I’m a fan of radical disclosure when it comes to customer service journalism. So: Here are two emails sent to Amazon.co.uk when I could have been doing more productive things this week. I doubt that their publication here will do much to resolve the situation but one never knows.
I just spoke with someone from customer service on the phone, having received an email bounceback from “firstname.lastname@example.org,” which seems to be an actual email address from which your multinational corporation actually sends emails.
I would question the wisdom of that strategy along with all of your other efforts to provide decent customer service on this issue to date, were I to have even the slightest faith that you would respond in a manner befitting a company that claims to value customer service over profitability.
But I can’t be bothered. I’m exhausted. You’ve disappointed me so much by now that all I want is for someone there to take me seriously and respond to my very simple requests.
Fortunately I heard from the lady on the phone that Amazon customer services has a primary email address for customers with complaints, and that this is it. So I am emailing you, forwarding the email I tried to send just now, hoping that this time, somebody actually receives it.
It’s funny to get an email from “nobody” when you feel like you are being made to believe that you, too, are a “nobody,” by a business you have been loyal to for more than a decade. Albeit funny in a John Cleese / Fawlty Towers – type exasperated way.
All rights reserved,
———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Matthew Davis <email@example.com
Date: Wed, Oct 17, 2012 at 12:39 PM
Subject: Re: Important Enquiry Regarding Your Recent Order 026-8198471-9676334
To: “Amazon.co.uk Customer Services” <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I am increasingly dumbfounded at your inability to satisfy a series of simple requests on this purchase, and furthermore, am starting to wonder whether I may be the victim of some kind of Kafkaesque conspiracy orchestrated by people with nothing better to do than induce the possible need for blood pressure medication in an otherwise healthy 33-year-old man.
Since this minor customer service issue has required, so far, more than half a dozen email exchanges to exacerbate rather than resolve, I no longer am interested in resolving it via email. I am asking, as an Amazon customer, that somebody from Amazon with actual decision-making authority and not a lowly, unfortunate service automoton who is paid to follow a decision tree, calls me back. My telephone number is 07774 173 673. It is a simple, straightforward request although I am pessimistic about Amazon’s ability to comply with it.
From a service perspective your company has responded terribly, woefully, disastrously to every single one of my requests on this purchase and in a similar manner to my measured feedback on your terrible, woeful, disastrous efforts to service those requests. I am surprised, to say the least, that your company has the gall to write on its emails: “Your feedback is helping us build Earths Most Customer-Centric Company.”
Admittedly there is a missing apostrophe in the word “Earths,” in that sentence, so I suspect the person who wrote it was also, probably, not entirely sincere or trained in the importance of meaningful communication with one’s customers. Either that or their grammar is simply terrible. I’m not sure which of the possible scenarios I find more offensive, but for now, let’s proceed as though it were the first.
Regrettably I am beginning to feel a vested interest in seeking resolution to this issue outside the bounds of my customer relationship with Amazon. For example, I am a member of Which?, the consumer advocacy organisation, which offers free legal advice to its members and is also terribly interested in hearing about negative experiences of customer service, particularly at the hands of listed, multinational corporations.
I also hate to Lord it about but I am also a freelance journalist in my, admittedly sparse, spare time who has been published internationally and rather enjoys blogging about negative experiences of customer service. In Amazon’s case, however, I am not sure that a blog post would reach a sufficient audience, given the broad reach of the company and the extent of my righteous (?) indignation on this issue. Perhaps a book proposal would be more in order. I have always wanted to get a book published and this seems as good a place to start as any.
I wonder: At this point, should I simply reroute my enquiry to the press office? Assuming Amazon has a press office, I mean. Actually I am sure Amazon must have a press office. Perhaps you could route my enquiry there. Alternatively I need the following:
1. For someone at Amazon to actually take the time to understand the dynamics of Order #026-8198471-9676334. This might require researching the email exchanges we have already had on the subject, two of which are included below in italics, but the thorough pursuit of which might admittedly might take someone a while. Then again since I may be required to seek a doctor’s advice on the blood pressure issues perhaps presented by the mentioned exchange, which would require me to take time off work at considerable expense, I would consider it the least that someone at Amazon could do for this frustrated, almost desperate, customer.
2. For someone at Amazon to get me a VAT invoice, which includes a supplier VAT number and date of purchase/order fulfillment, from the supplier, GreatSelections, 119 Grosvenor Way, London E59ND. Or at the very least to explain why that is still apparently not possible, more than a month after the order was placed and fulfilled.
3. For someone at Amazon to persuade me why I should continue to respect the company and recommend it in my social and professional sphere.
That’s all. Then perhaps we can discuss your efforts to bill me, refund me, bill me again, and then refund me again, for this purchase. As far as I am concerned at this point it is hardly a matter of money, but that’s entirely your call and I have a firm interest in ensuring that this matter is resolved satisfactorily for all concerned.
Like Amazon I would love to sign this email with the words “with warmest regards” but that would be insincere and patronising. So I will sign it instead…
With all rights reserved,