01 August 2014

Welcome to my evening

I had a long week (which felt even longer after being slightly jet-lagged after a week in Tokyo the previous week), so I took the afternoon off! A quick trip to the shops to stock up, and to drop by my local shop to pick up my Collect+ parcels.

I was hoping for a relaxed evening playing The Last Of Us: Remastered on PS4 (I didn’t get time on PS3) - I did, for 30 minutes, until I got an email from Amazon about the issue I had picking up one of my Collect+ parcels.

Amazon sent me an email response - documented here!

What happened?

Here’s the two packages - some bits redacted (whilst my coding skills are good, my Photoshop editing at short notice is a bit rubbish), but you get the idea!

Amazon parcels

The rest of this entry will have the email exchange that lead to the live transcript that I have posted here. I haven’t redacted the name of the Amazon rep so maybe Amazon can identify this and get back to me with a better resolution.

As with all my posts that contain responses from Customer Service agents, if Amazon would like me to redact anything, then please let me know and this will be done as soon as is humanly possible.

I’ll let the transcript and emails speak for themselves…

Whilst formatting the transcript I note the Amazon rep said that orders aren’t packed manually, well, I’m sure we’ve all seen that BBC Panorama expose…

And…reading through it again, I find it appalling that they are blaming their Collect+ carrier, Yodel, for their own mistake. Pathetic really.

Your turn…Amazon

The offer of GBP5.00 is, quite frankly, an insult.

Right now, I will suspend any future purchases with your Company, until an acceptable resolution is reached.

Given the accusations and time spent on this, I have a figure in mind as to what would be suitable recompense, and I am open to discussion on this.

I will donate whatever credit is applied to my account to the UK charity MIND who do a lot of good work to support those with mental health issues, and also top this up with an extra 50% from my own pocket (£25 min, £500 max, though I know you won’t offer me anywhere near that).

At least someone will benefit from my awful evening.

Email exchange - from me

Hi,

This order was sent to my Collect+ store but the ‘Customer name:’ part of the sticker was blank!! How is the retailer meant to know this was my package? Luckily I use this shop a lot so they know me and went out of their way to figure out how best to check it is my package - it turns out my barcode was attached to no name too. I’m glad it was a package that was easy to peek inside to know it was what I ordered.

Is this a known issue?

I have Amazon Prime to make deliveries and pickup easy and fast, this took quite a bit of time, wasting time for both me and my local retailer.

Regards,

Phil

Email exchange - reply from Amazon

Hello,

I’m sorry for the inconvenience caused regarding this issue.

I understand that on your label ‘Customer name:’ part of the sticker was blank.

In this case, I have checked and can see that the you haven’t mentioned you “Recipient name:” when you place a order.

As you can see below under the address “Recipient Name:” was left blank without your name.

CollectPlus at Vincent Convenience Store

30 St. Vincents Road

Dartford

DA1 1XE

United Kingdom

Validation Overridden Commercial

Recipient Name:

Please make sure that you mention your name next to the ‘Recipient Name:’ so that you will have the name of your visible on the sticker.

If we can be of further assistance, you can reply directly to this e-mail. You can reach us by chat or phone from this link:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/contact-us

Customer Service can be reached by phone and chat 7 days a week 06.00 to midnight, local UK time.

If you need to call us, we can be reached on Freephone (within the UK) 0800 496 1081. International customers can reach us on +44 207 084 7911.

We look forward to seeing you again soon.

Warmest regards,

Prasanna A.

The transcript

Initial Question: With reference to your email, stating the below. I find it outrageous that you are blaming me for not providing a name and that your very mature systems did not detect this? For the record, I believe that whenever I make an order it notifies me that only the name on the order can collect. I am very disappointed in this accusative response and will endeavour to circulate this to my social media followers. Please resolve asap

I understand that on your label ‘Customer name:’ part of the sticker was blank.

In this case, I have checked and can see that the you haven’t mentioned you “Recipient name:” when you place a order.

As you can see below under the address “Recipient Name:” was left blank without your name.

