Monday, October 02, 2017

Up the Amazon Without a Package

I'm one of those people who, at any one time, can tell you exactly what goods I have on order and when I'm expecting them to be delivered.  So, when I come home and spy a package lurking behind the railings which separate my front garden from the bit of council parkland which borders it, I'm immediately suspicious, as I'm not expecting a delivery.  Which is precisely the situation I found myself in last Thursday.  On entering my house, I found a card stuck in the letterbox from 'Amazon Logistics' telling me that my delivery has been left 'behind the fence', except, as I've indicated, it isn't a fence, it is set of railings.  The problem is, of course, that it isn't addressed to me.  Sure, the address appears identical to mine - right street, right house number - but the post code is wrong and, most crucially, the name of the recipient isn't mine.  Now, the next logical step, normally, would be to ring the courier firm and tell there's a mistake and they need to collect the package and find the right address for its delivery.

And was where the problems really started.  There was no contact number or address on the card, nor on the packaging of the parcel.  The only contact 'details' given was the Amazon website address.  Even then, I found that you can only contact Amazon via the website if you have an account.  So, after logging on, I emailed them, outlined the problem and told them they needed to collect the offending parcel from outside my property, where I left it.  Now, I got a reasonably prompt reply, basically blaming the courier and telling me that they would try and get someone to collect the package.  Fast forward twenty four hours: the package is still there.  Worse still, another one has been delivered with all the same details.  Naturally, I was livid.  Another email is sent.  This time the reply effectively tells me that it isn't their policy to collect misdelivered items and that, instead, I should dispose of them myself, by keeping them, donating them to charity or throwing them away.  Which seems extraordinary to me.  I assume that their idea of 'rectifying' the situation is simply to find out the correct address and send replacement items.  Anyway, I chose the third option and put the two packages (one of which was a sodden mess having been out in the rain overnight) in the nearest waste bin, unopened.  I've no idea what was in them and don't care.  It couldn't have been anything of value or I'm pretty sure that they would have sent someone to collect them. 

But why did this exercise upset me so much?  Well, most obviously, I resented the fact that I was forced to take time out, when I was extremely busy, to try and rectify a problem which, essentially, had nothing to do with me.  The whole mess had been created by Amazon (and its agents), whose reluctance to give out simple contact details clearly indicated that they aren't interested in rectifying their own mistakes, expecting third parties like me to do their job for them, instead.  Is it any wonfderthat they make such huge profits?  Not only do they do their best to avoid paying their taxes, but they get other people to do their job for them.  But what really annoys me is the sheer wastage involved in Amazon's approach to wrongly delivered goods.  The world is going to Hell in a hand cart because were so busy polluting the atmosphere producing crap then transporting it halfway around the world, yet here we have a multi national corporation pursuing a policy of simply dumping said crap if it isn't delivered and making more crap to replace it.  If nothing else, this seems hugely inefficient.  Worse, it encourages profligacy.  It is the ultimate expression of the throwaway society, where nothing has value any more.  It is wasteful and bad for the planet.



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