Contrasts in customer service: Newegg and Amazon

Here’s a little story that perfectly captures the differences in customer service and care companies choose to use, and how it has consequences for them.

Several weeks ago I pre-ordered ‘Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning’ for the PS3 (terrible name but the game is pretty good) from Newegg.com because they had it for $15 off. The day it was supposed to ship, they alerted me to a billing failure and asked me to correct it, which I did (somehow, the expiration date on my CC was wrong, which was hard to explain since they had it in their database and I did not change it). 10 minutes after I update my billing they charge me and tell me my order has been processed. 10 minutes after this, they email me to tell me my order was cancelled and they would refund my money in 2-3 days. Digging around, I discovered a lot of folks who had pre-ordered the game from Newegg had also had their pre-orders cancelled after their credit card was charged.

I’ve done business with Newegg for a long time and generally had really good experiences with them, so I was willing to cut them a little slack and, giving them the benefit of the doubt, chalk this up to automated systems misfiring, but this was still pretty irritating.

Anyway, I managed to pre-order the game for the full retail price on Amazon that same day, and several days later had the game and was playing it, only for $15 more than I had planned to pay. 3 days later, Newegg refunded my money. a week after that, Amazon sent me a no strings attached $20 gift card because they had dropped the price of the game on their site and were honoring their price protection guarantee.

!!!!

Get the difference there? Newegg, possibly scamming me or maybe just a little incompetent. No apology, and they sit on my money for 3-4 days. Amazon, bending over backwards to make sure I remain a happy customer.

Today when I had to order some parts for a gift I’m putting together for my nephew’s birthday, guess where I shopped?

Actions have consequences and all that.

New Year’s resolutions

I’m a bit behind, granted. I have a good excuse – came down with pneumonia and it really knocked the stuffing out of me. I’m just starting to feel myself again after fighting this off for three weeks, and I’m still fighting a cough and dealing with fatigue issues. Anyway, I made two resolutions this year: To get back on track with my diet and exercise regimen, and to follow an example I set myself several years ago with my buying habits.

The diet and exercise resolution has turned out to be easy thanks to the bout of pneumonia. My weight had been creeping up and by this fall I was over 180 for the first time in a number of years, something I had begun to worry about. Stomach issues and a generally slacker attitude to exercise had me off my regimen for almost all of the summer and fall, so I figured, time for a new years resolution to address it. Pressures off now though – I’m down under 170 for the first time in at least 4-5 years. I just need to keep it off. As soon as my stamina is back it’s back on the exercise regimen, possibly adding in running, which I haven’t done regularly since I left Maine.

The second resolution is inspired by a successful resolution from years ago. At that time I had gotten addicted to buying books off of Abe books, ebay, and Amazon, and my to-read pile was growing faster than my read pile was decreasing. I resolved to only buy a book after I had finished at least one, and to generally focus on bringing down the number of books in the to-read pile. It worked. I still have a huge to-read pile (>20 books) but it no longer grows and it’s no longer close to 100 books. This year I’m applying these principles to videogames, because my to-play pile is like 15 games at this point and maybe higher. I’ve resolved to not buy a new game unless I finish one, and to focus on finishing off games I’ve left partially completed. I have this terrible habit of starting whatever new game I acquire, playing it obsessively for a week or two until the next game comes, then moving on, rarely finishing anything. No more! I’m working my way through games at a rapid clip, and not opening anything still in the shrinkwrap until I knock games off the list. So far it’s working – I’ve finished 4-5 games since the year began, and this was with me unable to play games for two weeks thanks to the pneumonia.

I’m such a hopeless nerd.

I’ve also put myself on a budget. Mint.com rocks for helping you see where you spend your money. I spend too much of mine on games, and that’s stopping as well.

Anyway, to sum up a rambling post, figure on a lot of  ‘Game finished’ posts from me, especially over the next couple of months, as I focus on a game at a time instead of flitting from game to game.