07:07 PM BST Amazon(Amazon): Hello, my name is Sreeraj. Thank you for contacting Amazon.co.uk. Could you confirm the name on your account, please?

07:07 PM BST Phillip Rogers: Phillip Rogers

07:07 PM BST Amazon(Amazon): Hello, Phillip.

07:08 PM BST Amazon(Amazon): I am sorry for any inconvenience this may caused you.

I will now check and help you with this.

07:08 PM BST Phillip Rogers: it’s actually quite outrageous to be accused like this 07:10 PM BST Phillip Rogers: FYI the next bit of the email states: CollectPlus at Vincent Convenience Store 30 St. Vincents Road Dartford DA1 1XE United Kingdom Validation Overridden Commercial Recipient Name:

Please make sure that you mention your name next to the ‘Recipient Name:’ so that you will have the name of your visible on the sticker.

what is “Validation Overridden Commercial “

I didn’t override anything

07:11 PM BST Amazon(Amazon): May I place the chat on hold for a minute or two while I check this for you?

07:12 PM BST Phillip Rogers: that’s fine

07:14 PM BST Amazon(Amazon): Thanks so much for waiting.

07:19 PM BST Amazon(Amazon): In order to place the order to the Collect Plus address you need to provide the recipient name, so that recipient can collect the parcel from the Collect Plus and the recipient can also use one of the following forms of identification to collect your package:

  • Cheque Guarantee / credit/debit card
  • Bank/Building Society Book
  • Valid Passport
  • Cheque Book
  • Drivers Licence

I am sorry if it was not clearly mentioned at the first instance itself.

07:20 PM BST Phillip Rogers: I know that. and this is always filled in, automatically, when I place the order

How is it even possible that an order can be sent to a Collect+ address with the Customer Name: field on the label left blank?

How is the store meant to process this correctly and give it to the customer?

07:21 PM BST Phillip Rogers: I have placed at least 10 orders in the last year on Collect+. I’m sure you appreciate that I know how the ordering process works.

07:23 PM BST Amazon(Amazon): Please be informed that, the order can be delivered to the collect plus address if there is no recipient name but but it will not be delivered to the recipient.

07:24 PM BST Phillip Rogers: so…how is this even possible? why deliver something where it can’t be given to the person who ordered it?

07:25 PM BST Phillip Rogers: you’re are a multi-million dollar company. this is a simple software engineering problem, a problem that shouldn’t exist

07:27 PM BST Amazon(Amazon): Yes, I do understand your concern but currently our collect plus store works based on this.

07:27 PM BST Phillip Rogers: no, sorry, this makes no sense

07:28 PM BST Phillip Rogers: and you haven’t answered the question: why deliver something where it can’t be given to the person who ordered it?

07:29 PM BST Phillip Rogers: OK, I understand you are a customer service operative, and that you may be following company lines - I am happy for you to hand me over to a supervisor/manager if that makes it easier…

07:31 PM BST Amazon(Amazon): I am sorry, if you prefer I will ask my supervisor to email you within 2- 4 hours.

07:32 PM BST Phillip Rogers: why would it take so long? I’d like this resolved now if it can be

it’s a fairly simple question: how can you ship something for collection, when the place you’ve shipped it to doesn’t know who it is meant for?

07:33 PM BST Phillip Rogers: you can’t, in all honesty, tell me that this is how your process works. You are one of the internet’s oldest retailers, you sell to many people, every day, this really should not be a defined process?

07:35 PM BST Amazon(Amazon): Okay, in this case I will transfer this chat to my supervisor now. Please give me a minute or two to do this transfer.

07:35 PM BST Phillip Rogers: thank you, I’ll wait

07:38 PM BST Nithyan(Amazon): Hello, my name is Nithyan. I’m a part of Customer Service leadership team here at Amazon.co.uk. Let me check your previous correspondence. Please give me 2 minutes.

07:38 PM BST Phillip Rogers: thanks, I can wait

07:43 PM BST Nithyan(Amazon): Thanks for waiting patience.

