Oh Amazon, you are such a big dumb dog

Ugh… doesn’t really capture my thoughts on Amazon lately, but there aren’t any sounds of exasperation that are better suited.

This situation is very simple. My wife and I were getting supplies ready for camping, so we placed an order from Amazon:

1 tent
1 power inverter
1 set rechargeable AA batteries
1 memory card

Amazon sent it out Prime for delivery on Thursday. It went in two shipments– one was the tent, the other was the rest of the stuff. All was good.

Thursday came, and I got an email from Amazon: Your item was returned. The tent never made it out of Pennsylvania (I am in Georgia), so it was obviously damaged in shipment and returned. The other stuff, however, was out for delivery. It was, in fact, delivered on Thursday– on time.

I contacted Amazon to have a different tent sent overnight. I first chatted with Suriyaprakash M. Suriyaprakash apparently didn’t understand what I was telling him (her?), even though I was extremely clear. Suriyaprakash put in a replacement order for everything, even though I was extremely clear that it was only the tent that should be reshipped. Ultimately, Suriyaprakash was unable to understand the situation, so I ended the chat.

I immediately contacted Amazon by phone, and spoke with Jake P. Jake indicated that he fully understood the situation– tent damaged in shipment and returned to Amazon, other items out for delivery, Suriyaprakash screwed up and resent the whole order overnight. He confirmed that only the tent should be reshipped, and not the other stuff. He assured me that he would cancel the replacement order for the other stuff, and I would receive the tent (and only the tent) the next day.

All is good, right? Of course not. On Friday, I received a tent, another pack of batteries, another memory card, and another power inverter. UGH!

We went on our trip, and it was great. I just checked my Amazon account. Sure enough, they are expecting me to return a tent that I never received, and the other stuff that I was assured– after having spent over a half hour of my valuable time– would not be shipped to me. UGH!

I just contacted them via chat, and they wanted me to send the stuff back, taking more time and effort on my part. They, a company with $74,4500,000,000 in revenue in 2013, want me to spend even more of my valuable time to print a label, tape a box, and meet a UPS guy. This is all so they can get the $50 worth of items that I was guaranteed would not be shipped to me.

I declined to ship the items back, and insisted they just credit the order. I tried to do the right thing. Actually, I did the right thing. I notified them of their error via chat at the moment they committed the error. When it was clear that their low-dollar foreign customer service agent did not understand the situation, I went above and beyond to allow them to correct their error by immediately contacted them on the phone. I was assured that they would not send the items. They sent the items. If they want them back, they can come get them. I am unwilling to put even a minute’s worth of effort or a penny’s worth of supplies into helping them fix the problem they created. If they want their stuff back, I’ll set the opened box on my porch. They can send someone to tape up the box, put on a label, and take it with them. I have spent more of my time on this than what the order is worth.

They agreed to just write off the order they shouldn’t have shipped– a smart move considering I spend well into the $X,XXX range with them every year. In fact, I noticed they expected their stuff back today, after I placed a $200+ order. I’m a good customer.

Of course, they tried to give me a refund, even though I was only charged once. I tried to explain that all they had to do was cancel the expected returns. Maybe they understood, maybe they didn’t. Either way, I have a chat transcript that shows that I declined a refund, and that they are no longer expecting their extra shipment back.

It seems settled to me, but maybe someone from Amazon will see this and want to double-check that everything is settled on their end. I’m the only one with an Amazon account from my domain, so I’m easy for them to find and contact. Maybe they’ll even want to send it up the chain so employees can be better trained on how to fix a simple situation such as this without costing their company a bunch of money. $74.5B ain’t what it used to be.

That is all.