I’ve been in a fair bit of a "fight" with Amazon for nearly a week, now, this time around.
On Monday, September 26th, 2016, I placed an order for the newest Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide (Vol. 46). I don’t usually buy these, certainly not as an annual thing, but the other one I have is from mid 2011, PRE-New 52, and I figured I could handle one every half-decade or so in terms of owning.
More specifically to be able to know "Guide Value" for various books that I’d be interested in as I look toward the "back issues" side of things on an increasing basis…and unfortunately, far too many comic shops don’t bother to "price" their stock, leaving the poor customer unable to actually KNOW what price they’ll be quoted at the counter, and surely impacting what they’ll try to or consider buying. Buuuut that’s a topic for another post.
Anyway. I am an Amazon Prime customer. That means that I pay the annual fee, to be a part of Prime, and I do so for the physical shipping, to get stuff shipped "free" with 2-day/ASAP shipping. It may be labeled as or considered "free," but it is paid for by paying for the year TO BE a Prime member.
Nowhere that I have seen or heard of, does it include anything regarding some sort of "lesser" form of shipping as a result.
So, order placed on Monday, 9/26. Item arrived Wednesday, 9/28. The book’s damaged because it is over 1150 pages, very thin paper, and heavy. Since it was NOT packed to remain immobile…it slid around and was damaged in transit (beyond any damage prior). I requested a replacement immediately.
The first replacement arrived two days later, 9/30. This one was in the same sort of mailer, but with gaping wide openings (it was NOT properly assembled) and I could see daylight THROUGH the thing as well as clearly see the book contained within. Which was, of course, damaged in transit.
The second replacement (3rd copy) arrived the next day, 10/1. The mailer was slightly better-assembled, but I could still check out the book without even opening the package…and the book was damaged. I requested yet another replacement.
Meanwhile, I’d separately ordered a Green Arrow tpb, which arrived separately on Saturday. That one was in a flimsy yellow bubble envelope a good 50-75% larger than the book…and with no inserts or markings, it was folded and stuck into the mailbox. (So it earned a replacement-request as wel!)
The second copy of the Green Arrow book arrived the same way–overlarge flimsy envelope, folded and stuck in the mailbox.
It was then that I realized I had not seen any notification of the replacement of the Overstreet book being on its way…it was still held up in some hold status, apparently for my having requested multiple replacements.
When I contacted them about it, through their site, through their process, as a question on the item checking on "Where’s my order"–I was told that they would issue me a refund, please send the other books back.
To which I complained that it is not a satisfactory resolution–I’m now out a week of time (I could’ve bought the book from two different bricks-and-mortar stores and had a satisfactory CONDITION copy long before this). And to make me do the administrative thing of juggling receipt of packages and re-ordering, and then my own printer/ink/paper and gas to drive packages to a drop-off, and after 8+ days be back at square one? NO!
Their response to my continued explanation of the situation and emphasis on the fact that the book keeps arriving damaged because they refuse to use packing material and a proper sized box?
They made it entirely (temporarily) unavailable for sale "while they investigate the issue."
HELLO! 1. use a box 2. put packing peanuts or crumpled paper or several air pockets or foam or stick it between a couple sheets of cardboard, shrink-wrap that and toss it in the box, where the book itself will stay put, and any banging/beating suffered will be by the cardboard and not the book that I have paid for.
Halting their sale of the book entirely is so totally, completely missing the darned point!
Supposedly they’ll "resolve the issue" within 7 days; I can only imagine they’ll find that their stock is in undamaged condition (it’s getting damaged in transit for their inadequate packaging process).
Meanwhile… wonder if any of those 3rd party sellers will jack their prices up significantly, thinking the thing is outta print?
And my apologies to anyone else who might’ve been planning to order this from Amazon right now and using Prime shipping. It seems I’m the reason the book is (temporarily) not available for purchase through Amazon itself at the moment.