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Aaron N. Tubbs

Dragon chaser.

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I ordered1 a television from you recently (order XXX-XXXXXXX-XXXXXXXX). This was a bit of a sham to begin with, because the first time I tried to add the television to the cart and select it, I was able to do so, check out, hit place order, and then be informed that this shipper could not fulfill my order and I’d have to select from a different location. This is swell, except every other buying option cost $XXX-XXX more. A bit of a bait and switch? Of course, this comes after a $XXX price inflation from Amazon and J&R proper in less than two weeks time. Yikes! Bait and switch again!

Regardless, I have been a loyal Amazon customer for quite some time, and do a lot of business with you, and am usually very satisfied, so I said “you know what, I’m going to keep giving my business to Amazon, because they don’t screw me over. They’ve been good to me. They deserve it.”

Now, after paying $XXX in shipping (apparently throwing in super saver shipping on a $XXXX television would be too kind), I’m given an order with no ability to track it through Amazon, and an indication that your lovely freight delivery contractor, Eagle USA, will contact me when the unit has arrived at my local distribution center to arrange delivery.

Swell. Ok. Fine. I repeat the mantra “Amazon wouldn’t screw me!” in my head.

Now, I search for Eagle USA, because you couldn’t be so kind as to provide a web link for them. They of course are now called Eagle Global Logistics, not Eagle USA, which takes some tomfoolery in google to discover. I find my way to their website, and am able to track my shipment. Lovely. Neat! Shame you can’t integrate that into Amazon, like, say UPS shipments. Apparently people dropping $XXXX-XXXX on big electronic items at Amazon don’t deserve to know where their packages are.

Oh well. I’ve got a delivery estimate for anywhere between the 24th and 28th on Amazon. Fine. I check the Eagle Global Logistics page, and they say 27th. Ok. Fine. The 27th comes and goes, nothing. I decide to call EGL, why not? I mean, the television arrived at JFK last Friday, and has been sitting there EVER SINCE. After all, I’m supposed to be contacted once this reaches a nearby hub, according to your brief email, so I’d just like to be in the loop at least a little bit. It’s not that I care specifically that my television is not here yet; if I was told it was going to arrive Friday, at least I would know what’s going on, but I know nothing, and I don’t seem to be the only one; allow me to illustrate.

First, I want to call EGL. Their website is down. Their website blocks spiders through their robots.txt, so I can’t even get their phone number through a google cache or wayback machine entry. I think this is by design, as part of their user unfriendliness campaign. Their website has been down several times over the past few days, so I shouldn’t be surprised. In fact, when I call later, I’m told this is a frequent problem that they’re aware of. What gives? How can a company that knows more about selling things online than anybody else partner with a company with a shoddy website that doesn’t work all the time? This does NOT make sense!

Fine. I know that EGL is headquartered in Houston, so I search the Houston yellow pages for Eagle Global Logistics/Eagle USA. There are over a dozen entries, and the fifth one (before that it’s busy signals, disconnecteds, and nextel private numbers) puts me in touch with some guy who doesn’t understand what I’m saying, and I don’t understand what he’s saying. Could be my fault, who knows? Anyhow, after talking for about fifteen minutes, we come to a mutual agreement that he knows nothing about my shipment past that it’s being handled by Eagle, and that I should call the JFK hub. Of course, he can’t find the number for the JFK hub, so it takes another few minutes for us to get that, and then I’m on my merry way.

I call the JFK hub; again, I’m greeted by some guy who’s in a bad mood and has no desire to deal with small-time me; all I want to know is where my shipment is, and I’d prefer to deal with somebody that’s at least pretending to be genuinely interested in my business and query. I should take the time to mention that for both Houston and JFK, when I reached EGL, I was not greeted with anything useful, but rather “Hello?” or “Can I help you?” How hard is it for a little “Hello, this is Eagle Global Logistics…” I realize this is a company that’s used to … doing logistics, not dealing with some guy who wants a television, but this is ridiculous!

In any event, my cheery friend muddles with the computer for a few minutes, and then says that yep, it arrived at JFK on Friday, and nope, nothing has been done with it, and he knows nothing beyond that. “Might I arrange for delivery sometime soon?” “No, we don’t really know when that’s going to be loaded up for shipment and, uh, well, best I can suggest is you call tomorrow sometime, and maybe we’ll have a better idea then and we can let you know when we can arrange delivery.”

Are you kidding me? That’s the best they can do?

