Amazon Cancels Christmas… They Were Probably Busy With Drones.

I have been a very good and loyal customer of Amazon… until now.

Last night I received an unexpected email from Amazon that read (and I quote): Hello James B. Sweeney, We’re writing to inform you that your order has been canceled because the item you purchased is out of stock.

I was a little concerned from the outset, since I NEVER go by the title James. Then I read that my order was canceled. The thing is, I ordered this product two weeks ago and it was CLEARLY in stock when I ordered it. But even more interesting is that I had this product on my “save for later wish list” for more than a year. And at least once a month, Amazon sent me an email asking me if I was ready to buy it.

But then, when I did buy it, they canceled the order. ONE WEEK BEFORE CHRISTMAS. Suddenly my head is filled with memories of that Seinfeld episode in which Jerry tries to explain to the idiot rental car agent that “you know how to take the reservation, you just don’t know how to hold the reservation and that’s really the most important part…”.

And hey, here’s a good trivia question, do you know how many people you can talk to at Amazon about your customer service issues? The answer is ZERO.

Five years ago I canceled my eBay card because the company’s service sucked so bad… and someone hacked my Paypal account. Today I am wondering if I should do the same with Amazon.

Jeff Bezos spent a lot of money to acquire Zappos; maybe he can learn a lesson from Tony Hsieh:  Spend a little less time playing with delivery drones and a little more time treating customers like they matter. And remember, this is the holiday season of giving… not canceling. Jerks.

Jim Sweeney


Jim is a veteran of the agency industry and the founder of Sweeney. He is uncommonly passionate about the idea of creating and implementing insanely great marketing campaigns that achieve insanely great results. He pioneered the full-service, full-circle agency model and continues to forge new ideas in an ever-changing industry. And he is accessible to everyone about anything, seemingly all the time, serving as a mentor to all agency personnel and clients.