Sunday, September 01, 2019

Amazon Both Unpleasantly and Pleasantly Surprises Me


Hurricane prep is an ongoing thing. We try to keep various "the power is out for a few days" items around the house, but there's always something we think of, or that we have some of but want more of.

On Friday, early enough that Tamara was still at work and there was no question of heading to the store, fighting crowds, facing shortages, etc., I looked up a couple of those last-minute ideas on Amazon.

Both items -- a little solid-fuel camp stove for heating up water for coffee, and an extra power bank to keep phones charged for a while longer -- advertised delivery by Sunday (today, September 1) for Prime members (c'est moi).

Since Amazon normally says "expect delays during time frame X" when they need to because there's an impending or ongoing natural disaster, I took them at their word, ordered the items, and went about my business.

Then when I got back that night from fighting crowds, facing shortages, etc. for other things, I saw the "your order has shipped" notice in my inbox. Items scheduled to arrive ... September  9.

So I griped.

Nope, nothing they can do about it, the items will be there as soon as possible, so sorry and here's a $5 credit by way of apology.

Which is about a third of my money back, and whaddayagonnado?

So, it's now Sunday, September 1.

One of the items has already arrived in Gainesville and the other left Jacksonville for Gainesville early this morning. I will probably get at least one of them, possibly both of them, today, and almost certainly get both of them by tomorrow. Cool.

Amazon was being unduly pessimistic. It's just that they got unduly pessimistic after I ordered instead of before I ordered. Otherwise I wouldn't have complained and got part of my money back.

And that kind of response seems to be the usual with Amazon.

I think I've probably griped at them three or four times in more than 20 years as a customer and over the course of hundreds, maybe more than a thousand, orders (started slow -- I ordered one thing, a used paperback, from them in their first year in business -- but these days it's a strange week when there's not at least one Amazon order from my household).

All three or four times, they've either made it right or comped me some kind of apology gift. A free month of Prime once, and this time a $5 credit. The third time I can think of, they sent a replacement for a defective $2.99 item and told me not to bother sending the original back; if there was a fourth gripe, it escapes me what it was but there's something tickling my memory.

Not that I like everything Amazon is or does, but as a customer I have to say I've received damn good service.

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