Tuesday 2 November 2010

Amazonian warrior

The BOF's mailbox set him chortling this morning. The chortles soon erupted into guffaws.

The story so far: BOF received an email along the "customers who bought..." line, claiming sales for a DVD which was not yet available. Amazon continued to hold their line, until the BOF pointed out that he was only talking to them as a curtesy before going to the relevant trading authority with a complaint.

That last nudge has pushed the slimy sales-addicts over the edge. They have capitulated.

Yup, you read that right. Amazon have capitulated. And, curiously, they've used their war department to do so.

How else can this curious beginning to an email be construed?

Thank you for contacting Amazon.co.uk.

My name is Sowmya and I work in the Customer Escalations Team.

Now, we would have expected this to come from the customer relations team. But no: it's from Customer Escalations, clearly a secret division whose purpose is to wind up customers until they make some libellous remark which is then used to silence the original complaint.

Sowmya, however, has other ideas. We can't see her lasting very long in the Amazon culture, for she goes on:

First of all, please accept my sincere apologies for any misunderstanding caused.

I would like to confirm that the "Jim Jefferies Alcoholocaust [DVD]" is not yet released and the message you have received wherein "We've noticed that customers who have purchased or rated The Aristocrats [DVD] [2005] have also purchased Jim Jefferies Alcoholocaust [DVD] on DVD. For this reason, you might like to know that Jim Jefferies Alcoholocaust [DVD] will be released on 8 November 2010.  You can pre-order yours for just £11.93 by following the link below." is sent in error as purchased instead of pre-ordered.

This situation was the result of a technical error, and I'm truly sorry for any inconvenience caused.

Rest assured that the DVD "Jim Jefferies Alcoholocaust [DVD]" is not yet released and the customers have pre-ordered this DVD.

The BOF is highly amused that that the words "technical error" are themselves a technical error: they should have read "company policy". He is disappointed that the lawyer involved in drafting this email has not signed it. No ordinary mortal is capable, without giggling, of using the construction ...the message you have received wherein "We've noticed that customers who have purchased... 

Amazon can "rest assured" that the BOF will try to keep this one alive.

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