07:46 PM BST Nithyan(Amazon): From your chat conversation, I understand that you have been asked to select the name in the collect plus address.

I’m sorry if this has caused any misunderstanding.

It is necessary for you to provide the correct name to collect the parcel. If not, anyone can say your name and collect the parcel. It’s not that we are blaming you. It’s a security measure the collect plus has taken to hand over the parcel to the right person.

07:46 PM BST Phillip Rogers: Hang on a minute

As part of the ordering process it informs me I need to provide my name, I never change that field, it auto-populates with my name

07:46 PM BST Nithyan(Amazon): They will only hand over the parcel if the name matches the identification.

07:47 PM BST Nithyan(Amazon): On the “Review Your Order” page at the end of the checkout process, you’ll see a yellow box which highlights the name that will appear on your parcel. If you need to change this name, just click on ‘Change’ and update your details.

07:47 PM BST Phillip Rogers: And I have ordered over 10 times using Collect+ in the last year, using the same process, without changing anything, I *KNOW* I need to be there to pick up the order

that is not the point, the point is this: The parcel was delivered to the Collect+ store with the Customer Name part of the label BLANK

07:48 PM BST Phillip Rogers: so therefore, despite whatever security measures, there is no way for any customer to collect this unless they have ID that has no name do you see my concern?

I’m happy to explain again

07:49 PM BST Phillip Rogers: and this: “ I understand that you have been asked to select the name in the collect plus address.” - no. As part of the ordering process it tells me I need to have ID with the name of the order. I do. Since it’s me making the order and collecting it

07:50 PM BST Phillip Rogers: The ordering process, in it’s normal route, does not solicit me to change the name, it never has done, I just click through. FYI - the order I placed that was delivered today went through fine, with my name on it.

07:52 PM BST Nithyan(Amazon): I can certainly understand your point and I can also see that. It seems that they have failed to get the details in the first place which is completely unacceptable. I’ll escalate this issue to the carrier and make sure this issue doesn’t happen again. I’ll cancel this order and issue refund now. I kindly request you to place a new order for the items and amend the address while placing the order.

07:52 PM BST Phillip Rogers: why is it the carriers fault? Don’t amazon print the label that goes on the package?

07:53 PM BST Nithyan(Amazon): Yes, it is carriers fault. They should not handed over the parcel if there is no name in it. They should report it to us for us to take action.

07:53 PM BST Phillip Rogers: and if you refer to my original message about this - the Collect+ retailer managed to scan the package through cos they knew me and did a test to see if the ‘blank’ name matched my bar code

07:54 PM BST Phillip Rogers: This only worked due to the good relationship I have with them, and that they went to a great effort to work around Amazon’s lack of decent communication on the label

I disagree with “They should not handed over the parcel if there is no name in it. “ - why do you give the carrier a parcel that cannot go anywhere?

07:55 PM BST Nithyan(Amazon): I understand Phillip but this is not the case for other orders. We trust the carriers and we will not expect this kind of service from them. I’ll escalate it and take appropriate action.

07:55 PM BST Phillip Rogers: NO. Please see above.

07:56 PM BST Nithyan(Amazon): I’m glad that you can collect your parcels but I request you to add the name in your future orders.

07:56 PM BST Phillip Rogers: YOU printed the label on there, why is it the carrier’s responsibility to validate YOUR label. why do YOU think it is acceptable to have a carrier pick up a package that can’t be delivered? erm “ but I request you to add the name in your future orders.” - I did, I did not deviate from the normal ordering process that puts my name on it.

are you accusing me of not putting my name on the order?

07:58 PM BST Phillip Rogers: I am very very angry now, you are blaming me for deficiencies in your ordering process? Have you seen how much money flows through your retail operation each year from me? Are you really accusing me, and looking to lose me as a loyal customer?

07:58 PM BST Nithyan(Amazon): No, I’m requesting you to use the name in your future order.

Phillip, the orders are not packed manually. It’s an automated process and it’s just stick the label as per the data given in the order and send it to the carrier.

