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Sat Dec 24 2011 12:01:08

Amazon Customer Service Prevents Christmas Disappointment

By: Ina Steiner

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A reader who live overseas in Indonesia ordered a Christmas present for her father, who lives in Georgia, from Amazon.com. She was quite upset because the post office in Springfield, Georgia had returned the package without contacting him. When he went to the post office, they told him that because he had a post office box, they would not deliver to a home addresses - even though the package had his complete physical address and phone number on the label.

The reader wrote, "So, because of this action my father and who knows how many other people in Springfield GA will not receive Christmas presents ordered for them online. This is very shameful behavior. On Amazon I choose the free shipping option. If I had known it meant that it could be sent to the post office I am not sure I would have made the order." She said she did not blame Amazon, but said they needed to avoid sending items through the USPS.

She wrote back a few days later after contacting Amazon:

"Thanks to Amazon's excellent customer service my father has received the package. Amazon resent it and upgraded the shipping using UPS. I am not sure what the best thing to do is. I hope the info about this situation is helpful in advocating for changes so that other people do not get taken by such a bad system. Big Big praise for Amazon. I wonder if they should by pass the USPS altogether."

Another company is facing Christmas-related problems - Best Buy apparently had a glitch and oversold some popular items on Thanksgiving weekend. As a result, some customers won't receive their items in time for Christmas.

Let us know if you've experienced any Christmas problems or delights, and if you as a seller have saved the day for any of your customers!




Comments (14) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Amazon Customer Service Prevents Christmas Disappointment   Amazon Customer Service Prevents Christmas Disappointment

by: CutTheCrap

Sat Dec 24 12:22:41 2011

Amazon delighted us as well. On Wednesday we received a poorly packaged electronic item intended as a gift. Concerned about damage we contacted Amazon and they had a well-packaged replacement delivered the very next day. We also received a free shipping label to return the defective product. Very happy they responded so quickly and resolved the problem almost instantly.

It's a shame about USPS. Our politicians are destroying that service causing them to severely cut back on services which is in turn angering customers and turning them to other delivery services. That customer from Indonesia should really file a complaint about that particular Post Office at https://www.usps.com/customer-service/customer-service.htm . I had a Post Office box for 20 years and never had a delivery that was intended for my home address returned for such a specious reason. The Post Office is supposed to deliver mail as it is addressed and not based on alternate addresses. What that Springfield Post Office is doing sounds illegal and a violation of Post Office protocol.

Amazon Customer Service Prevents Christmas Disappointment   Amazon Customer Service Prevents Christmas Disappointment

by: Gary Overton
Web Site

Sat Dec 24 13:56:18 2011

I have to take up for the post office here. The buyer was at fault by not putting her father's MAILING address. The post office is not required to deliver to a physical address if the person does not have mail set up for the physical address. As a matter of fact, they are prohibited from doing this.
I fault both Amazon and eBay for a lot of these problems. The last page before you submit an order should have a big warning sign telling the buyer what address the package will be shipped to and tell them that after they click the submit button this cannot be changed. This simple act would prevent a lot of problems

Amazon Customer Service Prevents Christmas Disappointment   Amazon Customer Service Prevents Christmas Disappointment

by: Et tu, Brute!

Sat Dec 24 14:23:29 2011

I agree that this was the sender's fault and not the post office.  If you have set up your mail to be delivered to the post office box, then the post office can actually get into trouble for delivering to the home addy.  People often do this for a reasonable concern.  If they live in an area where mail tampering is a problem -- and there are areas where this is a problem, say for check deliveries, etc (yes, people do still reside int he dark ages), to pick up the mail at the post office themselves so that they may be certain they are getting all their mail.  The post office cannot make a determination what should go to an address or not when a box has been rented for this or ANY other reason once mail has been set up to receive that address's mail.

