. I gave it to her and she put the address in. Still couldn’t find the Sault store. Then I noticed the zip code she had entered. Our zip code is 49715 (which I had given her) but somehow there was something like 49206. Not our zip code. I suggested she try 49715 and the response she got was “we don’t service that area”. Um, not true. I know this because my neighbors picked up a Shipt order the other day.

I went back to the address page again and had an epiphany! I changed to the SAULT zip code (49783) even though it isn’t correct and voila! The Sault Meijer showed up. I then realized that the error message I had been getting in the beginning was probably telling me that there was no service *at all* for the 49715 zip code, *not* that the Ann Arbor Meijer stores didn’t service customers 350 miles away. I’m still not sure why 49715 worked for the neighbors and not me.

I was not irritated at the chat person. It was *meeeee* that eventually figured it out but she provided some helpful clues along the way. I’m always a little irritated when apps are difficult to navigate and this one was at least for this piece of functionality. I write error messages for a living (for one thing) and although I have written some TERRIBLE error messages, I always agonize over trying to get them to make sense.

We are still early in the new age of grocery pickup/delivery and things have improved dramatically since March and April. I think ultimately these apps will have to recognize geographical differences to some extent. It’s one thing to order grocks from one of the Meijers (take your pick) in Ann Arbor. The Sault Meijer is sort of a REGIONAL store. People come from all over Chippewa County and beyond to take advantage of their prices and selection. I can see why Shipt wouldn’t want to send their shoppers all over hell-and-gone to deliver grocks to the far corners of the eastern yooperland (especially in the winter!) but I think most folks coming from far away are probably happy to pick up their stuff.

Other than that? We awoke to beautiful warm rain that continued well into the morning. It cleared up enough for us to attend a Masked Road Maintenance meeting, led by Mayor Pete (not THAT Mayor Pete) in his garage. And BTW, I am probably within the Shipt delivery range mileage-wise but I would NEVER ask a Shipt person to deliver to this place, down the 2-track road with the GIGANTIC potholes, which turned into OCEANS today with all the rain. Us yoopers know who we are and where we live.

One Response to “Error messages”

  1. Margaret Says:

    If my Safeway would let me pick up beer and had my favorite flavors of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, I would order on-line much more frequently than I do! Glad you figured it out. That would have bugged me too!