Has the mighty behemoth finally reached tipping the point? Have their systems finally fallen apart at the seams? Has their desire to deliver profits and cash flow begun to impact on customer experience?
Well in my recent experience there is evidence to support the propositions set out in the 2nd and 3rd questions – and frankly given their dominance in the marketplace – that’s very worrying!
Up till now I’ve been an avid supporter for Amazon for over 10 years – I love their product – I’ve loved their delivery service but in the past 48 hours I’m beginning to think that all is not well on the Bezos front.
First off, I pre-ordered an Echo Spot (I’ve already got an Echo and a couple of Dots) and, as expected, it arrived on the expected day. Connecting it to my wifi network wasn’t the simplest of things but eventually I managed it. It then asked me to download the latest version of the Alexa app and install it….well my app is already up to date… hmmmm!
I could see it listed in the list of devices but it said that it was offline…well it wasn’t ‘coz I could get it to do some stuff like play TuneIn music or set an alarm. But when I asked it to play something from my Spotify account the problem emerged. It asked me to connect my Spotify Premium account to my Amazon Prime account…er, they are already…. so it transpires that the device, although connected to my Amazon account is operating as a standalone device which I’m unable to configure or make appear online so I can control the other elements of my “smart” home. I even went through the [process of factory resetting it and reconnecting it all over again!! Cue phone call to Amazon customer services.
Now they are really polite, and apologetic and, through the dark arts they perform, were able to “see” my Spot and even extract connection logs to investigate but you know what? This smacks of a company rushing a product to market without fully testing it. I wonder if other UK users are suffering similar issues, although a quick Google doesn’t offer anything but hey it only hit customers yesterday!!
So I’m waiting for them to investigate the problem and get back to me – but hey if I don’t hear by tomorrow they have it back!!
So that’s the first problem…. The second revolves around a present for my daughter.
I ordered an Amazon product which was shown as being out of stock but available at the end of the month. As I’m seeing my daughter this weekend for an early birthday celebration (she’s working on the actual day) I arranged for it to be delivered to her home address as the predicted availability date was after this weekend but still in time for her birthday.
Cool tech savvy dad – huh?
The next thing is that I get an email saying the delivery date is now before this weekend! so what does one do? Well obviously you see if you can change the delivery address – natch! Just one slight problem…you can’t do it on the Amazon website… Luckily, after a bit of digging on the site I managed to establish a chat session and was reassured that this wasn’t a problem and that the nice lady from Amazon would be tracking the issue personally and sort it.
Move forward 24 hours.
I get an email from Amazon saying that the item has been despatched and guess what? Yup, the delivery address has NOT been changed. Cue second chat session. Again very polite but basically asking me to wait 24-48 hours for an update by email….what? If nothing changes it might have been delivered in 24 hours!! And I would miss out on the pleasure of being able to hand it to my daughter and see her open the present.
The new polite person is unable to do anything as the old polite person is following this issue personally and he isn’t able to connect me to her…so basically I’m stuffed, though I’m still bemused as to why I can’t change the delivery address before the item has been despatched yet I can cancel the whole order – doh!
Maybe amazon is like a rubber balloon. It’s growth as it has been inflated has been phenomenal (isn’t Bezos now the world’s richest person?) but maybe it’s sprung a small leak – now that could go one of two ways…..
Either the balloon slowly shrivels up and dies or it explodes into a million pieces….well all I can say is that now you have been warned.
26th January update – and guess what? They delivered it to my daughter’s address – despite being asked specifically not to and promising to sort it…