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Amazon Disappoints

I buy a lot of things through Amazon – too much some would say. On the whole it is normally a very good experience – such as items arriving before they’re scheduled to with super save delivery. I’ve even had them go above and beyond before, such as when they price matched the Canon Speedlite I was buying because dispatch was delayed and the price had dropped a reasonable amount before the item was eventually delivered.

That said, in the last week alone, I’ve been disappointed a few times:

Can’t Split Super Saver Delivery Into Multiple Packages
I normally don’t bother paying for delivery. I’ve noticed things arrive only a day or two later with the super saver delivery, so I’d rather save the money. The restrictions Amazon have tried to put on orders of this type are a bit crazy though.

When buying two items, if I was to pay for postage, they would provide the option to split them up into separate items and dispatch them as soon as each item was ready. If I choose super saver delivery, I’m not allowed to do that. I am however, allowed to put two separate orders through, minutes apart, which achieves exactly the same thing, but costs Amazon slightly more (two separate credit card transactions). Seems an easy thing to change to me, so I’m intrigued on their logic as to why this restriction  is still in place, or whether it is a legacy restriction from when there was a minimum purchase amount for free delivery.

Expensive Delivery
As I said, I normally go for free delivery because I’m not too concerned about an extra day or so’s delay. I haver ecently been looking at getting a fitbit and was going to pay for delivery to get it to me a bit quicker. Looking into the price of first class delivery and they wanted £6 for it – which for an item the size of the fitbit is a hell of a lot. I could order  a large DVD box set and be charged less for delivery than that!

Between the expensive delivery and problems with trialing Amazon Prime, I’ve actually ended up buying the Fitbit from Firebox. Not only did they only charge me £2 for first class delivery (and dispatch it within 3 hours of ordering!), but it also allowed me to go through Quidco and get 10% cashback, so it has ended up costing me less!

Scripted Customer Support
Normally Amazon support is extremely good and prompt. Up until the last couple of times I’ve contacted them, I’ve always had a good result from them. The last couple of times, however, I’ve had scripted answers which didn’t actually answer my question. The responses I was receiving were normally very similar to the FAQs which I’d already read and which didn’t answer my question, hence the reason for the email.

For example, in the next section I mention my HDNL delivery that actually arrived by Royal Mail. I sent them a message to let them know about this, in-case the lack of delivered notification for the tracking number triggered anything. There was no complaint in my email, but I got a standard email back apologising for me being unhappy with the courier and saying how they were unable to let people choose their couriers – neither of which had any link to my original message.

Another example is that when I was looking into shipping for the fitbit, I thought about going for the Amazon Prime trial. When trying to sign up for it though, it wouldn’t let me go for the trial, only let me pay for it. I sent an enquiry in as I’d never tried Prime before, so found this quite odd. I got a response back within a couple of hours, but the response just reprinted the FAQ page saying how the free trial worked, how to sign up for it, along with a statement saying that if I was unable to see the free trial option then this is because my account had already used the trial in the last 13 months. The response didn’t really respond to my statement that I’d never tried prime before.

A lot of people seem to be upset with Amazon’s choice of courier as HDNL. Since the occasion a year or so ago where they left my hard drives outside in the rain and left no notification through the door to say they’d attempted delivery, I haven’t had much delivered by them and if I have, it has been problem free. Infact, the last item that Amazon reckoned was being delivered by HDNL and gave me a tracking number for, actually ended up coming through Royal Mail….

I can’t say anything else about HDNL really, but from the grumblings I see on Twitter, I certainly get nervous when seeing that an item is being delivered via them.

In Summary
Overall I’m pleased with the service and customer support Amazon provides, I just found it slightly strange to come up against these few disappointing points in the last week. Fingers crossed that my future orders (of which there are bound to be a good number) are problem free.

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