Thanks theguardian: no more Amazon jungle

by Stephen Tall on September 14, 2005

Well, I’m still not wholly convinced by the new-look theguardian (c) – their front-page after England captured the Ashes just so missed the mark (left).

I mean, I know they’re trying to eschew the self-counsciously studenty SHOUTING front pages the Indy loves, but… They’ve got state-of-the-art colour printing presses, a new format and the one of the most photogenic good news stories of the year. Talk about a showcase. And they turn it into a dour, run-of-the-mill, ‘whatever’ affair. A shame.

But huge kudos to their comic supplement G2 for managing to get some response from Amazon. I realise Amazon can only keep their costs low by not responding to people who fear they’ve deleted the internets if they click on ‘Buy’. But on the few occasions I’ve really needed to get in touch with them to sort out some cock-up on my/their part it’s been hugely frustrating. Not now!

How to find a human being at Amazon

For years Peter Chapman of London was a carefree Amazon customer, until a cruel truth dawned on him: in cyberspace, no one can her you scream when you have problems with your shopping.

“They’ve built a wall round themselves to avoid direct contact with anyone,” he says, reflecting on his vain attempts to return an erroneous delivery. “They email me but won’t accept replies. There’s no postal address and no phone number. They allow communication only via their website but that didn’t allow me to report that part of my order was wrong.”

Amazon defends its cyber complaints policy as being convenient and efficient (for itself, presumably). Happily, Consumer possesses a rare treasure: Amazon’s press office number. Within days of our intervention Chapman was speaking to flesh and blood. At this point everyone should get out paper and pen, for here is a prize indeed – an old-fashioned telephone number to get you through to customer services (once you’ve exhausted the web route). That number is 0800 279 6620. If you cannot get through on that, try 020-8636 9451.