Amazon service level drops... loses customer

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Joel Vardy, Aug 30, 2001.

  1. Joel Vardy

    Joel Vardy Supporting Actor

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    I have just emailed Amazon to inform them that they have lost me as a regular customer. This is after delaying my shipments first to ship on street date and now a day after street date and using UPS that delays things even further beyond the USP shipping process. Furthermore, UPS is unreliable in my area and frequently delivers packages rather 'beat up'. My last UPS shipment was hidden in my back yard rather than my front door with no attempt to ring the door bell and the contents were damaged (Akira tin was destroyed) due to mishandling.
    Amazon tried a marketing ploy to see if shipping costs were costing them DVD customers. Apparently they did this only once and have gone back to their normal exorbitant S&H costs.
    For me this enough since their prices are frequently higher than my local Costco and the additional shipping costs make it uneconomical. There was a day that DVD's were best purchased online (as much as 40% off) but now the range is 10-25% with higher S&H costs to reduce the effective discounts even further.
    There is definitely a tradeoff between customer service levels and unit margins and online retailers have to find the happy medium. Apparently the pendulum has swung away from them to B&M retailers for the moment and the online community may find it difficult to recover the lost marketshare. It costs 6 times more to get a new customer than to retain an existing one. This is well documented and may spell the end of the online DVD community if the trend is not checked very shortly.
    I clearly am not willing to absorb the inefficiencies of the process of learning the online etailers are going through. I started with DVD Express and changed to Buy.com and then to Amazon.com. I am giving Lasersedge a try but I am a bit skeptical at this point whether I can find a long term etailer partner in my hobby.
    - Joel
     
  2. Colin Davidson

    Colin Davidson Second Unit
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    Joel:
    You might also consider DVDEmpire. I was a former DVDExpress customer and went to DVDEmpire when they pulled the pin. I have been extremely happy with the level of service and delivery of DVD's at street.
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    Regards
    Colin "Dangerous" Davidson
     
  3. AdrianJ

    AdrianJ Supporting Actor

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  4. Randy_M

    Randy_M Supporting Actor

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    I've never been happy with Amazon's service - they get the item out the door when it's convenient for them, seems like.
    In addition, UPS is so bad in my area, that I'll go to great lengths to avoid using UPS.
    When you have an etailer like DVD Empire, there's really no reason to use an inferior one like Amazon (IMHO)
     
  5. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

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    Joel, sorry to hear about your shipping problems. I guess I've been lucky - I've always had great service from Amazon. Rarely do I get a shipment of pre-ordered dvds more then two days after street date. For instance, they got Sullivan's Travels, and The Wicker Man L.E. to me on August 22nd - one day after street date.
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    [​IMG]
    "Death's at the bottom of everything, Martins - leave death to the professionals!"
    "Mind if use that line in my next western?"
    [Edited last by SteveGon on August 30, 2001 at 11:59 PM]
     
  6. Joel Vardy

    Joel Vardy Supporting Actor

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    Adrian,
    I am not complaining about Amazon's use of UPS when it is so chosen by the consumer (me). I am disillusioned about the decreasing service levels that started with a 'free shipping' experiment to compete with others and has deteriorated with a post street-date shipping process (it is NOT in violation to ship 1 day prior or on street date as far as I know).
    The increasing use of UPS (3-7 days shipping) that has a terrible record in my area when they had routinely used USP (with 2-3 days shipping)is an Amazon policy shift. I understand the need to reduce costs but they are already frequently discounting at lower levels than other etailers and almost always have higher prices than my local Costco. The only advantage over Costco is a wider selection of less popular titles.
    It looks like I need to adjust my buying behavior to only buy less popular material from etailers and I need to spread my etailer business around to reduce risk of being taken for granted. It is a well known axiom that it takes 6 times more cost to bring a new customer onboard vs. treating an existing one well.
    There is no doubt that as a long-time DVD etailer customer I am a bit jaded. DVDExress and later Buy.com created a very good early buying experience. Unfortunately, they didn't keep a close eye on their bottom line and therefore we find ourselves in the position we are in today. The commodotization of the DVD market has a price to pay for us early adopters.
    BTW, it is my job to assess Fortune 100 company profitability and their technology impelementation strategies (which includes their eBiz strategies). I have also spent a great deal of time investigating supply chain practices (source, make, deliver) and know of the trade-of issues with shipping across the country to numerous destinations. Therefore, my observations are more than casual.
    - Joel
    [Edited last by Joel Vardy on August 31, 2001 at 07:36 AM]
     
  7. alan halvorson

    alan halvorson Cinematographer

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    I have no idea why anyone uses Amazon on dvds. I rarely find them the lowest priced, I get equal or better service from many other e-tailers. Dvd Empire, Deep Discount Dvd and 800 all are very good. I will say that when I have used Amazon (which I just did for a non-dvd item), I have been quite satisfied.
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    They're coming to take me away, ha-haaa!!
    They're coming to take me away, ho-ho, hee-hee, ha-haaa To the funny farm. Where life is beautiful all the time and I'll be happy to see those nice young men in their clean white coats and they're coming to take me away, ha-haaa!!!!!
    - Napoleon XIV
     
  8. Joel Vardy

    Joel Vardy Supporting Actor

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    Colin,
    I have used DVDEmpire before but unfortunately due to my location I am assessed an additional tax burden that you don't see. Otherwise, quite satisfied with their service.
    The use of Amazon for DVD purchases is probably not such a great idea (as pointed out in this thread). I am looking for a more reliable etailer (lasersedge??) or others. Any non-PA-based etailer experiences/recommendations are welcome.
    - Joel
     
  9. Greg_Y

    Greg_Y Screenwriter

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  10. alan halvorson

    alan halvorson Cinematographer

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    As a point in Amazons favor - the order I mentioned above, which was for the BBC adaption of Lord of the Rings on cd, was placed on August 29. It arrived today, August 31, by UPS (for a quite reasonable $3.99). It almost beat the shipping e-mail! So, I guess, results vary. I have always had good service from UPS. But then I live in a smaller town where we know our delivery people.
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    They're coming to take me away, ha-haaa!!
    They're coming to take me away, ho-ho, hee-hee, ha-haaa To the funny farm. Where life is beautiful all the time and I'll be happy to see those nice young men in their clean white coats and they're coming to take me away, ha-haaa!!!!!
    - Napoleon XIV
    [Edited last by alan halvorson on August 31, 2001 at 10:46 AM]
     
  11. Marianne

    Marianne Supporting Actor

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    I have been quite happy with the service from Amazon until recently.
    They used to send stuff by USPS Priority Mail which (if an order was placed on Tuesday) would arrive on a Friday. Now they use UPS ground and an order placed on Tuesday doesn't usually arrive until the following Monday. And UPS doesn't deliver on Saturday, of course.
    This, and the fact that prices have gone up, means that I don't use Amazon for new DVD releases, and only occasionally for other stuff.
    To answer an earlier post: It's not Amazon's fault that UPS sucks. It's Amazon's fault that they don't give the consumer a choice between UPS or USPS. [​IMG]
     
  12. AdrianJ

    AdrianJ Supporting Actor

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    Alan,
    I still use amazon, though very occassionally. I think the reason that most people still use them is because they are one of the few e-tailers left that still have coupons from time to time. If you get a good coupon and order the right titles, you can get the lowest price from Amazon.
    I've always had good luck with UPS, so I don't really mind. Everything gets shipped to my work address. I think having packages delivered to a business address improves UPS's service!
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    [​IMG]
    Adrian Jones
     

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