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Amazon's Christmas Guarantee

Old 12-18-07, 12:05 PM
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Amazon's Christmas Guarantee

So I placed an order with Amazon where they guaranteed the items would arrive by December 24th. I check today and the order says that the items will arrive after December 25th. When I call customer service they inform me that there has been a "system error" and they apologize but they can't guarantee that my items will arrive on time and recommend that I call them back on December 23rd to check the status of the order. I tell them that's unacceptable (I'm sure as hell not shopping on the weekend before Christmas for replacement presents if the order won't get here on time) and tell them to cancel the order. They say that it's already shipping and that they can't cancel it and I'll have to return it once it arrives. This is a problem since I won't actually be here when the presents arrive so I'm going to have to have my mom ship her presents back. Beyond that they won't refund my money until they receive the shipment back.

So basically they accepted my order under the guarantee that they will arrive here by Christmas, then turn around the next day and say they can't honor that guarantee. Then tell me they can't cancel my order and are going to hold onto my money until I send them their product back, meaning I'm out my entire Christmas budget for my mom's presents. Fuck you Amazon, nice "guarantee".
Old 12-18-07, 12:16 PM
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Sounds like a perfect situation to challenge the charge on your CC.

Amazon can stop the shipment if they want to. They just don't want to.
Old 12-18-07, 01:47 PM
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I called them back and they promised to issue an "advance" refund that should process within the next 2 business days. This is just ridiculous, I expected some sort of compensation for them not being able to honor the December 24th date but they seem to expect me to suffer all the burdens (additional time/money/gas spent replacing the presents I'd ordered, my mom needs to return the shipments since I will be back in Colorado by the time they arrive, I need to wait a couple of days for the money to be fully refunded) for their failure to live up to their shipping promise.

Amazon has generally treated me pretty well over the 8 years I've been ordering from them but this is the 2nd time they've screwed up Christmas orders for me in the past 3 years. They've certainly lost my business at this time of year and I'm probably done with them for good.
Old 12-18-07, 03:31 PM
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I'm not trying to get on you. But if you are trying to use free super saver shipping and shopping for presents a week before Christmas, that sounds like just bad planning. I ordered a last minute gift myself, but I have Prime and it has already shipped so I know it will arrive in time.
Old 12-18-07, 03:56 PM
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That very well may be, but it doesn't change the fact that the people at Amazon were the ones who said that it was guaranteed to make it by Christmas. Apparently, they don't feel that they actually need to do anything to back up that guarantee. I'd absolutely dispute the charge if Amazon won't do something (or anything) to make this right.

I ordered the new Disneyland Treasures DVD yesterday and paid for 2nd day air and was within a couple of hours of having it guaranteed to be here by Wednesday. Well, it didn't ship until today, but they upgraded my order to next day in order to keep with their promised date without me having to talk to a single person. I would have been pretty upset if it didn't get here tomorrow, but it would make it by Christmas, so I would have lived. I don't think it's really out of line to expect Amazon to do something similar in this case.
Old 12-18-07, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by RonG617
I'm not trying to get on you. But if you are trying to use free super saver shipping and shopping for presents a week before Christmas, that sounds like just bad planning. I ordered a last minute gift myself, but I have Prime and it has already shipped so I know it will arrive in time.
I understand your point, but I did order all of my other presents well in advance. I had some specific ideas for what to get my Mom but I wasn't sure if she already had them. I came in for my visit this past weekend and Amazon's site clearly indicated that I could order using the free shipping through Monday and it would arrive by Christmas. My plan was to scope out my Mom's place when I arrived and place the order on Monday after she went to work.

I actually had an issue when placing the order and called customer service for help. The guy who was helping me had the same trouble so he upgraded it for free to two day shipping and told me that it would arrive before Christmas.

I agree that waiting until the week before Christmas to order doesn't sound like the best idea, but I wouldn't have waited if Amazon's site didn't prominently proclaim that this would not be a problem.

As a bit of resolution, I was able to order 3 of the items from B&N and picked up the 4th item from Target this afternoon for a total of only about $5 more than I paid to Amazon. I was afraid I wouldn't be able to find that last item locally but fortunately the first store I went to had 1 left in stock.
Old 12-19-07, 01:59 AM
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Yeah, I have to agree with WallyOPD. If they prominently displayed it, meaning they want you to place orders based on that guarantee, then Amazon needs to follow through. Whatever it takes. If they cannot, then they need to remove their prominent advertisement for the Christmas holiday, and/or attach a disclaimer that says they might not be able to logistically satisfy all orders as their suppliers may come across some delays of their own.
Old 12-22-07, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by WallyOPD
I called them back and they promised to issue an "advance" refund that should process within the next 2 business days. This is just ridiculous, I expected some sort of compensation for them not being able to honor the December 24th date but they seem to expect me to suffer all the burdens (additional time/money/gas spent replacing the presents I'd ordered, my mom needs to return the shipments since I will be back in Colorado by the time they arrive, I need to wait a couple of days for the money to be fully refunded) for their failure to live up to their shipping promise.
Wait, you wanted them to not only refund your money, but give you something extra as well to take care of your time, gas, and general put-uponness?



