Saturday, February 28, 2015

If you know us...

If you know us ... then you know that Debbie and I are basically Amazon groupies.  We've been Amazon Prime members since (literally) the first day it was offered, and a significant percentage of our total purchases are made from Amazon.  While it started with just books, Amazon now dominates many kinds of our purchases – only a few categories do we buy mostly elsewhere (food, cars, furniture, and art, mainly).

Why are we such Amazon devotees?  Broad selection, the buyer reviews, good prices, an overall convenient and pleasant experience, and great customer service are the main reasons.

This morning I had another example of Amazon's great customer service.  About a week ago, I ordered a 4 pack of vacuum cleaner backs for our monster “shop” vacuum.  A couple days later the box showed up – but only had a 2 pack inside.  So I returned the box and asked for a replacement – a very simple process, because the UPS man picked up the return.  A couple days later, the replacement showed up – and it was another 2 pack!  As I'd paid for 4, I wasn't terribly pleased about this.  So I went online and started a chat session with a customer service representative.  This took just a couple minutes.  Here's a transcript of our chat:
Amazon: Good Morning, I am Chris.  How may I help you today?

me: I ordered this item, received the wrong one, returned it, got the replacement, and it was the wrong one AGAIN.  I'm wondering how I can get the right one :)

Amazon: I'm sorry to hear you have received the same wrong item twice but I'll be glad to help you on this.  Tom to be honest, if you are telling me that the replacement is wrong again, that means that our whole inventory probably is wrong. I will file a ticket, the item will be removed from the webpage until this is fixed.  So I can offer you a full refund of the original order.

me: What I ordered was a 4 pack (2 packs of 2).  What I got was 1 pack of 2.  Could you send me the second pack of 2?  I'd rather have the bags than the refund :)

Amazon: Sure Tom I understand that, and I want to help you. :) but if I create a replacement I am afraid you will get the same problem again.  So it does not make any sense.

me: Ok, then I guess the return/refund is the only way to go.  Dang.  I can do that from the web site directly.

Amazon: Well, lets do this Tom. Keep that replacement, I will create a returnless refund as an exception for this inconvenience. And then when the item is corrected and available back in the web page, you can order them with the refund money.

me: Well, that's very nice of you - thanks!

Amazon: Not a problem at all. I mean this is completely our fault, so I want to at least compensate you, you already had to go through the hassle of returning the original order. So, no worries, this time feel free to keep them. An email confirmation of the returnless refund will be sent.

me: Thanks, Chris!
Now a couple of free vacuum cleaner bags isn't exactly a big thing – but the attitude and pleasant handling of the issue sure is.  There are a lot of companies that really ought to study what Amazon does, and apply some of what they observe to their own business.

Meanwhile, we'll continue our happy shopping experiences at Amazon!

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