Dependencies in Online Ordering

I have just ordered two Samsung Galaxy S3 phones and matching cases from Kogan. The price was good and Kogan gave me 30 cents discount as part of a verification process. Instead of billing the full amount for a large order (for which the cutoff is somewhere between $25 and $1014) Kogan will deduct a random number of cents and demand that you confirm the amount of money on your credit card statement, if you don’t know the amount that was billed then it’s a fraudulent transaction.

But now Kogan have decided that my phones and cases are separate things, they have dispatched the cases but not the phones. This is really annoying, I will have to arrange to receive two separate parcels and the first of which won’t be of any immediate use to me. I can use a phone without a case, but a case without a phone isn’t useful.

If I had wanted to receive two parcels then I would have gone through the checkout process twice! It should have been really obvious to Kogan that I didn’t want two parcels, they suggested that I buy cases after I selected the phones, so while it’s theoretically possible that I might want to buy two new phones at the same time as buying two cases for entirely unrelated phones I don’t think that the people who programmed the Kogan web server expected that to be the case.

9 comments to Dependencies in Online Ordering

  • Julian Andres Klode

    I don’t know about Kogan, but Amazon [at least in Germany] asks people whether they want everything at once or as fast as possible (possibly split-up). Maybe Kogan has a similar setting during checkout or somewhere in the account settings?

  • Chris

    The phones normally come from Kogan’s Hong Kong subsidiary (so they can avoid charging GST), whilst most stuff comes from their Melbourne warehouse. Did you get charged GST on the cases but not the phones?

  • Martin

    Assuming that you don’t want to run Samsungs variant of Android, I recommend to check which free Androids will run on the S3. I read an interview with one of the CyanogenMod developers¹, who worked mainly on the Samsung ports, and he abandoned Samsung phones, because of non-existing support from the company. Interestingly, he mentioned Sony would give better support or something like this. Of course, it is only the opinion of a single person. I’m myself happy with CM9 on my Galayx S (I9000), but if I were in need of a new phone, I would check thrice how well free Androids are supported on the device.


  • etbe

    Julian: If Kogan has something like that then I didn’t notice it when ordering. But for Kogan it’s a little different, Amazon has the issue of all books at once or one at a time while with Kogan a phone on it’s own is very useful but a case/battery on it’s own isn’t (for me).

    Chris: Yes, they charged GST on the cases but not on the phones.

    Martin: I find it difficult to believe that Sony will be better given my experience with Sony-Ericsson Xperia X10 phones. Anyway I hope that the default build will be good enough, I’d like to have just one computer that I don’t have to mess things with and have it just work.

  • Chris

    So in that case, the utility of Kogan was that you got a cheap phone — it was imported from Hong Kong. The inconvenience of getting the packages separately is presumably outweighed by not paying GST on the phones, right?

  • I’m curious as to how you find out the exact amount they have charged in order to close the sale – it won’t show up in your credit card account online for some time. The only way is to call your credit card provider – and some of them do not provide 24-hour phone contactability.

  • etbe

    Chris: If GST was applied to the phones then Kogan probably wouldn’t be the cheapest option. Often the price difference between Kogan and other suppliers is about equal to GST. But if Kogan had shipped everything in one package they could have charged less for shipping and made it even cheaper.

    Sam: I use a Commonwealth Bank Visa card and I can check my status on the Internet. Within minutes of placing the Kogan order it showed that the amount in question was reserved by Kogan.

  • It puzzles me. Given that the transaction is not complete until you have entered the amount, how does it show in your account? I have a card from Westpac and it takes a while for a transaction to show through.

  • etbe

    Sam: A merchant can reserve some money on your credit card to cover future expenses. When you check in to a hotel and they scan your credit card in case of mini-bar expense they generally put a hold on $50 or $100 to cover the likely expenses. When I logged on to the net banking it told me that I had $100 reserved from a recent hotel stay and just over $1000 for Kogan.

    Also one of the Galaxy S3 phones has arrived and they gave me an invoice for the non-discount rate, this is rather strange.