Saturday, October 30, 2010

Bad book purchase experience

I decided to experiment with something I had been avoiding for a while. Buying books off Amazon.  I have been avoiding it because having done it in the past a few times with very poor results, I had considered the whole experience to have such a low success to failure ratio that it was not worth the effort. Even with the illusion of low prices.

Anyway, I tried it again, on the rationalization that ... perhaps things had changed.
So after placing a couple of orders for some tasty looking reading... I waited.  One of the books arrived after just a week. This is equivalent to Amazon implementing teleportation.  Suffice to say I was both impressed and anxious to open the package.
Inside was a book and a packing slip with the name of the book I had ordered in very big letters. Naturally the actual book delivered did not match the packing slip. It was instead a 19 year old office administration text book with no residual value that I can detect except to a historian. (Maybe?)

So I complained and asked for the correct book from the seller. Instead I got a prompt refund and a message from the seller saying that they had checked their stock and did not in fact have that book at all and I should keep what they had sent and not bother to send it back.  Ya Think!

So I tried to follow the train of though of the bookseller.  They get an order through Amazon, and check their stock database? They find an entry for the book ( obviously otherwise they would not have even entered it on to Amazon to sell... I assume) So they print a packing slip and hand it to the picker/packer who was doing the packing.  The picker gets a packing slip, wander to the stock shelves and look for the book, which they don't find(or do they)....

This is the point where the thought train goes in one of two directions...

The fist, the picker who has not found the correct book, instead decides to send what is obviously rubbish, packs it and dispatches it. Why? Were they hoping that I would not notice and instead accept the substitute without complaining? (Playing the odds? Seems pretty unlikely) Or instead were they trying to delay something? Perhaps so they can tell Amazon that the item has been dispatched and so keep up some sort of statistic? Either way, this results in their company wasting money(shipping and price of one book) and wasting my time. 

The second, is that the picker likes the look of the book they were supposed to send instead sends some crap that would never sell anyway while they steal the actual book for themselves.  Again wasting their companies money ( shipping cost and price of the two books) and wasting my time. 

Either way the book picker has wasted their companies money and my time. Not factoring in the time and effort of their staff to respond to my email, check the stock rooms, update their database, and feel pissed off that they are going to get bad feedback on Amazon. Essentially their book picker should be fired.

If only they had actually confessed that the book could not be found and had send a kill order back through the system it would have saved time and money for all concerned.

Now I just have to go and bitch about them on Amazon. Ah the little pleasures.

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