Amazon Apologizes For Not Being Able To Ship A Hard Drive Properly

Dear Editors,

I wrote in earlier about my issues with shipping hard-drives without any packaging.

Thanks to you posting my story, both I and my friend received calls from the Executive Customer Relations department at Amazon. The person I spoke with apologized profusely and assured me they are looking into the problem; it appears that one of their shipping facilities was the cause of the problem.

I would have been nice if they offered a free drive, or something to make up for the troubles we had, but I’m still pleased to see that retailers take Consumerist seriously!


Us? Taken seriously?

Good to know that someone out there is listening to us opine on the proper ratio of packing materials to product. This is why we do the job, folks. You may say to us: “Slow News Day.” To you we respond, “Not according to the folks at Amazon’s Executive Relations Department.”

(Photo:funny strange or funny ha ha)

PREVOUSLY: Amazon Is Unable To Ship A Hard Drive In Proper Packaging


Edit Your Comment

  1. just_paranoid says:

    so did they get the hd? i’m confused.

  2. Skiffer says:

    The ‘slow news day’ crowd always ticks me off…

    I prefer to think of it as “No issue is too small for The Consumerist!!!”

  3. Dead Wrestlers Society says:

    Go Team Consumerist! Up Up and Away!

  4. Cad06 says:

    @ Consumerist

    >Us? Taken seriously?

    It had to happen eventually.

  5. Skiffer says:


    So is Amazon using cats as packing materials now?!?

  6. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    So now instead of a HDD they sent him a cat? Ugh, amazon needs to get their act together.

  7. mantari says:

    Shipping Cat has shipped!

  8. UpsetPanda says:

    I’d say funny adorable, but that cat looks very disapproving.

    @just_paranoid: I think the OP reported the HD as broken and Amazon sent him a replacement…

  9. Cats make excellent packing material because they neither exist or don’t exist as long as the box is sealed. Or something like that.

  10. @Chris Walters: edit: change “or” to “nor” according to Strunk & White. sry

  11. SpdRacer says:

    @CaffeinatedSquint: They did send him a replacement, but it was also packaged improperly and was damaged as well.

  12. DrGirlfriend says:

    I’m in ur Amazon box….braking ur hard drive.

  13. Skiffer says:

    @Chris Walters: I think that typical Heisenberg explanation uses gloves…or hats…or maybe cats in hats…wearing gloves?

    It’s a slow comments day…

  14. Bos'un's Mate says:

    @Skiffer: No, just the poop.

  15. Bladefist says:

    hmm. I said ‘slow news day’ yesterday in a comment. consumerist im sorry! plz forgive me. I love thee.

  16. Chairman-Meow says:

    Shipping cat disapproves your shipping techniques.

  17. Bladefist says:

    @just_paranoid: from the picture its obvious they sent him a cat. jeez pay attention.

  18. tinyrobot says:

    Amazon continues to amaze me with how generally un-evil they are despite how huge they’ve become. I ordered a replacement coffee maker (I NEED my go juice in the morning) with 2 day shipping, which ended up getting delivered in 4 days due to one error on their part, and an additional error by UPS. Not only were they extremely apologetic, but they issued me a modest gift certificate to apologize.

    Every time I set foot in a big box retail store and see the lack of honest employee help, rampant out-of-stock item, and inflated prices, I feel a warm glow coming from my Amazon Visa in my wallet and get the hell outta there. My father and law spent an hour in a Circuit City trying DESPERATELY to give them money for a DVD player, but no one would help us buy one. I can’t help but grin when I saw the notice of their posted losses earlier :)

  19. noquarter says:

    Maybe next they can apologize for delaying until February the shipment of the item that I ordered in October – and which was alleged to be in stock when I ordered it.

    Amazon sucks.

  20. ancientsociety says:

    The question is:

    Did they include the Geiger counter, plutonium, and hydracyanic acid?

  21. catcherintheeye says:

    @Front_Towards_Enemy: You definitely made me laugh at loud at that one, congratulations.

  22. Munsoned says:

    A quick perusal of my Amazon profile show’s I’ve probably purchased over 150 items from them over a 7 year period. I’ve probably only used overnight delivery once or twice–I usually use standard ground. On average, I’ve probably received 50% of my packages before the estimated arrival date, 45% within the estimated arrival date, and maybe 5% after the estimated arrival date (but never more than a day or two). I’ve never had an item DOA. I’ve had one item (computer memory) stolen at my front door where UPS left the box. I called Amazon and they re-shipped a replacement no questions asked (they did not send me to deal with UPS as they could have). Yes, I’m an Amazon fanboy.