Amazon Customer Service Prevents Christmas Disappointment   Amazon Customer Service Prevents Christmas Disappointment

by: Scott

Sat Dec 24 15:03:28 2011

I have the opposite problem with Amazon and as a result have mostly stopped buying from them, even though they are otherwise one of my favorite suppliers. I am a full-time RVer and "boondock" in the desert and forests mostly. As such, I get my mail sent to the local "General Delivery" at the post office. Over the last year or two it doesn't matter that I CLEARLY label my mail as "General Delivery, U.S. Postal Service, Town, State, Zip", Amazon will ship it via U.P.S. and then U.P.S. will not be able to deliver it to me. No matter how many times I've called and complained to Amazon, they completely ignore my shipping instructions. As a result they've lost a very loyal customer of over ten years. They've made it impossible for me to buy from them.

- Scott

Amazon Customer Service Prevents Christmas Disappointment   Amazon Customer Service Prevents Christmas Disappointment

by: pfffft

Sat Dec 24 16:27:56 2011

While it's nice that Amazon took care of this customer, it's a shame that they don't take care of their warehouse workers.

Amazon Customer Service Prevents Christmas Disappointment   Amazon Customer Service Prevents Christmas Disappointment

by: Harriet This user has validated their user name.

Sat Dec 24 20:14:18 2011

My daughter has a PO box and her Post Office will not deliver mail for her sent to her physical address. They will, however, deliver mail to the rest of the family at the physical address. That is the way the Post office is set up. This was the buyer's fault for not using the correct address, and no one else's.

Amazon Customer Service Prevents Christmas Disappointment   Amazon Customer Service Prevents Christmas Disappointment

by: USPS Rural Customer

Sat Dec 24 23:58:30 2011

This claim about supposed USPS 'policy' - and a lot of the head-nodding message posters - sounds like an asolute crock.  I have both a home mailbox and a PO box and my mail gets delivered to wherever it is addressed.  That's the way it is and that's the way it always has been.  If your local postmaster claims otherwise, ask him/her to show you the part of the Domestic Mail Manual (the official USPS 'rulebook' that everyone must follow) that says so.

If it matters to the discussion: in my case I have two mail addresses because I live in an unincorporated rural area.  My home mailbox is located out on the edge of my property on the side of an interstate highway.  I can't see the box from my house windows.  Because of the location, common sense says 'no valuable deliveries to that box'  and I have the more important mail delivered to a box at the nearest Post Office in the nearest town, which is a 20-mile roundtrip. Works fine, even if the 20 miles is a PITA sometimes.

Amazon Customer Service Prevents Christmas Disappointment   Amazon Customer Service Prevents Christmas Disappointment

by: dans parts This user has validated their user name.

Sun Dec 25 00:34:15 2011

The problem may be that Springfield, GA may have NO home delivery to anyone, and ALL local residents are required to have a PO Box.  In that case, the PO would send it back with only a physical address and no PO box on the label.

In my zip code, I live outside the village in a rural area and we have a mail carrier route, so we have home delivery.  However, everyone living in the village limits must have a PO Box, and come to the PO to get their mail - no home delivery.

I don't know what would actually happen to a package addressed to someone in the village limits if the label had their street address instead of their PO box, but I rather imagine they would still get the package, since we don't have any of the Grinch's agents working in our PO.

Amazon (and/or eBay) shares some of the blame for situations like this, in allowing people to enter addresses that are not deliverable under specific circumstances. I.e. not putting a PO box because you think UPS will be delivering?  I've had problems like this with my customers.  

Amazon Customer Service Prevents Christmas Disappointment   Amazon Customer Service Prevents Christmas Disappointment

This user has validated their user name. by: Pete

Sun Dec 25 02:20:37 2011

It must be great to be a billion dollar company that can just re-send items and pay for return item costs etc just on someone’s error or word…sadly We trade in the real World where every penny is out of MY pocket not shareholders.

What really makes me angry is that Amazon buyers expect this service from the pro merchant sellers on Amazon, it is just not possible as an example We have just experienced 6 weeks of horrific floods which resulted in mail being delayed from the first week of the problem; mail was stuck in the International Sorting centre for 3 weeks and even as a business mailing hundreds of items daily we were not informed by OUR post office.

This resulted in Hundreds of Amazon A-Z claims and Paypal disputes that would make a big man cry, We spent almost 20 hours a day for weeks trying to sort this out and get answers to people who mostly could not give a hoot about the disaster taking place or even understand that We were not at fault as soon as We knew of the sorting office problems We closed our listings and contacted buyers we thought could also be affected.

