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Is it ethical to try offline but buy online?

A friend recently confessed that he was a “showroomer.” Not only that, but he didn’t feel guilty about it.

Showrooming, in case you were wondering, is when a shopper checks out a product at a brick and mortar store, then goes online to buy it. According to the 2012 Kellogg Shopper Index, a large segment of people still shop and buy at brick and mortar stores. But the numbers of showroomers are increasing, which threatens the brick and mortars.
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Stuck with a pair of shoes – and confused about Sears’ refund policy

ValeStock / Shutterstock.com
ValeStock / Shutterstock.com
Olga O’Hara wants to return the shoes she bought at Sears.com, but she’s getting mixed signals from the company about how to do so. Is she stuck with her purchase?

Question: I recently ordered a pair of shoes online through Sears.com. The packing slip says I can return the items to any Sears store.

I went to my nearest store and was told they can’t refund my money back to my credit card since I paid with PayPal. The only option they had was to issue a gift card. However, I don’t shop at Sears and I did not want a gift card.

They told me I could ship the items back. Well, I’d have to pay to ship those back, and I don’t want to do that.
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Where’s my Sears.com refund?

1-Screen Shot 2012-09-28 at 2.30.24 PMQuestion: I ordered three items from Sears.com three weeks ago. Two arrived, but the other — a coat for $75 — was canceled by Sears the same day I placed the order because it was no longer available in a warehouse or store.

It has been 20 days and I’ve received no refund for the canceled item. I’ve done online chat, e-mailed, and contacted Sears on Twitter and Facebook. According to @searscares, I am now on a waitlist for a “case manager” regarding my refund.
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Charged for an online class I didn’t take

Not going back to school./ Photo by Harry Doyle – Flickr Creative Commons
Question: My daughter registered online for a class with the University of Phoenix and filled out a form for financial aid. She decided that the online course was not for her and never took the class.
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The Insider: How should I buy my next cruise?

Editor’s Note: This is part two of a new Insider series on cruising. Here’s the first installation. As always, please send me any suggestions on topics or content I may have overlooked.

Not so long ago, you had to pick up a phone and call your local travel agent to book a cruise. No longer.

Although 90 percent of all cruise vacations are still bought through travel agents, not all agents are the same. You can turn to a full-service, “bricks-and-mortar” agency or an online agency. Or you could deal directly with the cruise line, in some instances.

But which option is right for you?
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