All I Want for Christmas is Customer Service

PresentY’know, I’ve been having holiday woes what with packages being misshipped and other shipping mishaps. It’s enough to make a girl think she’s being persecuted by the USPS. But what really honks my horn is when you call the Customer Service numbers at the fine online retail establishments to voice the problem, hopefully at least get a sympathetic ear if not a resolution to the problem, and what happens instead? The person on the other end of the line is reading from a script and sounds as if they could not care less that the item you ordered a month before Christmas is not expected even to ship now before Dec. 26th. It’s enough to make an otherwise reasonable person snap.

That’s why I particularly like this news bit I found on The Consumerist blog. Apparently, one A. Hildebrandt participated in Amazon’s post-Thanksgiving “Customers Vote” promotion and tried to buy a laptop computer, retail $1000, discounted to $299 for 250 randomly selected buyers. When neither he nor anyone he talked to reported success at trying to buy this laptop, he and others began to wonder if the prizes had been awarded at all, or just “snatched up by Amazon employees.” So he wrote a letter to the Executive Customer Service department at Amazon and copied Amazon president Jeff Bezos, complaining that now he would never be able to write his planned opus at the neighborhood Starbucks.

Here’s the good part. Hildebrandt actually heard back from Amazon, in the voice of one Autumn Walker of the Executive Customer Service department. Her written response, being both sympathetic and funny at the same time, earns her a WordHappy stamp of approval. After empathizing with Hildebrandt and confirming that neither she nor any of her colleagues won any rounds in the promotion, she writes:

I share your wonder that neither you nor any of the other 18 bloggers participating in your thread did not win the “Out & About” round. As a matter of fact, I was quite vociferous in like-minded protest. Perhaps the response I received to my own objections may clear this matter up somewhat: when I stoutly declared that some member of my voluminous family should have statistically won something, I was reminded of a common thread in our “Customers Vote” forum which states buying a lottery ticket only marginally increases one’s chances of winning the lottery.

Take heart; Norman Mailer wrote all of his novels by hand. And you’ve surely heard the phrase, “the pen is mightier than the sword”? It would sound absurd to substitute “laptop” for the word “pen.”

You can read the whole, very funny, letter over at The Consumerist blog. If only I had been dealing with Ms. Walker over these last few days, perhaps my decidedly Grinch-y mood would have been more Cindy Lou Who-ish.

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