My first Amazon customer service experience was with a subscribe and save item. That’s when you can have something you regularly use shipped to you on some interval you decide and you get a discount at the same time. I ordered a supplement and the next day the price dropped by $10. Usually it takes a while for subscribe and save items to ship but because I have prime it shipped the next day.
I called Amazon customer support to try and get a price adjustment because it shipped before I could cancel the order. It was later in the evening and I received a representative from a non-native English speaking call center. The rep explained to me that they don’t do price adjustments and that he couldn’t refund the difference. I informed him that policy seemed a little ridiculous considering I could return the order when it arrives and re-order another one at the lower price. He said that was their policy and there was nothing they could do about it.
It just so happened that I saw some blurb about Amazon wanting to provide the best customer experience the same day my order was to arrive. When it did, I tried to return it on the website and it wouldn’t let me, so I called in again. This time it was during normal hours and native english speaking rep took my call. She listened to my story and informed me that she would refund my money completely. I asked her how I could return the order. She informed me to keep it because they don’t return supplements, and that I should not forget to change my subscribe and save order to receive the lower price for the next time.
Wow! Ok. I didn’t expect that. I mean I was a little miffed over how India dealt with me, but this made up for it. I wondered if it was a one-off thing or normal?
A few days later we had ordered a heavy-duty one-half cord firewood rack. It was delivered damaged. The rack was about 50 pounds and should have been double boxed. It wasn’t and there were parts of the rack sticking out of the box. The paint was scratched all over.
I called customer service that evening and received a non-native english speaking representative again. I informed the rep that my order was damaged and the box that it was delivered in was destroyed. I couldn’t return the rack without a new box and a delivery pick-up. The rep didn’t quite comprehend that it weighed 50 pounds along with it being too large to move by myself. It took a bit of time for him to research how to handle the situation. After a decent amount of time it was getting late and I told him to call me back when he figured it out.I remembered my experience a few days earlier between the India and US-based call centers and decided to call back the next morning hoping to receive a US employee. I did and the rep researched what happened the previous evening. She told me that they were refunding my money for the order. I thanked her and said that I would need a new box to return the rack and the shipper to pick it up. What happened next rendered me speechless. She informed me that there was no need to return the rack. I could keep it, I could donate it, I could do whatever I want with it. I really didn’t know what to say to that. I told her that was much more than I expected. My wife was in the car with me listening to the conversation and she also was shocked.
The rack costs $200 (and is totally worth it without the damage)! In my mind I was thinking, “how can they stay in business doing this?!” I couldn’t be the only person having this happen!
The most recent experience happened just yesterday. Its my first time trying to repair brick mortar and I ordered the wrong product. When it arrived, I went to the website to return it. This time, it was the website that refunded me the money along with informing me there was no need to return the product!
I did notify Amazon in a survey response that they really need to standardize their policies across all call centers. It really makes the difference between an average experience and an amazing one. You may just want to hold your customer service call until regular US business hours until they do.