Amazon France – Adieu, not Au Revoir

You know how it goes: you discover a company that pleases you and can’t stop raving about it to friends and family. I’ve been like that regarding Amazon for some years. These days I mainly used Amazon France: books, toys, cameras, you name it. In the last couple of years I’ve spent more than 2000 Euros with Amazon France. I was what I would think of as a Good Customer.

I was even, ironically, signed up as one of their Premium Customers, which ensured they got even MORE business out of me!

I liked their prices – not always cheapest, but close enough.

I liked their web-site.

I liked their customer service – when something “went wrong” they would sort it out. It has to be said, though, that my experience of Amazon’s customer service is more based upon dealing with Amazon UK in times past, not so much with Amazon France.

So I was a keen customer and advocate, and spent oodles of money with Amazon. So how come today I cancel my Premium account and, once my final orders have limped in some time next week, will cancel my whole account and never, ever, darken their web site again?

Things go wrong… I know

I work in customer service, albeit of a rather different type. Things go wrong. People make mistakes. Stuff fails. That’s why customer service exists – to sort it out and make things good again.

Amazon France, though, seem to take a rather different view. It appears that their view of customer service is to tell me why I am wrong, to ignore the bits where it’s clear that they are wrong and to generally drop dead before saying “Hey sorry! We screwed up – this is what we’re doing to fix it!”

This post is not the place to bore anyone with the minutiae. But this week I had reason to contact Amazon France’s customer service regarding three separate orders (see what I mean about a good customer!! Three orders on the go at once!)

Most of the issues were within their direct control.

What do I expect? I expect to be listened to. To be understood. To, if appropriate, receive an apology. To be told what action is being taken to rectify things. Simple stuff. Customer Service 101.

What do I get? Evasion. Defensiveness. Lack of rectifying action. No apology.

Based upon my recent experience, Amazon France treat their customers like fools. They will push back on things they think they can push back on, and simply ignore any things which are indefensible.

Amazon France has lied to me (and I don’t use the word “lie” lightly). It has treated me like an idiot. It doesn’t care about me.

We won’t meet again

Time to explore the alternatives. Books? I’ll see what FNAC are like these days. Photographic equipment? I used Miss Numerique once or twice. Time to go back. Toys? King Jouet here I come! And so on. I’m actually rather looking forward to it.

It was nice having it all consolidated under Amazon before. But all things must come to an end. Treat your customer like dirt and what can you expect?

2 comments to Amazon France – Adieu, not Au Revoir

  • I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

  • In terms of Amazon alternatives, I’m trying out, for my English-language stuff anyway, The Book Depository. (Full disclosure: I signed up for an affiliate link – use that and I earn a few pennies for any purchase!!)

    Looks interesting. They compete with Amazon head-on: each book description includes a box showing the Amazon price, versus their own price. And they are confident enough that the Amazon box has a link to “Buy from Amazon”! They seem sure of themselves.

    Placed a small order yesterday. Let’s see when it dispatches and arrives…