Bitterwallet praises Amazon customer service, end of world nigh

2 December 2010

KindleAvid reader Cold Mocha has been in touch with the Bitterwallet bunker, in a desperate appeal to the caring and generous side of our nature.

Fat chance.

However, he put forward a compelling argument; since we're such heartless bastards to the big companies when they do wrong by consumers, shouldn't we applaud them when they get things right?

Fair enough, we said. We've given Amazon plenty of stick in the past, so here's our reader's experience of a business going above and beyond to look after its customer:

I bought a Kindle about two months ago from Amazon. Yesterday it was in my big coat pocket as I walked to the station in the snow. When I got there, I whipped out my nifty little device to see that the screen was, in layman's terms, messed up. I took a closer look at it and realised some moisture had seeped into it.

Naturally, I was gutted. I got home and decided to call up Amazon in the hope that they offered some sort of repair service.

On their website, I looked for their number and found that it was a freephone number. Now very few, if any, of the major companies offer a freephone number. They try to deter you from harassing them by making you use the numbers that actually cost more than normal calls. So that’s one plus point for Amazon. Then they had an option where I could get them to actually call me, so I opted for that and my mobile started ringing straight away.

I told the lady on the phone my problem and before I could get any further, she told me that they would send me a replacement and it would be with me next week! I asked how I would send the damaged one and she said not to worry, they would send a courier on the day I wanted. Lo and behold, the guy came at lunchtime today and took it away.

Now major companies tend to lack in customer service as they are already so well established that they feel they don’t need to suck up to the little guy. But I am so impressed by the Amazon response, the speed of it and the fact they are covering all charges – I don’t even have to go to the post office.

There is still hope yet. Good on ya, Amazon.

