Annoyed by Amazon

I ordered three books last week from Amazon and decided to pay for shipping (I wanted one of the books sooner than later). The shipping option I paid for would deliver within 3-5 days after it was shipped. The items shipped two days in two different parcels. One expected to arrive after 4 days and the other after 7 days.

Naturally, I contacted Amazon to let them know I was unhappy with paying for the 3-5 day shipping option but would receive the item on business day 7 after shipping.

“I’d like to know why a package I ordered will be delivered more than five days after it is shipped. I paid for standard shipping (3-5 business days). Even generously not counting today (4/9) and counting forward, five business days would mean it will be delivered on 4/16. From the email I just received: “Shipped via USPS (estimated arrival date: 17-April-2008).” “

Without reading the email, Amazon responded with a load of crap and poor arithmetic:

Hello from

I understand that your concern is regarding the estimated delivery date of your second shipment.

I’ve looked into your order and see that it’s been shipped via USPS and should be delivered by Apr 17, 2008.

I understand that this estimated delivery date is long, however, please understand, the shipping method you have selected for this order is Standard Shipping and when you choose this shipping, the estimated delivery date for the item will be 3 to 5 business days after the order is shipped. Please note that most carriers do not deliver packages on weekends.

This estimated delivery date is calculated based on how close inventory of “BOOK TITLE” is to the delivery address, as well as how quickly we can obtain and assemble your order.

As you may know, we have several fulfillment centers across the U.S., and the items in your order may sometimes be in stock at different locations. When you place your order, we estimate your ship date based on the proximity of inventory to the delivery address you provide, as well as how quickly we can obtain and assemble items for shipment.

We do want to make sure that your order arrives safely. If your package doesn’t arrive by end of the business day on April 20, 2008 please use the link below to contact us so that we can investigate further.

I hope this information helps you.

Thanks for shopping at

Please let us know if this e-mail resolved your question:

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Please note: this e-mail was sent from an address that cannot accept incoming e-mail.

To contact us about an unrelated issue, please visit the Help section of our web site.

Best regards,

Sandhya Customer Service

I replied to the email to it again but was rudely met by a bounced message. It turns out Amazon buries a note to not bother replying to their email. WTF!? The least it could do is point out to customers at the top of the email. I could not avoid letting my frustration show.

COMMENTS: I think you missed my point. The item has shipped. My point is that the 17th is more than 5 business days from now. That is longer than the 3-5 business days which the standard shipping option states, post shipping of course. I suggest you count it again.

The order form discusses estimated shipping date and based on that an estimated delivery date. But nothing on the order form describes the delivery date (3-5 days) as only an estimate that may reach beyond five days after an item is shipped. Your shipping information linked from the order form all refers to “Delivery within 3 to 5 business days.” I chose the shipping speed of 3-5 days and am perturbed Amazon decided to cheap-out and deliver it under a lesser delivery option.

BTW: It would be a better user experience to tell users at the TOP of an email not to reply to it. It is currently buried at the bottom.


That got some attention but I was still insulted by the fact that it took this long to garner an appropriate response.

Thank you for writing back to us at with your concern.

I’m sorry for the inconvenience caused to you regrading the delivery of your order for the item “[BOOK TITLE]”.

From your e-mail message I understand that the estimated delivery date displayed on your order confirmation e-mail states that your order will be delivered by April 17, 2008 which is more than 5 business days since your order was shipped on April 09, 2008.

However, I have contacted our shipping department on your behalf and confirm you that the estimated delivery date displayed in your order confirmation e-mail and Your Account were incorrect. Please accept our sincere apologies for this error.

In actuality, you can expect your order to be to be delivered to you by April 16, 2008 which is 5 business days from your shipment date.

Also, please note that at the bottom of all automated messages we send, you’ll see these words, “Please note: This e-mail was sent from a notification-only address that cannot accept incoming e-mail. Please do not reply to this message.”

Thank you for suggesting that it would be a better user experience to tell users at the Top of an email not to reply to it. Customer feedback like yours is very important in helping us continue to improve the selection and service we provide.

I appreciate your thoughts and I will be sure to forward your suggestion to the concerned department.

For help in the future, please note that the most efficient way to contact our customer service department is by using the e-mail form below found in our Help pages:

Further, I’ll personally look into this issue and see that your order gets delivered by April 16, 2008. I can understand how important this order is to you and how frustrating if you do not receive it in time.

I’ve already created a Follow-Up for your order and will write back to you again on April 17, 2008 with all the details of the order.

I hope the above information is helpful for you.

Thank you for shopping at

Please let us know if this e-mail resolved your question:

If yes, click here:….
If not, click here:….

Please note: this e-mail was sent from an address that cannot accept incoming e-mail.

To contact us about an unrelated issue, please visit the Help section of our web site.

Best regards,

Hussain Customer Service

The package showed up on the 16th. It is arguable whether that is business day 5 or business day 6 after it was shipped. Either way, in the future I’ll avoid Amazon when I can and will definitely avoid paying for Amazon shipping. Just isn’t worth it. This is about the fifth time I’ve had negative run-ins with Amazon customer care and piss-poor customer experience. I’ve purchased from them less than a dozen times. A nearly fifty percent negative experience is a very bad track record.

Here’s one form I submitted to Amazon in 2005. It was regarding a Christmas gift I bought for my sister knowing it would be delivered around or just after the new year. More than two months later I was asked to accept a late delivery for the third time. The book finally arrived in late March 2005.

>Date: Sat Feb 19 18:49:39 GMT 2005
>Subject: Where’s My Stuff?

02/19/05 10:49:18
ORDER ID: 102-7430093-0897743<br>COMMENTS: I’m not feeling very appreciated. In fact, I’m infuriated. What is the hold-up? Why am I being asked for my approval to delay shipment again? This is the second time this month.

Has the publisher not sent you a copy? Are you upset at me for not buying more? Is it because the book is destined for Alaska? Speak to me. I’d like to know why it is being delayed.

I’d also like to know why there isn’t a phone number provided to customer service. Better to spend the money than let your customer stew for hours while waiting for your reply.

And tell me one good reason I shouldn’t cancel this order, refuse to order from Amazon in the future and recommend everyone I know to avoid your company.

I ordered this book for my sister on 12/15/04 minutes after I ordered an identical book for my other sister. That book was sent to my other sister more than a month ago.”

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