Hello, I ordered a book on amazon.com ("The Art of the Matrix"), a collector's item. I was extremly disapointed with your service: this book was sold as new, but when it got here the cover was *cut through* right in the middle and the sides were damaged. In these conditions even a "gently used" book would have been in better condition and worth more money. I live in France, and I ordered from amazon.com rather than some random internet site because I'm used to your usually high standarts; this just makes this incident even more shocking to me. I want to return this book for a new one in *perfect* condition, and if you are not in a position to exchange it then I want a complete refund, including the shipping costs to return the book. Please tell me what to do to return the book.

Awaiting your quick answer, ...

À peine 20 minutes plus tard - en même temps au moment où j'ai envoyé ce mail correspondait à la pleine journée aux USA, mais on notera tout de même la réactivité de la muerte -, voici la réponse du service clients Amazon US :

Thanks for contacting us at Amazon.com.

I am sorry for the problem you experienced with your shipment.

I've placed a new order for the "The Art of the Matrix" to be shipped to you as soon as possible. To ensure that your order is delivered quickly and efficiently, and that these items are not held up by delays in customs clearance procedures, we create a replacement order with charges when an international order is lost, damaged, or incorrect.

The charge for this order is $XX.xx. We're also refunding the same amount to your original order. Both the charge and refund will be applied to the credit card used on the original order; the refund should be processed within the next 2-3 business days.

Please note that the refund you receive will be issued in your local currency and will be calculated with the same rate used when you placed your order. However, we're only able to charge replacement orders in US Dollars.

Here are the details of the new order:

Order Number : XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX Shipping Speed : Priority International Courier Estimated Delivery Date : December 01, 2008 - December 03, 2008

Please send the original item back to us via an economical air mail method. If the item was part of a set, please return the entire set. We will refund your credit card for this expense. Mail your return to:

[...]

After you have returned the item, please tell us what your return shipping costs were.

[...]

Best regards,

XXXX XXXXXXXXXXX Amazon.com Customer Service

Wow, pas mal en 20 minutes. Dans un premier temps[1], j'ai interprété "If the item was part of a set, please return the entire set." comme signifiant que je devais leur retourner l'intégralité de ma commande - y compris les autres livres qui eux n'étaient pas abîmés... "do not want!", quoi. C'est ainsi que je me suis fendu d'un second mail au service client, pour leur demander si il n'y aurait pas moyen de ne leur retourner que l'article endommagé. Leur réponse m'a pour ainsi dire laissé sur le cul :

Thanks for contacting us at Amazon.com.

I have read our previous communication with you, and I'm sorry that all of your concerns were not resolved. I can assure you that we do strive to exceed our customers' expectations, but we did not accomplish that in this case. Please allow me to try to provide a resolution for you.

As the cost of return shipping is prohibitively expensive in this case, you do not need to return the original items.

You can keep the damaged books with you as a good will with our compliments or you can donate it to some school or library.

We are aware that our choice of delivery services reflects on our business as a whole, and we appreciate your feedback. I've forwarded your message to our shipping department, as I know they will want to read about your experience.

However, I see that a replacement order #XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX has been created for the damaged book "The Art of the Matrix (Hardcover)". The delivery date for this order is : December 1, 2008 - December 3, 2008.

I hope this solution is satisfactory. Once again I apologize for any inconvenience. Please note that we are here to make things easy for you and we avoid each and every loss to our valuable customers.

Rest assured that you no need to return the damaged items. I have also made a note on your account that there is no need of returning the damaged book as the cost of the return shipping charges will be high.

Heeeeeyyyy mais \o/, quoi ! Du coup je ne sais pas trop ce que je vais faire de l'exemplaire en sale état, peut-être effectivement l'offrir à une bibliothèque ou le vendre une misère à quelqu'un que ça intéresse. Toujours est-il que je suis sidéré par le professionnalisme et la fibre commerciale d'Amazon US : les (e-)boutiques françaises feraient bien d'en prendre de la graine, c'te bande de crevures !

EDIT : seconde livraison en express par UPS sans aucun frais supplémentaire : un livre neuf sous blister sans aucun choc. La classe jusqu'au bout.

Notes

[1] Car dans un deuxième temps, Linnet m'a suggéré qu'il fallait plutôt comprendre "si un des éléments d'un set", par exemple si un DVD d'un jeu de trois DVD d'un même coffret.