(Disclaimer: This is not a promotional post. Amazon will not be paying me for this post. The content is based purely on my experience with Amazon. The links in the post are affiliate links for Amazon, which might fetch me a beer someday.)
Every since the advent of online shopping in India, I’ve been at it. There’s nothing like the ease of shopping online from the comforts your home. Though this may not hold true for certain items which need your to physically see/use it(eg. clothing), by and large, online shopping is very convenient and satisfying. I do remember the case of a friend who ordered a rocking chain online for very cheap. They delivered her a model rocking chair. The seller had hidden the word “toy” deep within the item description. So you do need to read the description thoroughly.
Amazon has been my preferred shopping destination since the month it started its operation in India. Prior to that it was the upcoming portals during that time(I prefer not to name them here). The way Amazon does its business has really got me rooted in to their system. So much so that I always have some balance in my Amazon Pay account, just from the fear that I might miss a great offer on a coveted product. I have also learnt another trick of the trade. Wait. Wait like a hunter if the product is not if immediate need. There will be a day, within 3-6 months, when that product will go under heavy discount. That’s what happened couple of days back when I bought a product which sells for Rs. 2400 normally. I held on to my buying impulse and kept on waiting for 2 months. Yesterday I bought it for Rs. 1800 and got a cashback of rs. 200 over and above that. So ultimately I bought it for 33% discount over the regular price.
These things keep on happening at Amazon. Multiple deals can be utilized for a single shopping cart, or even a single product in few circumstances. You can top up the Amazon Pay balance using you credit/debit card to get a certain discount. Then you can use your balance to shop for a cashback if you pay using that balance. Chances are that there might be a good cashback/exchange offer running at that time.
The Customer Care that Cares
Amazon has a really great customer care. I never pick up a phone for communication with them. I normally use online chat. The online chat option is not available at the other leading shopping portal which, I feel, is a bit of a let-down. There is almost no waiting time for chat on Amazon. The person at the other end is always very courteous and makes sure that he/she understands the issue. There are many cases where I needed to actually contact them, but two cases I will remember for long.
Three years back I bought a laptop online. The day Amazon delivered it, that evening the same laptop with better configuration and lesser price was listed. Hesitant at first, I communicated the customer care. The person at the other end inquired about my issue in details and finally suggested that I should return my newly delivered laptop. As per him, clearly I was not happy with the product and it was their duty to ensure customer satisfaction. He suggested that I place the order for the latest offer before it expired. I did so, but was skeptical whether this transaction would work smoothly. So the next day I communicated with another executive who reassured me with the same narrative. And sure enough, Amazon picked up the laptop in my possession on Monday afternoon and transferred the refund back to my account by Monday evening. I got the delivery of new order on Wednesday. That’s the laptop which I am still using, even as I type this post.
It’s that time of the year when kids expect “Santa” to come flying by on his sleigh and deliver the requests they make via personal letter to him. Though this tradition is a multi-billion industry, I still follow it just for the sake of the smile of fulfillment on my kids’ faces on Christmas morning. Few more years and they will know the truth.
Anyway, my daughter wants a Yo Yo and she has written the obligatory letter to Santa a few months back (I am sure they know it’s not necessary to write a letter. Dad knows it what they want, Santa will know it too). So I ordered a Yo Yo on Amazon. It was to be delivered to my office on my last working day before I went for Christmas holidays. The day came and was half complete but there was no update on my delivery schedule. I pulled out the keyboard and started chatting with my “Santa” at Amazon. The executive on the the other end assured me that they would deliver it by 6 pm. Which was a problem for me since I was supposed to leave office at 4 pm. The executive informed that he would do all he could to get it delivered at the earliest. I clicked the “End Chat” with full confidence that he would resolve the issue.
And sure enough, within five minutes, I got the “Out for Delivery” sms. I got the delivery within 1.5 hours of my communicating with the executive. Who wouldn’t shop with Amazon!!
Things to Remember
Though I cannot factually confirm this, all the eCommerce portals, like all the other online portals, have detailed history of your interaction with them once you sign-in. So its better to shop sensibly. Just because there is an option to return the product doesn’t mean you should order something just for the fun of it and return it later. I know people who return orders more frequently than they keep. After some time, they start facing issue with return procedures, including being told to process the return themselves with return charges being paid back later. I never face such issues.
It helps if you have a good track record at Amazon,I guess.