Thursday, January 28, 2016

my name is not Normal

"Hello Ms. Barker,

Thanks so much for letting us know about the issue you have raised. I immediately closed the listings and will send all the books back to our warehouse for inspection. We deeply appreciate the way you have handled this - it really means a lot to us!

Best of luck with your studies and may 2016 be an outstanding year for you and your family!

Sincerely yours,


Yeah, blah blah blah blah....

Okay so this thing happened.  I'm a typically pretty organized person, relative to our offspring anyway, which upon writing that, I realize isn't necessarily that organized.  Anyway, I'm usually  organized enough.  AS SUCH, I ordered a textbook for a class I'm taking this semester a little over a week in advance of the start of class.  Obviously, I ordered a "used-in-good-condition" book because who in the heck buys textbooks new??

I ordered it through amazon from a "top seller", with high customer satisfaction and all that.  I also have a prime account, so I happily received the book in two business days.  It was nicely packaged and lived up to its "used-in-good-condition" description.  I leafed through it for about 10 seconds, then put it on my tidy shelf where it would be all set to go for the start of class.

The day before the first day of class, the professor posted the syllabus, which I perused a bit.  In my perusement, I realized the book that was sitting on my tidy shelf was not the book she was referencing in the syllabus.  What the...?

Scenarios flashed through my mind:

  • I ordered the wrong book (no way)
  • The mean professor changed the book at the last minute! (how dare she!)
  • The lame university bookstore doesn't have the right information! (oh for chrissake!)

Either way, I knew I needed the correct book, so I flashed over to amazon to order the different book, then set about returning the wrong one.  Lo and behold! I discovered that I'd ordered the right book in the first place.  The dang "top seller" sent me the wrong one!

To add to the confusion, the book they sent me was similar to the one I'd ordered - same subject matter, similar title - but different authors and, obviously, different ISBN.  So when it arrived, I didn't even think to check if it was the right one.  If they would've sent me something like "Goodnight, Moon", for instance, I mighta noticed!

The right book (from a different top seller) arrived just a couple of days after class started, so no biggie, and amazon promptly processed my return.  I was still pretty disappointed in that original seller, so I wrote a little review.  I did mention that I doubted this was a common problem, and that the book arrived promptly and nicely packaged, but still... I gave them a 2-star "poor" overall rating.

Not ten minutes after my review went live, I got a phone call.  Joe.  Wanting to know what happened. Explaining that he was so very sorry.  That theirs was just a small family business.  That he was worried about the negative effects...

Okay fine.  I told him I'd remove my review.  I mainly just wanted them to be aware of their mistake and  hopefully be more thorough in the future, not so much to deter other customers from purchasing from them.  Obviously, he was now aware.  He thanked me profusely, and after the deed was undone, I received the above e-mail.

Interestingly, as I was removing the review, there was a pop-up window from amazon asking my reason for deleting it.  It mentioned "Don't do it just because the seller asked you to".  Well, yeah, that was kinda my reason, but I deleted in anyway.

I did take note that in the e-mail he sent, Joe spelled my last name, Barker, correctly.  More often than not, those who don't know us personally, spell or pronounce our name "Baker" upon seeing it in print.

Which did you see?  Go ahead, be honest.

I'm no baker, by any definition of the word.  So I give Joe credit for getting that right.  Now, if only he could read ISBNs.



LL Cool Joe said...

I've found every time I've left a negative feedback on Amazon, the feedback gets removed! Even if it's polite and honest etc. I look the next day and it's gone. It seems that sellers must have some way of removing feedback they don't like which kind of defeats the object of leaving it in the first place.

LL Cool Joe said...

Oh and I read Barker. ;)

Abby said...

Well, that's just wrong. Magnum had some negative feedback magically disappear from amazon once too. Now I wonder about all those highly rated partners.

Abby said...

Gold star for you!

ShadowRun300 said...

Well I think the fact that you got a phone call shows they really do care. And it seems like they'll work hard to make sure it doesn't happen again. Maybe they have us both fooled, but I'da removed the comment as well. It served its purpose of letting them know you're disappointed.
I read Barker. 'Course I knew it was Barker, so that helped. :)

Abby said...

Yeah, and he didn't call to give excuses. Just wanted to know what happened and if I'd gotten my refund, so I had no problems deleting.

You still get a gold star too :D

Lori said...

I read Barker. Do you have dogs? That should be our last name with the 4 loudmouths we have.

At least he was gracious and it was a very nice email. Gracious of you too, for deleting the negative review. Many people wouldn't be so nice.

Abby said...

You're a dog person. Maybe that helped you see the lurking "r". Gold star!

And yes, we have a dog who represents the name well. I don't understand the confusion.

agg79 said...

Sometimes a little criticism does work. Especially if it is constructive. It is nice to hear how they reached out to you to make it right. Everybody makes mistakes. How we own up to them and address them can make a difference. Very gracious of you to delete the negative review.

And I read Barker from the start as well.

Linda Hensley said...

All's well that ends well? Good luck with your class!

Abby said...

After I first noticed what happened, I was pretty upset with them. Now I would consider buying from them again thanks to the response.

And nice to know my blog friends are so observant! I think it's important to get names right :)

Abby said...

Yep, all good. Thanks Linda!

Tee said...

I think you did the right thing. You pointed out what had gone wrong while still making note of the things that were done well. And the fact that Joe called you immediately following the posting of your review ... well, it gave you the chance to go straight to the source with your problem. And I'm pretty sure his little family business won't make that mistake again!

As for your name, I saw Barker. But then again, I have a slight advantage over some! :-)

Ramzu Zahini said...

I love books. And would love to buy books online.
Your case put out that fire, thanks :)

Abby said...

I was just going to let it go, but now in hindsight, I'm glad I posted that review and had the chat that followed.

Abby said...

Ha! Glad to be of help :D

Sparkling Red said...

I had a similar experience with Better World Books; I ordered Black Swan Green by David Mitchell and they sent me Red Tide by G. M. Ford. Not even close. What was the picker thinking? "Black, green, red... they're all just colours. She'll never notice the difference!"

Abby said...

On one hand, I'm sorry that happened to you. On the other, I think it's hilarious.

Anita said...

So your name's "not" Normal or Baker? How about all those other eclectic names in your profile? Not real either? Say it isn't so! :)

I would have written a complaint or bad review too. And after the call... yep, I would have removed it.

Abby said...

Another student called me Baker in class over the weekend. It continues.