The other day I ordered some cat food from Amazon. It never showed up. So I called FedEx (the carrier used) and Amazon and back and forth and no one knew where it had been lost.
So Amazon offered to refund me. They couldn’t ship a replacement, they didn’t have any in stock just then. All right, fine, thanks. I’ll get the cat food at a different place (cat needs some diet food stuff and it can be annoying to find, but also isn’t 100% critical so whatever) and the world keeps spinning.
Except then FedEx calls me. They found the package. It would seem that Amazon slapped the label on in such a way as to block part of my address and so FedEx misplaced it. Still, they were sorry and rushing it out and insisted they would get it to me that same day.
Look – free cat food.
I thought about it a little bit and called Amazon back. I told them FedEx found the package so they should, you know, go ahead and charge me for that thing I bought.
And the service guy seemed confused. Seriously and honestly confused. He didn’t quite understand, I mean he got the words and general meaning but in a larger sense- no. Because I was not just taking something that I could get away with.
Amazon, mind, is good to me. They recently, when I ordered the wrong speakers for the new living room set-up, refunded my money and told me to just keep the wrong ones. Yeah, that was partly due to their odd shipping rules, but they did not have to give me my money back. At all. This was 100% user error and nothing more and I admitted to it, they knew it – but they went ahead and ate the cost anyway because it keeps people happy and in the long run it’s a drop in the bucket to them. But if we all take advantage as much as possible it won’t be a drop in the bucket.
So as much as doing the right thing, this helps, in a tiny way, ensure they get that I dig the way they do some of this stuff and it is worth it to me to see it continue.
If we all just take and take and take they without being honest and giving back and making sure that the whole system works both ways not just always in our favor – the system will break down and we end up far worse off.
And if that ain’t a ham handed metaphor for society…