Does Amazon.com suck?

by brian d foy

Over the past month I have tried to buy a bunch of things on Amazon, and failed almost every time because Amazon has not ship things to me on time. I use to love buying things on Amazon because I knew I'd get them in a couple of days with minimum hassle. Now I have to scrutinize the several pages of the checkout process to see if the estimated shipping dates match what the product pages said, and more often than not lately, they don't.


This is a big deal for me. I'm hopping around the country right now. I'm in Detroit only for another week and a half, so if I order something today and choose regular shipping, Amazon needs to ship it within the next couple of days for it to get to me before I leave. Amazon missed me in New York and again in Chicago because they did not ship on time.


The product pages say "usually ship in 24 hours", but then the order page will say "Estimated ship date for this item: [two weeks from now]", This gets even worse if it is shipped by a third party (J&R Music and Computer World and eBags were recent suppliers who couldn't ship to me on time). They seem to be even slower.


I have already been burned by this twice this month. I ordered a book for next day delivery, and it got to where I was two days after I had left because it shipped three days late. This happened at my next stop too. I still do not have the book, and I wanted to order it again today. It can't ship until next Tuesday so I risk missing it again. What's the point of paying extra for FedEx when the book won't even ship for a week?


What happened to all that bluster about getting rid of bricks and mortar? It looks to me like Amazon needs more of it, because I'm going to Borders tomorrow.

Anyone else having problems with Amazon, or am I having a string of bad luck?


22 Comments

jwenting
2004-05-07 02:33:44
no trouble here
Amazon seems faster for me than in the past.
Where up to a few months ago shipments would typically take at least 3 weeks it is now rare for them to take more than 2 weeks to get here.


Amazon commissioning their German execution center really helped the European customers :)

pudge
2004-05-07 08:26:22
Third Parties
I usually only have problems with third-party orders from Amazon.com.


Then again, I live only a couple hours away from their HQ. :)

ahockley
2004-05-07 08:33:53
no trouble here
Am I the only one who initially had the wrong mental picture inspired by the phrase "German execution center"?
caseydk
2004-05-07 09:03:24
no trouble here


That really does leave all sorts of room for comments...

cvaldez
2004-05-07 13:45:35
Free Shipping Option
I recently placed an order on Amazon where all the products were "usually ships in 24 hours" but when I checked out, the estimated delivery date was 6 days out. I emailed their customer service department and was told that if you select the free shipping option, they sit on your order for 4-6 business days.


"This additional time allows us to ship your order in the most cost-efficient way available, and enables us to pass the savings, in the form of free shipping, on to you."


I'm not buying that argument, but since I had an Amazon gift certificate to spend, I just let it go. I'm not in a huge hurry to get the books.

PChuprina
2004-05-08 07:49:10
Amazon.ca
Yes! Lately I haved ordered four books; gone is the expected next day or soon after arrival. Books orders listed as being prepared, have already been received. Expected receiving dates pushed back,etc, etc. is it the old case of Too much success?
jwenting
2004-05-08 10:21:51
no trouble here
AFAIK they don't execute Germans there, so I think you indeed got the wrong impression :)
Jonathan Gennick
2004-05-10 07:27:58
I agree somewhat
I'm not as frustrated as Brian is, but it is true, you do really need to watch the dates on the checkout form. What I've noticed is that the date on which a product ships changes as you try different shipping options. This is particularly troublesome when Amazon offers free shipping, as not only does the free shipping itself take longer, but Amazon typically takes a few extra days (over standard shipping) to even get the product out the door. I've wondered whether they do that purpose, so they can advertise free shipping while at the same time discouraging people from actually taking them up on it. Or, maybe the extra delay is inherent in their free shipping process. I don't know. I do know that I've learned to pay very, very careful attention the shipping dates when I check out.
cwong
2004-05-10 19:11:05
For me It's been downhill for over a year now.

I've first noticed their poor shipping service for over a year now. I remember ordering a book and waiting weeks for it, only to find it and purchasing it from a B&N store. I just emailed them and did a return on purchase.


Lately, I've had to cancel and reorder books to get a faster shipping date. I've also had them burn me atleast twice changing my shipping options and charging me more for it. It wasn't that much more money, but it is the principle.


I remember the good old days of service when you could easily find their 1-800 number. They've overnighted a cd to me because the first shipment got lost in the mail. Now these days you'll be lucky to find their 1-800 number, and if you do find it, it'll get routed to India anyways.

sm2004
2004-05-11 15:52:05
Yeah, slipping a bit
I ordered a book this month from Amazon. It arrived with a couple of defective pages. I asked them to ship another copy. Instead, they refunded my money without further explanation. First time anything like that's happened to me.
Chirael
2004-05-15 08:39:32
"Usually ships in 24 hours"
I've interpreted this to mean "if you choose the standard (NOT Free) shipping option, it will go out our doors (into the shipping system) within 24 hours". Of course, when it actually arrives is up to the shipping method chosen.


I agree that the "ships in 24 hours" is a bit deceptive, even if you look at it from the "goes out the door" perspective. Well, maybe not deceptive, but perhaps unintentionally user-unfriendly.


While it might _sound_ great or _look great_ to see that on a page, in reality users (customers) don't CARE when it "goes out the door", they care when it *arrives*. So while the phrase may not be deceptive per se, it does seem to set customers up for disappointment because it implies arrival within days and that's apparently not happening very often.


