FAIL “so sorry about the inconvenience” just isn’t enough

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I’ve been an customer for YEARS – since 2004 and have spent thousands and thousands of dollars there.  They are the first place I look for products and one of my main resources for Christmas shopping.

Until now.

Maybe I am over-reacting.

You tell me.

The other day I ordered a $60 Radio Flyer bike for my daughter that was going to be from Santa.  Her “big gift” from the big, jolly man.  The product page indicated the item would be shipping in its original packaging (I always look for that) and to mark it as a gift if you want it concealed.  Cool.  I marked it as a gift, and made the purchase.


Yesterday, my kids and I came home from the store and we were half a block away when my son said “Radio Flyer, what’s that?” after spotting the NOT CONCEALED box sitting on our porch.   I quickly scrambled and told him to distract Abby so I could put it away, but the problem still remains.  My 6 year old is too smart for me to be able to put this under the tree from Santa now.

And I am heartbroken.

I know we can give it to her from us, and she’s too young to know the difference, but I was just excited for it to be from Santa.  This isn’t ALL about the kids you know.  The parents get into this Santa thing too.

I doubled checked my order in my account and it clearly says it was marked as a gift, so I wrote to explaining the situation and also that the box was damaged and re-taped (I haven’t opened it yet to see if the bike is damaged I wanted to hear back from them first).  They wrote back with an apology for the damaged box and a $5 credit to my account for my trouble.  They made no mention about the mistake they made about the concealed package.

So I wrote back.

I got yet another apology:


I’m sorry for the delay in responding fully to all of your questions in our previous correspondence.

I understand your order didn’t arrive concealed although you marked it as a gift. Unfortunately, on rare occasions, fulfillment centers make a mistake when assembling a package. I’ve forwarded your message to our fulfillment team to make sure they’re aware of this incident.

I realize this is a gift order for a special occasion, and I’m so sorry about the inconvenience.

We’ll consider your feedback as we plan further improvements.

Customer feedback like yours really helps us continue to improve our store and provide better service to our customers.

One of our aims at is to provide a convenient and efficient service; in this case, we haven’t met that standard. I hope you’ll give us another chance to serve you better in the future.

It is our absolute commitment to provide you the best possible customer service. Should you need any further assistance with this order, please click the link below to tell us when and where to get in touch with you, and a dedicated customer service representative will contact you by phone to provide resolution.

Best regards,

Vijay P.
We’re Building Earth’s Most Customer-Centric Company

But I just don’t feel like it is enough.

This was a big deal for me.

What do you think?  Am I over-reacting?  Should I let it go and just move on with my life?  Should I push it further and ask to speak to a customer service rep?  If so, what should I even expect them to do to remedy it?

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  1. Brenda says

    I think it is important to know what you want when dealing with an issue with a company. I have spent the majority of my work life addressing customers complaints. I have always found it helpful to know what the expectation is. I would call the representative and tell them what you would like to be done that would make you feel as though they have “made it up to you.” When I was handling an issue I asked the customer “What can I do that would make you feel better?” If the customer was asking for something unreasonable I had a starting point at the very least. To this end I would like to know, what could that company do to make you feel better? I agree that a $5 coupon was not the answer. I would have, if time permitted, returned the item and found another gift for my child. I would have told the older child it was shipped to your house by mistake and found another gift for the daughter. I think one of the problems with our youth is that parents do not go the extra mile to preserve childhood fantasy. And the next time you order a product to be shipped, ask a neighbor or friend to intecept the item for you and save yourself the angst.

  2. says

    And what came of this? I am never one to take a stand in these kinds of situations and sadly would have let it go. I have a feeling you went a step further no?

    • says

      No I did not take it further. We decided to let the bike be from us and she got other stuff from Santa. Ironically Jake didn’t remember anyway but still…

  3. Brie H says

    gee I don’t know – I do think they could have done more the $5 credit, but nothing they could have done would have corrected the fact that you couldn’t give it to her from Santa anymore.

  4. Happi Shopr says

    Amazon way under-reacted to the situation. I am saddened by their lack of compassion. And a $5 credit?! Whatever.

  5. DG says

    The problem with big companies is that a customer care issue here or there is nothing them. Even with a few bad reviews Amazon will continue to do well. It really sucks and I’m sorry you had to go through this. I had another issue with a certain mineral beauty company that I won’t mention and they were very unhelpful

  6. says

    I don’t know. It’s bad that they didn’t disguise it, but honestly, I’m impressed that they even responded to your complaint, much less that they gave you $5. I think your last question of “what do I expect them to do?” is your big question. Do you teach them a lesson by discontinuing your purchases? Do you let it slide and just order gifts to be delivered to a different address? The ball is in your court…

  7. says

    You are definitely not over reacting because you only have a few years with your kids enjoying Santa.

    Amazon is a huge company that should be sending all packages covered. What’s so hard about them covering the package with paper? No a $5 gc isn’t enough to make up for it.


  8. says

    I don’t think you’re over-reacting. I do feel that Amazon is under-reacting. I realize that mistakes happen but they need to do better than a $5 gc to make up for it.

  9. Victoria says

    I know how you feel!! i’m a big “gift giver” person too. Oh Amazon… they should apologize and (if I were them) write a big note saying something like “This dropped out of Santa’s sleigh a bit too early!”

  10. Tiffany says

    I don’t think you are over reacting at all. I hate when companies just try to “brush it off, we’ll learn from our mistake.” Whatever. And a $5 credit from Amazon? They are HUGE, I’m sure they could have done better. That’s pathetic.

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