I’m going to have to stop using Amazon

It’s becoming impossible to use Amazon any more. 

Here they’ve decided to use courier companies to send out books, instead of putting them in the post.  Stuff that is sent by post arrives.  If it does not, it’s taken to a local depot and you can pick it up.

Courier companies are set up to deal with companies, where there is someone there all the time.  To cover their own backsides — not for any other reason — they demand signatures.  Normal people do not sit at home all the time.  So you won’t be there when they call.  So they won’t leave the book.  And … they don’t allow you to call them, they don’t have a local depot.  All they give you is a premium-rate phone line with a robot on it, which asks “which working day will you be there all day on?”

So … you don’t get your books, and you get thrown into a problem.  I’ve written to Amazon demanding to cancel the order, and threatening to sue them.  Why should I be the only one to suffer?  I’m going to have to do without that book, that’s for sure!

Meanwhile … can anyone tell me who else I can order books from that will actually send them out?


18 thoughts on “I’m going to have to stop using Amazon

  1. For me residing in Scandinavia they have always been cheaper than Amazon. I don’t know if they are faster or slower at shipping than Amazon, but hopefully you’ll be satisfied with their services. Good luck.

  2. If you are a teacher, there is probably a department secretary or some office for your department. Have your Amazon books sent to your office, and have the secretary sign for them.

    The trick is simply to find where in your life you are associated with an office where there is a receptionist or guard, and have THAT person be the person that the delivery person is giving the book to.

  3. That is what people tend to do. It works so long as (a) you are at work in such an office (b) you trust the office post system (one company I worked for signed for but then discarded in a heap all personal parcels!).

  4. Roger you are missing the point. You have to set it up not to have the book delivered to YOU at work, but at someone who sits at the front desk or a department office. Almost every institution has that. The trick is to FIND that person. It might be three people. For example, I worked at Qwest in a building that had a guard at the front desk. There were three cause they worked 8 hour shifts. I simply talked to those people and let them know occassionally i would have things delivered, and would they sign for it. I bought them each a bottom of wine at xmas time. It worked for everyone. They liked doing me this personal favor and felt honored that I would ask them to be my drop off person. It worked for me cause I could be at vacation in france (that’s a dream, not a reality, but you get the point) but there was always someone “working for me” ready to accept a package.

    Perhaps at a college it is the department secretary. Perhaps it is the human resources office. But i can tell you, at every university, there is someone, that sits at a desk all day, that can accept a UPS package. you just have to find that person at your university.

    Cheers! webulite@gmail.com

  5. Another suggestion… Use your local pub. There is always a bartender on staff. Find a nice local pub that opens at 10am. Just become a regular and stop off there once or twice a week, and have a beer, and chat with the bar tender, and give him a nice tip. And if it’s a good local bar, they will be handing you any books that have come for you since your last visit with your beer, and a big grin, and a “another book came for you yesterday Mr Holmes.” It’s a great social thing to. Like an old 19th century men’s club.

    Recommended note – pick a nice locally owned (so there is no stupid corporate rules against it), non-strip club type pub that is right on your drive or walk home from work. Perhaps a bar/restaurant, that you can become a lunch regular at.

    Have it be the kind of place that you meet colleagues off hours, and that place will actually become a sort of remote office, where the bartender gets to think of you as “that book guy”, and looks forward to seeing you, and you end up having a great social “home” which is a good thing to have for any good citizen.

    Cheers! webulite@gmail.com

  6. One final solution. Sorry, did I say final solution, i mean, alternate solution.

    Learn enough about robotics, to build yourself a stepford wife like robot. Make it REALLY HOT so that the currier service will always make your delivery FIRST and will never forget your house.

  7. I use betterworldbooks.com since they have a lot of cheap and rare stuff (used and new) plus their international shipping is much cheaper than most other online booksellers.

  8. Thanks for the tips.

    Amazon, bless them, have agreed to refund me for the book which is floating around somewhere in the hands of the dratted courier. They are such a good company. But until they make it possible for us to choose Royal Mail as delivery, without signatures, I don’t see how I can use them.

  9. Amazon uses UPS here in the US; while they may, in their private perfect world, require a signature, a note taped to the front door saying,’please leave the parcel’, with my name and signature, has always worked for me. I suppose that if I lived in a less peaceful part of the world I might not be able to utilise this ‘workaround’.

  10. Hi Roger,

    Use abe.com and specify no courier in the comments. Or use Ilab.

    Also, with abe.com or ilab you can e-mail the dealer directly and tell the person how you want it shipped.

    Fedex is a rotten way to go where I live. Do I have stories of their incompetence! And lack of accountability!


  11. I feel for you. Sometimes the express companies will let me sign their slip in the morning and leave it on my door, and then I get my stuff. Sometimes the apartment people collect my packages and then give them to me, and that’s also okay.

    But there are other waves of time when packages just don’t come, and there’s at least one book that the package company sent back to Amazon. (Not a normal easy to find book, either.)

    But the worst was when I ordered the DVD from Iceland, and had to go to the post office and sign for it because it went through customs, and of course I wasn’t there in the afternoon to greet the mailman. Super annoying!

  12. It’s actually funny, if you think about it. All of us go out to work, so none of us are at home. But all the mail and courier companies behave as if all of us were super-rich and had a staff of servants permanently on hand to take deliveries!

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