TOPICS:   Gadgets


  • Plusman
    I've generally had very good experience with Amazon CS (though sometimes the accent of the person in the call centre can be diffciult to understand). Recently I ordered a load of books for my daughter for Christmas. The box was fine when it arrived, but 2 of the books were in poor condition - probably they were packed like that. Phoned Amazon on their toll-free number and it only took a few minutes to get them to send out 2 new books, and for them to send me a link for a post-paid sticker that I could print off. They sent out the books even before I had managed to get to the Post Office to send back the damaged ones. (Also worth noting that the Post Office seemed to be well set up to handle Amazon returns - I asked for a certificate of posting and they seemed to be able to print out Amazon specific ones). The new books arrived 2 days later. A much better experience than with many other companies - especially those that are either impossible to contact by phone, or which charge you a premium rate to contact them; and also those that won't send out a replacement until they get the original one back (even though they have your credit card and address details).
  • steve
    Have heard of several people, and one firend, having problems with Kindle screens. Seems their policy is just to replace on those, its almost as if they expect them to break a lot.
  • Give d.
    I'm also a fan of their customer services. I bought some boots from them last year and although labled as my size, were far too small. Talked to amazon and like plusman, they were happy to send out a replacement pair ASAP and arrange for collection of the old one. Easy as pie. I'd also give a pat on the back to ASOS, their returns are a doddle too, they've signed up for a service which collects from loads of places (including the little corner shop at the end of my road.) drop it in and you are done.
  • Tony J.
    Broke my Sansa Clip's clip on holiday. The evening before the first anniversary of it's purchase I emailed Amazon CS. Got an email at 10.00 the next morning tell me a new one had been dispatched. Courier picked up the broken one. Awesome customer service.
  • Satisifed c.
    I have to agree, I have had many dealings with Amazon and they have been absolutely brilliant when things go wrong. IMO a good company can be judged on how they deal with their customers when they're not happy. Amazon are far ahead of the competition in that respect.
  • PokeHerPete
    I too have always thought of Amazon being brilliant. The only issue I ever had was when I ordered a couple of books and the cunt of a delivery man thought it was apt to throw the package over the side entry gate. Not only was there impact damage on the books but also water damage as it was a wet day. Anyway I emailed Amazon and they dispatched new ones and gave me labels to return the damaged ones.
  • Julian A.
    I'm not a fan of Amazon, currently.
  • Marie
    Amazon are brilliant. About this time last year I ordered 6 books, waited a few weeks for them arrive (keeping in mind it was Christmas), got to the start of the year and they hadn't arrived, so I shot off an email to them and about half an hour later they emailed me back telling me they had sent replacements, 1st class post, at no extra cost and they were sorry about my trouble with them. Best customer service I've had in ages.
  • NickS
    I would be more concerned why the hell the Kindle got moisture damage to start with. Regardless of how good customer service is, the Kindle is a piece of shit and getting as much fervour as Apple have dominating with the iPod. The iPod is far from the best MP3 Player out there, and certainly the Kindle is not the best built or best format supporting e-reader out there.
  • Macca
    I too have a good experience with Amazon, but with their U.S counterpart. A few years ago I ordered an Ipod in the States and got it delivered with some other stuff to the Hotel my Cousin was staying in. The hotel gave my cousin the package sans Ipod and when he got back to Blighty I flipped. once again Amazon sent a courier to pick up the item and gave me a refund no questions. Since then I've always bought from Amazon (always my first option anyway).
  • Martin
    I think Amazon CS is great. I know some guys who work for Amazon, and they know this. They work on the basis that they can't always be cheapest for everything, but by having great customer service, they can make it less worthwhile for people to go elsewhere. And it works, doesn't it.
  • A
    I have to say I have a completely different experience on the other end of the spectrum. Amazon have been the biggest nightmare to deal with. My friend got me a kindle as a gift which was nice and all except that I know I'll never use it and could really do with a new hard drive instead. So after reading gift terms I decided to exchange it for a credit voucher. I called up attempting to arrange a return only to be put on hold after every single question and gasped at when I advised that i dont actually have an account with them and it was a GIFT from somebody else. "What is your name? ...ok please hold!" "do you have an account? ...ok lwhat is the order id and the senders name? let me check that please hold!" "so what can i do for you? ...I see...okay please hold!" "right so what did you want? right, right, thats fine. I may need to put you through to the kindle team. Please hold!" After about half an hour of being messed around and one hold too many amazons cusomer service agent decides to disconnect me for reasons unknown. the same happens again. TWICE. So, eventually i decide to arrange the return online and print out a label, amazon books the courier automatically using their system. I wait in the next day, and the next but nobody shows. After over a week I give amazon a call only to be told I need to ring the courier directly and arrange it. Except that the courier seems to think its amazons responsibility to organise it since I've already been given a ref number and printed a label. I email amazon and they assure me they will send a courier. 3 weeks later im still stuck with a boxed fucking kindle.
  • tom
    @A - Don't look a gift horse in the mouth?
  • kv
    it's because of stories like this that i always advise friends and family to buy off them rather than instore. they always say it's easier to bring it back to a shop if it's a problem, but I always tell them it's not, so good is amazon's CS.
  • greg
    this is not good customer service, this is a company taking it in the ass because they're despereate for a good rep. the idiot that got it water damaged should be punished for being a pratt and should pat for his repair. cust is not always right, cust if often a grade A twat
  • -]
    That "email" seems like it was written by a guerilla marketeer. Did it actually get sent to you, and you got duped by them? Or are you knowingly running with it? "Now very few, if any, of the major companies offer a freephone number." eh? Most majors have an 08xx freefone number.
  • The B.
    I've never had a problem with their customer services, using shittylink as a courier though, that I do have a problem with. We have a freephone number at work and we get phone calls like "I bought a copy of Microsoft Office from a site that you link to and I'm having problems installing it, what do I do?", now you might think "call Microsoft", but no, they won't do that as it's a not an 0800 number and apparently it's our fault that they bought the product, muppets.
  • james d.
    A, it sounds like your situation fell outside of their processes to handle returns. Amazon are a responsible company, write them a letter and they will probably create a process to prevent this happening again.
  • bobdown
    Amazon are brilliant when it comes to customer service. Everytime something goes wrong they deal with it no problems and they dont argue. The ultimate test of any company is when something goes wrong, and Amazon pass everytime. Ive never heard a bad word said about their customer service. Well done Amazon.
  • Pat H.
    I got a Kindle in October 2010. I love it and very happy with it until it got a striped screen last weekend. I contacted Amazon customer services via their 'phone me back' service on the Internet. They called me within 60 seconds. After explaining what was wrong I was told a new Kindle would be in the post to me the same day. I received my replacement Kindle the very next day with no quibbles and a courier service to collect the old one at no extra charge. All I can say is WOW. Customer service like this is hard to find in this day and age so -- THANK YOU AMAZON - keep up the high standards of Customer Service.

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