Like many of you, I purchased a Christmas Present from Amazon this year. Actually it was a present for myself. Not from me, but from my parents on account of the fact that they don’t “do” Amazon, so it was left to me to organize purchase. “We’ll pay for it if you buy it” was the scenario.
It was one of those indoor mini-helicopters that run on a lithium polymer battery. I bought a Silverlit Picoz last year which I was very impressed with, but this was a larger 3-channel model, so I couldn’t wait.
I opened it on Christmas Day and well.. There was a tail-blade sheared off (my mum dashed-out to the 24hr service station on a mission for super-glue – It could easily be repaired, we supposed), but more critically, the charging transformer for the battery did not charge the battery, got very hot and started to smoke! Needless to say, this made for a rather crappy Christmas and no helicopter!
I phoned Amazon (yes, you can actually do that) the day after Boxing Day, because I figured that they’d be far too busy before-hand dealing with idiots complaining about their “PopStations” and herbal Viagra. When I called, I spoke to an American lady called “Andy!” who was far too perky to be taken seriously and, like looking directly at the Sun, should not be listened to directly. She did not help my hangover.
I was advised by “Andy!” that I should contact the seller through the “My Account” page (which is as convoluted a process as reading the owner’s manual for a Russian van), because Amazon wanted to give the seller a chance to rectify the problem. Fair enough, I thought, so I used the Amazon tool to send them a message, explaining the problem and providing a daytime phone number and of course, my email address. I never did (or ever have) heard anything back from the seller.
I gave it a few days and then made the mistake of phoning Amazon on a weekend. Now I’m not being funny about this, but it really does help when the chap on the other end of the phone speaks vaguely the same language as you. I felt embarrassed having to ask him to repeat himself all the time and as helpful as he tried to be, he just wasn’t. Not really his fault, but I was starting to miss “Andy!” at this point.
I was told to “rest assured, sir” that I would be refunded or something and that I should just sit tight for a week while they sorted it all out. Later that day, I received an email from Amazon giving a “resolution date” which was actually two weeks away. I wasn’t going to tell them that they actually had 28 days before I could file a civil action against them and get a file created for them with Trading Standards (oh yes, I would have), so I supposed that was fine.
Anyway, the refund came through today and here endeth my story. Amazon does what it says on the tin and clearly, can be trusted. They’ve not made any mention of returning the helicopter, but I’ve got my money back.
The retailer in question is called “sn toys” by the way, just in case you are tempted to buy any of their crap. The only thing I never got (from anyone at any point) was an apology, but apologies don’t buy goods and services…
I suppose I will buy my next hard disk from Amazon after all then, but if you’re interested in buying smaller items and want to take advantage of the Amazon Supersaver delivery, be sure to take a look at the Amazon Filler Items finder.
The Average Windows Nerd