Tuesday, September 2, 2014

In Which mrpeenee Struggles with the World of Internet Commerce

You are now connected to Amazon from Amazon.com
Me:On August 26, I had a chat session about the whirlpool bathtub I ordered. The person I chatted with claimed someone from "large purchases" would get back to me in 24 hours. It's been a week, no contact, so a) what's with that and b) where's my bathtub?
Amazon:Hello Gary, my name is Natally and I'm so sorry to hear that we where supposed to contact you and we didn't and the fact that you don't have your bathtub, let me see how i can help you
Amazon:just to verify the address we are supposed to send this bathtub is blah blah blah
Amazon:thank you, Gary please wait for me just a moment while i review your account really quick
Ok Gary, thank you for your patience, I actually need to connect you with one of my colleagues from the concierge dept because of the price of this bathtub, please hold while I connect you.
Gary are you there?
Me:yeah, it's not like I'm going to take a bath or anything.
Amazon:Thank you Gary just a moment
A Customer Service Associate will be with you in a moment.
You are now connected to Ben from Amazon.com
Ben:I'm sorry that you have not gotten your bathtub yet, let me pull this order up and we'll see what's going on.
It looks like we are still working on acquiring the inventory to ship it out to you.
Me:what does that mean? I ordered this on July 19. When is the tub getting here.
Ben:We currently do not know. We're working on getting the inventory. It looks like it was out of stock when ordered and we've not been able to get another one quite yet. I'm sorry.
Me:It took amazon a month and a half to realize it was out of stock, I contacted you once already, and you're just now getting around to mentioning this?
Ben:I'm very sorry, from what I'm seeing on the details of the order, this was out of stock when you ordered it.
We did send you an update shortly after the order with an expected time that we could get this out to you. That was between August 18th and September 11th. I know that's a very long window, but when we're not sure when we're going to actually get them in, that does tend to happen.
Me:I'd like to point out Sept. 11 is nine days away. Are you saying the tub will be here then?
Ben:I cannot guarantee that, as it does not look like we've found a supplier yet, but it is not outside of the realm of possibilities. To be very honest, I doubt it.
Me:So, to summarize: Amazon's customer guarantees are worthless.
Ben:Not typically, but unfortunately in this case, it looks like we might actually not be able to make that date.
I can happily look into what's going on and why it's taking so long.
Of course, if you would like to cancel the order and go somewhere else, I'd completely understand.
Me:"Looking into it and finding out why it's taking so long" would be swell. In fact, many customers would assume that is what you would be already doing.
Ben:On the customer service end, that's not something that we generally handle. That's taken care of by our vendor managers and others in the procurement teams. But since I want to help you, I will do what I can to get you an answer, since they have not updated you.
Me:I'm in New Orleans. I can get a voodoo doll with "Procurement team" written on it without breaking a sweat and I suspect it would be just about as much help.
Ben:If that's what you feel you want to do, you're perfectly welcome to. I, on the other hand, am going to actually try to be helpful, if that's ok with you.
Me:Go to it. And reel in the snark while you're at it.
Ben:Honestly sir, I could say the exact same to you, but I did not mean to be snarky, so I apologize.
I'm typing up an email to the vendor manager in charge of that department.
Me:I look forward to hearing what you discover.
Ben:Would you prefer email or phone?
Me:email is fine. My address is mrpeenee@yahoo.com.
Ben:Awesome. I'll reach out to you as soon as I hear anything. I'm sorry that this is taking so long to get to you.
Me:Thank you and good day.


  1. I hope you acquired said voodoo doll.
    Ben has the worst job ever.

    1. Enjoying thoughts of how crappy his job is entertained me all night.

  2. Every word of that has an undercurrent that reads "we are never going to find one of those goddam tubs and you'd be well-advised to scoot over to Home Depot or some scummy local specialty retailer and see if they can do any better."

    Amazon is okay at some things and totally hopeless at others, with almost no gray areas and, unfortunately, no fixed way to determine where that line is 'til you've already crossed it.

    And you're right, Miss Jill - Ben has the worst job I can think of that doesn't involve organic wastes in any way.

    1. I agree. And it's possible Ben is some form of organic waste.

  3. I cannot imagine at what stage Amazon's money-grubbers said to themselves: "Hey! Books are boring, right? Music is not going to make us any money. How about... we try and sell bathtubs?"

    I think I would cancel the order pretty sharpish. I did the same recently when, only after a week of sleeping on the floor, we were told that our ordered bed was actually out of stock and the company concerned were waiting for a call from the manufacturer, rather than being "delivered to the courier within 48 hours" as their website had blithely lied. At that point I figured even a cheap bed from Argos would be preferable.


  4. I ordered this super fantastic router from them, one that would wifi I through just about anything, including the impenetrable walls of our house, and I waited and waited and when I called, I hot "Suki" in customer service and all I heard was "why this not in stock? It should be in stock. Why it not in stock?"

  5. ben's gonna, "reach out to you?"
    who does she think she is, diana ross?

    1. That sort of came through his remarks, doncha think?

  6. I giggled so hard at the "reel in the snark" comment. Wait. Can you giggle hard? Thanks for publishing your frustration for our enjoyment!

  7. Oh dear, dear. I've been wondering what had been transpiring in NOLA; I was hoping for better than this. As, I know, were you.

  8. Bathtubs? Beds? ROUTERS? And youse were promised prompt delivery? What could possibly go wrong.

  9. "mrpeenee@yahoo.com"
    I just love that they have to use this email address to reach you.


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