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Amazon Customer Service - It's a mixed bag



Update on February 8th 2017

So, as it happens sometimes in life, things can go bad. So, Amazon took the wrong item that was delivered. Then, by some weird sequence of events, delivered a brand new laptop, which was again a Vostro instead of a Inspiron.

This time, again the customer rep was very apologetic, and happily transferred the call to the supervisor. Again, the supervisor also apologized, and obviously I asked for compensation. Nope, they wont give it.

I asked to speak with the seller (I later discovered that the seller is an inhouse seller, so Amazon is the seller in this case) but that was declined too.

I asked if it is right that this seller has just ruined my confidence in amazon shipping? The supervisor said it is not, but there will be no penalty for the seller or any compensation for me.

So, I resigned to the fact that nope, my options are once again, to get a replacement or a refund. Since the specs were almost identical (and I spoke with Dell who confirmed that despite this being not the laptop i actually ordered, there wont be any problems with warranty), I just decided to hold on it.

My confidence with Amazon is a little shaken, but I suppose, the policy only extends till refunds and returns, without any compensation. Dunno what else I could do about it.


Original stuff

Like a duct that takes to water, I almost immediately embrace online stuff (which could be said about anybody who was born in the 80s onward) I took to online shopping the moment it came to India like 6 years ago. Obviously Flipkart was the only choice available. Back then, Flipkart was a small company, and their customer service was just excellent. Then, they got bigger and as it happens to any Indian company that becomes big (I have written about poor service with Airtel and Paytm previously. Of course, this  become bigger become arrogant and give poor service affects Indian divisions of International companies like Xiaomi too!), Flipkart started doing all the bad things big companies do. Their wait times got insane. emails took time to arrive, and IVR became a rubik's cube that cannot be solved by mere mortals.

Of course, those who read my blog should not think that I am always complaining. I have praised Vodafone and Faasos when they have done excellent things, and obviously I am about to praise Amazon.

After that incident with Flipkart, I decided to go with Amazon, and that was 5 years ago and I am still with them. Amazon, of course is the world's largest company, and not just in retail. They are like seriously huge company. Yet, they haven't forgotten the basics of customer service. Recently I ordered an Inspiron machine and somehow the supplier (who is not Amazon, this is important) sent me a Vostro machine. Reaching out to amazon customer service is easy. Log in to the website, and there is a option called 'call'. No rubik's cube inspired IVR and none of that nonsense. Then, there is the wait time. 5 years ago, and now, it is still less than a minute. I was always worried that once Amazon got too big in India (look at what happened to Xiaomi above), I thought they would reduce their focus on customer service. Now they are big in India, and yet the wait time is less than a minute.

The friendly customer rep listened to me (the website had already shared all the order details, so we got right into the issue right away) and asked me to email some photos of the wrong item to be delivered. I did that, and 3 hours letter, amazon replied that someone will be here in 24 hours to collect the wrong item. Further, a new item has already been ordered, and it will begin delivery the moment I return this wrong item. Today morning, the amazon pick guy called me up, and he is on his way.

Of course, I am yet to receive the actual item I ordered, but this is Amazon's 2nd mistake (and it is the supplier who put the wrong thing in the box) in 5 years, and I ordered dozens of things every few months, so the number of orders I have with them is huge. Even now, something could go wrong, but so far, the communication, promptness and the energy with which the amazon system works has me impressed.

I will update this as the story develops.

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