So here is what happened, via a series of emails (names have been removed), when I ordered a nice $40 hardcover with an Amazon gift card from a company that is NOT Amazon (but fulfills their orders)
Email #1: Wherin Erin Complains About Damaged Merchandise
Me: Bought brand-new hardcover book for $40.
You: Wrapped $40 hardcover booked in soft envelope with minimal bubble wrap and shipped via FedEx.
FedEx: Promptly dropped brand-new $40 hardcover book right on the corner, damaging it and making it no longer brand-new before I even took possession of it. (Pictures of damage attached)
Me: Now has $40 damaged book.
You: Need to make this right by either shipping me another book in a container that your shipper can't damage (the way Amazon does), or refund me the price differential between a brand-new book and a book with damage.
Email #2: The Ineffectual Response
I apologize for the inconvenience. Typically we don't have any issues with our shipping methods and when we use Fedex.
We can offer either an additional 15% off ($6.60) or we can do a free return of the item. If you would like to do the return, please send the estimated weight of the item and I can send you a free return shipping label.
Email #3: Wherin Erin Tries to Find the Win-Win
This book with its dented corners is now Good at best. Even with the refund, it's not worth $34 dollars. So if I pick that choice (Option A) I'm actually taking a loss.
Or I could return it to you (Option B), in which case you lose a $40 sale, get a bad Amazon review, and have to unload a damaged book.
I would like to choose option C, "You replace my damaged book and I send you this one." This is the only way we both win. I get my new book; you get to keep the money, get a sterling review from me, and still get this damaged book to resell.
Email #4: The "No, We Really ARE That Stupid" Reply
I spoke with my manager and the most we can do is $10 off. Even at the lesser amount we are already taking a loss on the item but we want to try and reconcile the situation. I understand your frustration, but those are the best options we have at this time because of the back end systems we have setup for our business. You are welcome to place a new order once the refund has been placed.
Again, I apologize for the inconvenience and please let me know what works best for you.
Email #5: Wherin Erin Decides to Let the Company Ice-Skate Uphill
Why you decided to do it this way when you still have new versions of this book for sale is beyond my reckoning. But since you'd rather take the loss than send me a new book, I guess we do it the hard way.
I officially announce I am returning this item because it is damaged. Please refund my money.
The shipping weight on the FedEx envelope says 2.45 pounds, so send me a label for same.
Email #6: Wherein They Admit They Have Lost
Attached is your free return shipping label. Again, I apologize for the inconvenience. I've made note of your feedback and hopefully it is something we can fix in our system in the near future.
I don't understand people. I ordered a new book; said book was damaged by their carrier; and they have the ability to replace said book. Replacing the book would have made a customer happy, they would have kept their sale, and they could have recouped their loss by filing a claim with FedEx and/or reselling the damaged book.
Instead, they made a token offer, and then requested I re-order (and therefore pay the shipping charges again). This resulted in them losing the sale, paying FedEx to ship it back, and a bad review of the company.
In what realm is this even good business sense?