Amazon grief

I’ve been trying to buy a new toy.  Since (recently) first reading about treadmill desks, I’ve realised that’s exactly what I need to benefit both my productivity and my physical condition.  Sitting at a desk has never really seemed a sensible posture (and difficulty with some desks and chairs is one of the main reasons I gave up working in a regular office).  Standing for any length of time is no solution: it’s uncomfortable and fatiguing.  But walking, yes, I can walk for many hours and enjoy it, and I’m at much less risk of back pain than in a chair.

Having googled for vendors in the UK, I found very few candidates.   Amazon selling this one at £805 seemed far and away the best candidate, so I ordered one.  But at checkout, it told me Delivery: 3-5 days, leaving a serious risk they’d try to deliver while I was away from home.

OK, I’ll try asking support about how flexible delivery is: can I order today but arrange delivery sometime later when I’ll definitely be around?  I select “Pre-order queries” from amazon’s chat menu, and type my opening question:

Me: Hi, if I place an order today, but your delivery folks give me a time when I won’t be around, how easy is it to change it? I’m away for a week.

After some time, I get a non-reply:

Ankush:Hello, my name is Ankush. I’ll be happy to help you today.
Me:Do you have my question?

More time, and another non-reply:

Ankush: [me] yes I have you question and I will also try my best to give you a resolution so for that may I have your order number?

Dammit, not only has the idiot not read my question, it seems Amazon’s system has completely ignored my careful selection of “pre-order questions”.  I repeated (cut&paste) my original question, but after several minutes more gave up in disgust.  OK, postpone this order.

Last night I returned to the browser tab where I had my Amazon order: 3-5 days from now will be just fine.  I note the price now shows not as £805 but £840, and curse a little.  But I proceed to checkout …

… where it now wants a whopping £1500.  So this delay due to Amazon’s sick joke of “support” is going to cost nearly double.  Soddit, I might just have paid £1500 for a life-changing gadget, but I’m sure as hell not paying Amazon £695 for messing me around!

So, back to google: can I find any other options?  There’s another potential candidate here, but does it really exist?  I tried ‘phoning them today to ask about it: they promised to get back to me but haven’t, so it’s not looking promising.

Where else can I look?

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Posted on December 9, 2013, in amazon, rants. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. So looking at the vendor’s American website, it seems as if Amazon are selling for UKP1500, something that in the US retails for US$1500, *including* delivery. I think “unreasonable” is a fair and neutral term to describe that exchange rate.

    I don’t know what Amazon’s ‘contact’ options are exactly, but I recommend always escalating from “query” to “complaint” if you don’t get satisfaction at first. The thing about complaints is, most organisations – and I’m willing to bet Amazon follows this convention – will record and track them, and have actual metrics, on which someone’s annual bonus or pay rise will depend, for closing them “satisfactorily”. Regular “enquiries” don’t carry the same weight. In this case, I’d probably lodge two separate complaints: one about the query handling, another about the unreasonable price markup.

    However, be warned that shipping something bulky from the US to outside-the-US is no laughing matter, and you’ll be hard pressed to find anyone else willing and able to help you, at least at any reasonable cost.

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