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Archives for December 2003
I have been a huge fan of Amazon.com for many years, but 2003 has not been a banner year as far as my personal customer experience goes.
It started when I ordered some sheet music back in May. Since I ordered over $25 worth of merchandise, my purchase qualified for the free shipping. I was ok waiting a couple weeks, so I opted to save the few bucks expedited shipping would cost.
After a month only one of the four items had shipped. I eventually cancelled the remaining order after about six weeks of waiting.
OK, I’m a reasonable guy. I recognize that things happen that disrupt the normal flow of commerce. And I figured that ordering classical sheet music on Amazon probably just wasn’t their forte.
I ordered these back on November 9th, again with the free shipping. At the time of my order, one title said “usually ships within 24 hours” and the other within 24-48 hours. December 4th, I get an email from Amazon letting me know there has been a delay. No…. really?
Obviously frustrated, I thought I’d email a complaint to Amazon. I hoped to reach someone with the power to look into the policies and problems that led to me having two very frustrating user experiences in the same calendar year. I wasn’t looking for anyone to fix the current problem (it was already too late for that), but just to get some reassurance that the customer did matter and that they would look into the problem for future customers.
Well, the first frustration is that you can only send information via a web-based form. Running several web sites, I can respect that decision, but it made me nervous. Would my complaint be simply treated with the typical, canned customer service answer?
Take a wild guess.
Christmas is a season that many people acknowledge as a time to reflect on the spirit of giving, peace and love. And yet, it’s also the time of year that raises stress levels and brings out all sort of monstrous behavior.
Yesterday, my wife and daughter decided that it would be a good day to pickup a Christmas tree. The ventured out into the frigid southern California weather, braving the crowds at the local Home Depot. They selected a fine specimen; a well-shaped 8′ spruce. While they were there, my daughter thought it would be cute to pick up a small, potted tree to decorate for her grandma and grandpa. They strung it with lights, ribbons and ornaments, and drove over to present the gift. It did not go over well.
That little two-foot short, potted tree raised the ire of my father-in-law, who mistook it for charity, rather than a gift given joyously. He exploded at them, and now the tree is back at our home, sprucing up room five. The little tree of Christmas wrath.
Very likely, he is worried about his pension. He’s a retired member of the retail clerks union, the very same one that is now on strike here. He deserves to be cut some slack, but maybe there is a lesson here. When the holiday pressures are running high, remember to treat others with respect and care. Wouldn’t you want the same?