.by Anura Guruge
I have regularly sung the praises of Amazon on this blog — example 1 & example 2.
Over the last decade or so I have had a very involved, intricate and intertwined relationship with Amazon. In 2011 I ditched lulu.com (with whom I had been since 2003), AuthorHouse (through whom I published my first pope book) and Lightning Source (through whom I published my second pope book) and started using Amazon’s CreateSpace as my exclusive book publisher. I have published 4 books with them. I only publish my eBooks in Amazon’s Kindle format — and as some of you know I published 3 Kindle eBook in 10 days during the papal sede vacante. I have 3 Amazon credit cards, the latest with 0% APR on all transactions for a year. I am an Amazon Associate (and have been for years) and have an Amazon author page. Over the last 7 years or so Amazon had become my automatic, Pavlovian first port of call for all online shopping. Since I do all of my Christmas and birthday shopping on Amazon, not to mention all the books I buy in a given year, I have to confess that I do over a $1,000 of shopping with Amazon a year! But, Amazon has been good to us. We have never had any issues with returns, billing or charges. Returns with them have been a joy. Publishing with them, whether via CreateSpace or Kindle, has been relatively pain free.
But of late I had noticed a little wrinkle. At first it didn’t bother me. This week, however, it came to a head and today I cancelled about $89 worth of ‘awaiting shipping’ items — yes, in a huff.
I know how Amazon works. If an item is available directly from Amazon I ALWAYS order it from Amazon as opposed to somebody selling through Amazon. (Yes, that also entitles me to the Free Super-Saver shipping). PLUS the deal is that if it is being sold and shipped by Amazon — they have it in stock and will ship pronto. And yes I also make sure that it is in stock BEFORE I order.
It is Teischan’s birthday March 22, as is the case every year. Suffice to say with the pope’s resignation my life had been crazy as of February 11. Though I had already got her her main present, a Windows 8 laptop, I hadn’t got around to ordering the ‘small’ presents, mainly Lego and craft stuff. [I buy all my laptops, refurbished from TigerDirect. I have had great luck. This one was beyond a steal. It was a giveaway. Just happened to catch it. Had just been posted. Only had one.] On Tuesday, March 12, 10 days ahead, with the conclave just about to start, I had a few minutes. Jumped on and ordered 3 Lego kits and a bunch of craft kits. As I was ordering Amazon kept on telling me that I could have them by March 20. Perfect. Had free Free Super-Saver shipping on all of it. Amazon automatically charged the order to my 0% APR credit card. Doesn’t get easier than that.
That same day I had David Nix, a Belmont computer expert, come by to take my main PC apart and tighten all the fans — it has 7 fans. David found that one of the back fans wasn’t working. Yes, I could have ordered from TigerDirect. Yes, I have a TigerDirectt Preferred Account that also gives me 0% APR credit! [What can I say.] But, I went with Amazon. I ordered 3 fans, to be on the safe side and two (spare) cables. Again I was told that they would be available by March 19 – 20. So much so that David penciled it in to come here next Wednesday to install the fan.
On Thursday, i.e., 2 days later, I checked the orders. Only 2 items had shipped — one item from each order. All the others were ‘Awaiting Shipment’ with no ship date. I checked again last night. Ditto. Nothing had changed.
Googled ‘it’ this morning. I am not the only one who had noticed this. Seems it is a scam. It is BECAUSE I had asked for ‘Free Super-Saver shipping’! Well Amazon, screw YOU. I cancelled the orders.
I will go buy the Lego kits at a brick-and-mortar. I will order the computer stuff from TigerDirect. I will buy my books from BAM!
So there. It is a shame. I like Amazon. I wish they hadn’t pulled this little stunt with me. Live and learn.