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Posted on Thursday, May 14th, 2009

Dave!Today when I turned in my kidney stone for analysis at the clinic, the nurse took one look at the massive size of it and said "Wow. I'll bet that was no fun to pass!" What I wanted to say was "Nah, it was a total party in my penis." What I actually said was "It was agony. It took two months, and I was having to travel most of that time." This got me a sympathetic nod, though I doubt she really understood.

And how could she? My days and nights spent in a pain-killer-induced haze while trapped in an airplane at 35,000 feet isn't easy to relate to unless you've done it. You're in agony, so you dope up on pills before the flight. Then you climb on board and pass out. All of a sudden you've landed in a strange city and have to figure out who you are and what you're doing there.

This is particularly scary when the strange city you find yourself in is your home town.


Of all the shopping experiences to be found online, Amazon is probably my favorite. They just seem to get everything right.

Which is why I was shocked to find that they could fail so badly.

I went to purchase a gift certificate as a "thank-you" gift, and was given these three options:

Screen capture showing promised IMMEDIATE DELIVERY

I decided to go with the email gift card, because it would be delivered immediately, and that way I wouldn't have to send a separate email with my thanks. Amazon would take care of two birds with one stone. Easy.

But not really.

After four hours, I had not received a confirmation that the gift had been sent. So I logged into my account only to find it had NOT been sent. Wondering if I had missed something, I went back to the gift card section to verify that I had read what I thought I read...

Screen capture showing promised IMMEDIATE DELIVERY

So I wrote to Customer Service asking them if they knew what "immediate" meant, and eventually get a reply...

Greetings from
Please accept our apologies for the slight delay in processing your order.
It is always important for us to hear how customers react to all aspects of shopping at
Due to the amount of your gift card order, we need to manually obtain authorization from your bank for processing this transaction.
We expect to send your gift card order shortly.
We will of course send you our usual e-mail confirmation to let you know when the order has been sent.

The amount of the gift card was $200. Not a tiny amount, sure, but they make it sound as if I was sending Fort Knox. This kind of pissed me off, so I fired back a reply...

Slight delay?!? It's been SIX HOURS now and my email gift card which was promised for "immediate delivery" has STILL not been sent!
I'd say the gap between "Immediate" and "Six Hours" is a lot more than a "slight delay."
This is very disappointing, especially considering I wrote to Customer Service with the problem and nothing has been done to remedy it. I sure hope you change the wording on your gift cards from "Immediate Delivery" to something else, because "immediate" is a gross exaggeration of reality.
"immediate: occurring, acting, or accomplished without loss or interval of time: instant."
- Merriam-Webster Dictionary Online

All this got me was yet another email telling me that the amount of my gift card would require 12-24 hours to process because they needed to get manual authorization from my bank before they can send it. From what I can tell, it took two days.

I was willing to overlook the problem, because it's possible the person designing the site didn't have the right information... but I emailed and told them it was wrong. They know there's bad information on their site. But when I go back to the gift card page at Amazon, it still says "immediate delivery" with no asterisk or disclaimer of any kind. They didn't correct the error. Apparently Amazon doesn't give a flying fuck that they are still lying to their customers.

And so... I guess won't be ordering from Amazon anymore, much as I like their site and service.

How can I, knowing that they deliberately lie to their customers?

Categories: DaveLife 2009Click To It: Permalink


  1. Crail00 says:

    Regarding the first part of your post; it leaves me with the impression that you were stoned in more ways than one. LOL

  2. sizzle says:

    That’s really disappointing. They should at least have a disclaimer that purchases over a certain amount require x-amount of time to process. What bullshit.

    I really, really wished you had said, “Nah, it was a total party in my penis.” to the nurse.

  3. sue says:

    Thanks for sharing. Your experience has taught us all. 😉

  4. Ren says:

    Ah, but it doesn’t say “immediate shipping”. I just had this discussion yesterday with my daughter. She was asking about next-day delivery and I told her that you have to be careful because the order may not ship today. In this particular instance, it was too late in the day for most places to ship at the time of the conversation, but I told her that many places do not even offer same-day shipping, or charge extra for expediting the order.

    So, they aren’t necessarily lying by saying “immediate delivery”, though they should certainly notify you sometime before you submit the order that shipping will be delayed.

  5. Dave2 says:

    It’s not a shipped item… they don’t ship a dang thing. They deliver it via email… not immediately… but they do email it.

  6. Ren says:

    Yes, I realize it isn’t really shipped, per se, but I was assuming a reasonable analogy exists between shipping an item and sending an email.

    Mostly, though, I just wanted to talk about my daughter. 🙂

  7. Dave2 says:

    I suppose I could buy into that excuse for Amazon if the “gift card by mail” option didn’t list a window for “delivery”… but since it does, the gift card should still say something other than “immediate.”

  8. Sybil Law says:

    That is irritating as hell! What if it was a birthday giftcard?! Assholes.
    Glad you’re feeling good again, though. And thanks for the b-day wishes!

  9. Robin says:

    Aww…a gift certificate? For me? You shouldn’t have. Thanks 🙂

    In all seriousness, AMEX does the same thing when you redeem points for Membership Rewards. The other day I was trying to redeem points towards a JetBlue flight I am booking, and the website said “instant credit.” When I booked the flight and saw my balance, I still had to pay because AMEX never credited my points – they credited it 3 DAYS LATER. Instant my ass.

    So, I feel your pain.

  10. Poppy says:


    AWwwwww, you are SO SweeT!

  11. Avitable says:

    Yeah, it’s delivered as soon as it’s “shipped”, but the shipping might require a wait for authorization.

    I’ve sent a gift card of $200 before without any issue. I wonder if they’ve been having fraud problems or something.

  12. yellojkt says:

    $200 bucks requires special confirmation? I feel sorry for their mothers.

  13. martymankins says:

    Seems odd that they would have to get authorization for $200. I could see for more than $500 perhaps. I guess next time you will be getting 4 $50 gift cards emailed in 4 separate emails. Like multiple gifts.

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