Amazon Customer Support

This used to be very good but seems to be more difficult to get a resolution than before.

I ordered a few small hand-held Bosch battery powered tools I didn’t really need but they were discounted in their spring sale, and will hopefully update a few older ones with poorer battery life or ones which are bigger/heavier and currently difficult to use as I’ve been struggling with tennis elbow for 6-8 weeks.

The items were ordered for delivery to a nearby Amazon locker, but typically, and for the first time ever the locker was ‘down’ and appeared to have no power when I went to collect on Good Friday.

There is no obvious email contact anymore, the automated chat is fairly uselesss and relies on a small number of situations so something like a broken down locker is difficult to report.

Tried multiple times to get their support teamm to call me and despite the website saying ‘call connected’ or similar I never get them, same with ‘callback’ initiated via chat.

Eventually after about 30 minutes chatting to someone likely abroad, who simply kept asking ‘refund or replacement?’, we agreed on a replacement to a different locker.

It just seems bizarre though as I kept asking ‘surely the items are still in the locker as it is still unavailable for new orders?’, just got a scripted, ‘no, you did not pick the items up within the pickup window, they won’t be there’. I’ve not had a refund for the items if they’ve somehow been extricated from the locker and the order status simply shows they have been delivered to the malfunctioning locker.

Now I can understand these lockers may break down, but how ludicrous to have to put in a replacement order to a different delivery point (at no extra charge) and for Amazon to have to repatriate the goods from the malfunctioning locker. Just seems inefficient unless I really needed them immediately.

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Not really helping, but I’ve had a similar issue with Google. Item delivered to a place according to tracking, that’s not my place. After contact with DHL it turns out it’s their own, Google’s, warehouse!!!

Told Google I’d like to cancel. Turns out, since it’s officially shipped, that’s not possible but I can return it once received…

I.e. they’ll sort the issue, ship it to me only for me to return it. Two unnecessary shipping movements and unnecessary cost for them.

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Admittedly I have no idea how this works in other countries. But where I am, the Amazon lockers are actually merely licensed branding and operated by the establishment who’s land they are on. For example, the lockers in a 7-eleven are managed by 7-elevent. The lockers in a train/bus station need a bit more tracking down. You often have to ask the name of the business leasing that spot where the locker sits on.

That’s interesting, you may be correct. I’d assumed they were all supplied by Amazon who then pay some kind of rental to the business for the floor space, though there may be mutual benefits in that you might buy something at the store/establishment. I certainly tend to pickup an item and to a quick shop at my closest locker which is in a supermarket.

I’ve used the lockers for several years now and they seem very reliable on the whole and have some clever features, for example higher lockers have a mirrored ‘roof’ so you can see if there’s another parcel at the back.

IIRC, one the locker providers got in to financial issues recently/even failed(?) as, I assume, their business model relies on renting space from the likes of Network Rail and others, and the charging Amazon? - perhaps with the supermarkets it’s an in-house deal?

I rarely post parcels and experience of late suggests that all the parcelco’s are now dominated by technology, with the auction sites leveraging this for payments & delivery security. Problem is, as soon as something goes a tad awry/unusual arises, trying to resolve matters can be very difficult with all concerned. As you report, there are only set and very narrow menus to resolution, which don’t involve the option of human interaction.

And if you don’t have an account and/or parcel reference, you can be shut out.

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I picked up the ‘replacement order’ from another locker yesterday - delivery in under 24 hours which was great. I was not charged for this.

I anticipate that once the original locker is up and running that I may be refunded in error once the goods are repatriated to Amazon because I didn’t pick them up from there. I hope not as that will mean another attempt to contact them.

I suspect that Amazon has already picked up all the items that were stuck in the locker and that’s why they just send another one to people who contact them. It’s too complicated to hold the uncollected items and reallocate them one by one.

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The reason I don’t think that’s happened, but certainly can’t tell for certain, is that the order still indicates 'delivered to locker’unlike items I’ve collected where the order says that they were collected.

Again an assumption, but if I missed the extended collection window as I was away I’d expect the order status to reflect the items had been returned but it doesn’t. Maybe the items are on their way back and have not been processed as returned yet.

I think it took about 10 days for that locker to be up and running again.

I ordered 2 cheap computer accessories and picked them up yesterday.

The screen said I had 2 lockers to open, so assumed 1 accessory in both - nope, the original order I was unable to access was in a large box in the second locker.

Their systems really don’t seem to be joined up, and there was no way I could opt not to open the 2nd locker and leave the items there for return.

What a faff!

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Amazon may well tell you to keep the additional items, but in any case you should tell them you have them now otherwise they may charge you again.

