“Ok sir, we will ship you a free computer.”
I am a letter writer. I complain. If a company promises me service, and I am paying for that service, I demand to get that service. My journey in constant letter writing started when I sent a letter to Ramen Noodles in college because one of their products did not have the flavor packet. They sent me a free case of noodles. Yes, an entire case. That got me started.
I have been an Amazon Prime member for about 6 years now and have never had one single issue with any of their deliveries or packages. I might get a package once a week or at least once a month so that is a pretty good track record. I use them to buy diapers, paper towels, music gear, and most recently a computer. My laptop had broken so I did my research and ordered one online for the first time from Amazon. Then it happened, mistakes.
I ordered my computer on a Monday with the fantastic amazon prime 2 day delivery, I was expecting my computer on Wednesday. I had important adult videos to watch, I mean… word processing to do… so the 2 day turn around was great. On Wednesday I got an email at 9 pm advising me that my computer order had been canceled. Not delayed but canceled. They did not have the computer. So I called customer service. “What the heck guys, I was supposed to have the computer on my doorstep TODAY and you send me an email TODAY saying it wasn’t coming? Why was I notified just today!!!!”
I was advised that this was not normal and they would fix it. The customer service representative offered me a free month of prime and they would send a computer out overnight for Friday. Ok. I am happy. I can wait a couple days and get the computer Friday. I mean, a free month is not much but it is like 10 bucks or so. They fixed the problem or so I thought.
This is where it gets a little wonky. I woke up the next morning and reviewed the order. It was not overnighted. It was not sent 2 day mail. It was sent 4-6 days standard shipping. WHAT! I was guaranteed the computer for Friday. So, I called again. The customer service representative apologized. The computer could not be overnighted as promised but they would have it to me by Saturday. They offered another month of prime and I was satisfied. I was up to two free months now and I only had to wait a couple more days.
At this point I was skeptical I was going to be actually getting my computer on the new promised Saturday delivery date. I woke up Saturday morning like a kid on Christmas. I bounded out of bed, grabbed my smart phone and check for a “your computer is on the truck” email from UPS. Nothing. Absolutely nothing. At this point I was a little mad but also a little excited. I got to call Amazon again. Another free month of prime I thought. Maybe even an upgrade to “drone” delivery, the sky was latterly the limit.
The representative I got was very nice. “Well, sir, we messed up, so what would you like.” I shot for the moon. “A free computer.” I awaited the laugh from the representative but the response I got was puzzling to me.
“Ok sir, we will ship you a free computer.”
She must be joking. You don’t toy with people’s emotions like this in a professional situation. It is just mean. Then, the catch. “But sir there is a slight problem, we don’t have the computer you ordered in stock.“ Of course they didn’t have it. The promise of a free computer would obviously be lost. What she said next blew my mind “So we will be shipping you an upgraded version of the one you wanted. Bigger screen, bigger hard drive and more RAM. But there one problem.” Of course, another problem. The other shoe had to drop at some point. I assumed they were going to make me pay the few hundred dollar difference in price. “This one only comes in silver, and you originally ordered black.”
It was real. It was happening. The operator took my information and the free computer was ordered. I received confirmation from Amazon of the zero price order. I received confirmation from UPS that the package was on its way. As I type this sentence i am in awe. I type this from my new, free laptop.
What is the point of all this? I love Amazon. Sure, they messed up my order and a computer I needed did not arrive when promised. BUT they fixed it. They did not do the blame game. They took ownership of their errors and fixed it. This is a rarity. Companies cannot be 100% accurate all the time. Mistakes happen. How those mistakes are corrected shows if a company is amazing or crap. Could you imagine some big box store giving you a free computer because the lines were longer than expected. Amazon went above and beyond. When all is said and done, I have my computer only one week after I ordered it. Remember in the 80’s when everything by mail took 6 to 8 weeks for special processing?
Bravo Amazon, bravo. You have salvaged a customer relationship and on top of that, I will tell everyone who will listen about this story. Bravo.