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When did Amazon Customer Service go to heck in a handbasket?!


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Showing 1-25 of 72 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 11, 2012 8:14:45 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 13, 2012 5:18:55 AM PST
I feel like I have lost a great friend. After years of Amazon bliss, 4 kindles, countless purchases and a few beautifully executed and well handled returns, I have hit the proverbial wall.

My son's ''In Warranty'' Kindle Fire stopped working. (Stuck on splash screen.) I tried the online fixes. (Reboot, etc.) Nothing worked. So I cheerfully called customer service knowing that they would handle the problem lickety split and within a day I would be all set with a replacement.

No.

First, there was a problem in the Indian computer system and they weren't able to connect my credit card to the account... even though I wasn't being charged for anything, they took over an hour to fix this. With me dangling on hold.

Then, it turns out that the Fire gen 1 is out of stock, so after said hour, I was told it would be about 3 weeks for me to get a replacement. Not cool. I asked if they could send me Gen 2 instead, which has a lower retail price and is IN STOCK. Absolutely not. They said they would not be willing to send a different replacement item. I asked to speak to a manager. The manager said the same thing. I asked to speak to HIS manager. He promised he would have him call me. Nothing.

I called back to try and speak to the US Customer service folks, who finally answered. Same story.... including the promise to have a manager call me. No call.

A few days later I get an email with a survey about how satisfied I was. I wasn't. They asked to try and make it better for me. Offered to call me back. Got another guy from India telling me the same thing.

Then I got an email asking me to call back so they could try and trouble shoot the Kindle I am returning to see if they can get it to work.

In the mean time, I emailed Jeff telling him the whole story. No answer yet.

Here's the thing. I get that there are policies. But there were TONS of Kindle Fires purchased for Christmas last year and evidently TONS of them are failing and need to be replaced. If the company knows that the Fires were bad, why not authorize, company wide, a more liberal replacement policy so that you can make your customers happy and save yourself the hassle of having to replace the same model 10 months from now?

I am so disappointed.

EDITED TO UPDATE: After contacting Amazon Corporate Offices, the issue was handled appropriately. I am very grateful to them for taking care of it.

Posted on Dec 11, 2012 8:29:27 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 11, 2012 8:31:41 AM PST
It sucks that you had this experience. However, it's not universal. Amazon customer service does not have magical powers, so they can't make original Fires (which are not produced anymore) ship faster than their refurbishment factories can supply them. Three weeks feels like a long time to wait, but I imagine at least part of this is that you had the awful luck to be trying to do this around Christmas shipping season, when everything goes, as you said, to heck in a handbasket.

As for your claim that "TONS" of Fires are failing...the fact that the supply of refurbished models is low either means that there's lots of demand or no supply, and Amazon won't ever tell which. But so far I haven't seen rioting in the streets over it, so I doubt it's that many people who are unhappy.

These devices aren't designed to last forever, and if you didn't grasp that at the time of purchase (and in viewing the 1 YEAR, LIMITED warantee) then it's not exactly Amazon's fault.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 11, 2012 8:30:29 AM PST
"TONS of them are failing and need to be replaced."

Where did you pull this one out from? Even Jeff isn't going to make you a gen one just to get it to you immediately and I doubt he's going to just ship off a new gen 2 overnighted to you. So you wait, big deal.

And just a little FYI: I've had problems myself so I'm not one to come here and bad-mouth every negative comment just because, hey, it's Amazon and you will love Amazon or be ridden out on a rail. But your problem doesn't exactly qualify as "going to heck in a handbasket" just because you didn't get upgraded to a newer device.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 11, 2012 8:36:34 AM PST
"...with me dangling on hold..."

Yeaaah, I've come to the point where if it takes a turn like that, I just say, "You know what? I have to get off the phone, now; I'll try back." Then I call at another time and try my luck with the next guy.

