Amazon can’t track parcels once shipped

Amazon CourierAmazon made a cock up of my latest order and this is news! Yes, Amazon are so amazingly great at delivering their products that as far as I can recall this is only the second delivery issue I’ve ever had with them (and the first one wasn’t entirely their fault).

However it has revealed a chink in Amazon’s armour – they are so highly automated that they’re unable to a) track parcels once they’re in the system and b) front line support staff aren’t able to contact their own Amazon Logistics couriers depots.

Amazon Pantry Delivery Box SMThis week on Saturday I placed an Amazon Pantry order – typically delivery is two days for Amazon Pantry so it should have arrived on Tuesday when I’d be home all day. Unfortunately one of the two boxes was misrouted and ended up in Croydon instead of Southampton and I was notified there would be a 24-48 hour delay.

We all know that cock ups happen, especially when operating at scale so I wasn’t that bothered. All I wanted to know from Amazon is would the remainder of my order be delivered on Tuesday or would it be Wednesday?

I wanted to be home as my nominated safe place is the green house and with the baking hot sunny weather the green house temperature has been hitting 100 degrees. I wouldn’t be bothered about general merchandise purchases but food parcels are different. The prospect of boiled orange juice, baked cat food and melted chocolate biscuits isn’t the slightest bit appealing.

Where Amazon’s logistics falls down

This is where Amazon failed, there was a complete inability to find out which day I needed to stay in to receive my shipment. It turned up on Tuesday in the end and I happened to be home, but why couldn’t Amazon confirm this, especially as the parcel was on it’s way to the Southampton depot by 8:28am on the Monday.

I did in the end get an email telling me that Amazon would resolve my issue and reply by email before the 10th of June!

The only other issue I had with Amazon again related to their inability to track parcels once in their system. I had received an item I hadn’t ordered and when I queried it with Amazon it turned out that they have no way to match an Amazon Logistics tracking number to an order. If you know your order number they can tell you the tracking number, but not the other way around.

In this instance it turned out to be a mis-picked product that I’d purchased on eBay. Not surprising I didn’t know why I had received it as I was expecting a totally different item, but if Amazon could have told me from the tracking number that it was shipped for a non-Amazon purchase I might have realised it was an eBay order sooner.

Amazon cock up – The exception rather than the rule

I might be nit picking here and you’ll probably have read this thinking my complaints are trivial… and you’d be right. What it really goes to show is that generally Amazon’s fulfilment capabilities are amazing. That’s why when something goes wrong it’s noteworthy as the exception rather than the rule.