Beachcombing

By: 
Jay Beeler

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos may be the richest man on earth, but he is morally bankrupt. I learned this trying to return a product that was under warranty. Yes, I did get a credit for the problem; the resolution was dishonest, demonstrating a corporation lacking ethics.

The product involved was a Brookstone Cordless Shiatsu Neck & Back Massager with Heat, valued at $115.99 by Amazon and presented to me by my daughter as a birthday present. When the mesh covering failed after four months of usage and within the one year warranty period, I contacted the manufacturer.

“Amazon purchases those from us and they are responsible for returns and replacements,” said Brookstone representative Amy, who gave me an Amazon phone number to call. Note that you won't find a number to call on Amazon's website, because these yellow-bellied slimballs don't want the public to contact them directly to resolve problems or vent their anger.

“That purchase is beyond the 30-day return period,” said Jen at Amazon, who sounded like she was in some country on the other side of the globe.

“Let me speak to your supervisor,” I said, letting her know that this is one bull you don’t screw with.

After some haggling Amazon’s Jasper said “We’ve made an exception to our standard procedure and processed a special case refund as a gift card.”

Jasper went on to process a $125 refund (tax included) against a $40 item purchased last month, calling it a “goodwill refund” with the reason being “item billing error.”

Bullshit.

What really happens is that Amazon purchases some items in bulk at a much cheaper price, and then completely ignores the warranty, hoping they can cheat the customer out of any warranty replacement. This is an organization that lacks an executive in charge of ethics training and inforcement. 

(Note to any lawyers out there: I see a potential class-action lawsuit that will make you rich beyond your wildest dreams. I'll be glad to assist you.)

Bezos was recently cited by Forbes magazine as having a net worth of $116 billion, outpacing Microsoft’s Bill Gates by $24 billion. When you reach that global pinnacle by cheating, stealing and dishonesty, it’s time to resign from the human race and bequeath your wealth to some global cause like polio eradication, as Bill Gates has done.

Another corrupt organization is Mercury Insurance. Last year I wrote about a water heater that leaked and destroyed our home’s parquet flooring. I had to retain an independent adjuster to counter Mercury’s attempts to screw us out of repairs estimated to be more than $40,000 by offering and paying only half that amount.

The problem was temporarily fixed after six months of delays by carpeting over the parquet, which is valued at twice that of any quality carpet.

The lesson learned here is that Mercury is on a par with Amazon when it comes to corporate greed. Although you may pay more in dealing with small, local businesses, you should treasure those that operate under a policy of honesty and integrity.

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Beachcomber

Copyright 2018 Beeler & Associates.

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