Amazon Customer Service is…Unimpressive

UPDATE – Less 12 hours after I wrote this post Amazon customer service called me at home and made things right. Now, that is impressive!

First, let me just say that I’ve been a happy Amazon customer for many years.  I’ve spent literally thousands of dollars at Amazon on everything from books to toys, from a digital camera to a light for my Weber grill.  I’m an Amazon Prime member and I’ve always been happy with my purchases…the low prices and fast shipping just can’t be beat and Amazon has long been my favorite website.

In over a decade of ordering from Amazon I’ve never once had a problem and never even needed to contact Amazon customer service for anything…until a couple weeks ago.

My wife’s birthday was May 22nd, and as part of her gift I purchased Pink’s Greatest Hits CD.  She loves Pink and I figured she’d appreciate being able to listen to it in the car while she drives around running errands.

The CD arrived without issue and I wrapped it with the rest of the gifts.  My wife’s face lit up when she opened the package (we were planning to go for a ride that afternoon so we’d have the perfect opportunity to give it a listen), but it dropped when she saw her favorite song wan’t on the CD.  I took the disc from her to see for myself and sure enough Glitter in the Air was nowhere to be found, even though I had specifically confirmed the song was on the CD before ordering it.

I hopped on Amazon and did a quick search for the CD and sure enough the product description listed Glitter in the Air on the track listing.  WTF?

After a little Googling I discovered there are actually two versions of the disc and apparently they sent me the wrong one.  I logged on to the site and opened a chat window with a customer service rep to explain the problem and get it fixed as soon as possible.  Now, since it was their mistake and a loyal customer was put out I’d think they’d do whatever they could to smooth things over.

I think the ideal scenario would have been to apologize for the mistake and overnight the correct CD at their expense so my wife could enjoy her gift as soon as possible, and send me a mailing label to return the item they had incorrectly sent me.

That would have been great customer service and I’d have raved to everyone I know about how much I love Amazon.

Instead, I was told to return the CD and then go and order a new one.  Seriously? That’s it?

Sine they had already sent me the wrong item the first time, what assurance did I have that they’d get it right the second time around?  And they couldn’t even expedite it for me right there on the call?  I had to go order it myself?  And not even an apology for the mistake?

The kicker is that the price increased by about $2 since I had ordered it the first time so I’d actually be stuck paying MORE because they effed up my order.

That’s just not cool.

After I made it clear that I wasn’t impressed, the Amazon customer service rep offered to apply a $5 promotional credit to my account to be used on a future purchase (though given the price increase the credit was really worth a little under $3).  I still wasn’t satisfied but she insisted “that is our limit Mike and if there is more that I can do, I would have done so.”

So in the end I decided to just return the CD and run to the local store and buy the CD there.  It probably cost about a dollar more but at least I’m supporting a local business and I didn’t have to wait for it to be delivered.

I’m sure I’ll order from Amazon again and I’m not planning on canceling my Amazon Prime membership, but I can’t really say I love them anymore.  At the least, this experience left a really bad taste in my mouth.

Have you ever experienced a problem with Amazon’s customer service? How did it get resolved? 






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Mike is a freelance writer and blogger who specializes in finance and parenting topics. He is a dedicated husband and father of three who is obsessed with creating multiple streams of income and building wealth so he can achieve true financial freedom for his family. Like what you're reading? Subscribe to our free RSS feed and follow us on Twitter.

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  1. says

    Terrible customer service experience, Mike!! We experienced similar bad service one time with their subsidiary, Createspace, who we publish our books through, but by and large our experiences with them have been excellent. With the Createspace incident, I pushed back – HARD – and finally got to talk to a manager that understood the importance of excellent service and fixed everything up beyond my expectations. There always has to be a few bad apples in every bunch, I guess. :-(. Hopefully your experience was an exception and not the new rule for Amazon.

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