Those of us who work in technology see the need to take expensive, time consuming and/or mundane activities and convert them to streamlined automated processes. Ideally we improve these to the point that they improve accuracy, provide a better experience and can [mostly] be forgotten about. However, not every process fits all of the intended use cases. Maybe a more accurate statement might be that every process isn’t developed to fit every use case. For those of us who are outliers and find ourselves in those process deficiencies, these incomplete processes can create a lot of frustration.
A Little Background
I’ve been an Amazon Prime user for some period of time. I have also been free of a home mailbox for about 18 months and only used a PO Box to receive general mail. As a Prime customer, I regularly place orders with Amazon. Anyone else that has had the experience I’m about to share can probably finish my story.
The problem with this scenario is that each order can only have one delivery address. When the order is placed, there is no way to select the delivery mechanism. So if I list my physical home address, I have no issues as long as the package is NOT delivered by the US Postal Service. If the USPS happens to delivery the package, it goes back as undeliverable to the city’s post office. If I’m lucky, some nice person looks my phone number up and calls me. Otherwise the package is returned to sender.
Ironically enough, my rural route is even served out of a different city’s post office than the one that I have a PO box with (only a couple of miles from my home). If instead of using my home address I use my PO Box for delivery, everything works ONLY when Amazon chooses USPS as the delivery mechanism. The post office will refuse delivery from FedEx and UPS. Since I have to pick the address with the order placement and Amazon subsequently chooses the mechanism of shipment, I literally cannot reliably have Amazon items shipped to me.
Having had two conversations with Amazon and realizing that they don’t have a solution, I simply have to have items shipped to a neighbor’s physical address (one with a mailbox). While this doesn’t fix the problem, it fixes it for me (and my neighbor is very accommodating). The real solution to the problem would be for Amazon to allow me to attach a delivery address to each of their shipping methods. For a company that is a technology company (and Amazon is a technology company), I cannot understand why they don’t realize the need to fix this process and fix the customer experience.
I know this is a rant and it really isn’t that big of a deal to me. However, I can see where it would be a huge hassle for some. The nerve it strikes has more to do with the fact that it is a broken process, could be easily fixed and would make Amazon’s customer experience better for those in situations similar to mine. This would make Amazon Prime a better product and the required effort would be minimal.
Disclaimer: This article includes the independent thoughts, opinions, commentary or technical detail of Paul Stewart. This
may or may does not reflect the position of past, present or future employers.