As opposed to the not so live ones

A story about buying stuff on-line.

I wanted a French Press Coffee pot. Although several stores listed them as “In-stock” the long-suffering wife and I could not find any on our foot search (On Christmas Eve no less). Further explanation of why she is the “long-suffering wife” is not needed at this point.

I ordered this one on Christmas Eve from

As you can see I opted for the cheap, slow shipping.

I am not a patient person by nature but I didn’t feel like shelling out a bunch of dough to get it fast.

It did arrive on 12/29.

It was shipped in a two foot long box with no packing material. The coffee maker is about six inches tall and is made out of glass. I could hear it shifting inside the box and tinkling. Not a good sign.

This one was completely smashed.

I followed the instructions on the website, ordered a replacement and printed out the return label.

Now I wanted the new one to come fast, damn the shipping charges. I could see no way to do this on-line so I decided to call customer service to get it shipped one day.

I could NOT find any phone contact on amazon’s site. And I really looked hard.

A google search gave me this:

Amazon 800

which is a pretty funny take on the whole Amazon customer service deal.

I called and got a call center employee we will call “Jugdish.”

I have seen the movie “Outsourced”

And I have a bit of empathy for “Jugdish” and his fellow call center slaves.

But I could NOT understand him.

It took twenty minutes but I finally got my concept across to him. Or so I thought. He told me that he would ship the new coffee maker out next day FOR FREE and that I would be credited for whatever shipping charges I incurred to send back the shattered one.

Sure enough the next day UPS dropped off the new one. And it was not broken. I was happy as I could be.

Until the next day.

When another coffee maker arrived.

This one was obviously the one I had ordered on line. Here is how it was packed.

And of course this one was cracked in two places:

So I don’t want to be charged for TWO coffee makers. I had already shipped back the other one, which cost me $7.05 postage.

Back to the call center. This time I got Jugdish’s female counterpart. I could not even understand her name, although she spelled it using the NATO phonetic alphabet, you know, A as in “Alpha” B as in “Bravo” etc.

I explained the whole sad story to her and told her I did not want to pay for shipping another coffee pot back and I wanted to be reimbursed for the one I did.

This took and I am not exaggerating, 45 minutes. At times I was on hold for 10 minutes at a clip.

At last she told me that I would be contacted by “Logistics” to arrange for the second broken coffee pot to be returned.

Today I got the call from “Logisitics.” Midwestern guy named Rob.

“You are trying to track down a coffee pot that never arrived?” Rob said.

We both laughed after I explained what I really wanted.

I just went back to the Amazon site now. I discovered you can ship the item back and print out a pre-paid address label. Why I didn’t see that before I will blame on not enough coffee.

But now the problem is…The ONLY two options were refund or replacement. Neither one applied but do you think I am going to call customer service to straighten it out? Not this guy.

So I opted for refund. The worst that can happen here is that I get credit for the second pot I returned (have you been keeping track?) and I get my coffee pot for free.

I kind of feel I deserve it after all this. What do you think?

I am going to direct you to a “Rant” daily here.

This was written sometime in 2006.

Today’s Rant can be found by clicking Here: Today’s Rant

As always, thanks for reading.

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About James Rising

A recovering radio addict wrestles with the written word.
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