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Guest Post: My issue with Amazon.ca

NOTE: This is a guest post by my sister, Justine. She is 23 years old, and works two part-time jobs while attending University full-time to obtain her degree in Social Work – with no student loans! She currently lives with her boyfriend of 5 years, has a Minesweeper expert level score of 81, and loves watching infomercials.

I have always liked shopping through Amazon.ca because it has a great inventory. The website is quick, convenient, and easy to navigate. Not to mention I get to use my gift cards that I obtain from Swagbucks!

However, recently I had a bad experience with them. Here’s my story:

On November 23, I ordered a book – Goldfish Care – for my sister as a gift for Christmas, since she seems to have a problem with keeping her goldfish alive. At only $5.06, it wasn’t very expensive, and I thought it would be a nice book to get her. When I was ordering it, Amazon let me know that the book was back-ordered and would not arrive in time for Christmas. The estimated shipping date on it would be between December 21-30. I was a little irked by this, because I thought buying the book over a month before Christmas would have been plenty of time to restock and ship out. But I bought it anyway, because even a late Christmas present was going to be ok.

However, on December 31 – after the book was supposed to be shipped to me – I got an update e-mail from Amazon stating that there was a delay in shipping out my book. The new estimated shipping date would be between January 17-31. I was pretty upset by this, as it was almost an entire month after the first back-ordered estimated ship date. My BF suggested that I write Amazon an e-mail, but I did not take his advice.

Instead, I waited patiently until the end of January for Goldfish Care to arrive. But AGAIN, on February 1 – after the book was supposed to ship, Amazon sent me another e-mail with another new estimated shipping date between February 16-March 1. This time I was furious. When – or IF – the book ever showed up, it would be over three months since I had ordered it.

This time I took my BF’s advice and decided to write them an e-mail voicing my dissatisfaction with their service. They wrote me back stating:

Sometimes, unexpected fluctuations in supply can add time to our original availability estimate.  We have learned that “Goldfish Care” is now back-ordered, and our supplier is not able to tell us exactly when they expect to have more in stock. I apologize that you were not notified sooner of this change.

To compensate me for my inconvenience, they upgraded my shipment of my book to “express,” at no extra charge to me. This was not a satisfactory resolution to my issue. What is the point of rushing the order a few days earlier, when it would already have been almost three months since I ordered it? And that’s IF it actually ships this time. Sure, I could keep on waiting. Goldfish Care was only $5.06 after all. But the point is, based on Amazon’s e-mail they sent to me, they never had any idea when they were expecting more stock of the book, yet they have been giving me the run-around since  November.

So in the end, I opted to cancel my order and I’m left with a bad taste in my mouth.

Although I am not sure that I will completely abstain from Amazon.ca, I am certainly wearier about it. As well, my BF reminded me that shopping around at other websites (eBay, Indigo.ca, etc) might be beneficial, instead of always automatically going to Amazon because I assume they have the best prices. I think I’ll take his advice this time.

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