Imagine a long day that ended more than 18 hours after it began. It is after 11:00 PM. You come home, ready to settle in for the nyght, but decide to check email one last time. You open an email from Amazon. Two of the packages you have been waiting for weren’t delivered. The attempt to deliver them failed. There is a link for you to click on that will redirect you to a page where you can reschedule. When you get to that web page, you realize that you need information for an attempted deliver slip that you can’t find.
You go back outside, walk down the driveway to the mail box. You open it in the hopes that you will find the paperwork there. After all, this is the USPS.
You scourer the yard in the hopes that the delivery notice in on the ground.
What makes this even more bizarre is that two other packages have arrived the same day.
Now what? It is now 11:30 PM. I really don’t know what to do. The packages are coming from Amazon. I decide to see if there is a way I can reach Amazon. I manage to find my way to the “contact us” section of their website. I can email, of course. I can chat, of course. What? Wait? What is that? Call Amazon????? You have to be kidding. How is THAT possible.
Once I gather my wits about me, I decide to opt for the call option. I enter my phone number, and wait. I honestly don’t think I will be called. A minute or two later, my phone rings. It is now 11:47 PM. Wow. I am connected to a woman named Kayla. She begins by thanking me for being a Prime member. We talk for a few minutes and she quickly an clearly understands my problem. Since the post office is closed, she will call me the next day at around 1:30 PM and together we will get the post office on the line.
Well, she did call. I missed the call because I was on assignment and had set my phone to vibrate. My phone did, but with all the chaos around me, I missed it. I called Amazon customer service and was transferred to a rep. Like Kayla, he listened and clearly articulated the options for moving forward. The best option, he told me, was to cancel and reorder. I agreed. About five minutes later, the transaction had been canceled. I was totally amazed. And I didn’t have to stand in a line in a retail store.
My first experience buying on line wasn’t a good one.
At least a decade ago, now, I purchased a tape drive, yes a tape drive, to back up my PC. There weren’t terabyte drives yet, but we were into 500 gigabyte drives. I had just purchased my first 750 gigabyte drive. I installed the tape drive and started backing up. A day later, I was still backing up. It didn’t take a PhD to recognize the fact that a tape drive wasn’t a viable solution. So, I decided to return the drive to Newegg. Well, the good news, I guess, is that Newegg tool it back. The bad news is that, by the time the proverbial dust settled, I had lost almost 50% of what I paid.
For a while at least, that was enough to move me away from buying on line. After all, BestBuy was here in town and, as long as I returned something within 13 days, all my money was refunded.
So, when JD Milazzo told me he had gotten an Amazon Prime account, I asked my self why he’d do that. I understood the free shipping part, and I understood that there was significant convenience to having a Prime membership, but, I hadn’t really ever gotten past my Newegg experience. I was purchasing computer gear on line, usually from Newegg and Amazon, however, I did so cautiously. I also knew that if something went wrong, if I needed warranty replacement, I was on my own.
However, this recent interaction with Amazon has really changed my perception of things.
Amazon did what I thought no on line retailer could ever do – they exceeded my expectations and made my in-store experience dealing with similar problems look painful.