Go Amazon!Posted on April 26th, 2009 No comments
Got an email last week from Amazon.com for “Product Recall Notification”; it’s about a Senseo Coffee Maker that I have purchased almost two years ago and I was surprised that Amazon has notified me about this. Reason one it has been a while since the purchase, and I have bought two exact Senseo back then – one from Amazon for myself and one from another website as a housewarming gift for a friend of mine. Two years later Amazon is contacting me about this product recall because their system and record indicate that I have purchased one of the coffeemakers listed in this recall through the Amazon.comwebsite and are therefore affected by this recall. However, I did not receive such notice from the other e-tailer.
In the email from Amazon, there was a link to U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission site and a link to the manufacture sites with product photos and pull down menus to help me identifying the model of my coffeemaker, origin of manufacturer, the manufacturer date…etc to help me to determine if I should return this unit back to the manufacture and how to do so. Like I said, I did not receive the same notice from the other website where I have purchased the second unit. And once again, I am very impressed with the service I am experiencing with Amazon. Friends all know and tease that I am a true Amazon fan, and they always surprised or don’t get it why I buy almost everything from Amazon.
Besides the Senseo Coffeemaker, I also buy coffee pods regularly. On a trip to Big Island, HI, I have came across Japanese Ito En Teas that I just loved and could not find them anywhere at local grocery stores, and I live in CA where big Japanese supermarket like Nijiya and Mitsuwa are quite common. I found the teas on Amazon and I bought them in couple dozens a time. One time I noticed the teas have arrived in torn and re-sealed packaging and obviously it has happened during the shipping. I sent an email to Amazon and explained that I only got 9 bottles of the tea instead of 12. They refunded me half of the purchase price.
Last Christmas, I was buying Wii games online and decided to shop around for availability and pricing, but at the end I stick with Amazoneven they were higher prices than other sites. And I am very glad that I did so. Because I had ordered the games to be shipped to the gift receipt ant directly but it got stolen at her front door after FedEx dropped it off. I have contacted FedEx first then was instructed to contact the shipper – Amazon. After my email to Amazon explaining the Christmas gift was stolen, they immediately sent a replacement overnight so the gift would arrive before Christmas, and the replacement and overnight shipping was free of charge. Talking about holiday spirit!!!
Of course, I also buy almost all my books at Amazon now, but it wasn’t like that when Amazon first started their business. I was actually anti-Amazon back then, simply because I don’t like any giant corporate monopoly any business. I even tried to buy books and CDs at Border.com once, but that unfortunately had turned into a disaster. I am sure many happy Amazon customers have their own stories to share. Amazon have me as a loyal fan because of the prompt service, selections of products and easy shopping experience, not because of the price – you can always find cheaper prices somewhere else. They also make it so simple to sell the books after I finsih reading them.
Not surprisingly, and I am so happy for them, that Amazon is ranked No.1 in Business Week Customer Service Champs (Mar 2, 2009 issue). As the economic plunge deeper and many businesses are affected, managements are looking every possible ways to cut budget, cut headcounts and some cut services. For instance shorten the help desk hours, delays the mailing of rebate check, finds ways to refuse warranty service, charge consumer late fees when electronic statement wasn’t delivered then state that “We never promised that electronic statement will always reach you”…etc. But as consumer, I am watching my spending more carefully now, not only if the spending is necessary but also I want greater value, better quality, better service for my money. Companies that are not offering good service, good products, and good warranty just won’t get my business anymore.
Amazon have me as a loyal fan because of the prompt service, selections of products and easy shopping experience, not because of the price – you can always find cheaper prices somewhere else. Amazon’s sales grew 18% in the fourth quarter last year and 29% this year, and active customer accounts exceeded 88 million in the fourth quarter, up 16% year over year. Business owners and managers, don’t we all have learned that keeping your current customers happy is easier than finding new customers at business school?
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