Hooray for Amazon

In some ways I hate Amazon but they have been life savers during the pandemic.

My wife ordered some books (dead tree variety). Last Tuesday at 6:30 PM, she got an email from–Let’s call it “Fly by night delivery service”–to say that her package had been delivered in person at 6:40 PM. Some time around 7 I went down to our lobby to see if there was any package for us there. There wasn’t. The next day she tried to call the delivery company and eventually they told her to call Amazon. Which she did and they said they would reverse the credit card charges. Of course, on Saturday morning the package was delivered, left in the lobby of our building. So yesterday she called Amazon, explained the whole story again and asked to have them rebill her. They said to forget it.

I had a similar experience when about 2 weeks ago. Package was delivered to the wrong door I think. I was able to resolve it with 2 chat sessions, didn’t even need to make a phone call. I got my cat dish 3 days later than I should have and the next day I found what must be the original out of its packing on my front step.

Amazon didn’t want to worry about the extra item.

A couple years ago on Prime Day I bought a new Kindle. About 3 months later, my puppy chewed it up. I contacted Amazon hoping to plead my case for Prime price again, even though I readily admitted it was my fault. The Amazon rep sent me a new Paperwhite at no charge.


In September, 2015 I ordered one 32 oz bottle of a very concentrated laundry detergent. I received one case instead of one bottle.
I let Amazon know of the error and to arrange to return the excess. I was told to keep it.

After giving away a couple of bottles, I still have the one bottle I am using, and 2 more to go. Amazon is very generous at times.

We’ve had these threads before, but the basic Amazon strategy is that returns/fixing errors is more expensive to Amazon than just simply sending a new one, or letting you keep what was sent. IMHO this opens up a myriad of avenues for cheating the system, but Mr. Bezos won’t be missing any lunches over this.

It’s not just true of Amazon. About a decade ago, I bought a new Dell desktop computer for my brother as a Christmas gift. I presented the unopened boxes (computer plus monitor) to him and he, being the world’s most stubborn person, turned down the gift. So I called Dell to arrange a return. They said, “If we gave you a ten-percent discount, would you keep it?” He still said no, although it was my money. “If we gave you a twenty-percent discount, would you keep it?” Still no, so it went back. Keep in mind the computer was bought with an employee discount of 17% (which represents the gross profit margin to Dell on such things) and that the computer box wasn’t even opened. So it could, perhaps, be resold without a discount? That gives you some idea of how expensive returns are to process.

The Kindle reader is a loss-leader for Amazon. They don’t care much if at all about the revenue from sales of the device. They care very much about locking you into their digital ecosystem, and getting the sweet, sweet lucre for future sales to you of their digital books and other media. They really don’t want you to start using your iPad or other devices for your digital reading, and then possibly getting your digital books through the Apple Store.

I’m not knocking Amazon for this, but replacing your Kindle is very much in their corporate self-interest, beyond simple customer service.

Once I dropped a lamp I ordered on Amazon and broke the lampshade. I emailed Amazon to ask if I could just purchase a lampshade, not the whole lamp. They sent me a brand new lamp at no charge – so now I had two lamps that worked fine, one without a shade.

Amazon appears to have determined that customer loyalty is about the most important thing there is. And it’s damn appealing from this customer’s perspective.

Amazon is amazing, which is why it should be taken over and run by the employees, so the billions Bezos siphons from them and the actual producers of the stuff that is sold is distributed more equitably

Modhat: This thread is not going to get hijacked down this road. Please do not repeat; Kropotkin

I’d ordered a book from Amazon near the end of November. It didn’t arrive when scheduled but showed as “late”. If it hadn’t arrived by Dec 8th, I could reorder or get a refund, about $25. It didn’t arrive, so this morning I reordered. The late order arrived in today’s mail, with a different tracking # on an added label. Called customer service to cancel the reorder, but they couldn’t do it, so they said “enjoy the second copy”.

I adore those lockers; it can be hard for me to retrieve packages from the office so I send them there and know they’re easy to pick up and won’t go missing.

Not entirely on point, but also not really worth a new thread, but maybe worth a comment.

I’ve made several orders from Amazon over the last couple of weeks. They’ve all arrived ahead of their initial projected delivery date. I think Amazon is giving itself wiggle room in the holiday-compounded-by-COVID season by anticipating delivery delays. So far, though, everything I’ve ordered has come two days after I’ve ordered it (Prime shipping). So, hooray for Amazon for that.

I’m having frequent problems with Amazon, but they’re still my best option for certain items. For example, my professional business card (and all its points) disappeared from my account, and the agents are flummoxed. However, my detergent arrived on time.

My wife ordered an expensive pair of slippers for herself but accidently ordered the wrong size. I went online to start the return process. After entering all the info, I hit submit and the little spinning circle thing took about 2 minutes before the page refreshed. I was instructed to keep the slippers and give them to charity and a new pair in the correct size would be delivered in a couple days.

I accidentally ordered the wrong size shower curtain and realized it too late to cancel. Since I have everything I can delivered to an Amazon locker I just let it sit and be returned. As soon (as far as I can figure out) as it was picked up and scanned for a return I got an email notifying me of my cancellation and that the money would be refunded.

What is an “Amazon locker”, please?

There is a nearby mall which has some metal boxes with keys and a tag saying Amazon followed by a random noun, which I assume identifies a location. I had the sense it might be possible to get Amazon deliveries to the mall instead of your house? But I don’t know how they do the keys nor who uses it. Homeless with Internet access? Deliveries for anniversary gifts?

People without secure mailboxes.

It’s a block of lockers of various sizes that Amazon installed - the one I like is outside a 7-11 convenience store. When you package(s) arrive there you get a notification that has both a number and a bar code. You use the bar code or punch in the number on the screen with the lockers and the appropriate locker pops open. If there’s more than one locker it indicates that and you open them one at a time.

If you don’t pick it up in three days they pick it up and return it and credit you.