Fcuk You Amazon (with apologies to my female parent who may read this)

September 14, 2006

The following is an open letter to the automatons at Amazon upon the completely screwed-up order for my Sigma 30mm lens for my Olympus dSLR (I have no delusions that this will fall on deaf ears):

Amazon has gone a long way towards ruining my weekend with your half-assed system. I ordered the lens on Friday, September 9th, for a trip to Chicago this weekend. I ordered it from Amazon — paying a premium price — because I believed in you. I paid for the two-day shipping because it told me I would get it by Wednesday — giving me a two-day fudge factor. It sat there in “preparing to ship” mode. I checked hourly for a tracking number. Finally at 3:30PM on Tuesday I looked again and my estimated delivery was pushed back to Sept. 21st.


I searched the web for a phone number (nice job hiding that by the way), and talked to the very pleasant Samantha. She looked into it, told me they were indeed in stock and then assured me it was being packaged and would arrive on my doorstep on Thursday (after a oddly named “upgraded 1-day” shipping). I asked again, explaining the situation I was in, “So I will get this on Thursday?” Her response was “Yes.” I explained to her, “If this isn’t going to be on my doorstep by Friday, I need to cancel the order right now.” She assured me again. The estimated delivery date changed to the 14th and I, apparently wrongheadedly, believed in you.

I continued to watch the order continue NOT being in “shipped” mode.

It continued in this fashion until well after the last FedEx and UPS planes of the day fly over my home and land at Minneapolis International Airport.

Upon arriving at work this morning, still holding out hope that I may magically receive the item today, I checked the status yet again.

It had been bumped to the 19th.

I called again and spoke with the very polite Ahmed. He put me on hold a couple of times to research the situation, told me it was not in stock, and finally relayed that I would receive it “as soon as possible”, and then something about “within 30 days.” I divorced myself from the situation at the “as soon as possible” point and told him to cancel my order immediately. At this point Ahmed told me it was “not cancellable.” WHAT? But it hasn’t shipped yet right? Cancel the order! I don’t want you to make a nickel off of this! You’ve used up all the goodwill I can muster, and gone a long way towards messing up my photo vacation. So now, I’ve got a charged credit card, no lens, no hope that it will arrive, no desire to keep ANYTHING that Amazon would ship me, and anger seething within me.

I’ve been on teams that have built some rather large ecommerce inventory systems. I know all about inventory threshholds and how supply chain works. This is a messed-up situation. There is simply no excuse for it.

Thanks Mr. Bezos.

I could have gone with another vendor. Apparently, I SHOULD HAVE gone with another vendor.




I guess “on hand” and “ships soon” has a different meaning in Amazon-world.

4 Responses to “Fcuk You Amazon (with apologies to my female parent who may read this)”

  1. SubZer0 Says:

    man that sucks…

  2. Ira Says:

    Here is the response:

    Thanks for writing to us at Amazon.com.

    First, please allow me to extend my most sincere apologies for any
    frustration this matter has caused. I would like to assure you that
    I have reviewed all of the previous contacts regarding this matter
    and I see that our prior communications have not appropriately
    addressed your concerns. I hope that I can be of some help.

    We are very sorry for the delay in completing your order. I have
    reviewed your account and can see that this experience has been far
    less than positive.

    We strive for convenience and efficiency at Amazon.com, but in this
    instance we have fallen short of our goal, and I am truly sorry.

    In looking into this situation further, I see that the shipment of
    your order is being delayed by a system error. This same error
    prevents us from being able to cancel the order.

    We have been in contact with our technical specialists, and they are
    currently doing everything in their power to correct this problem
    and ship your order as soon as possible.

    However, we have no new information at this time regarding the
    status of your order; you will be notified as soon as there is an

    If you no longer want or need the order, you may refuse this
    shipment when it arrives. Refusing the shipment allows you to
    return it without having to pay for return shipping. If the package
    is delivered by mail and you are not present when it is delivered,
    you may write “Refused–return to sender” on the box and leave it
    for your postal carrier to pick up. We will refund you in full,
    including shipping charges, when we receive the returned package.

    Again, I would like to apologize for the inconvenience you have
    experienced and express our gratitude for the patience you’ve
    displayed thus far.

    Please be assured that this is not a typical Amazon.com experience
    and in no way did we intend for this to happen. I hope that you
    will give us another opportunity to prove the quality of our service
    to you.

    Thank you for shopping at Amazon.com.

  3. Ira Says:

    And my re-response:

    Yeah, well…

    Thanks for the response, and I appreciate your concern, but unless magical elves drop an Amazon box on my kitchen counter while I’m at work tomorrow, it’s all for naught.

    I’m not upset with customer service. Hell, you guys seem to be trying to help me out. However, what kind of enterprise system makes errors like this — and doesn’t get corrected after THIS long — especially after Samantha resubmitted the order and updated the shipping method on Tuesday?

    I’d have ordered from Adorama (through Amazon even!), but I trusted you. Now it’s too late for me to get it delivered by them by tomorrow.

    Thanks again and still upset.

    – Ira

  4. Female Parent Says:

    I feel your pain Son!!
    Being a customer service representative myself I am appalled
    at your treatment by this huge company.

Comments are closed.

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