Email Etiquette 8/10/2014 12:51:00 PM
From: Eric Lawrence
Sent: Sunday, August 10, 2014 12:50 PM
Subject: Email Etiquette
Howdy, Jeff--
I know CEOs are never the first to read their email (if they ever read it at all), but I’m willing to play along if you are.
As you can see below, I today received an email from Amazon that I don’t feel lives up to the standards you’ve set for yourselves. In particular, announcing that you’ve made a mistake and are charging the customer for it is one thing, but adding “This e-mail was sent from a notification-only e-mail address” on the end is simply rude. I mean, I’m sure that there’s some web form somewhere you’d prefer the victim use to plead their case, but you omit that information entirely in this message. And, of course, it probably wouldn’t take any of Amazon’s thousands of tech wizards more than a few afternoons to build a gateway that could carry an emailed response into such a system.
Now, I’m sure this isn’t a huge priority for you since Amazon so rarely makes mistakes. I mean, it’s been over 13 years since I ordered a pan and you sent me a vacuum cleaner instead. And I’ve ordered thousands of dollars worth of stuff from you guys every year since then.
You might ask: “But how do you know that we received your return? Maybe it was lost in the mail or something?”
And I’d note that it’s probably a good idea for y’all to look at your UPS logs. But in this case, you needn’t even do that, since I returned two items from the same order, in the same box, and you properly credited one of the two. This could have been a lovely conversation that I could have conducted with one of your Mechanical Turks in customer support.
I don’t particularly care about the 14 bucks, because Amazon kindly sends me quite a bit of money every month (I’m an affiliate, and a writer you publish). But I’m also a stockholder, and I know that part of Amazon’s sky-high valuation is based on having legendary customer service, the better to leave all of your competitors in the scrap bin of history. So I really hope that you fix this and avoid alienating anyone who’s less of a loyal customer than I have been and will likely continue to be.
I’m sure you’re busy, but if you too think that Amazon should stop flipping off customers with un-replyable emails, would you mind sticking one of your infamous “?”s at the top of this mail and forwarding it off to the folks who handle Amazon’s notification emails?
thanks a bunch!

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