I talk often here about how great Amazon Prime is and the great experiences I have had with Amazon devices and products (as well as personally giving away dozens of Amazon devices over the years). Because of that, I thought it only fair to share what happened when an experience with Amazon went bad.
Dealing with Amazon’s Giveaway Mess
The Prize – a Kindle Paperwhite
Back in October, I mentioned in a deal roundup about Amazon’s giveaways they were doing (and continue to do even now). I ended up winning an Amazon Kindle Paperwhite – retail $119 – in one of the giveaways and it was perfect because we were going to get a Kindle (basic model) for a family member as a gift and now we had the Paperwhite model!
I received an e-mail with an order number at the end of October (but no way to track the order as it was not associated with my account). I was told it would ship at some point. It being the first giveaway item I won from Amazon, I had no idea how long it would take for it to arrive.
Prize was a No-Show
Fast forward to the end of November. I checked through the packages when I arrived at the address used and did not find it anywhere. So, I decided to chat with Amazon about it. That was December 8.
I was told in this first chat that it would have to go to a different department and I would receive an e-mail in the next 24-48 hours with the status.
1 Representative and 10 minutes
After waiting a week with no response, I did another chat. After about 15 minutes of chatting, I was told that it showed as shipping already and to confirm the shipping address. Apparently, there was some confusion with it as they asked me what the address was in “Seattle” – which is no way attached to my account. They also asked if this particular e-mail address was mine – email@example.com.
Um, no, I do not have an Amazon.com e-mail and obviously, the address tied to the order was an Amazon address in Seattle – probably the department that handled the giveaways. After pointing this out to the rep (which I felt bad about since it should have been pretty apparent to an AMAZON employee), they agreed and then found the address it was supposed to be delivered to – my correct one.
Again, they said to wait 24-48 hours for a phone call.
1 Representative and 15 minutes
After waiting 3 more days with no response from Amazon (and Christmas fast approaching), I did yet another chat. This time, I was transferred to 5 different Amazon reps and departments! Honestly, for a giveaway they ran on an item they make, that is really ridiculous. It should have been shipped out again and been done with but they said it was not so easy.
After 1.5 hours of chatting (?!?!?!), I was told to wait a couple of days for an e-mail from the right department. I asked if I could have a phone number if I didn’t hear from them and they said I would just have to wait.
5 Representatives and 88 minutes
Phone Call 1 (Contact #4)
Finally, I called yesterday. I normally prefer chat to have a record of the conversation but this time, I wanted to speak to someone in the know or in a position to help more effectively.
The first person I spoke with said they would just get it resent (thank you!) and to hold on. After waiting for 10 minutes, she came back and said that since it had been over 30 days since it had shipped, the time for me requesting it to be resent had passed and there was nothing they could do!
At that point, I requested to speak with a supervisor. I explained to the supervisor that this was absolutely ridiculous – I was not even given the tracking number until 42 days after the item was apparently shipped (though the tracking never showed it making a journey). Since I was not provided with the tracking number within the 30 day period, why should I be penalized for their mistake?
The supervisor apologized but said they could not order a new one at this point.
2 Representatives and 43 minutes
Just before I was about to ramp it up a bit more, the supervisor then continued to say that she would give me a credit for $151.99 so that I could order it myself. 🙂 Well, that was nice, especially since it was on sale for only $99 yesterday! I received the credit in a matter of minutes and placed the order!
What I Learned
If you end up winning a giveaway with Amazon, make sure you take note of the sponsor! Mine was Amazon but if it was not Amazon, you will end up having to deal with the actual sponsor as any refund would go to the sponsor, not you.
Next, if you are notified that you won a giveaway, chat with Amazon as soon as you receive the order number to get the tracking number. That way, you can deal with it within the 30 days if it gets lost.
Finally, be persistent! I realize that some of you may think “it was a $120 gift – let it go!” To be honest, I thought about it! But, at the same time, I had passed up countless good deals on the basic Kindle I would have bought as the gift because I had this coming. So, I would have been out more money than I should have been.
Also, I don’t like it when something is supposed to be sent and the company doesn’t stand by it (and I am the same way as someone who has put on countless giveaways – I have felt horrible when things got confused and I didn’t send a gift or one got lost. I always ended up paying even more to make sure I got it right for the winning readers).
Now, I got my prize plus an extra $50 Amazon! Did Amazon do the right thing? Eventually – after speaking with 8 different reps and spending 2.5 hours of my life chatting or on the phone.
Why am I sharing this? In case you are ever fortunate (?) to win an Amazon giveaway, now you may know a thing or two! Also, as I said at the start, I think it is good for balance to show the good and the bad about a company I normally have good things to say about. At least it turned out ok!