Amazon’s customer service was really great to me! My wife and I had bought a nice christmas present for my father, a book he’d long wanted, printed in 1976. We couldn’t find it half-decently priced new copy in Europe, but we found one through Amazon in the US. Order placed, postage charges being as much as the book, we waited for it to arrive. But when it did, it was clearly used. Not badly used at all, but a couple of ear marks, pencil lines in the book and… sigarette marks on the cover. Disappointed we took pictures of it, and contacted Amazon.
Against my fears, they didn’t object to our description at all, and didn’t even want to see the photos I’d taken. They told me I should return it, they’d refund the shipping charges for me sending it back to the US. They refunded the book and since it was through a 3rd party, we could opt to buy a new copy, which they’d then refund 1-day shipping for. That’s an awful lot of shipping! Much more than the price of the book, even though the replacement we got was a bit more expensive. Also, the amount of communication that went back and forth, where they were very clear but where there were some minor complications since it was sold by a 3rd party, absolutely has taken a bit of their time. It leaves me wondering how much this eats into their margins. But, this experience made me realize how happy I am as an Amazon customer, this being the first time anything unexpected had happened since I started shopping there in 1998. And when something unexpected happened, how quickly and nicely they solved it for me, even though it cost them in the short run. In the long run it must be worth it for them, because I became even more confident buying through them, and even felt like writing their praises here. :-)