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View Full Version : How would you handle this Amazon.com situation?


Asimovian
11-11-2010, 12:21 PM
I am a member of Amazon Prime. What this means is that I pay an annual membership of $70, and in exchange for that, I get "free" (meaning at no extra cost beyond the membership fee) two-day shipping on anything I order from Amazon.

Last Sunday, I ordered a DVD collection from Amazon with the two-day shipping option. This meant that the order shipped out via USPS on Monday, November 1st. By all accounts, this meant that my order was scheduled to arrive on November 3rd, a Wednesday. But Wednesday came and went, with no package. So did Thursday. Amazon's website had no update about the location of the package, and the USPS website had no record of the tracking number provided by Amazon. At which point, I sent an email to Amazon's customer service wanting to know what was up. I got back a response saying that late arrivals can happen, and that I should wait a couple of additional days.

I was annoyed, but I waited. I'd really been looking forward to watching my DVDs over the weekend, but they didn't show up on Friday, either. Or on Monday, November 8th. At which point, I contacted Amazon a second time, telling them they needed to resolve this. So they agreed to overnight via UPS a second DVD set to me, scheduled to arrive on November 9th.

I was bothered by two things, though. First of all, they offered no compensation to make up for the lack of a timely shipment. And second, their email offered me the "opportunity" to pay for both sets of DVDs if the second one showed up and I didn't feel like sending it back, which I found to be kind of insulting.

Comically, on November 9th, my *original* order showed up. The item that was overnighted and actually scheduled to show up on the 9th didn't arrive until the 10th. So now, I have two identical DVD sets, both of which arrived late, and apparently, an obligation to return one of them. And I'm feeling a bit morally conflicted. My points:

Technically, I paid for two-day shipping ("technically" because the cost is covered by my Amazon Prime membership). I did not received two-day shipping. I got nine-day shipping. It seems like there should be some attempt at compensation for that, but none has been offered.

On top of not getting any compensation, I now have to face the inconvenience of returning a package to them or face a potential second charge. So even though none of this was my fault, I'm actually having to do *more* work.

So, what would you do if you were in my shoes? Use your own criteria, of course, but here are a couple of things that may be pertinent:

The DVD set(s) cost $35
I have no use for a second set of these DVDs, other than that it might make a good Christmas gift for someone I know.
This is the first time I think I have ever had any kind of problem with Amazon in the long history I have ordering from them.

Your thoughts?

bucketybuck
11-11-2010, 12:26 PM
1) Return the DVDs to Amazon/Gift the DVDs to someone

2) Move on with scheduled life

Wile E
11-11-2010, 12:33 PM
You pay a premium to get merchandise quickly, you did not receive your merchandise quickly. They should at least pay the return fee to ship the items back.

lindsaybluth
11-11-2010, 12:49 PM
I'm not 100% sure Asimovian, but I'm 99% sure that the terms of agreement don't guarantee you 2 day shipping absolutely all the time. The SO has Prime, as it's free for college students who sign up.

That said, I have to say that while it may have pissed you off, the only thing they should do (and if they didn't offer, you must ask) is to pay for the return shipping on the 2nd set. Also, I'm sure 2 day shipping won't be in effect when Christmas rolls around - UPS hires tons of seasonal workers but you gotta expect delays. I wouldn't purchase any gifts later than December 16th, to be honest.

This is Amazon fer chrissakes - it's the best retailer I've ever dealt with in my life. And, from the sounds of your post, it's the best retailer you've ever dealt with in your whole life as well. Why poison the well?

AuntiePam
11-11-2010, 01:05 PM
Contact Amazon and tell them you're returning one of the sets. They should send you a return label, with preprinted postage. Stick that on the box and drop it at a UPS pickup place, or call UPS and they'll pick it up.

I'm a Prime member too, and often don't get the stuff for several days, but more often than not, it arrives on time. It's still a heck of a good value.

Notchimine
11-11-2010, 01:40 PM
You pay a premium to get merchandise quickly, you did not receive your merchandise quickly. They should at least pay the return fee to ship the items back.

I assumed free return shipping was a given. I would change my vote if I thought they wanted the return fee to be paid by the buyer.

Asimovian
11-11-2010, 02:04 PM
There's no charge for the return. I just printed my return labels from the website. I'm just going to send it back. I may or may not send a note to them about the situation.

Oakminster
11-11-2010, 02:09 PM
Think I probably would have just refused delivery on the second set, if circumstances permitted. Obviously if the package was left at your door or a neighbor signed for it, that wouldn't work.

Otara
11-11-2010, 02:14 PM
It was probably USPS rather than Amazon anyhow.

Otara

OpalCat
11-11-2010, 02:17 PM
In my experience, Amazon customer service has always been excellent. In fact when I bought something once and it went on sale the week later, I emailed them saying I'd been waiting to be able to afford to buy that thing for ages (true) and was disappointed that it had gone on sale right after I bought it. They refunded me the difference in price! I'm glad you're sending the DVDs back. Amazon is generally a very good site to buy from.

Asimovian
11-11-2010, 02:17 PM
Think I probably would have just refused delivery on the second set, if circumstances permitted. Obviously if the package was left at your door or a neighbor signed for it, that wouldn't work.It wasn't an option, unfortunately. It was delivered to my work, and as I had other packages coming that day, I couldn't tell reception what to refuse (or even when, since the replacement package didn't show up when expected).

Driver8
11-11-2010, 02:20 PM
If there is no charge on the return I'd send them back. It sounds like Amazon handled this in an obnoxious way on every level, and it would be good business to offer some sort of compensation for the delay, given that you have paid for quick shipping.

