My son ordered a label maker from Amazon. Not terribly expensive and not an obscure product. He got it on time, but when he opened the crate, it turned out to be an empty case. No label maker in it.

He was going to return the empty box.

I said: “Don’t be silly. You don’t return empty boxes. That will confuse everyone. They will want to know what happened to the label maker. You get in touch with them. They will fix it.”

I said that with confidence because they always try very hard to fix problems at Amazon.

“You can’t get in touch with Amazon,” he said.

“Oh yes you can,” I said.


“Ask for the number or to chat live. They really will fix it.”

“How do you do that?”

The answer is not complicated.

Go into the customer service area. That is a bit circuitous, but if you use Amazon a lot, you figure it out. It needs to be about an order, so you should know exactly what your problem is and what you want them to do about it. That is pretty much true for all customer service.

After you are in the right area, type: “Need telephone number for Amazon customer service.”

They ask if you want them to call you (which they will do literally instantly) or would you prefer a chat? They prefer chats and so do I. It’s faster. Also, I can copy and paste information from the order into a chat file. That’s harder on a phone call. Not impossible, but harder.

I got the chat. Explained what happened. She said “Oops, sorry. Tell him he can keep the box and do whatever he wants with it. We’ll send him a new one.”

The would ship it as soon as possible. I called Owen back.

“But how did you know who to talk to?”

I explained I had talked to the guy at customer service and the new order was already in the order file, price $0.00. Shipment probably overnight.

Good customer service does make a big difference. Well-served customers keep coming back. Angry customers don’t. You hear that Dell? You hear that Apple? Got that Microsoft? Anyone listening at DirectTV, Charter, or AT&T?

Happy customers come back and sometimes bring their friends. And family. If you make us mad, we go elsewhere. Just saying.

The shipment arrived yesterday and guess what? It was another empty case. One empty case was not a big deal. Two? They have a shipping problem. Especially because this second box came with a big label on it that said: “CASE ONLY!”  I have to assume the shipping picker either had no time to recognize that the label maker had to be taken from another shelf and put into the case, or couldn’t read English.

I gave up. Although they offered to ship it again, there was no guarantee that it wouldn’t show up empty again. They refunded the money. Sometimes, you have to know when you’re beaten.

Good customer service helps, but so does getting the order right.

Categories: #Photography, Customer Service, Humor, online shopping, Shopping

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30 replies

  1. Wow! That’s a great story. I’m surprised you got two empty boxes. Clearly someone is not managing a department very well.


  2. My son orders through Amazon. Fortunately, he’s had great luck with it, and they are exceptionally good to deal with. It’s their bread and butter, they better be!


  3. I’m glad to hear they are reachable,but disheartened that the problem didn’t get solved.


  4. Well .. even WordPress can be bad. I sent a question TWICE asking how to enlarge my image area/space without changing my theme. No answer so far. I appear to have lots of room to do that, but I’m not Tech enough to chance it without good advice.


    • I don’t think they know, actually. I’ve ALWAYS had to change themes if I wanted to change space. These are designed by template designers and they do what they do. But if you pick another one that looks very similar in terms of where the parts of the format are located, it will usually work very easily. I’ve never gotten an answer to any template-related question.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you for that. That might be the only way to go.


        • if you pick a template that has all the same things in similar places, your old template pieces will slide right into the new own pretty much seamlessly. That’s how I can change templates so quickly. I look for one with a right-hand navigation panel, a wide space for photographs, and a simple header. I don’t like those sliding headers. They use too much space and they malfunction too often. Just look at your old template as a block with different functions. Pick something similar, but with more space. If that doesnt’t work, try a different one. You can test drive them before picking, too.


  5. Free storage boxes, courtesy of Amazon. Is that a bright side to this? I didn’t think so…..


  6. I wish I’d read this before I had to get in touch with Amazon to tell them that my five year old nephew would really rather have the glow-in-the-dark slime I ordered for him than a pink phone cover. Especially as he doesn’t have a phone. But to be fair, when I did eventually manage to contact them, they dispatched slime. Glad your son could get the label-maker elsewhere; two empty boxes is definitely one too many.


  7. Our problem is to find where to call. Amazon does not exist in Switzerland so we have to call Germany. However when you find the right contact you get good service and they replace stuff immediately if still under guarantee, even empty boxes? 🙂


  8. Had that problem with a shipment from Walmart come to find out the item number was wrong. Data entry problem that messed with everybody.


    • This stuff happens. But when it happens twice, you figure there’s some kind of shipment issue and Owen said he could get the same thing somewhere else, so he did. Generally, they are surprisingly good at getting me the right stuff, but they make mistakes. What’s nice is that they work hard at taking care of stuff. That’s rare these days.

      Liked by 1 person

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