I just wanted to order a personalized Bible for my grandson’s confirmation gift. It has been a Lutheran tradition as far back as I can remember – giving a Bible to a grandchild for confirmation. It is even greater than the sanctity of making lefse and flatbread at Christmas.
It should have been a simple process in this day of technology, to find a Bible and get his name on the cover. I did find Bibles galore online. I even found one for children that somehow involved dinosaurs. It seemed odd, but it would have cost me over $60 to find out how dinosaurs were connected to John the Baptist and I wasn’t $60 curious.
There were Bibles geared to just women and Bibles geared to men. (And here, all these years I thought the same rules applied to both genders.) There were Bibles for teens, though I suspect most of them would have caused eye rolls. There were Bibles that specialized in every kind of lifestyle found across the spectrum of society. I didn’t see one specifically for Democrats or one specifically for Republicans, though. Maybe there is an opportunity for someone there?
What I was searching for was simply a King James Version of the Bible. My search, however, brought up the motherlode of Bibles. There were ornate Bibles with real gemstones like rubies and turquoise and real gold on a cross on the cover. The pictures of the Bibles were stunning and if I was willing to shell out thousands of dollars I could have given my grandson a cover that was extremely valuable on a book about a man who lived frugally and did not gather his riches on this earth.
I finally found what I was looking for about five pages into my search. A Bible with a plain black leather cover that simply said “Holy Bible” and would let me put his name on the cover. I was allotted only so many letters for his name and was glad my grandson didn’t have a Slovakian heritage because I might have had to cut his last name short.
I typed in the personalization portion of the order and double checked that this was the version of the bible I wanted to order and clicked “purchase.”
Nothing happened. There wasn’t any quiver to the screen. It didn’t take me to the confirmation page or payment page. It didn’t do anything, so I clicked the purchase button again, thinking that it had just been hard for me to spend money and my touch might have been too light the first time.
Then finally, I saw in the upper right hand corner of the screen, a small grocery cart icon had shown up. In it, there were 18 items. (I must have pressed that purchase button more times than I realized.) I clicked on the cart icon and saw that I owed over $800 and had ordered 18 items. There were two Bibles showing with the same inscription so I removed them from the order. The screen said that I still owed over $500 even though there was nothing showing on the order page. Charging good money for nothing is a pretty good fund-raising method if you can make it work, I guess.
I am tempted to mention the name of the company here, but I read in their “about us” section of the web page that their main purpose is to help people connect to God. And well, I did use some language during this frustrating process that might not have been God-approved, so I’m not going to press my luck by mentioning God’s direct online liaison by name. Let it suffice to say that “this Bible selling company” would not accommodate my order or correction no matter what I did. I reloaded the page and I still couldn’t get the 16 items out of the grocery cart, so I called the customer service number displayed confidently at the top of the screen.
The phone rang for an interminably long time. Then a recorded voice said, “You have called customer service. There are no representatives available at this time, so please leave a message.”
For a company which has publicly stated that their main purpose is to help connect people to God, it seemed a bit odd that they weren’t available to connect to a customer. I left their site, glad that I hadn’t given them my credit card number yet.
I have to say though, that picture of the ruby and turquoise and gold encrusted Bible cover was pretty memorable. I’m sure my grandson would have preferred that I bought him a heifer for that kind of money though.