  23. Critcol says:

    Schrödinger’s Cat is alive!
    Schrödinger’s Cat is dead!

  24. Munsoned says:

    Wow, the first item I ever bought from Amazon was a DVD of Braveheart for $21. How crazy is that?

  25. eddieisannoying says:

    They should at least poke holes in the box when cat shipping

  26. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    What’s crazy is someone actually using the internet to buy a movie!

  27. Munsoned says:

    @AlteredBeast: Unfortunately, the bar association does not look kindly upon lawyers who get sued by the RIAA for copyright infringement. Something about moral fitness determinations… (as if that’s not an oxymoron).

    Alas, I am the last person on earth that still actually pays for EVERY movie/song/book/etc.

  28. easy2panic says:

    This has to be the funniest post I’ve read in the Consumerist. Thank you for all of your comments!

  29. easy2panic says:

    @ErnieMcCracken: Wait… you are a lawyer? Besides the fact that I am crying now, surely you could use your skills to dismiss their lawsuit.

  30. m4ximusprim3 says:

    No, no, the cat IS the packing material. You just have to open it up and… Crap! This one’s broken too!

  31. squidbrain says:

    I have generally had great experiences with Amazon. Once I ordered Photoshop ($600+) and didn’t receive it due to a UPS error. They put me through to a supervisor who was willing to reshipped the product!

  32. Chongo says:

    What is with these companies following up with decent customer service these days… Someone should start a blog or something

  33. Buran says:

    @squidbrain: I had them lose a package this week (first time they’ve ever lost something) and after sitting on my email overnight (which is unusual for them) they shipped out a new box at no charge, one-day shipping even though I had used super saver shipping, and I’m not going to be charged for it. They’re good about replacing lost items.

  34. KJones says:

    The only “slow news day” for consumers and advocates is days that stores are closed, ie. christmush, 9/11, et al.

  35. ibanix says:

    Just for the record, I was the OP on this issue.

    My friend elected to take the store credit and get the new drive (or something else, whatever, it was his Xmas present) once they get the shipping issue fixed.


  36. fencepost says:

    I was very impressed to receive the following recently:

    “We’re contacting you about your recent order for an item that appeared in your Gold Box, [item redacted.] In reviewing the item details for this book, we realized that Super Saver Shipping was not available for this item when your order was submitted. We did intend for this shipping method to be available, and we’re very sorry if this error caused any inconvenience.

    Though you selected Standard Shipping for your order, we realize you may have selected Super Saver Shipping when the order was placed had that option been available. Therefore, we have issued a refund for the
    shipping costs you were charged for this title. […]”

  37. at least the box will always land “this side up”.

  38. RvLeshrac says:

    I didn’t catch the original story for some reason… ANYway…

    Unless the drive has been refurbished (and even then…), it should not arrive DOA unless it has been allowed to rattle around – as was the case here.

    I saw a few comments in the OP about how packing peanuts would allow the drive to ‘sink’ to the bottom, or expose the drive directly to shocks – this is true, but the heads are *parked* quite solidly on a properly working, properly prepped HDD.

    They can withstand quite a bit of abuse. ‘OEM’ (bare) drives are actually shipped from the manufacturer with very, very little padding. They are frequently packed against the edge of the box, with packing material only in-between the individual drives.

  39. RvLeshrac says:


    The ‘problem’ is that people are buying more and more from online retailers, even when the online retailers cost the same or slightly more (after shipping).

    The less people buy in the stores, the less people the stores can afford to hire. This, of course, drives people away from the stores, but there’s really no way to help it, other than to risk taking massive losses on wages.

  40. jeblis says:

    Maybe they should talk to Crate&Barrel

  41. nursetim says:

    Kind of like in Empire Strikes Back, when Han put Luke inside the Tonton.
    “I thought they smelled bad, on the outside”

  42. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    >>Us? Taken seriously?

    Yeah, well, don’t let it go to your head(s)!

    That’s a novel approach to shipping a hard drive…wrap a cat around it to avoid the shock of shipping. I wonder if that’ll catch on?