There are so many reasons to not like Amazon. The impact it has on smaller businesses, the fact you can’t just talk to anyone there, etc.
I’m old enough to remember when they started back in 1995. They ran radio commercials, bragging how they were the largest bookstore in the world. Just as Nordstrom started out as a shoe store, then went full-on clothing, Amazon kept growing and growing and soon, started selling everything under the sun. As the New Year begins, they’re going to begin drone delivered in two U.S. cities, Lockeford, California and College Station, Texas.
I tend to be a steady Amazon shopper. Did you know that if you use them through the website smile.amazon.com, every time you buy something, they make a donation to a charity of your choice? I have my monetary fragments going towards the Norwegian Ladies Chorus of Seattle.
What really appeals to me about Amazon is that you can buy something and they take care of delivery. If you purchased something at a store, you’d have to wrap it for shipping, then take it to the post office. If you’re an Amazon member, shipping is free! For me, that more than pays for the annual membership.
But it’s not a perfect world, and that includes Amazon.
So, this year, for my mom’s Christmas present, I thought it would be cool to get her a new bird bath for the backyard. She currently has an ceramic, perhaps cement bird bath in the center of the backyard that, every year, she would paint again with this sky-blue paint I bought back in 1972 to paint the Senior Pond at Torrance High School, during a pond-cleaning party. After 50 years, the paint finally ran out. (God knows how much lead was in there) So, it’s definitely time for a new bird bath.
Being a fan of hummingbirds, I thought mom would like this one and so I ordered it for her.
Three days later, I was notified that it had been delivered. Yes, on the box, it said “Paper Towels” and I thought, “How clever? So she doesn’t know what it is, they put Paper Towels on the outside. Brilliant!!”
Then the big day finally arrived. And what should appear as my 94-year-old mother opened up this cherished gift from her eldest child and only son?
Friggin’ paper towels.
Well, that tainted Christmas and later in the day, I got online with Amazon to chat with one of their representatives working on the holiday. The first agent was great, apologetic and said mom could just keep the paper towels and they’d get her a new bird bath. Great!
But then he transferred me to a less sympathetic, pissed-off-they-were-working-on-Christmas-Day employee who told me, “Nope! You’ve got to return those paper towels or we can’t issue you a refund.”
I explained and re-explained what happened, that they had screwed up royally, but she said, “Return those paper towels or no refund.” Oh, sure, what could possibly go wrong with that? The UPS guy shows up to pick up a bird bath and the box says ‘Paper Towels’. Or, it gets all the way back to Amazon and they say, “This isn’t a bird bath! He’s trying to scam us!”
Now, it’s not like my mom doesn’t like paper towels. In fact, she said that she actually needed some.
Thanks to sage advice from my youngest sibling, Debbie, I reached out to Amazon again this morning. Debbie’s thought is that when you’re talking Christmas Day, you’re going to get a member of the Customer Service B-team and she was right. Her theory continues that, the later in the day, the lower the grade and by 5pm you’re chatting with the D- or E-Team.
Well, this morning, the Tuesday after Christmas, I was connected with Ashish, who apparently has a Master’s Degree in customer service and by the time we were done chatting, she had fixed everything. My refund was on the way, mom gets to keep her paper towels, and mom’s actual bird bath will arrive on Friday.
It was an Amazon Christmas miracle.
And to all, a good night!