You Ain’t A Crook, Son.

March 10th, 2010 by | Tags: , , , ,

I quote:

Okay. You ordered a bunch of Marvel Omnibus titles from Amazon as part of The $14.99 Glitch and they’ve been cancelled. You probably knew they would do. But you may have received a previous e-mail saying that you would get at least one at the magic price. Or maybe Amazon never got round to emailing you at all, they just deleted the order from your account. And you’re feeling a bit miffed.

I’m geting reports that people who have complained, even using the Amazon Call Me Back feature on the website, have been getting recompense from the multinational online retailer.
Me, I’m not complaining. I don’t think Amazon owe me anything. I understand however, that you may feel differently.

If you feel differently, you’re the laziest kind of crook there is. Tucker Stone breaks the situation down better than I can right now:

But when they get called on it, what do they say?

“I’m going to file a class action lawsuit” – some random infant, repeated exponentially

That’s the kind of response that would make George Washington weep. A class action lawsuit? Really? That’s the legacy you want written across your face, attached forever to your name?

Crime is a holy profession, and to join its brotherhood is to put oneself alongside this country’s greatest heroes. After oil and weapons production, it’s the most successful industry on the planet, with a storied history that stretches further than any religion. Getting caught out in it–even if all you did was take advantage of a gigantic corporation’s obvious pricing error–is something that should be handled with nothing short of the pride of a Dwayne Michael Carter. Playing the hurt consumer in this situation is the equivalent of standing in the door of the bank after the ATM accidently farts out an extra 20 and refusing to hand it over. It’s spitting on the flag, it’s saying that you’re only willing to play the game if everybody agrees to do it by your rules, and your rules are these: you can’t have done anything wrong, because it’s somebody else’s fault.

Amazon doesn’t owe you a single solitary thing. They’d be well within their rights to cancel every order and not lose a few thousand bucks. There’s even a note in their TOS that sometimes, on occasion, books are mispriced, and sucks to be you if they charge you the full price. Until the book ships, they do not charge your card, meaning that there is no sale. That means they owe you nothing until the book leaves their warehouse.

So to call them up and ask for a refund for time wasted ordering obviously mistakenly marked down books makes you something like a jerk. They don’t owe you anything. If anything, you owe them whatever the actual price of the book you ordered was. It’s a blessing that they honored any of the orders, considering it was such an obvious cheat that we were all taking advantage of. I got a few Ultimate Spidey HCs and I’m pretty happy about that. I didn’t get a Tomb of Dracula, but so what? I don’t expect Wal-mart to let me buy eighteen computers that got marked down to 50 bucks because somebody dropped a decimal point, and they’re under no obligation to let me do that.

Basically, don’t be the old lady at Kroger with a fistful of coupons, trying to game the system and score a dozen eggs for free and getting pissed off and demanding recompense when the manager is like “Sorry, we’re all out.” You played the game with a few aces hidden up your sleeve. If you lost, so what? You lost what, ten minutes of your time? A couple megabytes off your bandwidth for the month?

Get real.

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10 comments to “You Ain’t A Crook, Son.”

  1. I come here for original content and you quote somebody else?

    I demand compensation for my time!!!

  2. I recently spoke with a Publix employee who had an irate customer in his line who had a coupon for Kroger store brand eggs that she demanded be applied to the eggs she had brought up to the counter (not sure of they were Publix store brand or not). This customer made enough of a scene that the manager was called and honored the coupon (although obviously Publix does not sell Kroger store brand eggs, their not being Kroger and all) I assume simply to shut the customer up.

    I think the “I’m going to file a class action lawsuit” statement is basically the same approach as the coupon customer. If it works at one retailer, why not another one? It’s pretty obvious that neither retailer owes the customer anything, but if they make enough of a stink they may just get that discount comic or that 0.50 cents off eggs.

  3. @seth hurley: I’m emailing you a coupon for 1 (one) free car washing in exchange!

    @Rottgutt: I did my time in the retail/fast food salt mines, like everyone else should, and I’ve got a pretty jaundiced view on this sort of thing. If you can get over, by all means– go for broke. I do it, you do it, our families do it, everyone we ever learned about in the history books did it, often vigorously.

    At the same time, though, don’t push your luck. Congrats, we mispriced something, but we’re not gonna let you buy two. That’s now how the game works, boss, so get in while the getting’s good and then get out.

  4. That wasn’t just a sale? Huh. Weird. Amazon seems to have sent out a $25 coupon to everyone I guess, since they sent me one even though my items were shipped and my card charged…

    Though the e-mail they sent says its because they over-sold on all the items…

  5. I am a tad annoyed that my Weapon X 2 HC sold out, which I ordered before the whole pricing kerfuffle, but Amazon is still great and the $25 gift certificate was definitely going beyond what was necessary.

  6. […] Personally, I’m embarrassed to get the $25 credit. I ordered a Howard the Duck Omnibus that was already marked “out of stock” when I placed the order. I didn’t really expect to get it, and I didn’t. Getting paid for taking that gamble seems wrong to me. Anyone who thinks otherwise, who was claiming that Amazon “owed” them for their “poor” customer service in refusing to sell books at a loss, needs to read this. […]

  7. Seriously, if they would have said “Sorry, orders canceled” it would have been a bummer but totally acceptable. Oddly, they have not canceled my order, they just shipped one title tonight. AND I got the $25 credit. I feel like I am ripping THEM off.

  8. Whole-heartedly agree. Everyone realized it was a glitch. Are they upset that Amazon’s not honoring a deal they themselves knew was a mistake. The $25 gift cards are a nice PR move for all this and, I think, would be enough of an apology considering most of the books were being sold for $15.

  9. […] they ordered, some feel like Amazon should still honor the price. If you're one of those, David Brothers has some words for you: Amazon doesn’t owe you a single solitary thing. They’d be well within their rights to cancel […]

  10. “I don’t expect Wal-mart to let me buy eighteen computers that got marked down to 50 bucks because somebody dropped a decimal point, and they’re under no obligation to let me do that.”

    How familiar with state laws are you? Denying a customer the purchase of an item at stated price is illegal in many states and Wal-Mart (or any other chain) can be hit with fines for doing this. In fact, store policy for Wal-Mart in general is to please the customer and honor their prices, as it makes them look good in the public’s eyes and they know you’re highly likely to shop there again.