Dear @Amazon, please make returning mis-shipped packages easier to return


By Silus Grok
Recently a package was delivered to my house from your company. Unfortunately, we did not order anything from you. My wife proceeded to do the right thing. She contacted customer service and informed them of the error. Customer service said UPS would stop by and pickup the package. Two days passed and UPS did not come to pickup the package.

by Tomas Fano
I decided to bring the package to work. Our regular UPS driver is very responsive and reliable.

I contacted customer service to get a return label for the package and setup a pickup. It took 15 minutes to explain the simple concept that I did not order the items in the box and that the package needed to be returned. Your rep would ask me for the order number or the name of the account that ordered the package. How could I discern this information unless I opened the package? A couple of times the rep would repeat that the item was a gift for me. The package was not addressed to me, how could this be the case? Finally, I was able to convince the rep that package needed to be returned. The rep generated a return label and emailed it to me. Half the issue was taken care of.

The other half, the rep expected me to walk the package to a UPS shipping counter. I do not think so, this is someone else error. After several more minutes, I was able to convince the rep to schedule a pickup at my office. Finally, task complete.

It took 25 minutes to do the right thing. This should have been solved in two days prior and in as little of 5 minutes of effort.

Amazon, please improve the process for returning mis-shipped packages. This should be quick and easy.

Thank you for taking a look at this post.

Pentax Online Support Chat Rocks

There I was, scrounging for my Pentax K-7 manual. It was no where to be found. Luckly, Pentax publishes all of their manuals online. However, today the support site was experiencing an issue with the manuals. I could not download the one I needed.

A top the page they have a link for live chat support. Honestly, Dell and HP online chat support reps have poor reputation in my book. It often takes much longer to resolve simple issues via chat rather than calling.

However, in the case of Pentax, the support was quick, efficient and best of all in clear English. The rep I interacted with did not respond using a prescribed script. He honestly read my question and responded concisely and effectively. The full chat is copied below.



Edit: Link provided by Pentax support for the Pentax k-7 Manual:

Please wait while we find an agent to assist you...
You have been connected to Edward.
Edward: Thank you for contacting Pentax Chat Support. I'm Edward,
and how may I help you?
Stephen Wilson: I'm attempting to download the english manual for
the K-7 however, it's not working. I've tried two different browsers
and checked other sites to ensure Acrobat is installed correctly.
Everything seems to be fine with my system. Is the site having
Stephen Wilson: If the site is having issues, is it possible to get
the manual a different way?
Edward: It may be at the moment. Let me get you a different
link to try.
Stephen Wilson: ok, thank you
Edward: Try this one.
Stephen Wilson: That worked perfectly, thank you!
Edward: You're quite welcome!
Edward: Will there be anything else?
Stephen Wilson: That was it
Edward: Thank you for contacting Pentax, If you are in need of
further assistance, call our technical support center at 800-877-0155.
Edward G.
Pentax Imaging Technical Support
Thank you for using InstantService. You may now close this window.
Your session has ended. You may now close this window.

Stop and think it through – Broadstripe tech fails to do so

Broadstripe tech calls customer to see if he’s home but the customer’s VoIP line is down. This is entertaining to me, looking in from the outside. A Broadstripe customer’s internet connection has been down for a couple days. A Broadstripe tech was to stop by and replace the cable modem. Turns out the tech called the house and didn’t get an answer. The tech assumed no one was home and continued to his next call. Well, the customer has VoIP with Broadstripe. VoIP cannot function without an internet connection… That is the very reason why the Broadstripe tech was sent out.

Call from Broadstripe – Upgrading the network @earningstripes

Just received a call from Broadstripe letting me there maybe some intermittent outages while they work to upgrade the network in my area.

I always appreciate preemptive communication from my vendors. The call covered the basis of what I wanted to know:

What… Broadstripe Cable
When… Over the next couple days
Where.. My service area
Why….. Upgrading the network to provide new and improved services.

I’ve never seen this from Broadstripe’s peers. Broadstripe seems to be making genuine strides to improve service.

Suggestions for @CrumplerUS website

The FAQ states “Just mail your bag to a Crumpler HQ…” However, the only address listed on the site is not labeled “Crumpler HQ”. For clarity, it’s preferable clearly reference information in copy. For example, if Crumpler, 29 Wythe Ave, Brooklyn, New York, 11211 is the correct address for “Crumpler HQ” it should be labeled as such. Another option is to place the address in the FAQ. Unfortunately, the FAQ blindly references the address.

Another unhappy Broadstripe customer

In Reed’s blog post he explains some common complaints with Broadstripe in the Seattle area. In summary, poor speeds, network issues and questionable business practices.

What’s really cool about Reed’s experience is that is was very similar to mine. Though a difference is the cancellation procedure. When I initially canceled my service, they honored my request over the phone compared to Reed needing to fax in his request.

I compared Clear with Broadstripe for about a month. My experience was different with my comparison. I saw poor performance with high bandwidth applications on Clear. In contrast, Broadstripe could handle my needs a little better.

Reed, if you get a chance to see this post, please take at my others about Broadstripe and Clear. I think you will identify with my issues of choosing the lesser of two evils. Also, please check UPTUN. UPTUN is working to improve the situation in the Broadstripe served areas. Lastly, send a link to your post to the Broadstripe Twitter account, @earningstripes. You’ll maybe surprised at how receptive they are to your experience.

Some more general resources for Seattle folks:

Muni Networks
Seattle Gov’s Cable Office

Sys-admins at Facebook handled the outage like professionals

Today, Facebook experienced a two and half hour outage. For sites of this size, it’s a very big issue to be unavailable. An outage translates to lost revenue, a tarnished brand and customer ill will. However, the Sys-Admins mitigated the ramifications of the outage with grace and tact.

The Facebook admins first took responsibility for the outage. Their statement took full responsibility without conditions. Second, the Admins explained the root cause of the issue in enough detail for the average tech savvy person to follow. Finally they laid out their solution in terms everyone could understand. The statement handled everyones concerns in an excellent way.

Read the full statement regarding the outage today.