Rare Amazon Annoyance: Outlier or ‘New Normal’


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I buy a lot of stuff from Amazon. Books, CD’s, Electronics, and so on. I’m Amazon Prime, as some proof that they are a go-to online vendor for me. On any given day, I’m able to say that my trust level is high in their ability to deliver value. I’ve been an advocate for Amazon, both highly favorable toward the brand and positively vocal on behalf of my preferred online supplier. But not today. Today, they’ve taken some funds out of my loyalty bank account.

Having decided a couple weeks ago that I needed a new cell phone, I purchased one on September 27th, along with three other accessories. Two of accessories were delivered by October 1st, but until this morning (October 9th), the tracking information on my order kept saying that the phone and case/holster would be delivered by 8 p.m. tonight (even though, as of last night, the order was still not shown as having shipped). Here’s the gist of the message received from Amazon at about 10 a.m.

“We’re sorry for the delay in shipping the order you placed on September 27, 2015 (Order# XXX-XXXXXXXXXXXXXX). We have good news — the order is now being shipped! You will receive a shipping confirmation with an updated delivery estimate within the next business day, for the following item(s):


We’ll make every effort to get the delayed item(s) to you as soon as possible. If there are other items in your order, they’ll be shipped according to the delivery estimates listed in the order details in Your Account (

For more information about this order please visit:


If your shipment arrives too late, you may either refuse delivery or return it to us for a refund. For returns instructions, please visit our Returns Center at:


Please accept our sincerest apologies for any inconvenience caused by this delay.

Feel free to reach out to Customer Service with any questions at http://www.amazon.com/customerservice?XXXXXXXXXXXXX


Customer Service Department
Check your order and more: http://www.amazon.com/your-account?XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Please note: This e-mail was sent from a notification-only address that cannot accept incoming e-mail. Please do not reply to this message.”

I’m left pretty dismayed with this message.

My issue is why their order tracking system is so inconvenient that now it has both annoyed and inconvenienced me. Also, I’d like to have responded to this email; however, as the final statement says, I’m not able to do so. I’d need to make a special effort to contact their Customer Service Department to complain; but a) like 95% to 98% of b2c customers with value problems, I don’t want to take the time and b) anyway, the failure to get the tracking right and/or inform me sooner seems to be a systems failure.

As a result of this, I’m still reasonably pleased with Amazon; but, until my loyalty bank account has been returned to its previous level, please don’t look to me for positive statements or endorsement. I can only hope that this most recent experience remains an exception and doesn’t become the ‘new normal’.

Michael Lowenstein, PhD CMC
Michael Lowenstein, PhD CMC, specializes in customer and employee experience research/strategy consulting, and brand, customer, and employee commitment and advocacy behavior research, consulting, and training. He has authored seven stakeholder-centric strategy books and 400+ articles, white papers and blogs. In 2018, he was named to CustomerThink's Hall of Fame.


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