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Sunday, 28 January 2007

My trip down the Amazon nightmare

You would think if you journeyed down the Amazon river you might come across some pretty scary if not outright deadly animals. The odd crocodile, a few electric eels, piranhas ready to rip your flesh off, pythons willing to give you a hug like you've never had, and even sharks if by some miracle you got near the finishing line.

Well I'm not advocating that I'd be crazy enough to swim 3,375 miles down the Amazon like Slovenian Martin Strel is planning to do. Buckets of blood readied for Amazon swim

But I can honestly say I've been through a terrifying Amazon experience, I've dealt with bloodsuckers, piranhas, snakes and sharks the amazing thing is I've never been to South America.

My Amazon experience is with the other Amazon, Amazon.com

It's sucked the life blood out of me. I've put up with a continuous barrage of ' special emails', special offers, ' Just for you deals' all in the deluded pursuit that an order I placed over 3 months ago might actually one day get delivered.

Now I'm not talking about the order being received in that time,that would be ridiculous, I'm talking of actually being dispatched.

I live in Australia. I know it takes at least the best part of 1 to 2 weeks to send a large, thoughtful, unusually shaped, gift all the way from American, when you're a fellow Jewish blogger and the blogger cares.

But a cd, that has to take at least 3 months if it comes from Amazon.

But when you're Amazon, well shucks we're so big it doesn't really matter.

I should have known.

My wife and I ordered a large order of Jewish books about 9 months ago.

We Ordered:

  • 1 of: Wonders And Miracles : A Passover Companion
  • 1 of: Jewish Literacy: The Most Important Things to Know About the Jewish Religion, Its People and Its History
  • 1 of: How To Run A Traditional Jewish Household
  • 1 of: Biblical Literacy : The Most Important People, Events, and Ideas of the Hebrew Bible
  • 1 of: The Chumash: The Stone Edition (Artscroll Series)
  • 1 of: Jewish Kids' Catalog (JPS Kids' Catalog)
  • 1 of: The Complete Artscroll Siddur (Artscroll Mesorah Series)
  • 1 of: Tanach: The Stone Edition/Black : The Torah/Prophets/Writings : The Twenty-Four Books of the Bible Newly Translated and Annotated (The Artscroll Ser.)


A lot of books for us, and to be candid, quite a sum of money, but we wanted to get a good start on our desire to convert to Orthodox Judaism. We brought books that would last, we're not voguish people, we don't flow with fashions, when we choose a direction well that's the way we're going.

We waited months for the books to show, we we're so excited.

We live very remote, so for us getting mail is pretty exciting, we don't get Junk Mail via the post.

It seems that even mail order companies can figure when you live that far away, by the time you get to any sale its going to be over.

Month after Month we waited, our excitement never waned, after several moths we enquired to Amazon that we were still waiting. They told us they had been sent and we should have by now received them. They told us to wait another few weeks to see if they turned up. Which surprised me because I had paid a small fortune in Postage, $5 per book plus an initial order delivery fee, so I had assumed they would be registered. [requiring a Signature on delivery]

Well a fortnight later, they still hadn't turned up. Now to put this in perspective there is no 'local' Jewish book store, in fact there's no local bookstore fullstop. It's a two hour drive to pick up a novel were we live.
So months later, full of excitement and hope that our books might turn up each morning, we discovered that the order had 'gone astray' and that we would have to make another order out for books.

Cutting to the point after a few weeks of expedited delivery posturing we received our new Jewish books.

I don't even want to contemplate where the original order went, enough to say it was of sacred Jewish texts and its never been seen since. Thanks Amazon. You cheap skates, you charge me almost $50 US in postage and can't even give me a receipted delivery.

Ok, so the experience wasn't fantastic, we waited a very long time, the first delivery wasn't received, they don't ask for signatures, but we eventually did receive our order, what do we do next?

We order more books of course.

With Chanukah just 6 weeks away we quickly placed an order for the children. It was a really large order because we decided rather than buy our Jewish books from a City merchant during our next planned trip to the city for one of our children to have serious surgery we would order via Amazon, and therefore avoid having to travel across the city when our child might be seriously ill.

So 6 weeks before Chanukah we ordered, knowing that the books may arrive a little bit late, but since we were spending Chanukah in Sydney with a child in Hospital we could treat the children to belated Chanukah presents after our return home.

