Almost-right Amazon response

I placed an order on Amazon last week and chose Amazon Prime overnight shipping, something I do pretty often. The package was late. Even on Saturday, when the package was nowhere near Texas, the Amazon order page still showed estimated delivery for Friday.

I emailed support asking for a refund of the $3.99 overnight charge since they failed to ship on time, and the answer I got back surprised me. They would refund it “this one time”, but in the future I should know they don’t do Saturday delivery. All the details I had provided in my email had been glossed over, and instead they had essentially called me an idiot.

The refund itself was irrelevant. It’s just 4 bucks. But please don’t blame the customer. Even if it’s not your fault, but especially when it is!

(A second email with Amazon cleared up the matter and they apologized. I’m a happy customer again.)

I’ve blogged before about “refunds in the context of customer support”:http://www.manton.org/2007/02/customer.html, and this Amazon situation just underscores that how you treat your customer is actually more important than the money. I would have been much less upset if they had refused to refund the shipping, but at least acknowledged that I was right about the order date and expected delivery.