An open letter to Amazon…


Which is why I’m opening with their Twitter addy in the hope that they see this when it appears on Twitter.

By Amazon’s own count, I have had 92 orders in the past 6 months. Because I’m housebound I shop entirely online and, apart from groceries (Tesco and Sainsbury’s), Amazon get more of my disposable income than anyone else. Sadly, that’s not reflected in the standard of service I receive which, in the last six months or so, has gone to hell in a handbasket.

The reason for this deterioration is Amazon Logistics, their in-house delivery service – it sucks. This email, just sent to Amazon, is typical of the problems I’m having (this isn’t as vague as it appears – on the website it links directly to the order in question):-

There were two items on this order, both Prime, both scheduled for delivery yesterday – this item is still shown as “In transit”.

Why? (And “In transit” actually tells me nothing useful.)

And why is your service getting worse? As I’ve said before, Prime customers pay twice for the service – via the up-front Prime fee and via the often substantial price premium applied to Prime items. For that I expect a premium service.

Indeed, I used to get a premium service, then you introduced Amazon Logistics and the whole concept of service went to hell.

Why is that? (Look, it’s simple – if Amazon Logistics can’t match the service of your contracted couriers – and you can’t, not by a long way – you’re doing something wrong.)

Kindly let me know when I can expect this item, and why I didn’t get it yesterday.

Thank you.

This particular item has been on its way from Peterborough since Sunday evening – a guy on a bike could have been here by now!

A sizeable proportion of those 92 orders have been for downloads, mostly ebooks for my Kindles, which actually makes the ratio of fuck-ups per delivered order pretty damn high. And by fuck-up I mean anything from failure to deliver on schedule to evening deliveries as late as 21.00. I’m available all day so I do not appreciate being disturbed when I’m trying to rest or, due to circumstances outside of my control – illness, drugs, exhaustion – quite possibly asleep.

So why, I hear you ask, do I put up with Amazon? Simple – for the most part they have what I want at the lowest price, so not using them at all, while probably good for my blood pressure (if there is one thing I will not tolerate it’s paying for a premium service and not getting it), would be bad for my bank balance.

I won’t, as I’ve said, be renewing the Prime service as it will be cheaper to pay extra for the occasional item that I really MUST have the next day, and let the rest take their chances. However, until they sort out the problems – and they are many – with Amazon Logistics (like why do so many of my deliveries turn up in the evening, and why is the moron who’s frightened to enter blocks of flats – of which are very many in this area – still employed**?), nothing is really going to improve but, Amazon, the solution is simple – if you can’t even match the service of the couriers you’ve replaced, never mind do better, you really need to consider reverting to the status quo ante, and pretty bloody quickly, too.

**Or not reassigned to a route with fewer flats.

So, Amazon, I really don’t need notifications of local events that you think I might be interested in (I’m not), or having you notice my interest in a product range, and try to encourage me to buy long after I already have done so (how come you never spot that?), and I have no interest in streaming video (the number of books I buy should be a clue to that one), but I am extremely interested in getting my orders delivered when they should be which, after all, is what I’m paying you for, is it not?

Please try harder, and please spare me your excuses – I’ve heard them and I’m not impressed. It’s really simple – if you can’t deliver in 24 hours, then don’t offer to do so.

I keep saying that, to no avail – time to sit up straight and pay attention to the people who pay your wages (and that, ultimately, is the customer), because I know for a fact that I’m a long way from being the only Prime customer who is seriously pissed off with the laxity of your operation. Paying twice for the Prime service is annoying, but doing so for a service I’m not getting is unacceptable.

This, readers, might explain why I’m so sick of Amazon, a screencap, taken this morning, of the order referred to above. As you can see, it’s stocked and sold by Amazon – no Market Place vendor to blame and, on the website today, they are still offering next-day delivery – so where the hell is mine?


As you can see it was dispatched from Peterborough two days ago – there is no excuse for it still being in transit. Clicking the “See complete tracking history” link just gives me a graphic with the same – i.e., none – information. Bizarrely, delivery is still scheduled for yesterday.


4 thoughts on “An open letter to Amazon…

  1. After sending the email to Amazon, I got one from them saying the item was scheduled for delivery that day. At about the same time – having apparently made no effort to ascertain what had happened to my order (or they’d have known it was on its way) – I noticed that Amazon had raised a duplicate, but FoC, order. I cancelled it – no-one asked why.

    And yes, they did actually deliver my order on Tuesday. The paperwork indicated that it had, indeed, been in transit since Sunday, though where it had been on Monday is still a mystery.

    One thing puzzles me, though. When Yodel was screwing up Amazon deliveries, Twitter was rife with complaints, including mine. I refuse to believe I’m the only one getting such a crap service from Amazon Logistics (though they’ve stopped delivering in the evening, for now, at least), yet I’ve not seen anyone else complaining on Twitter. Odd, that.

  2. Ron I have read your comments policy but why when you ask for comments on your blog do you only publish the ones that agree with what you have written. I enjoy reading your blogs and used to enjoy reading the various comments but these seem to be very few and far between these days.

    • Because, Maureen, all you seem to do is argue with me, gratuitously. What is the point in telling me your experience of Amazon isn’t the same as mine? What are you saying? That your experience is more important than mine? Because that’s what it looks like.

      Let me give you an example. The comment I’ve just binned could have said “Well, maybe I’ve been lucky, but Amazon have been fine for me, sorry you’re having so much trouble,” and that’s where I’d have left it – informative, understanding, not contentious. Can you understand the difference?

      You say you’ve read my comments policy, yet you persistently disregard number 3, particularly the second part, in bold, below:-

      3. Please be brief – I’m seriously ill and don’t have the energy to spare for dealing with long comments. Over-long comments, especially those presenting a viewpoint diametrically opposed to mine, won’t be published.

      I’m sorry, but almost every comment you submit breaches that rule and takes a contrary position to mine. It’s your right not to agree with me, but it’s also my right not to squander precious physical resources defending myself. You are too disputatious.

      It’s several years since I wrote that I was seriously ill. Right now, I doubt I’ll see out the year; I sure as hell don’t expect to see the General Election. I’ve just created a new recipe today, and written it up for this blog (it’ll be published when I’m done here (and I won’t be back to Comments today). It’s almost destroyed me doing that, and I don’t know if I’ll be able to carry on much longer. I simply don’t have the energy, or the will, to engage with people who simply want to argue.

      And yes, a lot of people have vanished who used to comment regularly and I have no idea why (some, like me, are terminally ill and might have died – I’ve made arrangements for people to be notified, via Twitter, when I go but, of course, some people don’t get the chance to do that. But, read some of their comments over the years – they don’t all always agree with me but – and this is important – nor do they continually dispute with me the way you do.

      Maybe you don’t intend it to seem that way but, trust me, it does. Remember, writing is not speech, there is no tone, no inflection, there’s just words, and words clumsily chosen can convey the wrong meaning. Perhaps you don’t mean it – I really don’t know – but all I see is argument – you’re right, I’m wrong.

  3. No I certainly did not intend my comment to be read the way you have described it. I am a 70 year old women not a child. My experience more important than yours,all I said was that my experience of Amazon was good, and that some people liked having evening deliveries. How on earth you can read into that what you have is beyond me. Perhaps its just because I am a simple soul and think sometimes that I am having a conversation with whoever has blogged. I shall in the future keep my thoughts to myself.

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