Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Sorry to have another rant this week...

I used to buy most of my books when I went home to Hawaii, but with the weight restrictions on baggage getting stricter and stricter, I started paying a higher price for the books that I want and ordering them from

So, I recently ordered 3 books from Whenever I buy from, they send me a payment notice, I print it out, pay for the books at the convenience store, then it is delivered to me.

Since only 2 books out of the 3 were ready for delivery, they sent me a payment notice. Before I could get around to paying for the 2 books, the 3rd book was ready for delivery, and they sent me a payment notice for that book the next day.

Not wanting to have 2 boxes and 2 deliveries, I e-mailed them this:

I recently ordered 3 books, but 1 was delayed. In the
meantime, I received the payment notice for 2 books. A day later,
I received another payment notice for the remaining book. I am
planning to pay for the 3 books tomorrow, but will the 3 books be
shipped together? I hope that you will be able to combine the 3
books for 1 shipment in 1 box. Will this be possible?

This is the response that I received:

Thank you for contacting us at

First of all, please let me apologize for any inconvenience caused
by shipping your items separately when you requested the option to
'Group my items into as few shipments as possible'. Please note
that we did not add extra shipping and handling fees to this order.

Unfortunately, we can not ship your items together. To ship orders
more efficiently, our system is highly automated. Basically, we try
to ship your order using the shipping method which you selected,
however it is still possible that your order may be delivered in
multiple shipments. In that case, we will not charge you extra
shipping and handling fees.

Please refer to the below URL for the information about our
shipping policy.

Again, we are very sorry for this inconvenience. We appreciate your
business and hope that we will see you again soon at

Please let us know if this e-mail resolved your question:

If yes, click here:
If not, click here:

Please note: this e-mail was sent from an address that cannot
accept incoming e-mail. Please use the appropriate link above if
you need to contact us again about this matter. If you have any new
question, please use the link below to ask us.

Best regards,

C.Nishino Customer Service

If you have any questions, please visit our Help.

I wasn't worried about having to pay for shipping an extra time, I was more concerned with the delivery guy having to come twice bringing 2 boxes (using twice as much gas and another tree)...sigh. I know English isn't their mother tongue, but if their system is as "highly automated" as they say, shouldn't it be able to put two orders together for one address delivery after payment is received?...sigh.

So, I then emailed them in Japanese, thinking that Japanese being "their" tongue, they would understand what I was talking about.

I received an email again apologizing for any inconvenience. And to render any bad feelings, they were giving me a 300 yen (about US$3) gift certificate to be used on my next purchase from them.

So, the delivery guy has to come twice (he came once yesterday and is expected for another delivery today), two boxes were used, not to mention all that gasoline in the process, and I got a 300 yen gift certificate...something is definitely wrong with their "highly automated" system...


Barbara said...

Kat a friend of mine works for Amazon Japan and she has said it is a really difficult company to work for. I gather from what she has said the staff aren't treated very well by management.

K & S said...

I'm sorry to hear that Barbara, I hope things will work out for your friend.

Take care.

rowena said...

Now that you've clearly put it that way, I can see your point about leaving the extra "carbon footprint" due to the dual deliveries. I've had multiple orders from Amazon before and that thought had never entered my mind. I guess their system's automation needs an overhaul, or at least some "body" that can catch these little automated hiccups!

K & S said...

I can see if the deliveries would be spaced several weeks/months apart, but are right, I think they need "somebody" in there to check it out.
Take care.

beadexplorer said...

I have been observing the same oddity regarding Amazon Germany as well recently. Sometimes they send articles seperately although you ordered them together. It has just happened today. I have received a shipping notification for only one of the two CDs we ordered with the comment that the other CD will be shipped seperately. I don't know what they are thinking. And the replies you get are always as automated as their automated system. It's not a language problem. They just send you "ready-made" responses. These responses drive me nuts!

K & S said...

And I thought that Germany was at the top of being "green", Beadexplorer. I guess some companies aren't...yet.

Take care.

Jenster said...

Aloha, Kat, from another former Hawaii kama'aina. I've never posted on your blog before but enjoy reading it immensely.

We have the same shipping problem here in the Northwest (I'm near Seattle). And it's not just Amazon: Companies all over the U.S use a ton of packaging to ship a few small items.

I'm sure part of that is to ensure that items reach you in good condition. I've seen the tossing methods of some delivery guys and I'm amazed more things don't arrive damaged.

As for not being able to ship items together, I used to work for a retailer that had a distribution warehouse, and the automated system worked the same way: It would ship out whatever was in stock and then ship out backordered items when they became available. This was to avoid a logjam at the warehouse, since so many orders did contain backordered items. Also, many customers wanted their items ASAP and didn't want to wait until everything could be shipped together.

However, I agree with you that there should be a better system that would allow for less packaging and fewer deliveries. My son recently ordered a toy (a plastic rifle that shoots foam darts) from Amazon. The toy arrived in a huge cardboard box and the refill dart pack (which is just a small plastic bag filled with foam darts) arrived separately in a box the same size as the one used for the rifle! It was very sad to see the amount of cardboard and then inner packaging used to "cusion" a bag of foam darts.

Perhaps if enough of us complain about this, changes will eventually be made.

K & S said...

Hi Jenster,

Thanks for delurking and commenting :) I appreciate it.

I've actually been thinking about boycotting for awhile, since my complaints fell on deaf ears, maybe if enough of us boycott these types of companies, they will change their ways.

Take care.

beadexplorer said...

You wrote:
"And I thought that Germany was at the top of being "green", Beadexplorer. I guess some companies aren't...yet."

Maybe it is because Amazon is an American company. Yes, I think, we are quite "green", we have lots of regulations in any field. :D

K & S said...

I know that Amazon is an American company, Beadexplorer, but I would have thought that they would need to comply with Germany's green standards.

Take care.

Anonymous said...

What if it was because it was coming from two different warehouses? I've had Amazon orders get split because one item came from California and another from Nevada.

K & S said...

I've also had orders come from different destinations when I have ordered in Hawaii, Anonymous, but I think the orders are from one warehouse in Japan.

Take care.