12 August 2014

If you shop on Amazon.co.uk and use the Collect+ service, due to a known problem on Amazon’s side there’s a chance your package won’t have your name on.

I told them, they endlessly put the blame on me, or someone else, just not themselves.

Read on for the summary, and transcript of our contact.

Why I’ll no longer use Amazon - short version

This, and the other linked posts, will add up to quite a lot to read through, so for those that don’t want to look at all the supporting evidence, I’ll summarise it below. Hopefully you’ll read further.

A few weeks ago I placed 3 orders with Amazon UK - 2 orders were packaged together, the other (ordered a few days after) sent separately. All were sent to me using the Collect+ service (which I must add is a great service, when it works).

I went to the store on Friday to collect my two packages - though it turned out one package had my name on, the other didn’t. I use the store often, so, together, we figured the mislabelled package was mine. Great.

Being a longstanding Amazon customer, I notified them that they may have a fault, since, you should let companies know when they make a mistake, shouldn’t you?

This exchange is covered here: the first exchange on live chat with Amazon Customer Services and email feedback from Amazon

Given the lack of any sort of apology or attempt to make good 2 hours of accusations targeted at me, I contacted Amazon via their jeff@amazon.com email address in the hope that someone more senior could look at what was said and provide some sort of recompense for their actions.

As background, when previous Prime collections failed, I was immediately offered one month free (in financial terms, around £6.50). Two hours of being insulted by amazon for a begrudging £10 was totally insulting.

Amazon could have easily extended my Prime account by 6 or 12 months, therefore keeping goodwill with me, and keeping my custom. However they chose not to. Which is pretty stupid.

At every stage of my contact with Amazon, which started with me trying to help them, they accused me, or one of their suppliers as the ones at fault:

  • I purposely took my name off the sticker/during the order

  • Yodel should check the sticker

  • I should check my confirmation email that they had put my name in it correctly

The facts are this:

  • Amazon’s systems allow packages to go out for collection at Collect+ stores with no recipient on the label

  • Amazon are aware of this problem

  • Amazon cannot implement a quick fix to find a NULL field and act on it

Not what you’d expect from a company that big, is it?

In summary

The simple truth of the matter is that this should have been immediately fixed to flag that there’s no way that the dispatch could get to the customer.

The fact they have made no attempt to make good the accusations they made to me and their suppliers, and continued to after I raised my concerns to them.

The fact that they claim to be trying to be the Earth’s Most Customer-Centric Company, whilst treating a loyal customer like this, is totally unacceptable.

Amazon should have acknowledged that I found a flaw earlier.

Amazon should not have continued to accuse me for purposely making an order that I couldn’t pick up.

Amazon should not blame their suppliers, and put the onus on them to check the labels that Amazon print.

Amazon should not ignore a genuine request for help to put right a issue where they are at fault.

Amazon should not blame their customers for their faults.

Amazon should not continue to blame the customer AGAIN even once they acknowledge that their systems are at fault.

Amazon is not a Customer-Centric Company. They only are when the answer is simple, but when challenged, show their true colours.

Amazon is no longer a place I can shop at.

Nor should you.

If you value customer service.

I stand by my promises

I said originally I will add 50% (minimum £25) to whatever Amazon offered me as recompense and donate the total sum to UK Charity Mind who do a lot of work for those affected by depression and other mental health issues.

I won’t take the £10 Amazon offered to me, though I’ll stand by original pledge, but double it to £50 - a donation that I made to Mind this evening

I never wanted financial gain by raising this issue to Amazon, merely recognition that they could have done better to support me as a longstanding customer, and recompense for my wasted time being accused by the ‘customer service’ team.

I hope that someone can benefit from my donation.

Amazon’s responses - Initial

Dear Mr Rogers,

My name is REDACTED and I work within Amazon.co.uk Executive Customer Relations.

Jeff Bezos received your e-mail and asked that I respond on his behalf, taking any action necessary to assist you.

Further to your email please allow me to apologise for your recent customer experience with Amazon.co.uk. I have highlighted your case to the relevant senior management teams for review and for corrective measures to be taken where necessary.

I have reviewed your email and attached blogs but unfortunately as you have also written from a non account email address I was unable to locate the order number you are referring to so I could investigate this further.

I am aware of a technical error which was affecting some CollectPlus orders whereby although a recipient name was being added at checkout it was not appearing on the printed label of the order. For me to verify this is what occurred in this case I would ask that your please confirm the order number by replying to this email (resolution-uk@amazon.co.uk)

Regards,

REDACTED Executive Customer Relations

Follow-up

Dear Mr Rogers,

Further to my recent email I have confirmed that the issue surrounding the orders you have highlighted was a technical error at our end. The relevant team are currently working on a solution to this problem and we hope to have a fix in place as soon as possible.

For now we would advise if you do place an order to a CollectPlus store that you confirm that a recipient name is showing on the confirmation email sent after you place it so it will appear physically on the package also.

We apologise again for any inconvenience caused.

Regards,

REDACTED Executive Customer Relations

My response

Hi,

If that’s the best you can do after the two hours of accusations from your customer service staff that it was my fault then I’m afraid you have lost a long-term customer.

£10 credit and an empty apology is absolutely derisory for a company that prides itself on Customer Service. Especially since I’ve uncovered a major flaw in your service that will affect more customers than just me. To say I’m disappointed in Amazon is an understatement.

This evening, I will be actively sharing this experience and the response from Executive Customer Relations to inform my social media followers, friends and colleagues of my experience and encourage them to also shop elsewhere.

Regards, Phil

and

I’ve actually just reviewed both emails from the orders featured in my blog post. The one correctly addressed doesn’t explicitly say a recipient name. In fact it’s the same as the one without the recipient

I guess escalating this issue has been pointless but I’ll add in Jeff’s email again in the hope someone more senior can investigate more adequately

Amazon’s response

Dear Mr Rogers,

We regret that we have not been able to address your concerns to your satisfaction.

I can assure you that this matter has been escalated accordingly and the appropriate team are aware. They have provided their response which I previously advised you of. As the Executive Customer Relations Department liaises with customers on behalf of Amazon’s most senior executives please note any correspondence sent to our Senior Executives will be forwarded to this team for response.

We do hope you will continue to shop with Amazon in the future however should you choose not to please know that we’ve appreciated your patronage and respect your decision.

Regards,

REDACTED Executive Customer Relations

My final response

If you feel that you’ve addressed my concerns, then that is fine. I’ll shop elsewhere and publicise this decision as widely as possible.

About this:

I’ve actually just reviewed both emails from the orders featured in my blog post. The one correctly addressed doesn’t explicitly say a recipient name. In fact it’s the same as the one without the recipient

You ask me to check there’s a recipient n ame in the confirmation email, however this isn’t in any of the 3 order confirmation emails (2 had no name, one did) - so I can’t find how this would work. Apart from pot luck when collecting the order, and finding that the box cannot be indentified amongst the other boxes. Of course, if you think that is a good customer experience, then who am I to argue?

Good luck in your endeavours to be the “Earth’s Most Customer-Centric Company” - you have clearly failed in this instance.

Amazon’s last reply…

Dear Mr Rogers,

I have forwarded your most recent comments to the appropriate team investigating this matter for review. We thank you for your insight.

Regards,

REDACTED Executive Customer Relations Amazon.co.uk http://www.amazon.co.uk

And finally…

If, after reading this, and the other two blog posts linked, you really think that Amazon are a Customer-Centric company that will address your concerns politely, without insult, then be my guest, continue shopping with them.

I won’t shop with Amazon again.

They’ve lost a customer.



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