Category Archives: amazon

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?

It’s in the post …

You have a good friend who’s retiring.  You think we all owe him something, so you help organise a presentation.  You get a nice card, get mutual friends to sign and to contribute to a present.  You discuss a few ideas with your co-conspirators, and decide that an e-book reader will be appreciated, and matches the money collected.

I ordered a Kindle from Amazon last Saturday.  Because the presentation was due on Thursday evening, I didn’t take free delivery, but paid a fiver extra for the fastest possible delivery, which the ordering system told me I could be sure of receiving by Wednesday.

On Monday I get email telling me it’s been dispatched and I can expect delivery on Tuesday.  Great.

I stay in all day Tuesday.  Nothing arrives.

Ditto Wednesday.  By this time I’m getting concerned, and I contact Amazon using their online chat facility to complain: if delivery time wasn’t important, I’d’ve gone for free delivery.  They stonewalled my complaint: nothing they could do before April 6th, a full week after the ordering system had promised.  I complained that we can’t just move our friend’s retirement, and I had paid good money for better than this, but no joy.

Thursday, still no delivery.  We ended up having to present him the card (a lovely card which my co-conspirator had commissioned from a local artist) but apologise lamely that the present was in the post.  Aaargh!

When the package from Amazon finally arrived early on Friday morning, I was sorely tempted to send it right back.  Bah, Humbug.

Just to cap it all, today I got spam from Amazon.  At least I’d taken the precaution (as I generally do when I give my address to anyone commercial) of giving them a unique amazon@[my.domain] email address, so deleting it was clean and easy.