Now, I know you don’t own the shipping portion of this process, and once it’s left your facility it’s out of your hands, but this is ridiculous. It is unfair to your loyal customers that you contract with a third-class logistics shipper that couldn’t give a damn about some small-time guy and a new telvision for his new condo. This is insulting, considering, once again, that shipping on this order is over $XXX. What exactly am I paying for? I should just have gone to Best Buy, picked up my television, and had it delivered the same day, by people that speak English, work with consumers, and know where my television is. Oh, and with a freaking smile on their face as they try to sell me an extended warranty plan! I hate that experience, but I find this situation deplorable.

This email is obviously the product of an incensed consumer, but I do not appreciate being treated like this when I am spending this much money. I am posting this to my blog2 as well, which may seem to be little more than rants from a self-important lunatic. On the other hand, you may find it curious that my rather lighthearted rant3 (which this is obviously not) about UPS and their QuantumView system is consistently in the top three results on google4, and has been since its posting. I can also assure you that google and the wayback machine DO cache my site.

Regards,

Aaron N. Tubbs

1 – My Television Order
2 – My Blog
3 – My UPS Quantum View Rant
4 – Google’s Location of my Rant

Update:

    Dear Aaron,
    Greetings from Amazon.com.  I do want to apologize for
    the experience you have had with this order and thanks
    for writing to us with your comments about Eagle
    Freight.

    We are aware that our choice of delivery services
    reflects on our business as a whole, and we appreciate
    your feedback.  I have passed your message along to our
    shipping department, as I know they will want to read
    about your experience.

    I have called Eagle personally and explained the
    situation to them.  I was informed that they should be
    calling you within one business day to arrange a
    delivery appointment for your television.

    In an effort to compensate you for this inconvenience,
    I've requested a full refund of the shipping charges
    you paid for this package.

    This refund should go through within the next 2 to 3
    business days and you should see a credit of $74.50 on
    your next credit card billing statement.

    We will send you an e-mail when the refund has been
    completed.  You may also view completed refunds by
    clicking the "Your Account" link at the top of our web
    site, then clicking "Go!" next to "open and recently
    shipped orders."  Completed returns and refunds will
    appear at the bottom of the relevant order's summary
    page.
    
    If they do not call within the timeframe given, I have
    provided their contact information below.
    
             Tracking Numbers: XXXXXXXXX
             Phone Number: XXX-XXX-XXXX

They [EGL] called about three minutes after this e-mail arrived, and have arranged to deliver the television sometime tomorrow, and will call an hour before delivery. Hooray! I can work with that. We’ll see how things work out tomorrow, but I’m hopeful.

Incidentally, their choice of refund for my shipping charges only covers half of what I actually paid. My goal in this is not receive any sort of monetary compensation, but this choice seems somewhat arbitrary.

Also, I find it most irritating that I cannot just respond to the email they sent me to indicate further comments/queries on the matter, I must instead go through another web form. This makes quoting their previous discussion difficult, and the end product is a jumbled mess of a paragraph; I guess it’s now their problem to decode. Again, I know they’re trying to shut me up as fast as possible, as every minute they have to spend dealing with me costs them money, but why email me a response if I can’t even use email to revert?

Update 2

I’ll summarize: “Oops, I mis-stated that, I only requested a 50% refund, not a 100% refund. Please understand Amazon doesn’t normally make these mistakes, and this is not representative of our customer service department. I hope your television arrives soon.”

Update 3

I was told the television would arrive the next day between 9 and 5, and I would be called an hour before delivery. 16:00 rolls around, 16:05, and it becomes clear that the television is not going to arrive by 5. A long call to the customer service department at JFK later (as always, they first had to route me through three operators, and then put me on hold for ten minutes while they located the driver), I was told it would be there by 6, no later than 6:30. When 7:30 rolls around, the driver shows up, with a soggy wet cardboard box. On the end of the box is a tip sensor, indicating the unit had been mishandled during transit (as if being soaked wasn’t sufficient). I’ll state it in simple terms:

Eagle Global Logistics is a company that has no idea what’s going on with their freight, has no idea what’s going on with their employees, has no sense of customer service, and oozes incompetence and inconsideration on every front. The only pleasant individual I dealt with was the driver, and the whole experience has ensured I will never order any physically large items from Amazon.com again. I urge you to avoid shipping big ticket large-footprint electronics through Amazon.com unless you wish to risk a similar miserable experience, and run a large risk that you’ll have to ship the unit back for replacement after they fuck it up.

It pains me, but it makes a lot more sense for me to get things from Best Buy or Circuit City now, where I can rest assured my goods will be handled properly, not soaked, and will arrive on time. I bet Best Buy and Circuit City would even help lift it up into my condo, to boot.