Posted on Dec 11, 2012 8:36:38 AM PST
Yeah, I understand I am asking them to do something outside of their policies. But I am also saying that I have been promised multiple phone calls and was kept on hold for over an hour. I truly did not expect that. I have been a customer for YEARS and have been more than happy. This experience just doesn't seem like the service they are known for.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 11, 2012 8:36:48 AM PST
Why would you email Jeff Gordon about your Fire?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 11, 2012 8:39:38 AM PST
LOL. Jeff Bezos.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 11, 2012 8:39:50 AM PST
And during those YEARS, somehow you were oblivious to the outsourcing of customer service and the fact that there are how many new devices in the meantime? Not every single customer is going to get her every wish every time. It's life.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 11, 2012 8:40:42 AM PST
To be fair, it *IS* the middle of December. Their call volume is probably through the roof, and guess what happens to overflow calls? They get shunted off-shore. And if Amazon has extra holiday help, that help is likely to not be 100% trained/savvy.

The moment I start to get that, "Are you kidding me?" tingle in the back of my neck, I thank the rep, and disengage. Always, always try to call CS during business hours on the West Coast.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 11, 2012 8:42:25 AM PST
You do realize that you didn't actually email Jeff, but rather Executive Customer Relations.. right?

Posted on Dec 11, 2012 8:44:25 AM PST
Yes. :-)

Posted on Dec 11, 2012 9:31:33 AM PST
I've never had to use an Amazon warranty, but I'm surprised it doesn't guarantee immediate turnaround -- including the substitution of a later version of the product if the original is not readily available.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 11, 2012 9:35:12 AM PST
Dog Lover says:
Name any other company that does this for electronic devices.

DL

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 11, 2012 9:41:23 AM PST
I'm pretty much with you on the immediate turnaround; if a replacement is not available, the customer should (imho) be offered either to wait, or a refund.

But I'm not sure I'd agree with the "substitution of a later version,"; I mean that would be GREAT, but I don't think a retailer is obligated to do that.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 11, 2012 9:54:17 AM PST
But wouldn't the refund have to be prorated?
Should she have been given the choice of $20 (rounding up for one month left on the warranty) or waiting three weeks?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 11, 2012 9:56:52 AM PST
Absolutely. That's only fair.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 11, 2012 10:00:21 AM PST
Mary Jane says:
They may only offer a substitute product if the original one is no longer available.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 11, 2012 10:01:23 AM PST
Dog Lover says:
Depends on what the warranty agreement actually says.

If it is the Amazon 1-year default warranty it may say something different than those extended warranties via (whatever they are called, can't remember, Square Trade ? maybe?)

DL

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 11, 2012 10:02:40 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 11, 2012 10:03:46 AM PST
Dog Lover says:
No - they will (maybe) offer (if available) a refurbished product of the same model but they will not offer to provide another model.

DL

EtA: They may, however, offer some consideration toward the purchase of a new model.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 11, 2012 10:09:53 AM PST
Square Trade is right; I got it on my little MP3 player.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 11, 2012 10:17:06 AM PST
Mary Jane says:
That's why I said "may". I have heard of it happening but not too often.

Posted on Dec 11, 2012 10:17:26 AM PST
R. D. Clark says:
Substituting a later version is never going to happen with something this popular. People would be microwaving their Fires left and right to make them fail so they could get free Fire 2's.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 11, 2012 10:27:34 AM PST
I imagine that being on hold for an hour was better than being told that they can't put in the order for the replacement Kindle, because you won't stay on the line with them while they do whatever it is they needed to do.

Not sure about you, but I would want the replacement & I wouldn't want somebody fiddling around with my credit card without me being on the phone with them.

3 weeks is better than not at all, this is the holiday season, I would be surprised if things are not running a bit behind.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 11, 2012 10:29:58 AM PST
Not every single customer is going to get her every wish every time. It's life.
*******************
Yes! I couldn't help but feel while reading her posts that she should be glad for *all* the times went smoothly & realize that 1 time out of all those other times is really not bad, not bad at all.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 11, 2012 10:36:42 AM PST
The warranty says, <<we will at our option, to the extent permitted by law, either (i) repair the Device using either new or refurbished parts, (ii) replace the Device with a new or refurbished Device that is equivalent to the Device to be replaced, or (iii) refund to you all or part of the purchase price of the Device.>>
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This discussion

Discussion in:  Kindle forum
Participants:  25
Total posts:  72
Initial post:  Dec 11, 2012
Latest post:  Dec 14, 2012

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