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It would not surprise me if they did, either way! Had I not opened ‘Locker #2’ I’m unsure if the system would have timed out so potentially anyone could have picked those items up and I might be charged twice. Almost tempted to give it a few days and see what happens before telling them of this apparent flaw in their system. The prompt ‘re-order’ was ‘free’ or at least not charged. The ‘system/computer’ may simply see that I picked up an order I had initially paid for and not link to the fact that a replacement order was made for free. Equally if I arrange an ‘unopened return’ of this order (no longer seems to be an option) will they incorrectly refund me?

I just can’t face the slow online chat at Amazon at the moment.

What an utter palaver!

I had a viral infection at the start of last week and was rather croaky so didn’t contact them immediately. I could not get a callback to my mobile despite numerous attempts and chat was pretty useless.

I did discover that I could get a call to the landline.

A tip if you actually want to speak to someone is to go to chat and type ‘I need to talk to someone’ and an option for a callback appears. This is a tip as if you try to get a phone callback without using chat you have to go through a system where the available dropdown reasons don’t always fit and there is no ‘other reason’ option unless you enter an incorrect ‘reason’.

Anyhow, late last week I had an email saying please return item A by mid June or you will be charged. Well what about items B and C? I was concerned if I returned ABC having only been asked to return A that they might not process all 3 returns correctly (only A) and later charge me for B & C.

I eventually discovered the phone call tip but the call was virtually incomprehensible due to poor quality and audio dropouts despite the lady phoning me back to a landline. I was told my mobile number was ‘blocked’ I have no idea why as it appears automatically from my ‘profile’. The agent agreed that they might mess up the return and would issue a different return code, then the calls failed.

I invoked another call and after lots of explanation about the inconvenience of having to accept a locker order which I’d been assured would no longer even be in the locker, unavailabilty of various return mechanisms and time wasted the support agent simply said ‘keep the items, gift them to friends/family or charity’. Great resolution I thought.

He said he’d email me later to confirm but of course no email came. Instead I had an email from someone completely different advising a link to return all 3 items.

I couldn’t face talking to them again with a croaky throat until today.

Mobile number still blocked it would seem despite being told a request had been submitted to unblock it.

Spoke to someone clearly not in UK who told me I had to return the items or be charged as he had no record of an email saying not to return them.

I asked for this to be escalated as there were clearly issues with their support records.

This agent was quite terse and kept asking ‘how do you want to escalate?’ - ‘You tell me my options’ I said and he said the best solution was to return the stuff. Went round the mulberry bush for about 20 minutes, I then told him I was unhappy with the inconsistency of support responses/decisions and that I suspected their team was not UK based and there might be cultural communication nuances at play. Actually I din’t say that but it was my perception, I simply said I didn’t think he understood my concerns and frustration.

I asked if he could kindly provide me a UK email support contact address which seemed to rattle him and he said I can transfer you to a supervisor or UK support manager so I opted for the latter, why did it take so long?

Was put through to a very polite ‘manager’ who took my mobile/landline numbers and called me on mobile which was considerably clearer than landline. Odd.

Typically I got cut-off due to a second incoming call despite asking the ‘manager’ if he’d mind being on hold briefly as a family member was unwell. No idea if he hung up or if ‘Acept and Hold call’ didn’t work at my end.

Another attempt at a call to the landline was much clearer, spoke to a very polite lady who once told I’d been cut-off immediately transferred me to a UK support manager. This time I’m convinced it had been escalated to a UK based support member and after boring him with the story again I was again told, just keep the items, gift them or give them to charity. At least I now have an email detailing this.

In all honesty I feel a little guilty having a duplicate order for free, however I felt there were several important elements of customer feedback (negative and positive) I wanted to give to Amazon, and I’d estimate the faff of it all has taken 5-6 hours to resolve if not longer.

Why can’t they just have a customer support number you can call in the UK? (interestingly the first manager’s number was a UK one, I called it back and simply got ‘You’ve reached Amazon. Successful test. We are now disconnecting you.’)

Appreciate this is boring as hell, but I’d probably have saved time and money simply being billed twice!


I think the bottom line with many of these situations nowadays is that one can be ‘too honest’ in trying to resolve matters – and some large organisations appear to accept the costs of badly-stamped widgets (deliveries) within their operational and cost models.

But the honest person doesn’t want ambiguity of resolution, which is what is often what results at the consumer end with the thought that, down the line, a debit will be raised against you.

Of course, after you’ve made calls like these, you often get an e-mail/text asking you to rate your experience — it’s a good job keyboards don’t have shortcuts to swear words :grinning:

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