TOO MUCH CUSTOMER SERVICE – MARILYN ARMSTRONG

Today is Saturday. The package Amazon said they delivered yesterday was not delivered and it wasn’t delivered today, either. I’m sure it went somewhere, but not here. Not a small package, this was a kind of tent for use as a place to store garden equipment. Lawnmowers. Hoses. Snowblowers. Shovels. Spades, hoes, clippers. The usual stuff.

The old shed

Our current shed is going to collapse and buying one like it is a lot more money now than this one was when we bought it maybe 18 years ago. Not sure, but it wasn’t long after we moved here, so maybe closer to 20. Finally, Owen settled on this tent which has a stainless steel structure and a heavy, waterproof covering.

We ordered it from Amazon and yesterday, we got a notice that it was delivered. Considering this is a 12X12 shed and costs more than $400, it was unlikely we missed it. This would be a very large package. So, since they’d already charged Owen for it, we wanted the shed or the money, but I wasn’t fooling around with whichever manager was in charge of big lost packages. And before you think I’m being funny, I’m not. They have a separate department for big packages.

Finally, long, long hold time later (I’m going to write lyrics for their “hold music” so I can sing along) and having heard how important our business is to them, I got one woman who said it was too expensive so it had to go to a supervisor. I got a supervisor, but he said this had to go the the “heavy object delivery supervisor.”

The music came back. I really need to consider writing lyrics.

It has been a full week of spending every afternoon on the phone with Amazon’s customer service. They have decided they can’t deliver to us unless the item is very small. I don’t mind most things showing up when they show up. I can wait a week or two for the bag of yeast or a rolling pin. But two weeks into a wait without so much as notification of when it might arrive? Or even seeing that the order has been processed? How about an email updating me … or alternatively saying you are unable to deliver it?

The thing is, we’ve been waiting for two weeks for them to process an order for a 3 cubic foot freezer which I finally canceled yesterday. They finally delivered the dehumidifier — without casters. We couldn’t get the castors without sending back the whole dehumidifier but offered us $5 to replace the casters.

Five whole dollars? After it got up to 20 following a loud discussion, I started to get pissed off. I went from online complaining to downright irritable. If they aren’t going to deliver something, they need to at least tell us and not just leave the order hanging in ether-land. And this order which they said was delivered, was even worse. As far as they are concerned, it’s delivered. Never mind that we didn’t actually GET the package.

I think I sort of blew up and said “Money or product, but you can’t have it both ways.”

“But the driver said it was delivered,” he said.

“I’m sure it WAS delivered, but not here.”

He refunded the money and said this was actually a large enough order that whoever kept it and didn’t order it — and it had to be one of our neighbors — is going to get sued because it’s a federal crime. I replied: “Go right ahead and nail the bastards.”

I feel like I have a new job. It’s holding while waiting for another person to explain how I should just wait and surely the package would show up. I definitely resented the whole concept, especially since we’d already paid and if I didn’t strongly urge them to deal with it today, we’d surely be waiting another month and then they’d tell us it was too late to solve the problem.

We found someone else to sell us a freezer and even deliver it by the end of the month. Woo-hoo! For now, unless there’s nowhere else to get it, I’m a bit “off” of Amazon. I understand that they are swamped, but if they can’t handle the business, at least say so.



Categories: Customer Service, Home repair or upgrade, House and home, Marilyn Armstrong, quarantine, Shopping

Tags: , , , , ,

34 replies

  1. I feel your pain…I am currently dealing with two such non-deliverable orders with amazon right now! They say – can’t find address and I don’t understand how that is possible since the last time i checked, the building did not really move!

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  2. There was an enormous fire the other evening in Redlands. It turned out to be an Amazon distribution center, which was totally destroyed!. I can imagine all the people whose packages were in that center will have difficulty tracking their delayed shipments!

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    • At least they won’t be told it was delivered and then get charged for the undelivered package. Amazon is so overextended, they need to pull the reins in and recognize they really CAN’T service the whole world. They shouldn’t even try.

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  3. Those of us who live in out of the way rural areas have to rely so much on companies like Amazon. Since I have been here I’ve found that quite a few retailers won’t deliver to where I live or if they do they charge an arm and a leg. for it. Tasmania is already at a disadvantage through being an island, if you live off the beaten track it’s even worse.
    I buy things from Amazon sometimes, mostly small stuff but when lockdown started and the panic buying in supermarkets caused food shortages I ordered a monthly delivery of a 12kg bag of dry dog food for Cindy. It worked out fine but we don’t get any deliveries to our homes, everything goes to the local shop. It’s 5 minutes away but I still had to figure out how to get 12kg of dog food home without a car. It turned out the weight was not the problem, the large box they packed the bag in was as it didn’t fit in my shopping trolley. Luckily they let me unpack the parcel in the store and I was able to fit it in. The second time the lady at the shop offered to drop it to me at home afer closing time which was very kind. However, I’ve cancelled the order now as the supermarket has become more reliable and will deliver to my door. I don’t like to impose on people.
    Before Covid-19 we would have to sign to prove that a delivery had been received, that doesn’t happen now of course so if something goes astray like your tent there is no real way to know. I would like to think that in this neighbourhood if someone received a large box and knew it wasn’t theirs they would enquire around the neighbourhood but there are bad eggs in every community and you obviously have some.
    Amazon in Australia is still relatively small. It started out just selling kindle books but now has a range of other products. They are not the cheapest so I generally shop around before buying from them. I have mixed feelings about Amazon. I like the convenience but I’ve read that they are poor employers and that the people in their distribution centres are treated very badly so I sometimes feel that I should not patronise them at all.
    You do have appalling customer service from so many retailers in the USA. I don’t know how they get away with being so pathetic.