This seems to be another case of penny wise (get the sale by saying it ships w/in 24 hours) and pound foolish (losing the customer long-term due to failing to meet customer expectations set up by the method of getting the sale).

suzieQ
2004-05-16 19:05:04
does amazon suck
hi I have been selling on amazon for over one year. many customers think we ship within 24 hours its called misreading the info. we have two business days to ship and if you use regular it may take several weeks because its media mail. we never use fed -x for expedited . it is only priority mail. so if your hopping around the country it will be impossbile to get your book , if you are really unhappy you should contact the company president at Jeff@amazon.com and let them know.
suzieQ
2004-05-16 19:06:50
does amazon suck
hi I have been selling on amazon for over one year. many customers think we ship within 24 hours its called misreading the info. we have two business days to ship and if you use regular it may take several weeks because its media mail. we never use fed -x for expedited . it is only priority mail. so if your hopping around the country it will be impossbile to get your book , if you are really unhappy you should contact the company president at Jeff@amazon.com and let them know.
brian_d_foy
2004-05-16 21:13:25
does amazon suck
My comments only apply to Amazon.com's retail operation, not z-Sellers or Amazon.com Marketplace.


I don't have to write to Jeff Bezos. He has to write to me to get me back. I have plenty of options, and I am not particularly loyal to any of them.

talkbird
2004-06-01 11:48:48
keep my money
back in April I purchased a all in one printer for $129.99 they gave me a due date of May 6, since that time, May came and went Amazon cashed my check for the above amt. and I never heard from them again. I cancelled my order and May 8, because I never received the printer and up until now, I tried many times to contact them thru e-mail but they never answered me. So up until now, they have my money, and I never received anything in the mail. Plus to this, I lost money waiting for this printer because I needed it for business. So now I purchased another printer from HP and I am happy with it, but I still want my money that your company owes me. It's over a month now and no word at all.


Your company truly does suck!



Louise DiFranco

brian_d_foy
2004-06-01 11:56:13
keep my money
You can request a refund, and so far Amazon.com has been very good about issuing refunds. Go through the help interface to the point where it talks about refunds, and email that address if you haven't already done that. Other email may disappear into unknown customer service regions.


Besides that, you can contest the charge with your credit card issuer.


Good luck :)

ReadingBooks
2005-07-04 11:45:40
Amazon & Slower Shipping
I started noticing a real lag time in shipping too. Formerly, you would place your order, gt the confirmation email and then get a notice in LESS than 24 hours that your order had shipped.
Now, however, even though the items ARE available (bestselling books, for example), it is still upwards of a week before the order is filled and shipped. The MAIN reason a lot of use Amazon was for the Free Shipping that was SO fast. Other outlets (independent) are offering free shipping incentives, so if there is no added value in Amazon being fast, why should we shop with them anymore.
I have a theory ... ever since they introduce their "low" overnight shipping option, Free Shipoping drastically slowed. Is this a ploy to get us to pop for the overnight shipping???
An aside - for the MOST part, the Marketplace Sellers seem to be on the ball as far as some pretty fast shipping. Of course we pay for that, but they routinely beat Amazon in getting things to me.
Try Powells.com.
elwood W Nelson
2006-03-12 08:24:25
Amen, ordered on 3 March 06 and they charged my Credit Card with supposed Standard Shipping ?
Third Party seller said Amazon would not realease Funds so they could ship. Then Amazon informs me that it will be shipped in the 10-24 Time Frame and after showing my objection they ask me to wait until 29 March to receive the item. American Express is investigating, and I will deny any shipment items relative to this transaction
Gary
2006-03-29 15:01:40
Trouble with third party seller. Amazon first offers A-to-Z refund, didn't send send me return shipping address, then backs out. Won't send me detailed info on seller. I used to like shopping online and Amazon was a favorite but...? It appears 'online' is now popular and is attracting the greedy, don't care attitude.
cogito
2006-04-18 20:29:34
I ordered a couple DVDs in March. Granted, they were probably coming from different sellers and I chose the Media Mail shipping. They won't even be shipped until MAY. 6 or 7 weeks to get a couple DVDs together for shipping? Absurd.


I have used them before, but this may be the last time after reading other posts.


Cogito


2006-04-27 18:46:41
Yep, I've had problems in the last six months. I'm a student, so when I order a textbook I need it within one week, two weeks tops. I've started classes sweating bullets because my textbook did not arrive. Two classes. Two classes -- we were 4 weeks into the class before my textbooks finally showed up. Part of that was my fault because the first seller canceled my order, as he was "out of stock", and I missed the email telling me about this. You have to log in and verify your orders are going through. Total crap. When I order a book. I don't want to have to play merry go round. I just want it to show up in my mailbox -- toot sweet. ciao.


I've learned. No more buying textbooks on Amazon. It's a grade killer.

Tyson
2006-05-28 20:35:46
Amazon doesn't care at all really about their customers or even those third party sellers. They went out of their way to skip out on paying me $700.24 as they deposited my payment into a closed account when I complained they just said the funds were deposited and it's not their responsibility to pay me now. Provided proof to Amazon.com that the bank returned the funds and to date they paid none of their balance owed. I posted the proof at http://no-amazon.com for those skeptics that doubt what I say as accurate.