21 June 2009

Amazon.com Bitterness

Originally uploaded by Klis

If Amazon.com and I were dating, this would be about the time we would be seeing lawyers behind the other's back and squirreling away assets.

Normally, I love Amazon with the pages upon pages of stuff - nowhere else on the Internet is it possible to engage in such random Internet shenanigans involving such a range of material. I tend to turn to Amazon for textbooks, primarily because the books are usually in stock and I'm able to situate them in relation to other books dealing with the same topic matter. Additionally, none of the independent bookstores in the area deal in textbooks and the IU campus bookstore is run by Barnes and Noble. So, yeah, I order my textbooks from Amazon.com.

I placed two orders this summer for books - dense, highly-priced textbooks about educational theory that would soon be filled with notes and tabs and thinkings as the summer's classes progress. In the first order, one of the books arrived with cracks in the spine, as though the book had been bent. I returned it easily enough and Amazon sent me a replacement within four days.

The second order, however, arrived two weeks after it was supposed to, despite being listed as "in stock." When it arrived yesterday, I hurriedly opened the package, the class having started earlier that week, only to discover that this book suffered a similar fate: not only was the spine cracked but there was a dent in it as well. I examined the box, which was devoid of dents, and came to the conclusion that this book was shipped out of their facility in this condition.

I have no issue with books that suffer from bangs and dents; what I have issue with is paying brand-spanking-new prices for a bang and dent book, especially when it's a textbook costing upwards of sixty dollars. Who was possessed with the thought that this book would be alright to send out as a brand new book? And, having received two shipments of books with cracks from Amazon, I have to wonder whether the quality control at Amazon is beginning to slip. Perhaps these two experiences were just outliers?

Come on, Bezos, get it together!

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