07:58 PM BST Phillip Rogers: OK, please tell me at what point I removed my name from the order?

Please tell me how this could have happened

and also please tell me how your systems would not have picked this up during validation and stopped the order?

08:00 PM BST Nithyan(Amazon): I’m not accusing you. I’m requesting you to use the name which wasn’t given in the previous order and it’s carrier’s responsibility to check it before handing over the parcel to the carrier. It’s not your error.

What I’m requesting is to use the name in the collect plus address before placing the order. As they haven’t gone through the security process correctly, I’ll escalate it and take appropriate action. *customers

08:00 PM BST Phillip Rogers: No, lets wind back, please

08:01 PM BST Phillip Rogers: At what point did I *NOT* put my name on the order - can you tell me this? because, as mentioned before, I did not deviate from the normal ordering process

So you can request me to use my name, but I have no way to know WHY my name wasn’t on there, since I didn’t change it/delete it/do anything different

And also, YOU print the label, so it’s easy to detect an empty string, and flag it for inspection before going to the Carrier, isn’t it?

08:04 PM BST Nithyan(Amazon): As I said earlier, it’s an automated process and it will just stick the label as per the address data given in the order but it can be manually verified by the carrier we use. So, we can question the carrier to check it before handing over the parcel. It’s with us and carrier and we will take necessary action and make sure it will be corrected in the first place.

If it is noted by them in the first place, we would have asked you to enter the name.

08:05 PM BST Phillip Rogers: Ok, so why did you let me order with no name on the label?

08:05 PM BST Nithyan(Amazon): Haven’t you opted to given name at the time of placing the order? *give

08:05 PM BST Phillip Rogers: I never opt for a name, it has an alert that says it needs to be my name when I collect

I mentally acknowledge that (a no brainer, obviously), and continue the order your systems know my name, they have done for a decade, even more

08:05 PM BST Nithyan(Amazon): On the “Review Your Order” page at the end of the checkout process, you’ll see a yellow box which highlights the name that will appear on your parcel. If you need to change this name, just click on ‘Change’ and update your details.

08:05 PM BST Phillip Rogers: I did not change my name

I’ve never changed my name

08:06 PM BST Phillip Rogers: I’ve had the same name for over 38 years

I do not need to change my name, I follow through YOUR processes

08:06 PM BST Nithyan(Amazon): I suggest you to update it for your future order.

08:06 PM BST Phillip Rogers: update what?

my name?

don’t you like my name?!

the order I placed on Sunday had no name

the order I placed yesterday had a name

on the sticker

I did nothing between Sunday and yesterday

08:09 PM BST Phillip Rogers: Can I also point out - I have spent over an hour on this. At no point have you acknowledged that I ordered correctly. Instead accusing ME for your poor ordering system

To say I am very disappointed with the service today is an understatement

08:09 PM BST Nithyan(Amazon): Phillip, I request you to update the name in the collect plus address and use ti for your future orders. In my end, I’ll escalate the issue and ask our internal team to check with the carrier and correct it in future.

I agree that it hasn’t happened in the past and you have collected the parcel without the name but please use it for your future order as it is necessary to collect the parcel. I’ll also pass it on to our internal team to make the field mandatory if it is not changed until now.

08:10 PM BST Phillip Rogers: Hang on…no

please tell me where I should “update the name”

the order with the label that had no name on was placed on Sunday

the order I placed yesterday had my name on

I did nothing inbetween

08:11 PM BST Phillip Rogers: So please tell me, what part of my name do I need to update?

08:15 PM BST Nithyan(Amazon): There was no name entered in the orders placed on both the occasions.

08:15 PM BST Phillip Rogers: OK, so why was there no name on there? did I do something wrong? and if so, please tell me what

08:16 PM BST Phillip Rogers: the thursday order has my name on the label so, given that piece of information, and your last response, this is not an issue from my side is it, but more Amazon’s?

