I’m going to share with you a short story with you about my Christmas shopping experience with Amazon and the thing is, only Amazon would have delivered that special Christmas day experience and only in Amazon I would have put my faith in to do so.
Setting the Scene
Christmas eve fell on a Saturday this year. Judging by the amount of people getting drunk & updating Facebook, it was an all round good thing for many. But not if you’re a Dad and hadn’t bought that token present yet for the girls.
Don’t get me wrong my oldest isn’t even four yet, so the whole Christmas experience was going to be amazing whatever happened but fulfilling my appointed duties as a father, I felt it required that I deliver the token Christmas present.
The thing is, it was Friday, Christmas eve was tomorrow! I had already been around the shops the day before and managed to scrape a win with some glasses & a stunning photo frame for the far-better-half. But the girls, they had plenty of toys but were missing that one present that I know that they’d use all year. As a rather late decision, I had set myself on getting the girls a Nintendo Wii. The problem was, checking the stock pretty much everywhere in Bristol there were none and it was Friday!!!
Amazon was still offering next day delivery on the bundle if I ordered before 11 am and I believed that the Mario Kart version would be a great choice and had already arranged for the Resort disk to be borrowed from a friend for a few days (which reminds me we need to give that back).
I have been an Amazon Prime subscriber for the past year or so. I’ve enjoyed next day delivery on almost all items (after all, I like almost every other Prime subscriber go for the Prime items first), however one book I was really looking forward to reading called “Nice Girls Do Get the Sale” (aff link) had got lost/stuck in the Bristol hub of HDNL (Home Delivery Network Ltd) and had to order again.
It took a couple of emails to Amazon to get it refunded and thinking aloud, it must be pretty obvious which customers are taking the piss with fake lost items, as I had already ordered a duplicate from Amazon, as I had heard the book was really good and wanted to read it (it was and is now out on loan).
My estimation of HDNL was also pretty low anyway, personally I had not been that impressed with deliveries coming out the boot of someone’s car, although the one delivery person I did speak to around this time last year was really nice and we chatted about couriers and it turned out that she had worked at Parcel Force around the time I had a few years back.
That Sinking Feeling
So after hitting the buy now button you can imagine my heart sinking when I saw this in my Amazon account:
Yea, I wasn’t that impressed. I knew most of Bristol was out of the Wii & Mario Kart combo’s and I certainly was not going to flit around Bristol trying to get one (plus I had a meeting that morning), so deciding not to cancel the order and to see what happened next (can you imagine the article here that Amazon didn’t deliver?).
Delivery of Orders IS Part of the Order
The delivery of the order is part of the service from Amazon, as it is with any on-line retailer. They’re an extension of the business and a damn vital part of it too.
You don’t see an Amazon representative delivering your orders, you only ever see a 3rd party delivery driver.
This is one consideration that some businesses overlook, it doesn’t matter if you get every order out in super quick time, if your courier company then takes 2 weeks to deliver it, has no local collection points and their staff are rude (just making a point here, only ever met one “spanner” delivery driver and that was years ago).
My partner was on strict instructions to not leave the house until the package had arrived, also as I live up a couple of steps, we left the fairy lights on during the day just to give the delivery person some incentive to make the trip up them as there was a good indicator that we were in (yea I know the risk/reward calculation when faced with steps as a delivery driver, I used to be one).
I had just got to my 3rd place and was waiting for a colleague to arrive. I got the call, two boxes had arrived and not a scratch on them, WooooHoooo! Christmas was fab and the girls loved the Wii (so did Daddy, after all we did get the Mario Kart version ;) )
Are Amazon Nuts?
There is no way I would have ordered such an important gift from another well known Marketplace or any other site for that matter at such short notice and I placed full faith in Amazon to deliver what they had promised.
Thankfully Amazon (and HDNL) delivered, on a Saturday, which was also a Christmas eve. It would have been a completely different article if it hadn’t and also a dull’er Christmas for the girls too.
Every other business that I knew of, had already planned to add notices to their on-line operations way before Friday that week for last their last shipping & cut off times, where as Amazon, they took it to the line, (well 11am that Friday).
This raises an important question, if even I was not prepared to put faith in a 3rd party other than Amazon at a critical time, why should your customers do the same or at any other time of the year?
So my question is…
Would you have dared to make an Internet order, on a Friday before Christmas eve?
Comment in the comments box below.