Amazon runs dry

So I ordered a bunch of gifts from Amazon for my sister to open on Christmas. Did it all last week so we’d have time for screw ups.

Turns out we needed it.

I won’t go into the details (including stuff that was my fault), but will instead jump ahead to a bug that needs to be fixed: When an order is canceled by Amazon, the history of the order is erased on the Amazon website. It’s like the order never happened. No information remains. The items bougtht, the gift wrap, the shipping details, the credit card used, the fact that the order was made in the first place… all gone. The cancellation details survive only in an email Amazon sends out — and in Amazon’s own memory. If you call them up and ask for help tracking problems down, they can find what they won’t let you see online. I just spent the better part of an hour on the phone with Amazon doing exactly that.

This is wrong. You should be able to look back and see past orders, whether they were completed or not. You should be able to see why orders were canceled (out of stock, credit card glitches, whatever).

While I’m a big fan of self-tracking, the tech for that isn’t here yet. In its absence it would be nice if pioneering (now landmark) companies like Amazon did a better job of remembering what happened, when, and why.

3 comments

  1. Jesse Stay’s avatar

    I had a card once that was declined by them and I was given no option to go back and pay them. I ended up forgetting about it, and 6 months down the road they tried to come back and get me to pay. Their billing system is out of control in more ways than one.

  2. justcorbly’s avatar

    Another Amazon annoyance: If, for whatever reason, you are unable to login and contact Amazon customer service for help resetting the account, you will not be able to use the same password. Arguably, security reasons exist for this, but still…

  3. Paul’s avatar

    what ? Dave shopping early ? no f — ing way. you still have another cople of days. what is with the sudden rush?

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