Consumers Speak: “Going a little easy on Amazon, aren’t you?”

Reader Ray R. writes:

The company’s infamous “customer relations” policy must be among the worst going. My christmas orders for nephew and niece went completely astray and I wasn’t informed at all. When I phone head office in Seattle on Jan. 3 I get put through to Kham in India. She was polite enough, but the best she was going to offer was a $15 voucher, even though the $24 recharchable battery, the only part of the order being filled, was going to be delivered anyway, even though it was useless without the toy boat it was supposed to run, which was not being delivered. So, they’re refunding me about $100 for two presents not delivered and giving me a $15 voucher, but not refunding the useless battery — not to mention the cost of the phone call, the hassle of tracking them down, the fact that I look like a deadbeat uncle for not delivering presents thanks to Amazon.

Jeff Wilke is the low-profile Amazon svp whose policy it is to screw customers in this way. Presumably — and you can imagine the meeting — the calculation is that it would cost the company more to address these problems than to ignore them. Can’t you get something going to make life hard for Jeffy, who surely is more interested in checking his stock options than worrying about customer satisfaction.

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  1. tomdobb says:

    I was pretty pleased with the way Amazon handled a problem I had with my order. Amazon notified USPS that the order was ready for shipping, but by the estimated delivery date it had not arrived. I e-mailed Amazon that day to complain, the next day I received a reply and they sent out a free replacement next day air via UPS that arrived on time for Christmas.

    I don’t know if Amazon or USPS screwed up the original order shipment, but that ended up arriving anyway, 2 or 3 days after Christmas.

    If I had one issue with Amazon it would be that when using free shipping, items that “usually ship in 24 hours” somehow end up taking a week to ship. Makes you wonder if Amazon is employing some Netflix-style throttling.

  2. Rick says:

    Just like almost any company’s customer service you call, getting a resolution is very rarely about the company’s policy and more about the person that picks up the phone. I’ve had amazing experiences with company’s that are well known for sucking in the customer service area (Buy.com, Sprint) and crappy ones with companys that are known for kicking ass (Nordstrom’s, Infiniti).

    Unfortunately, no amount of policy can define a person’s attitude towards their job and if they decide they want to help you or not.