An open letter to Amazon.com

Dear Amazon.com,

Buying a Kindle has been a long and tiresome process and it was not at all how I expected it to be. I am one of the many people who also ordered a leather cover that made my Kindle malfunction. It froze, it became unresponsive, needed a hard reboot and would forget how far I had gotten in my reading. After a while it also started rebooting spontaneously while I was reading.

Long story short, I have had to deal with several Kindle Customer Service Employees during the past two months, and the communication has been rather erratic, all in all. With my first Kindle it was relatively simple. After many emails where Amazon told me I had to call them (I’m a student with a cell phone and a tight budget), or use the Call back-feature (I live in Norway and can’t use this feature), I asked for Amazon to call me, which they did. I talked to a woman from ireland who sent me a new Kindle, I sent the old one back and asked for a refund for the shipping costs. I got it as a gift card, which was frustrating, but I didn’t discover it until after I had spent a little bit of the gift card, so I didn’t bother complaining. No one told me that I should stop using the leather cover.

The second Kindle arrived and worked well for a few days, before starting to behave like the first one. This time, I spoke to another Amazon employee who said that he would send a new Kindle and personally make sure that everything worked out well. I didn’t have to do anything, he would fix it all, and he was so sorry about all the trouble. However, he charged my VISA card for the replacement Kindle, and I woke up broke on a Monday, not able to get to work. It took a week for Amazon to get my money back, and I lost 10$ because of it all due to currency changes. When I complained I got emails from employees who didn’t understand what had happened and told me I couldn’t get the money back until the order had been shipped from Amazon.

After this, I was lucky enough to get a call from an employee who had actually read about my previous problems. His name is Akos, and he promised to follow up on my case. We reset the second malfunctioning Kindle to the factory defaults and upgraded the software, and he said that I should avoid using the leather cover in case that was what was causing the problems. After that, the Kindle worked fine, but a replacement was already on it’s way, so I sent the second Kindle back as well, and Akos followed up as he was supposed to.

He was going to call me yesterday, but another Amazon employee (Jurika from South Africa) called me sever hours earlier. She took the tracking and shipping cost information for the second Kindle that is on it’s way back to you, and issued a refund. I also asked Jurika for a refund on the leather cover that seems to have caused all my problems, and she arranged for this to be done, and I think that’s on it’s way. She also said she would get me a gift card for a value of 10$ since I lost money due to currency changes when you mistakenly charged my card for the replacement Kindle, but I haven’t received that either. Another person, who I hadn’t spoken to before emailed me and said that he wouldn’t issue the refund because there was a note on my case that someone else was responsible. I am now really tired and frustrated about this whole affair.

I have

  1. lost a whole work day worth of money because you charged my card for money I was not supposed to pay, and thus I was not able to get to work the following day.
  2. lost 10$ because the currency had changed when you paid me back the money you owed me.
  3. spent a lot of time being frustrated over the bad communication from Amazon’s part, about the Kindle not working and about the time it has taken to fix things.
  4. been delayed in my work as a free lance consultant after having said that I was able to work with PDFs instead of paper because the Kindle kept malfunctioning and freezing. This has also cost me money because I haven’t been able to take as many assignments as I would have wished.
  5. been dealing with at least ten different people from Amazon and none of them has read up on my case and most of them said they would help, and then didn’t. This seems to be the main problem with your customer service, the fact that so many people reply and try to help without checking the account or what other people have done previously (thus asking me to use the call back-feature even though I live in Norway, asking me why I have two Kindles, or thinking I should pay for the replacement because they don’t understand that it’s a replacement, etc, etc)

Fortunately Akos has now called me and I have been reassured that this case now is closed and that the refund for the shipping costs I’ve had and for the leather cover is now on its way to my account.

However:

It is not my fault that a product I paid for didn’t work as it was supposed to. It is not my fault that the replacement Kindle also was malfunctioning. It is not my fault that you accidentally charged my VISA card for the second replacement Kindle. It is not my fault that you have been erratic and extremely bad at communicating. I have blogged about this and I’ve made sure not to recommend Amazon to my Norwegian friends who were considering buying Kindles, mainly due to the terrible customer service and all the faults you have made on my case. I have lost valuable time and money because of the whole affair, and I would like some compensation for all the trouble I’ve been through. This is not exactly what I expected when I ordered a reading device from you.

You sign your emails saying that the customers’ feedback helps you build «Earth’s Most Customer-Centric Company». I’m sorry to say this, but you have a long way to go, Amazon.

Ida Zachariassen Sagberg
idadah at gmail dot com

Update: Shortly after I wrote this, Akos from Amazon contacted me and told me that I would be given a 20$ gift card to make up for the inconvenience they have caused over the past few months.

Reklamer

3 tanker om “An open letter to Amazon.com

  1. >Synes dette er et "fint" eksempel på hvordan de rettighetene vi har som forbrukere i Norge ikke gjelder i en del andre land. 😦 Veldig trist, men sant. Vi har lite å stille opp med.

  2. >In Norway we might have these situations all sorted out via laws, but it's really just common sense that it is cheaper for the company to a) make a product which does not require more service to be done in a while or b) take the 5 minutes extra to do a proper job of it when receiving a complaint.Common sense here in Norway that is. Seems like capitalism has killed common sense in America, sometimes :/

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