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21 November 2006 @ 11:55 am
Good customer service: Amazon  
I do much of my shopping online these days, unless I'm buying something I really need to check out physically first. I worry sometimes about "the Wal-mart effect", but I can usually come up with complicated enviro-economic models that support this choice. It does mean more shipping containers, though -- I once read that the cardboard industry has skyrocketed in the past decade with the rise of online sales -- so I try to batch my purchases when I can.

I recently placed a large order with Amazon, with one pre-order item included. I didn't mind waiting two weeks for the order to ship. I therefore (as usual) selected to batch the shipping, and I selected the slowest (but free!) shipping option.

The order should have shipped near November 14, the release date of the one item, but whenever I checked, the order wasn't even being prepped. The estimated delivery window was from November 22 to the end of December, which is unusually wide. Then, when I checked on Monday, the order was marked to warn me that it wouldn't arrive until after December 25.

I don't need it "for Christmas", of course, but the severe delay startled me. I couldn't find any way to tell what was holding the order up, though. So I e-mailed their customer service to ask how to find the delayed item, so that I could cancel and reorder that one item to allow the rest of the order to ship.

Within about twelve hours, a representative sent me a very long answer. She (?) provided a lot of information I already knew about my shipping choices and their typical meanings, including how to have orders shipped as they become available for a potential extra charge. She also indicated the delayed item ... and switched the order to "ship as available" for no extra charge, so that I didn't have to deal with cancelling and reordering the item myself.

It's small, and the size of the order probably had a lot to do with it, but it was still a nice gesture, so I wanted to reward them by sharing my pleasure.
Current Mood: pleasedpleased
Andrew Greene530nm330hz on November 21st, 2006 05:20 pm (UTC)
I had a similar experience with them about a year ago. Amazon has always, in my experience, done The Right Thing when faced with a customer bothered enough to ask customer service a question.
michelel72michelel72 on November 21st, 2006 10:57 pm (UTC)
I'm even more pleased to hear that this may be standard for them. Excellent. Thanks!