October 21, 2004

Amazon Emergencies Made Easy

Clip this, print this, PDA this, memorize this. Because sooner or later, you're going to need it.

From the invaluable Kevin Kelly's Cool Tools

Amazon's 800 number
Impossible to find on the web site

On average I've ordered from Amazon once a week for the last four years or so. Not just books, but power tools, toys, kitchen stuff, the whole lot. Given the volume of my orders I think their customer service is super great; it sets the gold standard for other companies. No other merchant online or offline has provided the ease and accuracy of ordering as Amazon does. Still, in my experience there are occasionally glitches that their email-bots can't deal with, usually entailing a minor billing snafu. In these rare cases you need Amazon.com's almost-secret real-person customer service telephone number. You won't find it on their website. I once got it by calling 800 directory assistance. In any case, they make it hard to find because a call costs Amazon more, so you should jot down these numbers for those special moments when only a human will do:

1.800.201.7575 (Toll free, US and Canada)
1.206.346.2992 or (Outside US and Canada)
1.877.586.3230 (Canada only)

Last year, an old friend called wrapped in a tsunami of rage and frustration. He too is a heavy Amazon abuser and gotten himself into some sort of high-impact Amazon email ground loop. He needed a human with a voice. But of course Amazon doesn't really believe in this. He had searched for hours on the web site and informed me that he was sitting in his tub, had poured gasoline on himself, and was going to light his last votive candle if I couldn't give him the number. Luckily for him and his neighbors, I did.

Not everyone will be so fortunate. So, don't call me. Use the numbers above. At least until the volume of calls increases and Amazon changes the number to something unlisted.

[Republished as a Public Service]

Posted by Vanderleun at October 21, 2004 12:58 PM | TrackBack

The problem being, of course, if too many people get it, they'll shut it down.

Posted by: Dean Esmay at June 23, 2004 04:12 AM

If Amazon isn't willing to trust me with their customer service phone number, then I'm not willing to trust them to process my order and accurately bill my credit card. Both trust and distrust are two way streets, IMHO. Indeed.

Posted by: Vulgorilla at October 21, 2004 10:47 AM

I haven't had the kind of problems with amazon that require the 800 number, but just try getting hold of people at Blogger.

(Yes I am switching to MT.)

Posted by: Yehudit at October 21, 2004 10:59 AM
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