Y’know, it doesn’t pay to be a nice guy.
I ordered a bunch of stuff for Christmas this year from Amazon.com. I’ve ordered from Amazon many, many times in the past, and never had any problems. So, the boxes start rolling in and I’m excited to get my loot. Then, one day I get an unexpected box. I open it up and it’s a wireless router. Which is cool, but I didn’t order a wireless router, nor did I ask for one for Christmas. Looking at the invoice, I see that it’s not addressed to me at all, it’s someone completely different, in a different state even. Somehow this lady’s merchandise has been put in a box with my name on it.
So, okay, mistakes happen; I’m not steamed about it or anything. I go online and start to wade through their help files. There’s not a convenient way to return merchandise you didn’t order… it’s smooth sailing if you didn’t like what you got, or it was broken, or it was the wrong color… but if it’s something surprising like, say, a wireless router, then it’s a little more difficult.
The problem is Amazon wants the order number of the merchandise to process a return. And I don’t have an order number for this particular thing, because I didn’t order it. So I use the order number for some outstanding stuff that hasn’t arrived yet. My assumption is that my stuff was put in this woman’s box, and right now she’s looking at a juvenile fiction sci-fi book and a pocketknife and saying, “What the fuck? Where’s my router?”
I finally get a return sticker printed out, and pack everything up and ship it back. I was pretty sure that I didn’t follow the correct procedure, but I figured that once the thing was back in-house, they could figure out what to do with it. I even included a quick note explaining that I didn’t order this thing, but I don’t need a refund or anything since, again, I didn’t order it in the first place.
Couple of days later the last few items I ordered came in. So, good, problem solved. Then, a couple of days after that, the same things come AGAIN. It’s a little bit of a pain in the butt since I need to box more crap up and send it back AGAIN, but whatever.
Here’s the thing: I could have probably kept the second wave of stuff. I bet I could have kept the router, too. Amazon might have caught up to me eventually, but then again, maybe not. But, I’m an honest guy, so everything goes back.
Then, just this morning, via email I get a gift certificate from Amazon for $49.99. There’s no information about who sent it, and I’m confused. $49.99 is an odd amount to send if it's a gift, but I’ll gladly spend it. But I figure I better check, and since there’s a phone number right there in the email, I decide to call customer service instead of trying to figure it out via not-so-helpful help files.
While I’m waiting on hold, I notice that the gift certificate has been issued as a refund, and everything clicks. That damn router was about 50 bucks, so they must have received it back, and some braintrust opening boxes sent me a refund.
Again, I could have probably spent it without anyone being any the wiser, but I don’t. I try to explain what I think has happened to the customer service lady, and she’s not really getting it. She ends up transferring the “case” to the gift certificate department, and says I can expect to hear from them later today.
I fully expect to receive another $50 gift certificate from them. And y’know what? I just might spend that one.