Useless Responses – Why Boilerplate Emails Suck

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I don't buy many books, CDs or DVDs locally. I do buy the odd one, but the selection of books in the local bookshops is never that great, so it nearly always works out better to buy online.
Over the last year or so I've been buying more and more from Amazon marketplace vendors. A lot of the more active vendors provide excellent service and great prices, so it's winning combination.
I have had only two negative experiences.
On one occasion a vendor sold me a CD, which turned out to be an LP.
Kind of annoying, but I still buy from them, as it was an honest mistake.
The more recent experience with a marketplace vendor, however, was more than mildly annoying. It has put me off that particular vendor for good.
So, what happened?
I bought two paperbacks from them. They arrived the other day and looked like this:
damaged paperbacks
As you can clearly see the books are quite mangled, with the spines being seriously damaged. It's actually quite hard to read them due to the way they have been completely bent and twisted.
Naturally enough I wasn't impressed, so I contacted the vendor via the Amazon site.
Several hours later I got a boilerplate response, which did not address my concerns at all. There may have been an answer in there, but if all they were going to do is send me this standard global response after a five hour delay, then their interest in customer service is quite questionable.
Here is my message to them:

I received two books from you today order number: 736-4739634-1866549
Both books were not wrapped sufficiently and are badly damaged.
Please advise

As you can see I specify the order number and the exact issue that I have.
I would have expected a response that addressed this.
Instead I got this:

Thank you for your website enquiry.
Combined Orders:
We regret that we are unable to combine orders for postage. You will
receive a shipping charge per item.
Cancellation of Orders
we regret we are unable to isolate orders to cancel. If you wish to
cancel an order please refuse it or return it to us in new condition
for a refund.
Delivery Times
As stated in our product description, delivery is as follows:
UK to UK 10-14 working days
UK to USA 10-14 working days
UK to Europe 7-10 working days
USA to UK 10 -14 working days
UK OR USA to rest of World 10-14 working days
Product Information
We regret that we hold no further product information than that shown
on the website.
If your order is incorrect or damaged please return it to the
address, remember to include the dispatch note and when we receive
the returned item we will initiate a refund:
This is an information only email and does not require a response. If
this reply does not answer your query please resend your original
email quoting "Zebra" in the subject bar.

Wonderfully helpful!
I won't be buying from these people ever again!

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One Response to Useless Responses – Why Boilerplate Emails Suck

  1. Richard Hearne July 21, 2007 at 6:31 pm #

    They could at least have given you a laugh by requesting you respond with ‘purple monkey dishwasher’ in the subject.

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