I’d say that “most” people like Amazon. I certainly do. But that that “like” doesn’t extend forever. As usual, bad customer service is the point of this post.
I’ve had Amazon Prime since 2009. And I order way too much stuff from Amazon. It’s become something that most Amazon Prime buyers tend to do… over-shop. One of the reasons people tend to over-shop, is the “free” delivery on many items. And with the advent of “FREE Same-Day Delivery” people are coming to rely on Amazon more and more. As it turns out, I’m one of those suckers.
“98%” of the time, whatever I’ve ordered from Amazon, I don’t really need tomorrow, or even in two days. But the other “2%” of the time, I DO need it “the next day.” Most of the time, the price of the item is about the same as going to Walmart or another local store, but Amazon makes it sooo eeeassy to order, and easier than running to the store. Plus, when I do need that ‘something’ right away, I have ONLY purchased on Amazon BECAUSE of the “next day delivery guarantee.” And that’s where the rub is… what is a “guarantee” if there’s nothing behind it?
If a business says “Guaranteed Fresh” but you open that bag of chips and it’s stale, maybe you’ll return it to the store… in which case, the store is more likely to just give you a new bag and toss the old one, rather than sending it back to the company that made the stale chips – because it’s not worth their time. And so, with Amazon, “Prime Members” pay an annual fee for a benefit of “Free Delivery” – and – “Free Next Day Delivery.” So, what IS Amazon’s “guarantee” if you’re paying an annual fee, as opposed to a non-Prime Member who’s paying for faster delivery? The answer – there is no guarantee. And I’ve fallen for their lies SEVERAL times over the past year. Here’s what Amazon’s website, under “Guaranteed Delivery Terms and Conditions,” says:
“The guarantee does not apply if we miss our promised delivery date because of an unforeseen circumstance outside of our control, such as a strike, natural disaster, or severe winter storm. Also, delivery scans might be inaccurate.”
Today, it happened again. I ordered something yesterday that I “needed” today. And I ordered from Amazon, because it had the “next day delivery guarantee.” Along with the one item I ‘needed’ I also ordered two other items (all three were small enough to easily carry under your arm,) and all three items were listed as “guaranteed delivery” by the next day. This afternoon, I get the notification that the order is ‘Out for delivery.’ I even see that the delivery driver is basically ‘down the street.’ Then the order is delivered… but one of the items – the item I actually ‘needed’ is NOT in the order.
I immediately check the website, and see that the one item I could have gone to buy at Walmart yesterday, is ‘delayed.’ Well, by 9pm, still nothing. At 10:14p I get an email from Amazon saying “Hi Dave, Unfortunately we will not be able to deliver your package as it has been marked as lost.” Lost? So I contact Amazon and do the expected rigmarole, and they basically just say “Too bad, so sad.” I ask for a supervisor, and guess what? “Too bad, so sad.” I have to keep pushing to find out what happened. Was the one item from a different warehouse? Was it being delivered by a different driver? Was the website incorrect, that the item was out for delivery? Did the driver accidentally deliver my item to the wrong person? Did the driver just steal it and say it was lost?
Of course, it takes forever to actually get any answers, but the supervisor finally told me that yes, all three items were in the delivery truck when the driver left the facility. After that, who knows what happened. Fine. I can live with that, but now, what about that “guarantee?” How do they make this “right?” The supervisor spends another 5 minutes explaining that they have no control over the truck once it leaves, but they’ll try to do better in the future. Yeah… they’ve screwed up one-third of the “next day delivery guarantee” orders I’ve made over the past year, and I’m tired of it. If Amazon isn’t held to their “guarantee” then what’s the point of having one?
FINALLY, they offer a $5 credit on my account. Yeah, my time is far more valuable than the 20 minutes I spent with them, and the 20 minutes I’ve spent writing this article. That isn’t the point though. Accountability is the point. If Amazon has no accountability to their customers, then why am I still using them? Where’s the (real) competition? What’s the alternative to Amazon, when voting with your dollars is the only thing they (might) care about?