A few weeks ago I tried to order a Verizon Wireless Novatel Wireless MiFi from Amazon for my wife as a birthday present. I was tipped off to the pricing deal of one cent by Gizmo's Michael Robertson and felt since I was going to order one for her, the price savings was worth buying via Amazon vs. going through my sales rep. WRONG.
After placing the order, a few hours later I received an email from Amazon saying Verizon Wireless' ACE team needed more details. So I called and was shuttled to four different people before the truth came out. There wasn't any issue with my credit, as the letter implied, nor was any of the information I supplied inaccurate. Nor at any point in time did Amazon ask a disqualifying question about my already being a customer of Verizon Wireless, which was their justification for bouncing the order.
In the three weeks that have passed, I have not heard a peep back from Amazon despite two contacts (one by email-which is useless and another via their web forms) to my comments that no where on the web page (but maybe in the clickware agreement) does it say EXISTING VERIZON WIRELESS CUSTOMERS ARE NOT ELIGIBLE FOR THIS.
What it does say on the web page is:
Price: $0.01 (with new service plan)
So, what part of NEW wasn't NEW when I went to buy a NEW MiFi with a NEW service plan for a NEW person to join the Verizon Wireless family of customers?
In all the years of being a loyal Amazon customer, I found this matter to be totally distasteful. I'm fine with the rationale, but now three weeks later the web page still omits any reference to NEW CUSTOMERS ONLY, so you have to figure that it's more than likely the person who read the terms and conditions and the person who writes the web copy are in two different departments that never TALK to one another. But since Amazon is a company that doesn't want to TALK to customers (or write back to customers either it seems) one has to wonder if the guiding principals of the company are being marginalized.
I've contacted my corporate rep about this at Verizon Wireless, and now that I'm heading back to the west coast I intend to pursue this with the Amazon PR folks, as I said to the reps I would. Given it's been almost three weeks since the incident they've had a fair amount of time to change things with the offer, but they haven't, which tells me that at Amazon no one is reading, listening or hearing. They're just selling.
This reminds me of Starbucks, and how the mighty can fall, when you're not listening to your most loyalist of customers.
P.S. Just for laughs I redid an order today stopping after reading the agreements. Unless I missed it buried in the mouse size type, nowhere did I see anything about NEW CUSTOMER mentioned.