Amazon, I Love You, But You’re Bringing Me Down

amazon-boxman-sad-field

I do most of my non-grocery shopping on Amazon. I go there for dog food, household supplies, toiletries, and all forms of entertainment. Typically, Amazon has been great with seldom an issue, especially when looked at in relation to how much I order from them. I’ve been a Prime member since forever, and glad to be one.

But in the last few months they have dropped the ball. Hard.

Within the last four weeks, I have had to contact customer service no less than five different times due to packages not showing up when scheduled. That’s pretty ridiculous. Especially when you consider that they are sending me, on average, about six hundred emails a day with all manner of current deals.

Amazon: If you can’t handle my current orders, maybe don’t try to get me to place even more.

Anyway. Yesterday I was expecting something very important to me: The Last Guardian Collector’s Edition.

As you might expect from the title of this piece (as well as the overall tone), it didn’t arrive.

I kind of knew something was up when it didn’t show as shipped by early morning. I contacted their customer service via online chat, and they assured me that the box had in fact been shipped via FedEx, however the shipping just wasn’t showing up in their system. They continued to reiterate that the package would arrive by 8pm.

So, after 8pm with no box, I contacted them again. After 30 minutes of chatting and getting referred to a supervisor, it finally came out: they hadn’t shipped it out in time. The earlier person had deliberately mislead me. They then asked me to wait until Friday to see if it would show up.

Now, I know there are a million more important things in the world. I know this is paltry by comparison. But I was disappointed. I pre-ordered this version of the game the moment it was announced and have been looking forward to this title for years. I wanted to bond with Trico and to (hopefully) keep him safe.

I explained all this to the Amazon supervisor, but to no avail. I was offered yet another free month of Amazon Prime. I explained that this wouldn’t do this time. I explained that they could look into my account and see that this was the fifth time this month alone that something hadn’t arrived when it was supposed to and that it was easily the fifth hour I’d spent in four weeks chatting online trying to get things figured out.

I also explained that I had just received a package that was supposed to arrive last Friday.

None of this seemed to matter.

I was offered a minimal discount and a free month of Prime.

I appreciated the offer, but I also told them it shouldn’t be this hard to do business. Part of that equation shouldn’t involve basically baby-sitting an order to make sure it goes as planned, only for it not to go as planned anyway.

So, I am Trico-less. Perhaps he will arrive today, but perhaps not. I wish I knew.

And I realized, if you can’t count on a business, especially one you transact with so often, how much longer can you keep patronizing them?

I wish I could count on Amazon again, I really do. Hopefully they right this ship and get things running smoothly again.

The supervisor told me that she could also offer me one-day shipping on my next order, and my immediate response (and I actually typed this to her), was, “So it can get there a week later?” I immediately apologized, but it reminded me of something I heard a long time ago:

If I’ve just been kicked in the nuts, I’m unlikely to accept a coupon for a free kick in the nuts in the future.

Yes.

Have you ever had issues with a particular retailer? If so, did you continue to patronize them? Or did you take your business elsewhere? I’d love to know how things shake out for other people.

And, if you need me, I’ll be dreaming of the day I can meet Trico for myself. One day…

14 replies »

  1. Something weird is going on with Amazon orders of The Last Guardian, as it is no longer listed as a direct Amazon purchase, but third party retailers. Also, I noticed some price gouging with some third party retailers. There looks to be a shortage. I might check Target in person tomorrow.

    In general I am still very pleased with Amazon. There were a few hiccups when I moved, but I think that has more to do with the postal service.

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    • Agreed, something is definitely weird with Amazon lately. My copy finally arrived today, and I could tell from the label that it wasn’t shipped out until yesterday, so…they definitely mislead me in my earlier communication with them.

      I’m glad to hear they are working out for you, though. They used to be universally great for me, too, but for the past couple of months, they have been spotty at best. From the shipping end, not the shipper end.

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  2. I’ve definitely been having some problems as well. FFXV was late by a day for reasons unknown to me. Earlier in the year, with the ZTD LE Watch edition bundle, I had my own problems beyond the standard delay of the watch. When I tried to contact customer service to determine what was wrong, it took me three different contacts with them to determine the issue, all multiple days or even weeks apart. Honestly, I have no idea what’s going up with them, but if it continues the 20% discount on games won’t be enough to convince me to shop there in the future.

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    • That’s pretty ridiculous; it shouldn’t take three different points of contact to get something resolved.

      I’m right there with you. After enough of this, the discount isn’t necessarily enough to keep me around, either. Which is disappointing.

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    • Honestly, I’m glad you haven’t! My copy finally arrived, I just haven’t felt well enough to play anything yet. I’m super hoping that changes this weekend.

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  3. I’m sorry to hear you’ve been having so much trouble with Amazon. I happened to be looking at The Last Guardian the other night and it wasn’t even taking pre-orders at the time. I guess all stock was gone. I’ve been having a few issues too with them lately. One of the games I ordered ended up being cancelled randomly even after being informed it had been shipped. I was I would be refunded, but I’ll have to check my credit card bill to be sure. I reordered the game and am still waiting as of now.

    Package deliveries are seeming to take longer than they say as well for me. Even though I can get free one day shipping, I usually pick the two-day shipping anyway and it still takes around three days. I guess the holiday season is getting the better of them on the distribution side, though it’s still no excuse especially when they’ve been consistently bad in your case.

    I agree with your sentiment that if a business is consistently failing to keep customers satisfied, there’s no reason to continue doing business with them. Trust is a tough thing to earn and even harder to regain. I did get a good laugh from that saying about the coupon for a free kick in the nuts. :)

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    • Okay, those are some weird issues. And a lot of them sound internal. I hope they can sort themselves out sooner than later, though any of the times I’ve contacted them recently, they didn’t seem all that concerned with losing my business. And I imagine I’m not the only one.

      HA! That kick in the nuts quote was something I read years ago and just lost it I was laughing so hard. It had to do with a majorly botched flight and the airline offering a discount on a future flight and one particular guy not thinking that sounded too appealing. :) I’m glad you got a laugh from it, too!

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  4. Huh, I’ve been seeing other Amazon shipping complaints on Twitter too. For me, in August my Deus Ex collector’s edition was late but my Dishonored 2 collector’s edition in November was on time. I recently learned that Amazon is a brutal place to work, particularly the warehouses with the stress of meeting the quotas required for the 2 day shipping turnarounds. Amazon is definitely a preferred retailer based on its convenience but with the holiday sales I’ve begun shopping around. The news story about Lowes hiring the veteran with a disability who required his service dog while working (and who is outfitted with his own dog version of a Lowe’s employee vest) warmed my cold and shriveled heart. And so we’ll get our Christmas tree from Lowes this weekend. I’m trying know the companies that I buy from. Hopefully, your orders start coming on time!

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    • Really, how weird. Though honestly, I’m not all that surprised. I, too, have seen a couple of things (and known someone who worked at one of their distribution centers) about how stressful it is to work for them, and that’s concerning.

      I think shopping around is smart. I should start doing that, too. Plus I’m still trying to get a NES Classic Edition, even though that feels like a pipe dream, now.

      REALLY?! Well that is incredibly kind of them, and I, too, would shop there if I was getting a tree. I very much believe in supporting good companies and avoiding negative ones. It’s why I don’t shop at Walmart; I’ve seen so many awful things about the ways they have historically treated their elderly employees and it just infuriates me.

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