Sunday, November 10, 2013

My Amazon Conflict

I am writing this blog post on November 3. On October 26, I wrote the following letter to Jeff Bezos.

Dear Mr. Bezos:

My husband's cell phone was stolen yesterday. He got a replacement today.

I have been calling your customer service department since October 11 because thousands of archived items are not showing up on my Kindles which are in synch with one another. Still I have not been presented with a solution. Getting my Kindle problem solved has become a second job. This seems monstrously unfair since most of my disposable income is disposed of on

My primary Kindle displays all of my items (I have around 4, 800) but another only displays 1,026. I have had multiple conversations with countless Amazon employees over the past 15 days. I have had to repeat my story over and over again. I have spent minutes I'll never get back on hold. I have been told multiple times that the issue has been "escalated." Now at my office when an issue is escalated it means one person stops everything else she's doing to resolve it. I believe Phil escalated my problem on October 18th. Alas, when I talked with Brian on October 23, he told me my service ticket had not been touched "for a couple of days."

Last night I spoke with Edmund. Though I begged to be spared another recital of my tale of woe, I finally realized there was no way around it. I told my story and he transferred me to his supervisor. She explained that in order to transfer me to someone who could help me, she would have to call me back. She confirmed my number, called me back and put me on hold. The call dropped. I was not discouraged because she had confirmed my number and I assumed she would call me back. I guess my expectations were too high. I was just not willing to call again and tell my story one more time to five people on the unlikely chance I might get an answer. And the hold music! NOOO!

Yes, I told my husband, it's time to write to Jeff. I love your company. I am physically disabled (I walk with two canes) and the Kindle has changed my life. I no longer have to worry about whether a book I want to read is too heavy to be carted back and forth to work. I'm able to carry a whole library with me. I can't tell you how wonderful that makes me feel. Many of my friends have bought Kindles because of my near manic enthusiasm for it. I bought my first Kindle in 2009, but I've been an Amazon customer since 2006. I have bought traditional books, 4 CD players which hold a total of 1200 CDs (need I mention that I bought many of the CDs at Amazon), miscellaneous items and numerous gift certificates so that other people can discover on their own how wonderful Amazon is.

The Amazon staff to whom I've spoken have been unfailingly courteous, but only occasionally competent. Surely I deserve a customer service experience that matches my loyalty.
Stephanie Patterson

The letter got results. I heard from an Amazon employee who told me he was responding on behalf of Jeff Bezos. He sent an email, left a vmm and sent another email to make sure I got the voice mail message. He asked when might be a good time to call me. I said Friday, November 1 at 7PM. He confirmed the time and did not call. I forwarded the employee's confirmation of our appointment to Jeff Bezos and ever so casually mentioned that I hadn't gotten a call.

I hope by the time this blogpost appears, all will be well. I want all my Kindles to hold those 4,000 items (which I might mention include books by Annamaria Alfieri, Kate Gallison, Bob Knightly, David F. Nighberg and Sheila York), And I want to maintain a good relationship with Amazon. Even before the Kindle appeared I was a great customer. One of my train buddies told me she figured out where I lived when she saw a collection of Amazon boxes on a porch. And Kindle is once more wooing me (and millions of others) by offering very reduced prices on
Kindle editions of selected books if a customer bought a hardcover or paperback version from Amazon. Be still my heart!

But I won't wait forever. Barnes and Noble sent me an update on electronic devices that they will be selling at the end of the year. Don't make me buy a Nook, Jeff. Don't make me buy a Nook.

© 2013 Stephanie Patterson


  1. Sounds like you should be on the staff of The New Yorker! Thelma Straw

  2. Thank you, Thelma! If only David Remnick agreed with you.