We arrived home two weeks after Chanukah.

We have placed that order over 3 months ago.

In that time we have had excuse, after excuse, after excuse. All ' copy and pasted' answers.

'We're so sorry Mrs XXX we are working towards solving your problem' and yada yada yah....

Well 3 months and 1 week later after so many broken promises, and after so many estimated delivery dates have been changed, we have had enough.

What you have to appreciate is, sure it takes a while for mail to get to us, but we have 4 pending separate orders that have ETA's of December and January/ Early Feburary of those 4 orders, 3 of them have 'dated' estimated dates of arrival past the date and they have still not be sent! The fourth and fifth parts of the order aren't due to be sent yet.

How would an estimated day of arrival ever be accurate when the goods haven't even been sent before the estimated arrival Date? (Repeatedly).

Why so many parts? Because Amazon strung us out saying the order was complete except for 2 cd's which were due in at a later date. So when we found this out, we said seperate them so as we might recieve the order quicker.

Funny enough Amazon's excuse fell apart when we did this. We're still wainting.

Items not yet shipped:

  • Delivery estimate: February 2, 2007 - February 16, 2007
    * 1 of: Mitzvah Magic
    Sold by: Amazon.com

    Items not yet shipped


  • Delivery estimate: January 26, 2007 - February 9, 2007
    * 1 of: Passover Seder Sing-A-Long
    Sold by: Amazon.com

    Items not yet shipped


  • Delivery estimate: January 15, 2007
    * 1 of: Jewish Humor Stories for Kids
    Sold by: Amazon.com
    * 1 of: Chocolate Chip Challah and Other Twists on the Jewish Holiday Table: An Interactive Family Cookbook
    Sold by: Amazon.com
    * 1 of: Amazing Songs for Amazing Jewish Kids
    Sold by: Amazon.com
    * 1 of: The Atlas of Great Jewish Communities: A Voyage Through History
    Sold by: Amazon.com

    * 1 of: Music from the Mountain
    Sold by: Amazon.com

    Items not yet shipped


  • Delivery estimate: March 8, 2007
    * 1 of: One -Hundred-and-One Read-Aloud Jewish Stories
    Sold by: Amazon.com

    Items not yet shipped


  • Delivery estimate: January 18, 2007 - January 23, 2000
    * 1 of: A Year of Jewish Stories: 52 Tales for Young Children and Their Families

    Sold by: Amazon.com

    Items not yet shipped


3 months and 1 week later they have not even SENT half the books let alone accounting for delays via shipping that may occur.

Well that really annoys me.

But you know what annoys me even more?

My wife and I have Never ordered any book, well actually anything that was not obviously Jewish from Amazon.

Yet a few weeks earlier we were sent this little gem of targeted demographic marketing.

Yes you see right, we have never brought any thing but clearly Jewish Books ever, and Amazon has had the Cheek to send us a special invitation to check out the New Christian Bible Store.

Now ask yourself, how many of Amazon's Muslim customers do you think would have received this nice little evangelistic offering? Well its really annoyed me, and I was going to post a few weeks ago when it happened but I held off simply because I didn't want to think negative about a company that has the better part of a full weeks wage for the last three months and still hasn't even sent five lots or if you like 9 of the 18 books and cd's ordered over 3 months ago.


UPDATE Last Night: I sent a letter saying we want our money back and we want to cancel the order.

This Mornings Response to My Wife: We're so sorry Mrs XXX we are working towards solving your problem and yada yada yah....here's a $15 voucher you can use with your next order.

You don't get it Amazon, do you?

As an Australian Customer our payment options are very limited, we are unable to make direct deposit transfers and the like, so we sent a International Money Order, yes people Money up front.


Update: We ended up waiting over six months. Each time is was a new excuse. We're waiting on two cds,.. two books, two this, two that.
In the end when they said they were waiting on another two different two books, and delivery was still at least 3months away, to fulfill the order we canceled the two books.

We then contacted Amazon informing them that the two books which were holding up the order were now cancelled. We asked for a new expected delivery time and the person said it hasn't changed! (more than 3 months)

In exasperation after waiting more than six months already, to simply send the order, not actually recieve it, just actually send it, they still hadn't, so we cancelled the entire order and they made us wait a further 6 weeks for a US funds cheque.

Amazon you win the award for the worst customer experience I have ever had.

Bagelblogger Always Fresh!!

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