Amazon Customer Service

I have a little story to tell.  I think someone might find it amusing.  I know I did.

I found a 6-CD box set on Amazon of The Hilliard Ensemble Renaissance Music.  It was a good deal at $18.  I had it sent to work as I’m prone to do, and the tracking alerted me this afternoon to the fact that it arrived.

I ordered this.

I got this.

Yes, this is a large box within a larger box, wherein the empty space in the outer box has zero packing in it.  The inner box is marked Box 10 of 11, and contains… a bathroom faucet and the folded up remnants of the box it should have been in.

Now, if I were to think like a thief, I could have kept the faucet and sold it for considerably more money than the $18 I spent.  But, I’m basically an honest person.  You know, honor and chivalry and stuff.  And the writer side of me that can think like a thief tells me that I’d be liable if that faucet comes up with missing parts or didn’t work right or whatever.  So I called up Amazon customer service so I could arrange to send this back and get the music I ordered.

The first customer service rep absolutely refused to go off script and/or listen to a word I said.  First she told me I needed to take the faucet back to a UPS facility.  Let’s forget about the idea that this isn’t exactly lightweight and an inconvenience to me.  My company has a mailroom, and I work right next to it.  UPS shows up here everyday.  I tried to explain this, but she was having none of it because it wasn’t in her script.  Then she tells me that the replacement copy of my CDs should arrive in 10 days.

No.  I refuse to be punished for doing a good deed.  And I explain this to her.  Again, she refuses to go off script and/or listen to a word I’m saying.

I ask to talk to her supervisor.

After holding for 10 minutes (which is surprisingly fast for this sort of thing at Amazon), the supervisor eventually understands that, yes indeed, UPS can come and pick the package up here at the office.  No problem at all.

The CDs… I explain yet again that I’m not going to be punished for being honest.  The computer says there are no more copies in the warehouse, so the next option is to wait for the next shipment to arrive, at which point they can be sent out.  10 days.  No.  The copy that they supposedly sent me is still there, as evidenced by the fact they sent me a faucet instead.  They can either find it and send it to me, or they can find me an acceptable option.

They found the option.  There’s another seller offering it with Prime shipping for the same price.  They do some jiggery-pokery, which amounted to I bought it again, then they intercepted the payment, refunded it, issued a gift card, applied that towards the CDs, and they’ll be here on Thursday.  I explained that my time is also worth something, and I’m still waiting extra after jumping through hoops to be honest.  Long story short, I got another free month of Prime out of the deal.  It’s kind of pathetic, really, but at least I use that.  I have to tell you, based on their recent track record, I may not have to pay for Prime again for a long time.  And there was a balance on my “gift card,” so I ordered some more music and got a discount.

All this was to basically affirm the idea that being an honorable person takes a little time and effort, and no good deed goes unpunished.  You can make the judgment call from there.  For me, honor is it’s own reward.  (Seriously, I promise I’m not looking for praise here.)  I regret only that I had to go through this in the first place.  If this were a one-time thing, I’d probably laugh it off and not blog about it, but Amazon’s track record with me over the years means that I really could start a new project blog dedicated to their stupidity.  Someday I might.  It’s been that kind of a day.  But if this gives you a grin, so be it.  Glad to help.

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