Sure, I agree that if they screwed up and didn't have the order shipped out on the date they promised, they should make it good. It sounds like they did that by trusting you with the advanced refund. But to think that you deserve anything more is just hillarious. Where do people get this sense of entitlement from?

Tell you what. Next year, show some responsibility and order earlier. Things like this do happen, and your procrastination is as much to blame as their system error.
Old 12-22-07, 05:58 PM
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I placed an order with Amazon on Thursday the 13th. On the 18th, I checked the order to see what was going on and also got the warning that the package wouldn't arrive until after Christmas. I didn't do a darn thing and the package arrived on the 20th. So, there ya go.

Sue
Old 12-22-07, 07:20 PM
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You've been screwed! I think you should get your money back and get to keep the DVDs. A guarantee is a guarantee!
Old 12-22-07, 07:31 PM
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When doing online shopping last week, I did see plenty of items that said "To ensure Christmas delivery, order from Amazon.com and select Super Saver Shipping in the next 4 days". To me that's a pretty straightforward statement, and if I ordered something qualifying, and it didn't arrive on time, I would expect some sort of recompense as a "Hey, sorry we didn't hold up our end of the deal, which odds are you relied upon as a major factor in your purchase decision."
Old 12-22-07, 07:49 PM
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Hey, but there is good news! If you go to Amazon's site now, there's still time to e-mail an Amazon.com gift card.

Seriously, I don't pay any attention to any retailer's guarantee for something being delivered at a certain time. How can they make that promise since once it's shipped, it's completely out of their control?
Old 12-23-07, 07:53 PM
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Originally Posted by WallyOPD
So I placed an order with Amazon where they guaranteed the items would arrive by December 24th. I check today and the order says that the items will arrive after December 25th. When I call customer service they inform me that there has been a "system error" and they apologize but they can't guarantee that my items will arrive on time and recommend that I call them back on December 23rd to check the status of the order. I tell them that's unacceptable (I'm sure as hell not shopping on the weekend before Christmas for replacement presents if the order won't get here on time) and tell them to cancel the order. They say that it's already shipping and that they can't cancel it and I'll have to return it once it arrives. This is a problem since I won't actually be here when the presents arrive so I'm going to have to have my mom ship her presents back. Beyond that they won't refund my money until they receive the shipment back.

So basically they accepted my order under the guarantee that they will arrive here by Christmas, then turn around the next day and say they can't honor that guarantee. Then tell me they can't cancel my order and are going to hold onto my money until I send them their product back, meaning I'm out my entire Christmas budget for my mom's presents. Fuck you Amazon, nice "guarantee".
Ya know, I wonder if they pick favorites with people, though. I've been ordering from them more than usual lately, and have been a customer for almost 10 years now. So, I don't do Christmas & could care less that the order I placed on Friday would get here after Christmas. So, I chose free super saver shipping. What did they do ? They upgraded it to overnight shipping free of charge. It's supposed to be delivered Monday. If they can do that for my dinky little $31.67 order why can't they do that for others as well, such as yourself, ya know ? I'd gladly hand over the free upgrade to you if I could. Sorry for your predicament.
Old 12-23-07, 11:06 PM
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That's right, Amazon owes him alo9ng with many others...

Originally Posted by renaldow
Wait, you wanted them to not only refund your money, but give you something extra as well to take care of your time, gas, and general put-uponness?



Sure, I agree that if they screwed up and didn't have the order shipped out on the date they promised, they should make it good. It sounds like they did that by trusting you with the advanced refund. But to think that you deserve anything more is just hillarious. Where do people get this sense of entitlement from?

Tell you what. Next year, show some responsibility and order earlier. Things like this do happen, and your procrastination is as much to blame as their system error.
While I appreciate where you were going with this sense of entitlement comment, you are totally out of line and wrong!!!

Amazon missed 50% of my shipments this year, and yes, my orders were placed in plenty of time!

In fact, I even talked to a customer service rep who actually reshipped one item because he was unsure whether it would make it in time or not. He went ahead and shipped it by regular mail because he made an error. So now the reshipped item wont make it until after Christmas either.

Point is simple, If they guarantee it by Christmas, its up tot he company to make sure that happens short of situations beyond their control. Why should I have to reorder from another company, pay a now "premium" for shipping when if it was simply handled properly the first time, this problem would not exist.

All they really offer is an I'm sorry. Tell that to the 4 year old who didn't get their gift under the tree.

Reality check is that all of these dot coms need to be accountable to local state government like the Brick & Mortar.

You lie in your advertising, you pay!
You issue a guarantee, you live by it!

The FTC is useless and the American public pays the price for total incompetence.

Last edited by hankthedwarf; 12-23-07 at 11:11 PM.
Old 12-24-07, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by renaldow
Wait, you wanted them to not only refund your money, but give you something extra as well to take care of your time, gas, and general put-uponness?



