17 November 2010

Amazon UX failing with failure

I ordered a couple of books from Amazon through a third party supplier. However, after a month's wait, I've now been informed that one of the books I ordered cannot be supplied. Annoying but it happens.

However, I noticed that several other suppliers claim to have the book in stock. Great, I can order one. But I want to make sure that I don't order from the supplier I tried before as I will just get an 'out of stock' reply - and waiting one month to get this is not going to make me happy. I could order 2 or more copies which will guarantee that I order from a different supplier but I shouldn't have to do that.

Okay next step - let's examine my orders and see who the supplier is.

Nothing.

Just the other book that was delivered. No mention of the book that couldn't be supplied. Now I cannot find out who the supplier was.

However, gmail came to the rescue and I was able to find out who the supplier was so all is okay. But I had to augment Amazon with my own stored emails.

So my question is why does Amazon not keep a record of the actual order? It feels a little bit like 1984 with un-books rather than un-persons and a little bit unsettling, particularly as I run my own business and have to account for every order and purchase. I'm sure there is a business decision somewhere that makes sense internally to Amazon, but to this customers, it leaves the UX leaving a little (and only a little) to be desired.
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