Full marks to Amazon

Hey, credit where credit is due- Amazon may have its faults (particularly regards paying its taxes and its purported workplace conditions) but it has pretty good customer service when things go wrong. A few months ago back when it was first announced, I preordered Criterion’s edition of The Tree of Life. Back then it was priced rather, er, provocatively, shall we say (£38) but these prices always fall,  and it did, even reaching £17.99 at one point before rising back to its current £25.99. Amazon’s pre-order price promise of only being charged the lowest stated prior to release is reliable and no worry at all. Except this time, when I got an email that my copy had been dispatched and I had been charged £38.99.

Hey, I’m one of Terrence Malick’s biggest fans (well, until his last few films, anyway) and The Tree of Life, which blew my mind at the cinema, was getting a three-hour cut here which was frankly irresistible to me but no film is worth that kind of outlay. So, I contacted Amazon and very pleasantly queried what I had been charged, asking if I could be reimbursed the difference from the £17.99 I felt I should have been charged.

Much to my surprise, Customer Services promptly apologised for the mistake and reimbursed me the full £38.99, and told me that I could keep my copy as a goodwill gesture. So I got Criterion’s The Tree of Life for free. Christmas has come early for this Ghost.

Must say I’m chuffed. I’m not usually on the receiving end of something as beneficial as this (on the balance of things, in life I most always get screwed instead of hugged). We’ve been having some rough weeks of late (the death of a neighbour back in my parents street who had been around since I was three, a relative of my wife becoming very ill needing care/chasing around and hospital visits – would you believe he was in three seperate hospitals in one week?- then an ex-work colleague of mine being rushed into hospital… it’s the kind of month that doesn’t get much blogging done).  So it’s been a rough few weeks (we hate and fear every November, it’s almost supernatural how things go wrong every November).

Hey, maybe the tide has turned.

I guess when I watch The Tree of Life this weekend it will just seem all the better, even the longer cut of it, for having not actually cost me anything. I keep teasing Claire, “did I mention I got this Blu-ray for free?” before she shudders at the prospect of actually sitting through it.

So anyway, thanks Amazon, happy customer here.

(And yes, hopefully I’ll be posting a review of this extended edition here next week).

3 thoughts on “Full marks to Amazon

  1. EditMSM

    There’s something weird going on with this title, as I got charged £38.99 as well.

    However, when I flagged it up they promised me a partial refund.

    Your post reminded me I’d never received notification of that refund going through, so I chased it up on a live chat; there were long long pauses between replies, and they eventually offered to refund me if I returned the disc.

    I explained that I was just after the price-promise difference between £25.99 and £38.99, and they eventually conceded and refunded me the difference as they’d promised it previously.

    Yet to see if that actually turns up on my credit card. Weird.

    1. If you have to get back to them, I should mention that the disc was actually priced at £17.99 for awhile- that’s the price I hoped they would match and they should for you. Clearly though as you had the same pricing experience as me, there were certainly problems with this particular title. We should at the very least gotten charged £25.99. I guess I was lucky I had a customer service rep who felt generous- I left them an email by the way, rather than getting to them via chat, so maybe emails are a way at getting a more positive outcome? I seldom have any problems with Amazon, but it’s something to consider in future, maybe.

      Lets just hope the film’s extended cut is worth all the bother!

  2. There are many things wrong with Amazon as a company, but I always find their customer service exceptional. I don’t have to contact them often, but when I do it often results in a better-than-expected outcome. Probably helps that I order far too much stuff from them…

    Saddened I missed it at £17.99. I did see they had Magnificent Andersons drop to £17.99 and I thought “that’s nice, I’ll get it later,” only for it to be a blip and I missed that too. Grr.

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