Amazon Kinda Sorta Doesn’t Understand What “Guarantee” Means

I don’t actually think Amazon understands how guarantees work.  As in, I’m fairly confident that the people at Amazon are the types who use the word “literally” quite liberally.  “I went to Starbucks and got myself a coffee and it was so hot that I literally exploded”.  Oh so you’re dead?  “Nah, just like, my hands were literally on fire.”

As a company, if you guarantee something, that should maybe mean that you can 100% promise that whatever you guarantee to happen will actually happen.  Otherwise it makes absolutely no business sense to call it a guarantee.  This is precisely why companies offering you advice on stocks will not guarantee anything, because (a) they understand that they can’t (and shouldn’t) promise success in the stock market since that shit is unpredictable, and (b) they are not morons.

Amazon, however, chooses to advertise GUARANTEED DELIVERY on their items.  “Hey guys, buy from us!  Pre-order this game here!  If you do, we’ll give you a code for some sweet unique gear and also promise you will get this game on its release date!”

So why write about this?  Well, because Amazon blows.  I pre-ordered Halo from them a while back because, hey, they guaranteed delivery on the release date:

amazon-guaranteed-delivery

Aaaaaaaaaaand of course, it didn’t arrive.  Soooooo what’s the big deal?  Well, a couple of things:

1.  Amazon doesn’t own or control UPS.  They are essentially guaranteeing someone else’s work.  If Amazon personally had their staff walk items to your door on the date they guaranteed it would arrive, had them shake your hand, give you a hug and maybe even a kiss on the cheek, that’s one thing.  Then Amazon could advertise “Guaranteed Delivery, Handshake, Hug, and Kiss” and everyone would think they were awesome and/or creepy.  But that’s not how this works.  There is honestly no reason for them to do this when they could simply say “Estimated Delivery” and not pull the ole’ Lucy Football trick on us.

 

2.  If you guarantee something, actually kinda sorta understand that means you PROMISE.  This means you can control all factors and variables and ensure your promise comes true.  And if you CAN’T, don’t treat it as a simple mix-up.  This is not your estimate being wrong.  This is your promise being a lie.

08:57 PM PST Maricar(Amazon): I have checked on your item and I am sorry that your order didn’t arrive on the promised date. We also didn’t expect and want this to happen. As much as possible, we would like you to receive your order on time. In this cases, the package will usually arrive within the next business days. You may wait until November 13 to receive your order.

08:58 PM PST Cain Diaz: I understand that. However, I bought this item from Amazon because Amazon guaranteed delivery today.  I don’t want an item delivered tomorrow, or on the 13th. Not if the Amazon GUARANTEED delivery today.

08:59 PM PST Maricar(Amazon): I understand, there might be a problem with carrier. That’s why your package is delayed.

09:00 PM PST Maricar(Amazon): Are you willing to wait until November 13?

If you GUARANTEE an item will be delivered on the 11th, don’t then ask them to wait until the 13th.  Makes absolutely no sense.  “Oh yeah we promised it would arrive on Tuesday but just wait until Thursday and you should be fine.”

The fact that they even have a page for this angers me.

The fact that they even have a page for this angers me.

 

3.  Amazon social media is a joke.  Like most companies, they have a social media presence on the lookout for people’s complaints.  And like most companies, they respond with the typical “Oh no, looks like you are having a problem.  Contact us and we can help.”  Well what happens when you contact them?  They send you a survey to fill out and then follow up on that survey with an email stating, “Oh you got a refund so looks like everything is hunky dory”.  No, everything is not hunky dory.  I got a refund because you didn’t fulfill your promise, and now I don’t have the item I wanted.  On top of that, I could have pre-ordered this from another vendor who actually has their shit together.  So basically just spent time and energy using your site to order something, wait around for it, cancel the order, and get a refund.

Conclusion:  I am officially on the GameStop bandwagon for all my video game needs.  Amazon can suck it.

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cainsbrain

I like to watch sports, drink beer and draw things, often at the same time.

