Monday, November 11, 2013

Corporate incompetence (Part 2)

I now continue my rant (see part 1) on corporate incompetence...

Part 2: Amazon

Two weeks ago I've ordered from some memory chips for my Mac-Mini (it was really getting too slow with Maverick installed so I've decided to maximize its RAM) and a few manga. Included in this order were the first two volumes of Taniguchi's Seton, which I was missing. Volume 2 was available in the Kana (Coll. Made In) French edition I already owned, but I couldn't find volume 1, which I assumed maybe sold out. However, I found the first volume in English from Ponent Mon. I thought (without further investigation) that it was a recent released. I was pleased, I could then review both English and French edition at the same time.

Last monday I received my order and, to my greatest stupefaction, the Seton vol. 1 included in the package was in Spanish!

I went back to the Amazon site to check if I didn't make an error, but the product was clearly listed as being in English. However, I noticed that the publisher was indicated as “Ponent Mon” and NOT “Fanfare / Ponent Mon” like it should have been for an English edition. I checked Ponent Mon site and, indeed, Seton was only published in Spanish and not in English. I have no idea how such an error could have been made on Amazon website.

Unfortunately, the processus to return a product on the Amazon website was only offering me an option for a replacement. If the product listed doesn't exist, I would end up getting the same damn Spanish edition again if I would request a replacement. It was specified that for a refund I needed to contact the customer service.

I decided it would be easier to explain the situation in an email. And since my account is set-up in french, I wrote the e-mail in french (silly me). I was expecting them to answer by e-mail and all day I regularly checked my mail box to see if I didn't get the answer. I though they should be quick. It's a big corporation.

The next morning (at 5:20 am), to my sleepy astonishment, I received a phone call from amazon customer service! First, I told them that, despite being happy that they answered my request, I was wondering why they were waking me up by calling at such an early time in the morning. It appears that their French calling center is located in Europe and employees are probably too stupid to realize that--the earth being round--it's not the same time all around and that, if you call from Europe to America without checking a time-chart, you end up waking your customer up!!! And, if I contact them by e-mail, why do they answer by phone? What incompetence!

I nevertheless explained my predicament and was told that an e-mail (ah! an e-mail, finally!) would be sent with a code allowing for a refund. Thank you very much Mr. Bezos!

One more thing!

Last sunday, my parents came to visit as we were celebrating my father's eighty-fifth anniversary. Most of the time, when my parents have to travel from their rest home, they use the paratransit (transport adapté in french). Basically, it's a regular taxi but you pay the same fee that you would if using the city transit system. It is, of course, reserved for the people with mobility problems (like my parents). It's suppose to be reliable and punctual.

They were waiting in their apartment for the paratransit to show up. When the reception called to announced that it had arrived they quickly put their coats on and came down the elevator. When they arrived at the door, the paratransit had already left! I know they have many people to pick up but couldn't they just wait a few minutes?

At the end of the evening, we went down to the sidewalk to wait for the paratransit pre-arranged pick-up to arrive. We came out a little earlier to be sure not to miss it this time. It never showed up. Thanks Mr Mayor for the crappy service! (Actually, it was on municipal election day).

It really seems that in our days (an era of selfishness), companies really don't care anymore for giving a proper service. And it's a damn shame!

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