Needless to say we were suspended by Amazon for too many A-Z claims and feedback down into the 80% it took almost 3 weeks to get thro their thick heads that a natural disaster had caused this backlog (eBay did post an Anouncement about delays due to flooding), every single A-Z claim was given their money back..Amazon totally ignored Registered mail numbers and the reason behind this mass of claims (never before had we received any claims or negative feedback on Amazon)they would not even give a week or so for delayed items to arrive.

1 month on all is now sorted but we paid a heavy price in both stress time and refunds, accounts badly damaged by ignorant scum, and I say that as I contacted every single one explaining the situation and not 1 would revised feedback & not 1 contacted Me to say the packet had finally arrived……not 1 packet was returned by the PO damaged or otherwise, so they were all delivered .

As much as I don’t like to say this after years of bad eBay buyers …they were the most understanding.

Online sales are in the hands of Delivery companys and Sellers can pay a heavy price for their poor service and terrible delivery times even when their are NO problems along the way

Amazon Customer Service Prevents Christmas Disappointment   Amazon Customer Service Prevents Christmas Disappointment

by: Ebay's Slow Death

Sun Dec 25 03:28:01 2011

@Pete-

Sorry to hear of your problems when Mother Nature got mad and caused a disaster, including flooding. Glad you finally got it straightened out. And, hopefully you are back to selling on Amazon.

Life isn't perfect, and I don't understand why some people won't stop and consider that the world doesn't revolve around them. Stuff happens beyond our control sometimes. A little patience goes a long way.

As for the package in question, if the phone number was on the address, what would it have taken for a Postal worker to call and ask about the delivery address.  About 30 seconds?  It would have been a simple solution to the problem.

We are fortunate in our little town to have several great women Postal employees. They do a terrific job. However, about ten miles up the highway, in a slightly larger town, resides The Post Office From Hell.  I always cringe when I have to take my mail there and deal with their power trips. They try very hard to find something wrong with any piece of mail. They come up with the strangest stuff sometimes. So, I think it matters if the Post Office workers are co-operative and helpful, or try to find fault with everything. They just have a bad attitude. (My packages are neat and correct.) Bad Post Offices should be reported and investigated, because it pulls them all down.

The Conservatives in Congress are determined to destroy the Post Office system, in their great quest to privatize everything. They are trying to pull a John Donahoe.  If it works, it needs to be broken.



Amazon Customer Service Prevents Christmas Disappointment   Amazon Customer Service Prevents Christmas Disappointment

by: Service

Sun Dec 25 04:35:36 2011

The post office delivers to the address shown immediately above the city and state. You can have both street delivery and rent a post office box. If you have both there is no way the package can be undeliverable. If all you have is a po box but the package shows only a street address the package could be undeliverable and returned. If the post office is saying even though he had street delivery they could not deliver to it because he had a post office box, then they are wrong.

Now imagine if they had bought off ebay and had this problem. Go online navigate through the crap to get a pin number,call them and hope you get them on the phone before the pin number expires. After jumping through hoops if you do get them on the phone since ebay itself sells nothing you will be told to open a dispute against the seller, wait 10 days, blah, blah, blah.

Amazon Customer Service Prevents Christmas Disappointment   Amazon Customer Service Prevents Christmas Disappointment

by: OhForPetesSake

Sun Dec 25 06:06:51 2011

If this had happen at Fleecebay one would still be waiting for someone to even answer the phone much less give them a straight answer.

Amazon Customer Service Prevents Christmas Disappointment   Amazon Customer Service Prevents Christmas Disappointment

by: Money

Mon Dec 26 21:43:03 2011

If it was ebay, you would contact the seller, not ebay.  So the outcome would vary.

Amazon is not perfect.  I ordered many thing from them this holiday - about 20 items across 6 shipments.  Had to return 2 items.

While the return process was very fast and efficient, both items showed signs of poor warehouse storage.  My best guess was heat damage.  

Amazon Customer Service Prevents Christmas Disappointment   Amazon Customer Service Prevents Christmas Disappointment

by: Et tu, Brute!

Tue Dec 27 00:10:13 2011

@ USPS Rural Customer

This has absolutely NOTHING to do with rural delivery.  And it is definitely not a crock.



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