Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Little England (Computer says, “No")

I recently decided I wanted to buy an accessory for my digital camera. After some searching on the Web, I decided to get it from Amazon UK. In order to use the accessory, I also needed a far cheaper adaptor, which was also available at Amazon UK.

Into the "shopping basket" went the two items, but at the "checkout" I noticed a warning message that the far cheaper item could not be delivered to my selected delivery address, my address in Spain in other words.

Strange, as the object did not fall under any EU trade restrictions and so could normally be moved freely from one EU member state to another.

I therefore stopped the purchasing procedure and sent off a message to the company that provided the item:

I have tried to purchase a Replacement 40.5mm-52mm Camera Metal Filter Step Up Ring Adapter, sold by your company through, but at the checkout I am told that the item cannot be delivered to the country in which I live, namely Spain (part of the EU).
Is this correct?
Thank you in advance.
David Neale

The following day, I received the following reply:

Thanks for your inquiry. Sorry that our delivery service cannot reach (Spain ) [SIC] yet. Sincerely sorry for any trouble caused. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. Have a great day!Best regards,Emily

We shall ignore the Americanese of the "Have a great day!" salutation (have you ever been to Disneyworld/land/thingy?) and instead consider the problems that the company must face.

Presumably, they have already sent out expeditionary forces, that must have been held back by the great natural might that is the Pyrenees; or perhaps their very own G-G-G-Granville found difficulties, trying to cross the Channel on his delivery bike… Whatever the reason, how pathetic is it, that a company advertising its wares on the World Wide Web, a company based in the European Union, is unable to deliver a small packet to a customer in another state of that same European Union? After all, we are living in the twenty-first century, we have set foot on both the North Pole and the South Pole, we have sent men to the moon, we have sent machines to roam the red plains of Mars, we have sent probes to the farthest edges of the Universe…

But our delivery service cannot reach (Spain) yet. And, oh, the mystery of the bracketed country name, as if dear Emily is not really sure of its existence.

Okay, let's accept that the company might usually make use of its own delivery service. Even so, when a customer asks for an item that can easily fit into a small padded envelope, all that company need do to satisfy the customer is to say:

Thank you for your enquiry. Normally, our delivery service does not extend to Spain, but we can, of course, send the item you require through normal postal channels.

But, no, that was clearly too much of an effort and reeked of customer service, so instead, the company lost the sale and, as a result, Amazon UK also lost the sale of the much more expensive item that I was going to buy.

I found both items at an online store in Germany and that store can deliver to Spain.

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