Recently Deep posted a status update on FB, saying "Just like chocolates, shopping also lifts the mood, bhalehi hi fir wo books hi kyun na ho or online kyun na ho". That was the day when we had ordered 10 books in a single day; 2 of them from Flipkart and 8 from Amazon. We have been a loyal customers of Flipkart, since last two years but had never ordered from Amazon before. This time, Amazon was offering exciting discounts for many good books and that too with free shipping for some of them. This tempted both of us to go on a shopping spree, just like last year. Then started the anxious waiting period. There are two types of anxieties: Nervous and Exciting. Initially, we were anxious excited; eagerly awaiting for having a glimpse at our newly acquired possessions, checking the tracking pages every now and then in the hope of new updates. In about 10 days, we got six of the books from Amazon and two from Flipkart. However, two from amazon were still pending. As the days passed, we started becoming anxious nervous. There was no change in the statuses of the books. I think here onwards, it's better to jot down the events chronologically:
18th June: I got an email from one seller saying that their stock was accidentally damaged and they cannot fulfill the order. So, they asked me if they can cancel the order. From the email, it seemed that refund is not the only option. So, I asked whether it is possible to get a delivery after a few days or so, as I was ready to wait. But, the seller claimed that the it was not possible and cancellation was the only option. This was a bit disappointing as I had ordered that book to gift it to a friend of mine and I had been happy to have found just the right gift at the right price. Now, giving that perfect gift is no more possible as the prices of the other available editions of that book are beyond my reach.
This experience increased our nervous anxiety. In case of the other book, Amazon was still showing Status as "Not yet dispatched" and "Expected Delivery Dates: 14 - 17 June, 2013". We started wondering whether these guys have got time machine which will help them deliver the book in past. ;)
Then there were few more days of anxious awaiting.
25th June: It was already one week past the cancellation date. But nothing emerged - neither the refund for the cancelled book nor the second book which was yet to be dispatched. The status quo of the status was maintained. The expected delivery date was still 14 - 17 June, 2013. Finally, our patience threshold was crossed. We decided to inquire about the actual status. We wrote an email to the customer care section and got an unexpected reply: "I see that your credit card that you chose for this order was deactivated and we were not able to charge for this order and hence we couldn't deliver the package for the book. However, we've already charged for the other book in the order and hence we were able to deliver this book to you."
Now here are a few things:
- Firstly, I had paid using debit card and not the credit card.
- Secondly, within minutes after payment I had got a confirmation email from Amazon and a message regarding deduction from the bank, both for the entire amount. So, I didn't see any reasoning in the argument that they had received payment for one book and not for the other book (as both the books belonged to the same order).
- Thirdly, the card with which I paid the bill is still active.
Irritated by this rude shock, I wrote to the executive again and got more worried about the refund status of the originally cancelled book. I wrote to the seller of the cancelled book to get update about the refund status. The seller contacted Amazon and here came their reply: "I have reviewed the order and it has been cancelled and the buyer has not been charged so no refund is required."
In my opinion, this was the height of irresponsible behaviour, specially when Amazon is claiming to build "Earth's Most Customer-Centric Company".
Then I called up customer care executive twice, to explain the entire matter and got the reply that "Refund was not processed, because the other book from the same order is yet to be dispatched". I was relieved to hear that they are admitting that the payment is made. However, had I got the correct reply in the first place, it would have saved a lot of emails, calls and subsequently time and energy of both the sides (we and Amazon).
26th June: I started my day again with an email from Amazon saying that the order of second book has also been cancelled and you will get the entire refund for two books. We were again irritated as we had no intention of cancelling that book. We couldn't see the reason behind this and frantically called up customer care again, only to be greeted by third person. I wanted to continue with the person with whom I had spoken earlier as he had understood my entire problem and had reacted pretty sensibly. But this new person was not ready to handover the phone. So, I had to repeat my entire story, which I think she couldn't fathom. So, finally what she did was to keep me on hold on the pretext of checking the details and handed over the phone to the person, who had addressed this issue the earlier day. Here also, had she listened to my request of talking to the specific person, it would have saved time and energy of both of us. Finally, I got to know that the seller has again run out of stock and so my order was cancelled. The book is still available on Amazon, but with the different seller and so, I will have to order it again. There is no option of transferring the money directly to the new seller, though all of them are on the Amazon platform.
In short, the thing was an entire mess. I am hoping to get refund soon. I don't know if I will ever have the courage to order from Amazon again, due to the points, which I'll enlist in my next post.