I spent the past couple days in a twitter fight with Amazon.
And I must say, that I no longer have a total problem with robots taking over the jobs of real people. At least when it comes to customer service.
On Tuesday, I placed an order for a few items that were supposed to be delivered between 4:00 and 8:00 AM on Wednesday. At 4:26 AM on Wednesday, the status was listed as “Out for delivery”. By noon on Thursday when I left work, the delivery status still had not changed. So I began sending messages to the customer service account. And got no response.
Once I started tagging Jeff Bezos in every message, someone finally responded. (All of their tweets end with someone’s initials. I assume, so they can track which actual rep was replying to each message). Though, all I would get was standard cut and paste generic replies. Then I mentioned how the unchanged status gave me the impression that one of their employees may have stolen or thrashed my order. At that point I got a more “real” reply and my complaint was officially handed over to their operations team to investigate.
Afterwards I received an email from the Ops employee looking into my issue, that simply stated “the driver says he doesn’t see the package in his van” and a few minutes later, the status of my order was changed to “DELIVERED”!
That set me off in a tirade of even more angry tweets, and they responded with even more cut and paste generic replies, basically telling me to “keep waiting”, while they just ignore my problem and hope it goes away.
Which brings me to this morning.
I finally requested their customer service line to call me (you can’t call them, they have to call you), hoping to speak to a real person. Instead there was a robot on the other end of the phone. Which annoyed me at first. But within 30 seconds this robot asked me the question that none of the real people would ask: “Would you like us to resend the order?”
In several of my semi-angry tweets, I even mentioned how this was just a small order, it would be easy to just pack a new box and ship it out again. But none of those “real people” would even consider using that option. If they would have said that in the beginning, there would have been no real issue. I would not have been angry. I would have just moved on with my life rather quickly.
Instead, I have discovered that robots now really are much smarter and easier to deal with than actual humans.
I, for one, welcome our new robot overlords!