Amazon is making it really hard for me to hate the oft-demonized, Mom-and Pop-store-crushing behemoth:
I accidentally ordered two copies of the same book (“Aztec, Ixtec and Zapotec Armies”). It’s an easy thing to do, if you click the add to cart button twice and don’t notice that the quantity tab is 2 instead of 1. I went to their website and started the process of returning the extra copy, not looking forward to filling out forms, getting a box, and schlepping to the local UPS store. However when I clicked the “Return” button I got a message telling me that “We are giving you a full refund. You do not have to return the item.”
This is kind of incredible – they are willing to eat the loss on the full price of the book, to save me the trouble of returning it. Now it may very well be that someone analyzed the cost of processing the return and decided that it met or exceeded the cover price of $14.19. Or maybe someone at Amazon ran the following equation:
Cost of processing return + Enhanced Customer experience (and loyalty) > $14.19
A week later I made another simple mistake. I bought a Kindle Paperwhite on sale and had it sent using their free 5 day shipping. After the estimated delivery day came and went, I checked the order online and realized that I had sent it to my old address, a UPS mailbox on the other side of the US. My heart sank at the thought of calling the UPS store, having the manager find the box, then paying them to resend it from the East to West coast.
And then I called Amazon. I told them that I sent it the wrong address. What could they do for me? The woman on the phone said she would ship out a new one to my new address, at no charge. Don’t worry about the other Kindle. They would even use express 2 day shipping.
In both cases this was an unexpectedly great response that solved a problem that was completely my fault. It’s hard not to admire that kind of service!