Saturday, November 26, 2011


Some of you may recall my exchange with Dr. Walter Block regarding fractional reserve banking being fraudulent.  Block equivocated his way through all sorts of verbal gymnastics, basically stating I was correct, but refusing to back away from his original statement.
Seems Dr. Gary North has the same inability to see his most simple of errors.
Today's email "Tip of the Week" was to be careful when canceling an order.  He doesn't yet have the tip posted on his website:
Gary North's Tip of the Week - November 26, 2011 Amazon's Refunds

  I ordered an Amazon Kindle last week. Then I canceled the order five minutes later. I then ordered a more expensive unit.
  Yesterday, I received two units. I was charged for both. I will return the one I did not order.
  The units came with no packing slips.
  I will have to pay for UPS shipping to send it back.
  But wait! There's more! Read all about it!
  Warning: If you order something from Amazon and then cancel, maybe you did not really cancel . . . according to Amazon's software. You only think you did. As they say, things are easier to get into than out of.

Gary "Burnt by a Kindle" North
In the article linked, he complains about having to pay shipping to send the item back.  The article includes a screen shot of the Amazon return process.  He had nine options to pick why he was returning the item.  He choose one that admitted he was 100% at fault even though out of the nine options there are at least six where Amazon at least partially admits fault and two of the nine fit his description much better than the one he choose.
Ignoring the fact that he probably didn't click and receive confirmation that the order was canceled, I sent North the following message:
Dr. North,

Just in case someone hasn't already pointed it out, "Arrived in addition to what was ordered" fits your description of events.  Your canceled an order, you ordered something else, you received the item you ordered, you also received "in addition to" your order something you didn't order.  Not only does that fit your description of what occurred, it also admits fault on Amazon's part.

I believe you're letting your irritation with the situation block you ability to be objective.  Your screen shot shows nine reasons to choose from for the reason for the return.  Out of those nine, in addition to the "in addition to" option, the following five show some acceptance of responsibility on Amazon's part for the error:

 - Missed estimated delivery date
 - Missing parts or accessories
 - Different from what was ordered
 - Defective/Does not work properly
 - Different from website description

Not trying to be overly harsh, but your statement, "In short, 'we don't make no stinking mistakes'" is just wrong.  66.6% of the options available have Amazon accepting at least partial responsibility for the error.

Now if you had chosen the correct option, "Arrived in addition to what was ordered", Amazon may have argued that you didn't cancel your order.  At that point you would have been able to write a weekly tip about good or bad customer service (depending upon Amazon's handling of the situation) and bad website design (lack of clear indication that the order was not yet canceled).

Instead of admitting he picked a poor choice, he sent me this reply:


Then I guess I am also imagining this:

It's all my fault.
Instead of addressing the issue at hand, he changes topics.  So I replied:
Yes, really.  "Arrived in addition to what was ordered" exactly fits your description of events.  If your description isn't accurate causing that option to not fit, then that's a different issue.  Amazon gave nine options to choose for why the item was being returned.  Six of those accept responsibility on Amazon's part - contrary to your claim that they state, "We Don't Make No Stinking Mistakes!". 

Nowhere did I state the problem was your fault, much less "all your fault".  Nowhere did I claim Amazon doesn't need more testing of their site.  Nowhere did I state you were imagining things.  Unlike Amazon, you seem to be the one claiming "I Don't Make No Stinking Mistakes!".  Instead of getting defensive, maybe you should learn from a simple mistake and examine the choices and pick a better one next time.
Shockingly, since I wasn't even expecting the first reply much less a second, he emailed:
I see.
I canceled the order.  I explained why I canceled the order when I did so. The software placed the order.
My fault?
I warned people that their orders might not be canceled. I got a letter from a subscriber who said she had experienced the same thing.
They have software problems. They should fix the software problems.
Well, no shit.  They should fix the bugs in their software.  Just like he shouldn't have admitted he was at fault if he wants them to accept responsibility.  For one who complains about individuals repeating themselves instead of actually coming up with a rational argument, I have three words - Pot Kettle Black.

1 comment:

  1. Ha! Sorry I didn't see this earlier.

    You are, of course, correct in your assessment.