Monday, November 01, 2010

Props for Amazon

[Update: I no longer associate with Amazon, for reasons explained elsewhere, but neither do I see any need to "memory hole" my past comments about them. All links in this post have been changed to point to Powell's]

I complain when I don't feel like I've been treated right, so I should likewise trumpet it when I'm treated exceptionally well.

A few weeks ago, I mentioned here on KN@PPSTER that I had pre-ordered F. Paul Wilson's new Repairman Jack novel, Fatal Error, along with two used books (Fractions, comprising the first two books of Ken Macleod's Fall Revolution cycle, and The Cassini Division, the third book in that cycle).

Fractions was available, and arrived almost immediately. The other two books were held to be shipped together.

Here's what happened next:

- I got an email from Amazon letting me know that they were refunding $3.15 of my money due to their "low price guarantee" -- they lowered the price of the Repairman Jack novel before it was shipped, and gave me the better price.

- I got an email notifying me that the order had been shipped.

- I waited. And waited. And then forgot. And then remembered. And then looked at my account screen on Amazon this morning and saw that the order was marked as "delivered" on the 15th of October.

- I consulted Amazon's "help" and "contact us" stuff, and sent them a brief note explaining that I hadn't received the shipment.

- About ten minutes later I received a courteous response. The F. Paul Wilson novel is being re-sent, with courtesy upgrade to one-day shipping. The Macleod novel was used and is out of stock. They refunded my money on that one, and gave me a link to find other available used copies of it.

- I promptly followed that link, but on a hunch I decided to see if any cheap copies of Divisions, which includes the missing book and the fourth book in the cycle, were available. They were. I bought one for $1.29 more than the single (but gone missing) book had cost me.

That, folks, is customer service. A bit of a delay (mostly due to my inattention), and I ended up getting an extra book ... for $1.86 less than I initially paid.

I should also mention that I've been an Amazon customer since 1995. I placed only one order that year (their first year in business), for a copy of L. Neil Smith's The Probability Broach. They sent me (and, I assume, all their other customers) a mousepad for Christmas that year. Since then I've placed several orders every year. I'm pretty sure this is the first time I've ever had a problem, and it was corrected damn near instantly once I reported it.

I like Amazon.

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