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11 Responses

  1. Jessica says:

    FYI my fiancé was a loyal Gamestop guys for years and has recently switched over to Best Buy. Their rewards system is way better – you get Best Buy gift cards that can be used on anything in the store – and their buy back prices are way better. The only caveat is that sometimes you might have to wait a little longer to sell back a game because they don’t update their system as often as GameStop. But all in all, he loves it.

  2. Ron says:

    Nice Bestbuy astroturf Jessica. Shopping in meatspace is for jerks. Every time Amazon has ever not primed something to me on time, they gave me a free month of prime or something. They also pay way more than Gamestop. Not sure about Best Buy. I don’t go there anymore because Amazon is always either the same price or cheaper.

  3. Abe (your brother) Diaz says:

    of course, this reminds me of a classic Seinfeld scene… http://youtu.be/4T2GmGSNvaM

  4. walt says:

    Is this a real article? Of course Amazon cannot control the UPS or the USPS or the weather but they do make every reasonable effort to make sure you receive your item on time. I am a Prime Amazon member and have never had anything arrive late although I certainly understand it could happen. Write them a gd email. Is that so hard for you to do? You really think Best Buy or GameStop is going to try harder? You’re a petulant fool.

    • Profile photo of cainsbrain cainsbrain says:

      Yeah it’s a real article, Walter. And if you read it, you’d see I chatted with them and more. You missed the whole point, but I can’t blame you, that’s what happens when you cook up meth. Science, bitch.

      P.S. Anyone who uses the term “petulant fool” is a Grade A Asshole.

  5. Michael says:

    I found this article because this EXACT (almost exact) thing just happened to me. I ordered Super Mario Maker on the Wii U a couple weeks back because I was GUARANTEED to get it on the day it came out. On the day it came out, I was tracking the package, excitedly waiting for it to arrive.

    It left UPS at 6 in the morning.

    I waited.

    And waited.

    Until finally I get a message from Amazon that the package was delayed due to a “Transit delay”. That’s it. So it’s delayed by 1-2 days.

    I know this isn’t Amazon’s fault, but like you say, don’t freaking GUARANTEE the arrival of a product when you are relying on someone else for the most important part of the job.

    They need fine print under the guarantee that says, “Unless UPS screws up (which is likely)”.

    I just needed to vent about this, I’m glad I found your article with a similar story about a video game. I’ll probably just go to Wal-Mart or Gamestop if I need to get a game on launch day ever again (which I usually ever do).

  6. Mario says:

    Dealing with same problem now. Waiting for my call of duty 3. Which we all know will not show up today with their guarantee on release date to my doorstep.

  7. Kevin says:

    I quite enjoyed reading this blog post and completely agree. I recently ordered a $3000 laptop from Amazon with a guaranteed delivery date, that they couldn’t keep. In a way, I see this type of advertising as misleading – other retailers don’t promise a “guaranteed delivery” date because they know that essentially nothing is guaranteed anymore.

    I think the times of good service as well as transparent and honest business has passed. Business shouldn’t be surprised with low customer loyalty.

  8. Michael says:

    I like and agree with your article. My son’s birthday is today and his Fitbit present was “Guaranteed” by last night (Friday) but now could be TUESDAY)! Had I known they wouldn’t deliver (pun intended), I would have paid a few bucks more and purchased through Fitbit. That said, I get that things happen; but you have to back up your “guarantee” when life happens. Before finding this site, I saw how some “solutions” were for Amazon to extend your Prime membership a month. I pay $99 a year subscription, so delaying the renewal date by a month won’t show up on my radar as a “We’re sorry we screwed up.” Give me a real form letter apology saying how I’m a valued customer, and give me a gift card! That’s all I want, the appearance of caring and reaching out. First World Problems!

  9. Michael says:

    I almost forgot, thanks for the Seinfeld clip, Abe. I remember that scene well, but I laughed as much now with it as I did originally. The first time my wife & I saw this she said, “That’s totally you!” LOL, good times – I love common sense!

  10. ak says:

    Guarantee of Delivery Date? If they miss this date then what is the guarantee and what is the consequence of missing the delivery date? Nothing is specifically stated anywhere. Is this a case of false advertising or selling something that they can’t promise, which is FRAUD!!!

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