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Who does Amazon think they're kidding?

by Bill Osler / December 14, 2004 8:24 AM PST

I ordered something from Amazon a couple of weeks ago. Later I received an email from them saying that the order had shipped. Eight days later, when the UPS site still did not show the item as picked up, I contacted Amazon to see if there was a problem. This per the UPS site instructions to contact the seller.

The reply from Amazon was that the item had already shipped but that UPS did not always scan items when they picked them up. Right. Never mind the fact that UPS can deliver stuff almost anywhere in the US in less than a week. It just didn't make sense.

The next day when I checked on the package at the UPS site it was listed as having been picked up the day after my complaint at Amazon. What a coincidence!

I don't know why they bother to misrepresent the facts when the situation is that obvious. I would have been more impressed with an acknowledgment that they had somehow messed up the shipment instead of a transparent lie blaming it on somebody else.

Oh well.

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Re: Who does Amazon think they're kidding?
by C1ay / December 14, 2004 9:20 AM PST
The next day when I checked on the package at the UPS site it was listed as having been picked up the day after my complaint at Amazon. What a coincidence!

Is it possible though, even if it's unlikely, that they shipped another one the day after your complaint?

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Surely you jest! ... Not!
by Bill Osler / December 14, 2004 9:55 AM PST

I suspect that after the first order went missing they packed up a new box and sent it out the door.

If I get a second box of the same stuff then I'll know for sure, but otherwise it's just a guess.

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Re: Surely you jest! ... Not!
by C1ay / December 14, 2004 10:09 AM PST

Actually, I receive anywhere from one to several packages a day from one vendor or another via UPS. I frequently get packages that belong to people down the street or people call me from down the street to tell me the UPS delivered one of my packages there. I've traced packages several times where the UPS site said they were not in the system and then UPS showed up with them anyhow.

OTOH I've not had any trouble with Amazon but I've only ordered from them a few times. I'm sure they make as many mistakes as any other company.

Based on my own experience it really could be either or. Had it been me you had called to say your order hadn't arrived after a couple of weeks I'd have shipped you another. That's what many of vendors do when their package doesn't arrive and quite often I end up with two and have to ship one back.

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FYI, I got a dup once, and didn't once.
by MarkatNite / December 14, 2004 4:54 PM PST

So they're 50/50 on orders they messed up. But they've only messed up two of my orders, out of maybe a hundred or so. Not bad overall.

Oh, and the time I did receive both the original shipment and the replacement, they made the return as painless as possible--they emailed me a URL for a pre-paid packing label, so all I had to do was print it out, stick it on the box, and flag down a big brown truck.

Mark

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I've had good luck with them so far
by Steven Haninger / December 14, 2004 9:37 AM PST

I've placed several orders with them of late. No problems yet. I had one item arrive with a problem. I used their on line return process link and got an E-mail within about 2 hours that they were cross shipping it without dunning my card first. That ain't too shabby. I have given up on Buy.Com....way too many problems and very slow response. I hope your experience is just a glitch because I've got about 4 more orders in the Amazon pipeline.

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I think it's just a glitch ...
by Bill Osler / December 14, 2004 9:51 AM PST

I've placed many orders ("too numerous to count" or TNTC in medical jargon) with Amazon over the last 7+ years. I don't remember if I started in 1996 or 1997.

There have been a few glitches along the way, but not many. When we have needed to return stuff they have almost always made the process easy and there have been very few (maybe no?) returns that were really their fault.

The only thing I dislike about online shopping is that there are times when I really would like to physically examine a product before I buy it. That creates a dilemma because I loathe shopping so much. One thing I do try to avoid is quizzing salespeople at a physical store and then buying the same item from Amazon. I figure that if I needed a real physical person's help in the buying process I should buy from a real physical person.

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Try Buy.com
by Dave Konkel [Moderator] / December 14, 2004 1:04 PM PST

Hi, Dr. Bill.

Buy.com promises to meet or beat Amazon's prices, has the same free shipping policy over $25, and you can get another 2% as a rebate through ebates.com OTOH, if you want something out of the ordinary, you'll have better lock finding it at Amazon or BarnesandNoble.com.

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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Unless they have improved in the last week
by Steven Haninger / December 14, 2004 8:27 PM PST
In reply to: Try Buy.com

I would not use Buy.com. I had 3 consecutive bad experiences with them beginning last spring with an item that was charged to my credit card before shipping and then could not be tracked in their system. They had changed carriers. The item showed as shipped but no tracking was available. I was able to get a credit however and they agreed to reship. Again, the item was lost and untrackable. They said they had changed from UPS/FedEx to DHI and were having lots of problems. Eventually the package arrived after being lost for over two weeks??? In August I ordered an LCD monitor. It arrived without the listed DVI cable and I filed a claim in early Sept. They said it would take about a week to process my claim. I finally heard from them last week telling me to file with the manufacturer or return the monitor unopened to Buy.com. I think 3 months is a bit long. I had long ago purchased the cable and written off Buy.com. Some reseller reviews I read were giving them poor marks and they were dropping still. Your mileage may vary.

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(NT) (NT) Thanks for the warning -- haven't used in 6 months
by Dave Konkel [Moderator] / December 14, 2004 10:50 PM PST
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Amazon
by jim c / December 14, 2004 9:23 PM PST

I've ordered several times from Amazon and have not had any problems with them. However, I recently ordered some Christmas gifts for my grandchildren. When the packages didn't arrive as scheduled I contacted UPS. They said the packages had arrived at the distro center in Chicago, but when the guy tried to delivery them to the train station, the train was running late. He didn't wait for the train, he just took the packages back to the distro center, where they sat for another week. I would think he could have left the packages at the train station. They didn't explain why that wasn't possible. Anyway, the packages eventually arrived at my daughter's house in Boston.

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