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    • I don’t know why they treat us so badly either. But they are losing customers. They’ve lost a lot of money just from US so I have to assume others are also saying “Okay, if Amazon can’t do it, I will have to find another way.” It would be easier if we could go out, but with all the demonstrations, there is very likely going to be a major upsurge of COVID. Since I want to live at least long enough to vote … well …

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Being in the freight business, I know exactly what is happening. I tried to discourage someone from using us to go to Warsaw with a 45-pound piece. We don’t actually fly there right now and rely on a truck from Frankfurt. Here’s what may happen. The piece will get to Frankfurt, let’s call it a distribution point, but the trucker will not move it as scheduled. He’s not going to run the truck all that way unless it is mostly full. So he waits for more freight. When will he get enough to make it worth his while? Same with local distribution. Truckers will not go into an area unless they have a number of deliveries.
    In the past truckers and airlines were willing to make runs that lost money, as long as it was not too often. Now they will not do it at all.

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    • I understand, but this would have fit in a standard UPS truck and in fact DID. They just delivered it to someone else. I hope they find out who got it and sue the pants off them. They have tracked down packages for us before and it was always one of the neighbors who just “forgot” to deliver them or at least call us so we could come and get them. Funny about that.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Success breeds ineptitude/laziness.

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  6. I’ve been with Amazon for a long time. In the past couple years Utah got its own distribution center (well I suppose that center serves the Western United States).. I’ve watched Amazon grow into the humongous conglomerate it is today, and watched the customer service go down the drain along with that growth. I realize that C-19 has put a strain on their organization, but obviously there were big flaws in the delivery scheme before C-19. During C-19 I’ve ordered a fairly wide variety of goods, because either one couldn’t find the goods in question in local stores OR because it wasn’t safe to go out and seek the goods one might want. At first I understood the massive delays in delivery, even for a tube of toothpaste (I didn’t order that, but the example is what’s important). Now? Amazon is all over the damned place. I ordered some food items and was told I’d wait a month for them to show up (they’re due next week. Let us hope), but later in the month (May) I ordered dog nail clippers and got them in two days. Maybe it’s what the item is that causes the mess, BUT (to me?) Amazon seems to have gotten lost in the bottom line and lost sight of what pays for that bottom line. Let’s hope they get back on track soon or they’ll lose a LOT of customers.

    I’m very sorry for your troubles. I realize that where you live it’s difficult to find items that you may need. Still. I’d take a lesson from this latest mess with two expensive items that have gotten ‘lost’. I’d NEVER use Amazon for such purchases and I’d report the seeming (to me) fraud to the Better Business Bureau in your area. Good for you and your patience in solving part of the frustration!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • If it’s bigger than a bread box, I’ll find somewhere else to buy it. They seem to have written off our part of the state. I’m sure someone knows why, but I don’t. To get to those other places, they have to pass right through here anyway! Their excuses about how they are sending “important” items first are nonsense. They send what they can easily pick off the shelf and the rest? Maybe never. And you are right. WE have an Amazon shop in the middle of Boston, so it’s not like they’ve lost us.

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  7. That is one of the problems with on line shopping. Customer service is abysmal.
    Leslie

    Liked by 1 person

    • They were good. I’ve been willing to put up with delays, but we are past that point. At the very least, they could tell us if they can’t find a truck to deliver here, although everyone ELSE can deliver here.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Just keep after them….

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      • I get your frustration–it’s the “we can’t tell you anything” part that sucks the most. I can be patient with things, and if it takes a few more days to show, I’m generally okay (especially for something like a weather predicament or whatever). But when they just up and cancel an order, or you call and they can’t find it, or “oh, it’s been delivered” (but not to you) and won’t do anything about it, that’s just stupid business practices.

        they could at least extend the courtesy to say “hello, there was a mixup at the warehouse with inventory and we’re out of that item at the moment. Would you like to keep this order and we’ll ship it out as soon as it comes in?” Not just “yeah, order cancelled.” without explanation. I’m sure inventory gets a bit screwed up when thousands of people are ordering things at the same time, so the numbers available are always changing.

        But sheesh–at least they could be honest about it and ask the customer what they’d prefer to do–wait or cancel. Or if it was delivered but not to the right address, figure out who delivered it and when (don’t they have tracking info?) and what needs to happen next.

