Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Ok, @Amazon, I give up

So a few weeks ago I needed a special part for my faucet.  These parts are guaranteed for life as long as you are the original owner and they came with the house, so I wasn't.  They're also rather inexpensive.  As such, they're hard to come by.  Home Depot and Lowes don't carry in the local stores and there's very few places online that sell them.  We're also Amazon Prime subscribers, so I'm not in the habit of paying shipping and handling.

I finally caved and bought the part from a third-party through Amazon for $5.95 and accepted the shipping ($5.25) because I needed the part.  The faucet was dripping hot water and would continue to do so until I got the new part. Not only was there an expensive shipping charge, but it was going to take a week or more to get here from California.

I kept watching the order and finally the day before Amazon said it would arrive, it had a tracking number, but no additional information.  I waited until Amazon said I absolutely should have the package in hand and contacted the seller.  They took about a day to respond and said that it must have been lost in shipping and that they'd reship it.  So I confirmed - "had they actually shipped it?" and they were evasive.  It took another day or two but finally the tracking number lit up with actual movement and then the product arrived rather quickly.

I reviewed the order and gave them 2 out of 5 stars because I did not believe they were honest with me and that they blamed the post office when it was their own issue.  Things happen, I get that.  But be honest with me.  Better yet, be proactive.  It's not difficult and I will understand if you're forthcoming.  They weren't.

Worse yet, after my 2-star review, they contacted me directly outside of the Amazon system to offer to refund my shipping in exchange for a 5-star review.

I found that to be pretty offensive.  Not only now were they blaming someone else for their error, they were trying to buy me off.

I went back on to Amazon and tried to update my review and instead deleted it.   I tried to fix that and instead ended up asking for a refund, which was immediately granted.   I tried several ways over the next few days to reverse that.  But the automated emails from Amazon that provided the instructions didn't work -- they said to reply, put an X between the braces [  ] and then add any notes.  Every time I tried, Amazon's servers refused to accept my email or said the email address I was replying to didn't exist.   Finally, I did an online chat with someone and explained the whole situation and they assured me they'd look into it and that I might not hear a resolution.

So now I have a credit on my credit card with Amazon and no clue whether they're going to reverse the reverse and change me for the product (I did receive it and the post office did receive their fee for shipping it) or if this company is just going to get stiffed.  

That was never my intent.  I wanted them to get better at selling online, not give me free stuff.

I had toyed with the idea of mailing them a check directly but that just seems too weird.  I guess I'll wait awhile and if Amazon doesn't charge me, I'll donate $15 for charity and not claim it on my taxes or something.

I'm not mentioning that company's name because they've gotten enough grief from me.  I never intended to rip them off, I just wanted a real picture of events to be shown to future potential customers.



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