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22 June 2012 @ 09:21 am
Amazon Next Day Delivery Verdict: Rubbish  
*sigh* I needed a parcel of books for tomorrow at 2pm and bought them on Wednesday and, after a little dithering opted for next-day delivery since that seemed (foolishly) to me to the the option which allowed the most margin of error.

Got a nice little email saying they would deliver on Thursday but I could re-arrange delivery for a better day. Since I couldn't guarantee someone would be in on Thursday I filled in the web-form asking for delivery on Friday and got a confirmation back.

Yesterday I got an email saying they had attempted delivery on Thursday. This does happen, obviously, but I knew I had the Friday delivery scheduled. However to be safe I followed their instructions to arrange redelivery, was informed it was already rearranged and looked at the tracking info which said there would be a delivery on Friday.

I double-checked the tracking info this morning to discover it is still in the depot and the Friday delivery has been removed from the system.

*bangs head on desk in frustration*

I've arranged to collect in person early tomorrow morning (the earliest the system will allow and it looks like the depot is only open between 8am-9am on any given day), but given I now have very little faith that their web interface bears any relation to the reality of their back-end set up I can't quite decide whether I need to stay in all day on the off chance they are going to attempt delivery anyway.

Clearly I would have been better off with Royal Mail First Class. It would probably have arrived yesterday and I would be able to collect at my leisure any time today.

EDIT: LOL! Now they've emailed me to say they are delivering today between 10:41 and 11:41 - their system is truly awesomely rubbish. Though I will be happy if the goods arrive as advertised.

EDIT 2: The automated response I've got to the complaint I sent in says they won the UK Customer Experience Awards in 2011. Unless their web system has got dramatically worse since then I have to assume that that is one of those awards that isn't actually decided by customers. They're also in the Top 50 Call Centers for Customer Service which, given its impossible to reach a real person on their phone lines, is quite impressive and also, therefore, an achievement I am dubious about.

This entry was originally posted at http://purplecat.dreamwidth.org/71081.html.
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lukadreaminglukadreaming on June 22nd, 2012 08:56 am (UTC)
If this is the parcels/courier service that Amazon use (forget the name, as they've changed it), I'm not in the least surprised. The Amazon fora are full of people complaining about the company and I know a few people who have stopped using Amazon as a result. They make the Royal Mail look polished and professional ...
louisedennislouisedennis on June 22nd, 2012 09:02 am (UTC)
They do indeed show the Royal Mail in a good light. I certainly won't be using them again unless it is really "tomorrow" I need the book by.

One of our closest friends works in the Royal Mail Customer Service Call Centre. It's surprising what a difference it makes having an idea what the processes are supposed to be because at least then you have a rough idea of what the Royal Mail thinks is going on and what you can do about it. Not that he would remotely try to defend the company, from where he sits he has a grand overview of all the ways their system doesn't work and makes no sense whatsoever.
bunnbunn on June 22nd, 2012 04:44 pm (UTC)
It seems to be very random and chaotic and also a bit evil, and yet somehow lots of nice people work there, to some extent mitigating the evil with common sense. Possibly this is the best one can hope for from a very large organisation.

I am in awe of the devoted short-wearing persistence of our postman, even in the worst of weathers, and his ability to zoom up our steps, slam-dunk post on the doormat, and be back in his van before I've got to the end of the sentence 'Is that the post?'
wellinghallwellinghall on June 22nd, 2012 05:45 pm (UTC)
It seems to be very random and chaotic and also a bit evil, and yet somehow lots of nice people work there

This. We have known some very helpful postmen, who have gone out of their way to be helpful. We have also known some miserable b*st*rds, and some of their systems really are appalling.
bigtitchbigtitch on June 22nd, 2012 09:44 am (UTC)
I have an amazon prime account and always use the Royal Mail option on it rather than the next day option unless I know I'm going to be in that day. The amazon delivery company only seem to deliver in work hours, whereas Royal Mail will leave a card if I'm not in and then I can pick the package up on a Saturday morning or arrange a delivery to suit me.
louisedennislouisedennis on June 22nd, 2012 10:12 am (UTC)
I think this is a lesson learned, to be honest.
sophievdennis on June 22nd, 2012 09:52 am (UTC)
I have eventually learned that where a delivery companies' system says a parcel is, and where is actually is, can be very different things. Especially the (to me rather crucial) distinction between "languishing at the depot", "yipee! It's on the van and will be with you soon", and "delivered, even though there's been no sign of a delivery man all day".
louisedennislouisedennis on June 22nd, 2012 10:14 am (UTC)
I am staggered by their system's failure to master the subtle distinction between "at the depot, waiting for you" and "on a van, about to be delivered".

However I have my books now, so all is well!
kristen_mara: Tardis Stephenkristen_mara on June 22nd, 2012 10:21 am (UTC)

I hope it gets there in time for your daughter's party!

Re the Awards - LOL. I smell desperate spin tactics...

It all reminds me of the classic 'Pirate Post Office' episode of The Goodies:

* Bill (defensively): "Now look, I think the GPO have a very difficult job to do"
Tim (unimpressed): "Yes, that's why they do it so badly!"

* Graeme (examining a long awaited letter they have finally from the GPO, which is covered with stamps from has been): "London, Belfast, Manchester, Edinburgh, Hong Kong ... oh come on, it can't have been to Edinburgh!"

Or TARDIS Express - when it absolutely, positively has to be there before you mailed it *G*

louisedennislouisedennis on June 22nd, 2012 10:26 am (UTC)
Thankfully they have arrived though I'll be interested to see if I get further emails tomorrow about my failure to turn up at their depot at 9am.
fredbassettfredbassett on June 22nd, 2012 12:07 pm (UTC)
I had similar experiences with Nat West bank, where I was complaining bitterly about service to someone standing in front of a poster that was telling me how wonderful their customer service is. I wanted more show and less tell. But I did end up getting £260 in compensation, about 4 months later.
louisedennislouisedennis on June 23rd, 2012 04:52 pm (UTC)
Customer service definitely seems to be an area where talk is cheaper than most.
daniel_saunders: Marxistdaniel_saunders on June 22nd, 2012 01:11 pm (UTC)
they won the UK Customer Experience Awards in 2011

They didn't say it was for a good experience, just an experience. After all, being held hostage by pirates for three months is an experience...
louisedennislouisedennis on June 23rd, 2012 04:51 pm (UTC)
You are correct it could be a measure of the interestingness of the experience!
wellinghallwellinghall on June 22nd, 2012 02:46 pm (UTC)
In my experience, Amazon use a range of delivery companies, and it is sheer (bad) luck which one you get.
louisedennislouisedennis on June 23rd, 2012 04:51 pm (UTC)
I think I will still opt for Royal Mail if at all possible in future. At least I know how their system works!
wellinghallwellinghall on June 23rd, 2012 05:16 pm (UTC)
That does sound like a wise plan.