08:21 PM BST Nithyan(Amazon): I’m not sure how one order has your name and other didn’t as I didn’t see any name on them. As I’m unsure what happened, I’ll escalate it to our technical team and check it. It states that the name is required but you said the name is not prompted. One parcel has a name on it even though you haven’t entered but the other doesn’t have. It’s really not in the right track. So, I’m unable to confirm now. I’ll check with our technical team and get back to you via email within 5 business days. If you are unable to collect the parcel for the item they need your name, please contact us and we will issue refund immediately.

08:21 PM BST Phillip Rogers: So…there is a problem isn’t there?

Have you used your own ordering process?

At no point in the last year has it asked me to type my name in

08:22 PM BST Phillip Rogers: in fact, I alerted a colleague (who also has Prime) to collect+ and saw their ordering process, it auto-filled their name in too without needing them to type their name in

the fact that Amazon’s own CS Supervisors are not aware of the ordering process worries me

08:23 PM BST Phillip Rogers: the fact that you have attempted to put the blame on me for the last hour offends me, as a customer of yours from near the start of your company

and this: If you are unable to collect the parcel for the item they need your name, please contact us and we will issue refund immediately.

again: I collected the parcel since I use the Collect+ store regularly. The only way it worked was through THEIR excellent customer service

08:24 PM BST Nithyan(Amazon): I’m sorry you feel this way. I’m very much aware of the ordering process but I’m not sure where the problem is exactly.

If it is pointed out by the carrier in the first place, this issue will not be continued this long.

08:24 PM BST Phillip Rogers: ok can I summarise then?

08:25 PM BST Phillip Rogers: I placed two orders, one on Sunday, one on Thursday

08:25 PM BST Nithyan(Amazon): I’ll get in touch with our technical team and get back to you via email within 5 business days.

08:25 PM BST Phillip Rogers: The Sunday order had no ‘Customer Name:’ filled in

The Thursday order did

My name, of course

Amazon prints the labels and carries out the ordering process in both instances

Amazon should identify that when the Customer Name field is empty the order shouldn’t progress, not the Carrier

08:26 PM BST Phillip Rogers: You are stating that it is something that *I* did that caused this

However, I ordered the same way I always have done over the last year using Collect+

So please don’t blame your Carrier, and please don’t blame a loyal customer

08:33 PM BST Nithyan(Amazon): As I stated above, the policies are set as per the agreement with the carrier. As per that, they need to verify name given in the parcel before give away the parcel to the customers.

So, there is surely issue with the carrier.

I agree that our ordering system should have asked to enter the name while adding the address but it’s practically impossible to check the address manually as our dispatching process is automated, it printed the label and stuck it in the concerned order and send it to the carrier. So, we are unable to manually check every orders as Amazon is dispatching millions of orders.

As it is not prompting to enter the name at the time of placing the order, I’ll escalate it to our internal team and check it and get back to you via email within 5 business days.

It’s certainly not your error.

08:34 PM BST Phillip Rogers: No hang on, it never has asked me to manually add my name

you know my name

you know how easy it is to check for an empty string? it’s easy

and you have said before that both orders didn’t have my name

I can, and will, post photos of both packages to my blog (and this transcript) later to show this cos one package has my name on

clearly

08:35 PM BST Phillip Rogers: So I ask you this - I have spent over 90 minutes getting nowhere, and being constantly accused that I didn’t put my name on the order

I have had no clear apology for these accusations

08:36 PM BST Phillip Rogers: What will you do to assure me that this will not happen again, and make good the excessive amount of time I have spent trying to get you to deal with this issue?

08:38 PM BST Nithyan(Amazon): Okay, as you said that there is name in one of the parcel and I’m unsure about how it happened, I’ll surely escalate it and check it with concerned department.

I’m unable to give any assurance before that as it needs to be checked.

Our options are listed and we can’t take any direct action or check the details immediately.

08:39 PM BST Phillip Rogers: You print the label, you can check the label, no?

