This post is a slight departure from my usual content, but as a long term Amazon customer who has recently lost a reasonable sum of money due to an unscrupulous market place seller, and Amazon’s misleading A-Z guarantee. Given what we have lost, and the fact many people likely use the Amazon market place believing they have the protection from Amazon. However based on this experience, when things go wrong, that ‘guaranteed’ protection may turn out to be worthless.
I’ll start with a quote from the A-Z ‘safe buying guarantee’ on the Amazon UK site;
What is covered under the A-to-z Guarantee?
- The buyer didn’t receive the item they ordered.
The very first item on the list states you are covered if you do not receive the item you ordered.
So now we are clear on the Guarantee, onto the tale of woe..
We ordered some furniture from a company called Decorious based out of this address;
Business Innovation Centre
After a period of a couple of weeks when we had not received anything we contacted the seller, and were told the item had been delivered. We obviously challenged this and received a response that the courier had said it was delivered, on a Monday at about 3.30pm. We explained that it could not have been delivered to us as there were only two people living at our property both of whom were out at work at this time.
The courier then confirmed that the goods were indeed delivered to someone other than us and a different address, but that they didn’t seem to know where this was!
At this point we thought that would be fine, as UK trading standards clearly states that the seller of a posted item is responsible for ensuring it is delivered to the purchaser. So we asked Decorious to resolve the issue and resend or locate our goods. They stated they would investigate with the courier and come back to us. Several chasing emails later they then changed their tune and started sending generic ‘please use this tracking number, apologies for any inconvenience caused’ emails. No matter what we sent or what we asked we just got the same response from a lovely lady called ‘Kelly’.
At this point, while somewhat annoyed as realising Decorious and their employee Kelly were a less than honest company relying in the fact we wouldn’t take further legal action as is would be so time consuming, we were not too worried. Assuming on past experience that Amazon were generally decent and resolved delivery issues, we contacted them to ask for the A-Z Delivery Guarantee to be invoked. We explained the situation to them, how we were not in at the time of delivery, Decorious’ admission that we didn’t have the goods, then their change of mind etc. all of which is on record in the Amazon email system.
Amazon customer service duly went and ‘investigated’, then came back and said there was nothing they could do, so we asked why, and how the guarantee was satisfied when the goods were not received. Further unhelpful standard responses followed.
Amazon doesn’t make it easy to escalate issues so I searched online and discovered some options;
Now I’m under no illusion that Mr North, the current MD of Amazon UK would actually respond to these emails, but we did get Anthony Bennis from ‘executive customer relations’ responding on his behalf. Anthony said he would investigate, and surprisingly came back with the same helpful advice – there was nothing they could do and perhaps we could try trading standards.
So I asked him to explain what investigations they had carried out, this was not answered. I then asked him to explain how the A-Z Guarantee of delivery had been fulfilled, this was also not answered. I then asked him to state clearly that the guarantee had been fulfilled despite us having been out at the time of delivery and the courier admitting they didn’t know where the good went – again, not answered.
All we got was generic responses then ‘sorry we won’t talk to you about this issue any further’.
So the moral of the story is that the Amazon A-A guarantee is frankly not worth the html it’s written in, and buyer beware. The market place is no worse than buying from anywhere else, but don’t be fooled that Amazon provides you any real protection should you face issues.
As for Amazon, Anthony Bennis, or Christopher North (as you allow people to speak for you), I ask you publically to explain how you supposed guarantee was satisfied in this situation.
Finally as for Decorious just don’t use them, there are many furniture sellers, most of whom are decent and honest, Decorious are not.
Normal service will be resumed with my next post J