Thursday, March 06, 2008

The end of a long distance affair

For those who know me, the love-affair I have with Amazon is nothing new. I go to their website from the comfort of my own computer, they let me pick and choose from a huge selection of books that all exite me, and then I get the books home to enjoy, to keep, to have as mine. It's been true love, for years.

Until, suddenly.

Last week I was waiting, exited, for the next shipment. I have ordered a stack of books I really looked forwards to reading, and so I was checking the mailbox every day for the box with the familiar "amazon" print. What I found was a note, saying they had tried to deliver, but couldn't. Hmmm.

OK, there was an address and a phone number to where the package was, so Saturday morning I checked online. The address is several miles away, in an area I can't get to by bus. The snow is deep here, and I am not really all that fit, so trecking through it on foot would take the better part of the morning. But, well, it was Saturday, I had the time. I called the number though, to be sure. No answer. They were closed Saturdays.

There was a nice little message on the note, saying that I could call their number, and have the package delivered, at my own cost. I looked at the distance, and it would be something between 50 and 100 SEK by taxi. I really want those books, so I called to arrange for them to deliver. Now the phone number didn't go to the delivery place, so I had to make another call, which I managed, I am not that helpless... I did however get a little bothered when I heard their price for delivery. 350 SEK to deliver a little box of books, from a distance away that's about 6 minutes by car.

So now I have a few options, all bad.

I can walk over; I'll spend 2-3 hours on the trip and I'll make my back problems worse.
I can take a taxi, and spend 100-200 SEK to get a box of books worth about 300 SEK.
I can ask them to deliver it, and pay 350 SEK delivery for a box for which I have already paid for delivery.
I can return a stack of books I need to Amazon.

I did write Amazon about this, pointing out that this new delivery policy doesn't really work. There are several other delivery spots much closer, the post office is not that far away, sometimes I get packages at the local gas station. They had picked the absolutely worst delivery option for me with their change in delivery policies. They are refunding 8 £ from the shipping costs. It is something, but it doesn't really do it for me in the future.

This may be the end of a long and loving affair. Oh, cruel Amazon, so many years, and you throw it all away for what you think is a more convenient shipping option?

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