Friday, February 18, 2011

Props to Amazon. UPDATED: A Jeer for UPS.

Maybe I’m being too easy on Amazon; but, I’m happy and it is the reason. 

I wrote a post a few days back about my plan to buy a DSLR camera. Despite thinking about it, I can’t think of anything fascinating or funny that is worthy of the post I promised you about the process of buying it.

The camera is a Nikon D3100, a lower end model that debuted last fall. I got an extra lens, a media card (none comes with the camera) and Adobe Elements. I really wanted to buy locally; but, with Amazon’s prices and not having to pay 7% sales tax, I saved a bit over $150.00 and struck another little nail in the coffin of local bricks and mortar business. Sorry B&M.

So, why am I happy with Amazon? If you’ve bought something from Amazon, you know it sends you a confirming Email and then sends another Email when your order ships. My camera started wending its way to me yesterday morning and is somewhere in the bowels of UPS between Lexington and Atlanta. Which means it wouldn’t be delivered until Monday, a bit of a disappointment because I was hoping to get it today and play with it over the weekend.

UPS has a huge distribution center three or four miles up the road where my camera will land before being put on a local delivery truck. The center is open on Saturdays. But, some research on Amazon’s and UPS’s sites about redirecting a delivery was also disappointing. I couldn’t have UPS hold it at the center for pick-up until after UPS made a delivery attempt.

But the “shipper” could. All I had to do is find a person at Amazon to do it.

Past experience with technology companies didn’t make me optimistic. Ever talk to a person at Microsoft? Ever find a person at say, Dell that could actually do something?

Amazon’s website doesn’t have a customer service phone number on it, at least that I could find. Google to the rescue! If you want to call Amazon, the number is 800-742-5877. The voice recognition software works quite nicely and hitting “0” gets you out of menu hell immediately.

After confirming that I am indeed Dave, and listening to my request that he tell UPS to hold the shipment at the distribution center for me to pick up in the morning, Ishan asked me to hold. A few minutes of bad harpsichord music later, Ishan came back on the line to tell me I can pick up my camera tomorrow between 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.

Amazon, you’re pretty good. Ishan, you are officially my favorite person of the week, thanks.

In looking at the tracking information, I learned my package was "ready for pick-up;" so I drove the couple of miles to the distribution center.  It was not ready.  The truck that had indeed arrived, would be unloaded, maybe, Sunday night and, maybe, I could pick up the package on Monday morning, maybe not.  Since that defeated the whole purpose of holding the package at the center, I asked the young lady if I could switch back to a Monday delivery.  I got a disinterested yes and asked that she do that.  Turn out she couldn't (or perhaps wouldn't), but I could do it on line.  Turns out that isn't true.  So I guess I'm taking a drive to UPS on Monday, maybe.  Boo UPS. 

No comments: