Amazon.com Complaint - Amazon stalls your gift returns
I have been trying to get credit for returning two unwanted books that were sent to me as gifts. This process started in October. It is now December 22, 2006.
I don't have a computer and it is difficult for me to get to a library to use a public computer. They don't leave a number for you to call. I had never returned anything to Amazon before and didn't know how to do it, let alone what was involved in a gift return. By the time I was able to let them know about the unwanted book in the only approved way they have for learning about their customers, the 30-day period had gone by and I could not even get a message to them about the return, because the site won't let you fill in the form if your order number is over 30 days out. I actually forget how I sent them an e-mail -- two, if truth be told, before they bothered to respond. It was difficult.
Anyway, they eventually agreed to send me a return label. I bought a padded envelope and returned the book, along with a copy of the invoice. That was over three weeks ago. To date, they insist either that they never got it or that they have it but haven't gotten around to processing the return, and I shouldn't bother them until four weeks have elapsed.
By the way, I asked them what rate they charged on the postage due items (book rate, first class, priority?) and they never bothered to answer.
Last week, I received another unwanted gift book. This time I was ready for them. I made sure to get a ride to the library. I filled out the return information on line and printed out the return address label. (Ah, it says 'media mail.' So I found out eventually, but no thanks to them.) I bought another padded envelope, enclosed both the return bar code and the gift invoice, carefully affixed the return address label, and took it to the post office last week. I don't know why I bothered.
I didn't expect ever to hear from Amazon again, but today I got an envelope in the mail. They have sold my address to a credit card company. It is something called 'marbles' (hah, just when I was losing mine -- are they mocking me?).
I hardly know what to say. So far as I can see, I am $2.00 down on the deal for envelopes. They have the money. They have the books back. They made money from selling my name to a credit card company.
I have written Amazon yet another futile e-mail announcing that, so far as I am concerned, they are 'fair game' (in the Rovean sense) and I will complain about them anywhere, everywhere, at every time. I'm also going to be following this up with the Better Business Bureau (it'll give them a headache, although nothing like the one they've given me). And I think the postal inspectors should investigate them. After all, they are a big user of the US Mail, and it's a federal offense to use the mails to commit fraud....
This has been a real eye-opener for me. I used to use Amazon and was always ok with them. I would never go near them now. There are better alternatives, like Powells.com or anyone you reach via the umbrella BookFinder.com web site.