Back when I was living in South Africa I ordered a large collection of items for about four people, including myself. It was a few days late so I sent them an email and got a much more friendly response: They immediately sent a second batch of items, which I didn't ask for. Of course we received both. I fully intended to ship one back but Amazon just said it wasn't worth it and I should keep both batches, which were distributed amongst the group.

TruCelt
11-11-2010, 02:26 PM
They have not delivered on the extra service you paid for. I think you should ask them to refund your memebrship fee.

Little Nemo
11-11-2010, 06:21 PM
I'd return the second package only if Amazon is paying for it. I wouldn't see any reason why I should have to pay for their mistake.

And I agree with TruCelt. Contact Amazon and tell them you paid for two-day service. If they're not going to provide that service, they should give you back your money.

Quimby
11-11-2010, 06:39 PM
If you had not come clean, they would have asked for it back. Last year I had ordered an Office season set that didn't arrive. After a few weeks passed beyond the scheduled delivery day, I complained and they sent a replacement. Then a few days later, the original arrived. As I debated what to do, within a day or two, I got an e-mail from them that essentially said I needed to return the replacement by a certain date or they would charge my card for the cost. As I recall they paid for the return cost. I sent it back and all was right with the world.

elfkin477
11-11-2010, 06:48 PM
Contact Amazon and tell them you're returning one of the sets. They should send you a return label, with preprinted postage. Stick that on the box and drop it at a UPS pickup place, or call UPS and they'll pick it up....and then they'll deduct $5 from the OP's refund, like they said they will for the item I'm returning after I never - not even an hour after placing the order, due to it being "readied" for shipping - was given the opportunity to cancel an order once I quickly realized it wasn't the right thing.

Ostrya
11-11-2010, 08:14 PM
It was good of you to return it Asimovian but I agree with TruCelt and Little Nemo you should be compensated for the speedy shipping which you did not get. After all, not only did you not get the expedited service but then were put through some extra hassle because of it.

fluiddruid
11-11-2010, 09:55 PM
I honestly don't find returning an Amazon shipment to be any kind of inconvenience. I mean, they pick them up. Print out label, stick it on a box, put it outside.

That said, it does suck about the shipping. However, if Amazon shipped it on time by the appropriate method, they don't really have any blame here. USPS can be wildly variable. Last I checked, if you read their website, the times listed for each shipping option are an 'average', not a promise, and can take considerably longer in some cases. I've been on the merchant end of this and there's not really anything they can do but offer service via a different carrier. Likewise, USPS tracking blows, too, but Amazon can't fix that either.

At best, I'd say contact Amazon and ask them for a free month extension to your Prime membership or something (I'd do this once the DVDs are received). Send back the DVDs.

Erdosain
11-12-2010, 09:42 AM
First of all, you have the USPS package, right? What's the date of the postmark? Was this even Amazon's fault to begin with? It could have been languishing in the USPS system for a week.

Secondly, just because you order something on Sunday doesn't always mean they'll have it ready to go on Monday. It says "Usually ships in 24 hours" not "guaranteed to ship in a couple hours after a weekend." Thirdly, Prime is not a guarantee of two-day delivery. Prime is a guarantee that when they send out your package, they'll send it two-day.

Seriously, the only thing Amazon did wrong as far as I can see is not to have sent the replacement DVDs sooner, when you called the first time. You were going to have to ship the extra one back regardless, so I don't know why they didn't be more proactive and send the replacement faster.

Pliny the younger
11-12-2010, 09:48 AM
I had a similar thing happen, contacted Amazon and they said keep both sets. So, I donated one to the donations shop which sells things to raise money for the hospice center locally. At least that way, I felt good about it.

Asimovian
11-12-2010, 09:51 AM
First of all, you have the USPS package, right? What's the date of the postmark? Was this even Amazon's fault to begin with? It could have been languishing in the USPS system for a week.It's not a normal postmark. It's an Amazon pre-printed label. "PRSRT STD U.S. Postage & Fees Paid Smartpost e-VS." I can scan it, if anyone's really that interested. I believe, in fact, that they did NOT ship the package via two-day. The package was sent from southern Nevada, and I'm in Los Angeles. My guess is that they are used to packages traveling a certain distance arriving within two days using a cheaper service than actual two-day delivery, so they save money, and most of the time, it probably works out for them.

Secondly, just because you order something on Sunday doesn't always mean they'll have it ready to go on Monday. It says "Usually ships in 24 hours" not "guaranteed to ship in a couple hours after a weekend."I've been using Amazon for over a decade, and I understand that. I received the email from Amazon Monday afternoon letting me know that my package had shipped.

Thirdly, Prime is not a guarantee of two-day delivery. Prime is a guarantee that when they send out your package, they'll send it two-day.I didn't know that until an earlier post in the thread, but as far as I can tell, that didn't actually happen in this case.

control-z
11-12-2010, 10:32 AM
That's always how it works with late/missing packages. You won't get the first until a replacement is sent.

Prime has been more or less of a guarantee of 2-day (or even 1 day) delivery so far, I'd definitely complain to Amazon about it. I think their mistake was using USPS. UPS almost always does a great job for me. USPS only about 90% of the time. FedEx is usually ok but the drivers always seem to leave packages in dumb places. YMMV. I just wish I could specify, "Prime, UPS only, thank you."

Amazon should pay to ship the one of the sets back. Just go to your order history and you should be able to print a shipping label to ship it back at their expense. If not contact their customer service.

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