Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Why Amazon Is Taking Over the World

So I finished my first square for the World's Biggest Christmas Stocking. It was fun, and when I finished I wanted to make another one. So I picked a new pattern and ordered yarn for it from Yarnspirations, the company that's donating some money to a charity whenever you buy a skein of yarn from them. That was the seventeenth.

It's now the twenty-second and my package still hasn't arrived.

I got a note from the company with a tracking number. Okay, cool, let's see where my box is.

I poke around a bit, and first thing I see is that it takes them at least two business days to just pack your box and get it out of the warehouse. Umm, okay. Two days after I order something from Amazon, it shows up at my doorstep about 90% of the time, and that's without expedited shipping. (And that's just two days, not two business days, unless the second day is a Sunday, and sometimes even then.) But okay, I live in Seattle; I'll bet not everyone gets service that fast from Amazon, and I don't know where Yarnspirations is shipping from.

I go looking for their tracking system. Clicking on the tracking number in the e-mail takes me to a general page where they're trying to sell me a bunch of stuff. Down in a lower corner is a big red button that says "View Order History." Okay, would've been nice to go there straight from the tracking number, but whatever. I click on the big red button.

I've ordered from them twice, and there's a line item for each one. The order from the seventeenth is on top, and... it says "Complete."

Funny, I don't consider that order complete, seeing as how I don't have it in my hands yet.

I click on "View" to, presumably, get more info about this order. I get my name and address, and what I ordered, what it cost, payment method, that sort of thing. Under "Shipping Method" it says "Shipping Option - US Standard Shipping." Wow, that's incredibly generic. USPS? UPS? FedEx? Ralph's Tricycle Fleet...? Anything? No clue. There's a tracking number with no-kidding twenty-two digits in it, but it's not clickable. And since I don't know which company they gave my box to, I can't try plugging that huge number into anyone else's tracking system either.

Oh, but there's a button to one side that says "Track This Shipment." Cool, that must be what I want, so I click on it.

It says:

Shipment #100024731
GM-SPE: 9261293250801316909589

and nothing else, with two "Close Window" buttons, one above and one below. That's the order number, which was on my e-mail, and the tracking number I got on the previous page, which makes this tracking page perfectly un-helpful.

And that's about it. Short of putting in some kind of help ticket, I have no way of getting any more info. I'm hoping that by the time they'd have gotten back to me, I'll have my package. [crossed fingers] Tomorrow, maybe? The seventeenth and twentieth are two business days during which they hopefully got my yarn packed, and tomorrow is the twenty-third, which would give three days for actual transit. I don't remember how long the first one took to arrive, so I can't make a comparison there.

Maybe it's my fault. I haven't done any knitting in at least half a dozen years or so, and starting up again has re-kindled my enthusiasm for it. I did most of my knitting while sitting here watching Netflix on my computer. It took me about ten days to knit my square, and apparently it only takes ten days to burn in that habit; it now feels weird sitting here watching TV online without something to do with my hands. That makes me a little more eager than I was before.

But still, seriously, if it gets here tomorrow, it will have been almost a week. And their order tracking system doesn't deserve the name; it just ticked me off. If Amazon does end up taking over the retail world, as so many hysterics keep screaming will happen, this will be why -- faster, superior service.

I for one will welcome our Amazonian overlords. I wish they'd take over this yarn vendor and whip them into shape.

Angie, listening with annoyed impatience for a knock on the door


Charles Gramlich said...

this sounds like a fictional "yarn" to me. :)

Angie said...

Charles -- [snort] I wish it were. Still waiting for my box....


G. B. Miller said...

I was about to chime in on how Amazon is pretty good with shipping when I decided to re-examine your post more closely (still ain't a functioning unit at 6:30 in the morning on a work day) and realized you were beefing on a normal retailer.

I do agree with you that if normal retailers can't get their collective act together when it comes to shipping product to customers, they will lose them to Amazon. It isn't that difficult to use either UPS or USPS when it comes to shipping.

Angie said...

G.B. -- that's it exactly. So many people are whining that Amazon's taking over retail with their evilness, but I don't consider prompt service and clear package tracking to be particularly evil. And if Yarnspirations can't actually let me track my package, they shouldn't pretend they can. No tracking system at all would be much better than one that doesn't work. [sigh]

Next time I need basic acrylic yarn, I'll be looking on Amazon first. I don't even know whether they carry it, but I'll find out. I was buying from Yarnspirations because of the charitable donation, but I can send them a check myself.

Angie, who did get her package on the 23rd