As a programmer over nearly 30 years, this is a very trivial thing to do

08:40 PM BST Phillip Rogers: the fact that in the last, nearly 2 hours, you have tried to place the blame on my side, is extremely unacceptable

08:44 PM BST Nithyan(Amazon): Unfortunately, I’m not and we have separately department who have technical expertise working on it. So, I’ll pass it on to them and they will check and take action if there is any flaws.

I’m not blaming you at any point of time. I’ve just requested to add the name. You said you haven’t done that for previous orders. Hence I agreed that and I’m going to escalate it to check it with our technical team.

Yes, I blame the carrier because we had certainly agreement with them and they need to stick to it. I’ll check with our transportation team about this and will take action.

As the solution for this issue can be provided by our technical team and our transportation team, I’m unable to guarantee anything here but I’ll follow up with them and get back to you as soon as I hear back from them.

08:45 PM BST Nithyan(Amazon): Please accept my apologies for this situation.

Is there anything else I can do for you today?

08:45 PM BST Phillip Rogers: But….the carrier should take packages in good faith that the information is correct for them to deliver?

this is still outstanding: What will you do to assure me that this will not happen again, and make good the excessive amount of time I have spent trying to get you to deal with this issue?

08:46 PM BST Phillip Rogers: I totally get, from the tone of this conversation, if you feel you do not need to provide any form of recompense to a loyal customer

and if that is the case, I will ensure that the wider internet is aware of what has happened (or any reasonable recompense to this wasted time, should you offer anything)

08:47 PM BST Nithyan(Amazon): It’s not what they agreed in the policy. As I said earlier, I’m unable to assure anything now as it needs to be investigated. Unfortunately, e don’t offer any sort of compensation on this regard but we will investigate it and take necessary action.

I understand the inconvenience this situation has caused and on this occasion, I would like to give you a GBP 5.00 promotional gift certificate as a goodwill gesture, for use towards your next Amazon.co.uk order.

08:47 PM BST Phillip Rogers: and there’s been no explanation of why this was part of the address details, as per the email you sent me: “Validation Overridden Commercial”

08:47 PM BST Nithyan(Amazon): I’ll send you the promotional gift certificate details via email.

08:47 PM BST Phillip Rogers: GBP5.00?! really? for nearly 2 hours trying to deal with this?

08:48 PM BST Nithyan(Amazon): I’m sorry, we don’t offer any sort of compensation on this regard and I’ve made an exception to our policy and offered this promotional gift voucher as a goodwill gesture.

08:48 PM BST Phillip Rogers: If you really think GBP5.00 is appropriate for 2 hours of this, then I think you’ve misunderstood me as a customer

And I think you’ve also lost me as a customer

08:49 PM BST Phillip Rogers: And anyone else who reads about this later may reconsider ordering through you

If you feel the last few lines are harsh, then please feel free to escalate to your upper management, I hope my blog will also bring my concerns to their attention too

08:50 PM BST Phillip Rogers: However, I am very disappointed, that after over a decade of ordering through your site, that I have been treated in this fashion

08:53 PM BST Nithyan(Amazon): I’m sorry you feel this way. We do have certain limitations and we are unable to exceed our limits.

We are here to help our customers. If the issue is not resolved from our end, we will escalate it and get it resolved. This is what I’m doing now.

I’m not authorised to offer any sort of concession on this regard. Please accept my apologies.

08:54 PM BST Phillip Rogers: That is fine, I look forward to hearing from some sort of senior management about this via email soon. In the meantime, I will no longer order from your company and (via my blog, where I will post this), advise my followers of the same

thank you for your time, it was most unhelpful.

08:55 PM BST Nithyan(Amazon): I’m sorry I couldn’t be of much help in this matter. I’ll ask one our manager to follow up this contact and address this issue via email. You will get an email response from him within 2 hours.

Aside from this, is there anything else I may help you with today?

08:56 PM BST Phillip Rogers: that is all, thank you.

08:56 PM BST Nithyan(Amazon): Take care. Goodbye.

We hope to see you again soon. Please click the “end chat” link to close this window.

Thank you.

Amazon.co.uk



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