Brooke signed us up for Amazon Prime last year, a $79/yr service that grants you various benefits at Amazon.com. The most well-known service is free 2-day shipping on anything you purchase. As we now live, for all intents an purposes, in the middle-of-nowhere, we figured it would be a useful service to take advantage of. Typically, we can wait 2 days for an item, and now that we both have Android smartphones, we can shop for stuff in town, scan the barcode of the item with our phone, and see if we can get it cheaper from Amazon.com.
As I was shopping for components for my new web server box (which this site is now running on!), I was looking at Newegg.com, the computer company I typically buy components from. I have no problem with Newegg, of course, and they tend to provide a wealth of details on each component, something Amazon doesn’t do very well, yet I still checked with Amazon to see if I could get the same thing(s) from them instead. Turned out I could, and because we already had Amazon Prime, that meant I could get the same things for almost the same price, but not have to pay $13 in shipping. And the $13 in shipping would have been regular Ground shipping. In order to get the same, 2-day shipping through UPS, the same items would have cost $38. Through FedEx, for some reason, it would have been $59.
So yeah, almost in a single purchase, Amazon Prime justified itself.
I started assembling the system last Thursday night, inbetween various baby duties. Unfortunately, the thing wouldn’t turn on. I had the components installed in the box, tried a few things, re-seated various wires and jumpers, and couldn’t get the monitor to turn on. This, obviously, did not please me. It could have been a few different things, but I eventually tracked it down: the power supply was, likely, not working properly (as another power supply I had booted the new motherboard just fine), and the RAM seemed like it had problems (as the BIOS screen would only work with one stick in, and it was a specific stick).
I did a bit more research on Friday on the interwebs and brought my multi-meter home from work, in order to try checking the output of the power supply. Some folks online that had written in about the case I bought, which came with the power supply, had said that their power supply was “dead on arrival,” so they had to get replacements. There was one poster, however, that said they had to “turn it on and off a few times, and eventually it worked.” Therefore, I didn’t want to write off the power supply until I’d let it sit overnight. The multi-meter would tell me definitively whether it was generating any power or not for the system.
Long-story-short, I tried it again on Saturday morning. The multi-meter said that the power supply was providing power to the motherboard. I plugged it back in to the full system and the thing booted. I dunno.
The RAM, on the other hand, is still presenting problems, which brings us to the “Customer Service” part of this story. I bought two sticks of RAM for $40 from Amazon, but only one of them worked. In order to return/exchange them, both sticks have to go back. Annoying, ’cause I’d like to continue using one of them until the replacements arrive. So I log in to Amazon, go to my “Orders,” and select “Return” to go through the process of exchanging the RAM. In then end, Amazon had me print off a UPS slip that lets me return the RAM at no shipping charge to me, and I have 30 days to do it. And along with that, they’re automatically shipping me an identical replacement. The kicker to this story, though, is that they’re shipping me the identical replacement Next Day, so I’ll have it tomorrow.
So, in the end, I can wait until the replacement arrives before sending back the defective product, and they’re sending the replacement as quickly as they can at no additional charge to me, even though I used Two Day shipping the first time around.
That, I tell you, is customer service.
Good on you, Amazon.com.