Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) is a global tech behemoth largely driven by the growth of its eCommerce business. They have long boasted about their rock-solid customer support being one of the most important cornerstones of their booming business all over the world. However, a recent incident Dazeinfo has come across, paints quite a different picture of the ground reality.
A recent dispute between a frequent customer of Amazon and the company itself has brought to light some ‘shady and not very ethical practices’ by the company when it comes to their customer support and delivery agents.
Deepanker who claims that he does most of his online shopping from Amazon itself and has also subscribed to their ‘Prime’ benefits, along with the Amazon Pay ICICI card believed that he was a loyal Amazon customer.
He placed an order for an ‘Echo Dot 3rd Generation’ which was bound to reach his location by February 10th according to the estimates of Amazon’s Prime membership delivery. On the morning of 10th February, Deepanker received a message which stated that the product was out for delivery with an OTP included for receiving the product from the delivery personnel.
And that was the beginning of ordeal Deepankar was supposed to go through. But on a larger picture, this also exposed the unethical business practice that could easily create chaos among the shoppers owing to rising online frauds and sceptical nature of online shoppers in India.
“The No. 1 thing that has made us successful by far is the obsessive compulsion over the customer as opposed to obsession over the competitor”, Jeff Bezos the Cheif Executive Officer of Amazon reportedly said that on 13th September 2019, at the Economic Club of Washington.
Now, unfortunately for Deepanker, he wasn’t home on the 10th to receive the order. However, he was taken aback by shock when a notification from Amazon’s app showed that the product has been successfully delivered. By his own claim, he found it a bit odd as there was no one else at home to have received the order. Therefore, he went ahead and called his neighbours who said they haven’t received any package on his behalf as well. More importantly, no one beside him had access to the transactional OTP he received via the SMS to complete the delivery.
Deepanker proceeded to contact Amazon’s customer support via email regarding this matter wherein he received quite a shocking message from their side.
The response he received via email from Amazon’s customer support executive – Dazeinfo has obtained a copy as well – clearly mentions that “sometimes the courier agent erroneously updates the tracking as ‘Delivered’, while the package might actually be still on its way. Hence we suggest that you wait until 12 February 2020 as we expect the package to be delivered by then.”
This is quite a shocking revelation about the ground reality of the quality of customer support that Amazon has been exercising. The customer support executive who was well aware of the fact that the delivery partners are falsely and intentionally updating the delivery status which, in turn, could create a panic among the Amazon’s customers found nothing wrong in employing such practices.
The fact that he went on supporting delivery partner in spite of being aware of the consequences is quite appalling.
After this particular revelation, Deepanker kept on pursuing this matter by exchanging several emails but soon reached a dead end on February 19th wherein he was told they (Amazon) have found that his package was in fact delivered intact after their logistics experts have conducted a multi-layered investigation and therefore, they will not be proceeding with a refund or a concession.
“Amazon person ensured that sometimes delivery guys do this and suggested me to wait. I had faith in Amazon’s services. But the real surprise was their investigation that blamed me only,” Deepankar informed to Dazeinfo.
The whole incident points to an even more serious concern – Unethical Delivery Practices that is affecting hundreds of thousands of Amazon customers in India.
Deepankar is not the only one who went into the panic mode after receiving the delivery notification followed by the email from Amazon customer support team supporting the delivery partner. There could be hundreds of thousands of customers of Amazon who go through a similar kind of ordeal every day.
Nishant Misra, who happens to be another regular customer of Amazon India, also shared similar kind of experience he had to go through a few weeks back.
He, however, insisted to change the Delivery Status until the product is delivered.
Well, such incidents are a clear testament to the fact that Jeff Bezos might not completely be aware of the kind of customer support that his e-commerce giant is practising in its entirety.
The Shady Practice By Amazon
This particular incident raises a lot of serious questions regarding Amazon’s internal operations, particularly those involving their customer support agents and delivery partners.
- How is it possible that the customer service executives who is completely aware of the alleged fraudulent and unethical activities such as changing the delivery statuses by their delivery agents?
- Why hasn’t anyone escalated this to their authorities above them and resolved it already?
- How is it possible that a delivery partner can change the delivery status without receiving the transactional OTP from the receiver of the package?
These are grave questions that need to be answered by Amazon right away.
Amazon has pumped in US$600 million (Rs 4,400 Cr) to strengthen its presence in India. While it was not very clear how exactly the funds would be utilised but such exposure puts Amazon under humiliating, rather tough, situation to deal with.
It is a no-brainer that the reputation of any and every company is built by the positive feedback of its consumers and that’s why phrases such as ‘Customer is King’ and ‘The Customer Is Always Right’ were coined.
Amazon as a company doesn’t enjoy an exception to this golden rule. Therefore, we expect Amazon to respond back with a reasonable explanation to such huge gaps in their customer support as well as address the security loopholes related to their logistics partners.
Hopefully, Amazon will take notice of these ground realities and fix them as soon as it’s possible.