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  8. I like it better when they take a picture of the purchase when it’s been delivered. A friend from a writing critique group received one of those, and the picture was taken on someone else’s porch:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • There was no picture and anyway, a 12X12 shed is not something we could easily miss. This was an expensive purchase and they will find out where it went and sue them. They deserve it. We frequently deliver misdelivered packages and mail to neighbors. They might consider doing the same. Keeping the stuff you didn’t buy is called theft.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Amazon do not even deliver to Switzerland, unless you download a book on your Kindle. We do not exist because we are not politically or economically in Europe. I even once ordered something and gave them the address of my friend in London where it was delivered. I was then making a visit to her, so could pick it up in England.

    Liked by 1 person

    • They have decided that central Massachusetts doesn’t exist. But they deliver (no problem) to both Boston (in the east) and Amherst in the west — and they have to pass us in the middle. I suppose we just aren’t big enough or important enough.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Someone out there actually has a chest freezer to sell? I’ve seen one (1) come through my store since all heck broke loose three months ago, and I would imagine there was a huge fight over it. When you said Amazon had the order in processing limbo, I assume it was because they can’t get ahold of one to sell either. Hopefully it doesn’t go to whoever is enjoying your tent…

    Liked by 1 person

    • We easily found one on another site — and it was a better brand AND less money. They seem to have run out of trucks. Anything bigger than a breadbox requires a special department. Sheesh. They’ve delivered all kinds of heavy stuff here, including air conditioners. I suspect they have overextended themselves and are now trying to dig out. But they seem to have forgotten customer service in the process.

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      • wow–I got two rain barrels from wayfair delivered yesterday (big ‘ol boxes, at least 4 feet tall each) and they were in the back of the small FedEx truck, no problem. Amazon used to annoy me because half the drivers would go through my yard when I parked my car in front to exit the other side of the circular driveway. Sheesh–they couldn’t just back up and go back out to the road like everyone else?

        I’d love for one of them to try that again after a hard rain and get stuck–would suck to clean up, but taking pictures of that to send to complaints and waiting for them to get a tow truck to get them out again would be sweet. Maybe they’d think twice about ever doing it again. I stopped ordering from them because i was tired of my grass getting torn up. Figured out it was them when one zipped through my yard to drop something off (were gone by the time I got to the door) but when I quit ordering Amazon, the tire tracks through the grass stopped too.

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        • They have ALWAYS had delivery issues, but now their customer service issues are mounting as they can’t seem to figure out how to send a package that weighs more than a pound or two. FedEx are the BIGGEST culprits in tossing packages into snowdrifts and the dog’s yard so they can chew it up before we can even figure out under which drift it is lying.

          There are things we just can’t get locally. WE don’t have a lot of shopping areas and the couple of malls we have sell clothing. Lots of the same stuff. Even getting some basic ethnic things — like matzoh meal — is impossible. I wind up ordering for lack of any other option. But I’m very pissed off with Amazon and we’ll have to work things out in other ways.

          When I’m paying THEM, I really shouldn’t have to take this guff. I swear they thought I should canvas the neighborhood to find the missing package. I pointed out that I was the customer and it was their job to deliver what I paid for. Shocking concept!

          Liked by 1 person

          • yeah, you’d think their billions would indicate that they grasped the basic concepts of how the service industry works: you give your money, they give you the product. I think we all learned that when we were four or five and handed mom’s money to the cashier for a candy bar at the corner store.

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  11. What a bummer. And it’s not just the pain to trying to figure out where the package was but also how to actually get the thing you ordered in the first place from somewhere else.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Especially because we live in an under-served shopping area. If you can’t get it at Walmart or Home Depot — places we normally avoid and are definitely avoiding now — you can’t get it at all.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I hope you get your refund. Amazon is good regarding the refunds.

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        • Yes, Owen got his money today, which was a surprise because it usually takes a couple of days, so he ordered the shed from the manufacturer who is just over the border in Connecticut. He paid a bit more for it, but at least he’ll wind up with a shed. Or so we fondly believe.

          Liked by 1 person

          • I hope so. Yes, Amazon are good with gibbing your money back.

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            • Right now, that seems to be the ONLY thing they are good at.

              Liked by 1 person

              • They are delivering stuff that they can. Aside from our weekly/ fortnightly grocery deliveries, they are out main supplies. And usually they live up to their word.

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                • They try. But they seem to think this part of the state doesn’t exist. They deliver to Boston and the western part of the state. We are in the middle and they actually have to pass us to move their trucks around, but they don’t bother to stop here. I think they don’t realize we are here at all. It’s the problem with living rural. This time, it was different. They delivered a very expensive package to someone else.

                  They are over-extended. They need to admit it or fix it. They can’t promise and not produce. Like most businesses, they can’t have it both ways. They wanted us to WAIT another few days to see if our supposedly delivered $400 package “might show up.” I said, “No, you deliver it or you return the money. It’s not our job to hunt down a missing package.”

                  They kind of had to agree with that. I know the driver delivered it and probably to one of our neighbors who thought “Ooh, nice, free stuff!” Unfortunately, that’s called “Theft” and even Amazon does not like having to return that much money because a neighbor thought an error was the same as a gift. There are laws about this stuff.

                  Liked by 1 person

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