Sure, I agree that if they screwed up and didn't have the order shipped out on the date they promised, they should make it good. It sounds like they did that by trusting you with the advanced refund. But to think that you deserve anything more is just hillarious. Where do people get this sense of entitlement from?

Tell you what. Next year, show some responsibility and order earlier. Things like this do happen, and your procrastination is as much to blame as their system error.
Did you even read the thread? I did not procrastinate. I did almost all of my Christmas shopping weeks ago (much of it through Amazon). The only things I waited on were presents for my Mom since I knew I would be visiting her and I wanted to make sure she didn't already have the things I wanted to buy. I wouldn't have even done that except for the fact that Amazon prominently declared on their site that I could order using the free shipping on Monday and still have it guaranteed to arrive by Christmas.

As for that advance refund that I needed to spend over an hour on the line with customer service before they would agree to it? Still has not been processed. I was promised a phone call by Friday to confirm the refund and did not receive that and nothing has shown up on my credit card.

As some others have mentioned, a guarantee is worth nothing if there is no penalty to Amazon for not honoring it. They used it as a promotional tool to generate sales and then when they can't honor it all they say is "sorry, please send it back"? I don't have a sense of entitlement. I do want to hold Amazon accountable for the advertising claims they make.

Originally Posted by cardsfan111
Seriously, I don't pay any attention to any retailer's guarantee for something being delivered at a certain time. How can they make that promise since once it's shipped, it's completely out of their control?
If it was something like that I would be more understanding. The previous time my order didn't arrive in time for Christmas was a result of weather related issues that meant the carrier couldn't deliver the packages. I still wasn't happy but what are you going to do. That's something that's out of everyone's hands.
Old 12-24-07, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by renaldow
Wait, you wanted them to not only refund your money, but give you something extra as well to take care of your time, gas, and general put-uponness?



Sure, I agree that if they screwed up and didn't have the order shipped out on the date they promised, they should make it good. It sounds like they did that by trusting you with the advanced refund. But to think that you deserve anything more is just hillarious. Where do people get this sense of entitlement from?

Tell you what. Next year, show some responsibility and order earlier. Things like this do happen, and your procrastination is as much to blame as their system error.
Try the law...it is standard that when one party to a contract breaches said contract and the other party mitigates their damages by "covering" (in this case scrambling to get the presents when needed) the breaching party is liable for the extra costs incurred by the non-breaching party (OP) that would have otherwise been avoided had the breaching party (Amazon) not breached the contract.

Why should Amazon be entitled to breach their contracts?

I agree that many consumers feel unjustly entitled, but in this case Amazon made an express gurauntee (delivery by Christmas) then breached it, so yes, the OP should be justly compensated for the excess expenses incurred in covering after Amazon's breach.

The fact that the OP went above and beyond in making sure the order would arrive in time by contacting a customer service rep and receiving a confirmation of the original guaruntee only strenghtens his case to be compensated and moves this away from a "mere system error." This is not a case of someone gaming the system then complaining as many consumers do.
Old 12-24-07, 04:19 PM
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Sure enough, my order did indeed arrive today. That's funny. If you don't ask for an upgrade, they upgrade the order to overnight delivery even if you don't care about the whole Christmas thing. If you DO care, they give you a guarantee, but don't live up to the guarantee. LOL
Old 12-27-07, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by fitlissa76
Sure enough, my order did indeed arrive today. That's funny. If you don't ask for an upgrade, they upgrade the order to overnight delivery even if you don't care about the whole Christmas thing. If you DO care, they give you a guarantee, but don't live up to the guarantee. LOL
Yeah, I almost wonder about that as well. I ordered a Blade Runner set and selected super saver shipping, which estimated to be delivered around December 26th. I figured I wouldn't see it until Jan. 1st or December 31st.

And of course, I receive it on December 24th.
Old 12-27-07, 09:52 PM
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I was involved in an email exchange with Amazon after I talked to their customer service over the phone. This was part of the response I got last Wednesday.

Originally Posted by Amazon.com
I have read our previous communication with you, and I'm sorry that all of your concerns were not resolved. I can assure you that we do strive to exceed our customers' expectations, but we did not accomplish that in this case. Please allow me to try to provide a resolution for you.

The estimated shipment and delivery dates displayed in your order confirmation e-mail and Your Account at the time you placed your order were incorrect. Please accept our sincere apologies for any inconvenience this error caused.

I've checked your order and can confirm that we are currently preparing it for shipment.

It appears that we will be able to deliver your package earlier than the date estimated on our web site, and I can assure you that you will receive all the items in your order by December 24, 2007.

Once again, I can assure you that you will received your order by December 24, 2007. We made some special arrangements during this Holiday season so that you will receive your order by December 24, 2007.
This of course came after the order had been canceled so this was no longer the issue (although it would be nice so that I could handle the return myself before I returned home yesterday). I gave up on responding after this message as they clearly weren't even attempting to understand my concerns and I seemed to have as much of a resolution as I would get. This last Christmas guarantee also turned out to be wrong as I received the first part of the order on the 21st but the second part just arrived today.

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