Shopping Discussion

Amazon.ca implying they won't fulfill my order because the price has gone up and I would get too good of a deal

  • Last Updated:
  • Jan 29th, 2018 11:16 pm
[OP]
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Oct 25, 2001
2846 posts
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Toronto

Amazon.ca implying they won't fulfill my order because the price has gone up and I would get too good of a deal

I have an Amazon Prime membership and order very often from them. So, it was a shock when this runaround came to pass.

I've been looking to purchase a set of bar stools, but I'm not sure how many will fit our kitchen island (it's a new home that we haven't moved into yet). I've scoured plenty of websites and found what looked to be an ideal stool but I noticed that the price of the stool fluctuated greatly and there was a vast difference in pricing based on which colour you wanted.

Well, one day they had 1 left in stock and the price dropped by about half. I pounced on it figuring that if it didn't look as good as I wanted nor fit as well as I needed, I could return it or use it in a different part of the house. The order has been sitting in the "waiting for delivery information" for a month now. I've emailed them 3 times, received the stock "we are so sorry" email and spoken to three different people. Everyone has apologized but nothing is being done.

A couple of weeks ago I spoke to a supervisor who suggested I re enter the order. When I pointed out to him that the price was now triple, I said there was no way I was going to pay 3x as much - plus, if the order needed to be reentered I shouldn't have to do it. They finally saw my point and said that they would reenter the order and that they would honour the price on the site when I placed my order.

Nothing changed from my perspective so I raised the issue last Saturday. Still no update so I raised the issue again and spoke to someone. They couldn't see any information other than "we are waiting for another fulfillment center" so they went to a team leader. When the CSR came back, she implied (because she mentioned this out of the blue) that they weren't going to fulfill the order until the supplier dropped the price to them. In other words, they were perfectly willing to sell 1 stool to me until it was going to cost them more than they expected after the fact.

While I can understand no business wants to lose money, I also understand a business like Amazon is well regarded for how technologically advanced and influential they are. No one put a gun to their head and told them to drop the price the way they did, so once they did, they should feel compelled to honour it. I hadn't noticed originally, so I don't know if the current company marked as the supplier is the same as when I originally placed the order. I had thought it was from Amazon.ca and that's all I cared about.

So, the nice CSR with whom I spoke tonight said that all she can do is escalate (because not only can they not give me any more information about when the item will ship, they can't even tell me when they might know anything at all!) and she gave me a $20 credit to be used at Amazon.

The ill will they are generating is going to cost them far more than if they simply fulfilled the order. And I suspect that if someone at the appropriate level was briefed that they probably would. I can't see them losing even $100 on this - is this the mountain they want to die on?

I've decided to spend $5k on purchasing other items for our home - Amazon won't be getting any of that business. It's the only way I can tangibly respond - vote with my dollars elsewhere.
50 replies
Sr. Member
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Mar 12, 2006
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Calgary
Tough break for you.

Amazon, isn't going out of business, because you choose to shop elsewhere.
Deal Fanatic
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Oct 1, 2011
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So they're not fulfilling 1 stool that had a discount while "1 in stock"? What does this have to do with supplier? It said there was 1 in stock. Strange...
Jr. Member
Aug 22, 2005
193 posts
117 upvotes
Are you a prime member? They usually move quickly if you are.

I had ordered a snowblower that was 45% off and it got delayed by 3-4 weeks, ended up getting an extra $100 off with my phone calls, and I’m sure they lost money on it.

A $100 stool on the other hand is probably no sweat off their back, they know you’ll be back.

Wait it out, and keep calling. You said you’re not in the house yet, so no huge rush. You won’t be sitting on a bar stool for sometime after you get into the house anyway. Oh and don’t be a dink on the phone, play dumb, and be nice.
[OP]
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Oct 25, 2001
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Toronto
Freakatola wrote: Are you a prime member? They usually move quickly if you are.

I had ordered a snowblower that was 45% off and it got delayed by 3-4 weeks, ended up getting an extra $100 off with my phone calls, and I’m sure they lost money on it.

A $100 stool on the other hand is probably no sweat off their back, they know you’ll be back.

Wait it out, and keep calling. You said you’re not in the house yet, so no huge rush. You won’t be sitting on a bar stool for sometime after you get into the house anyway. Oh and don’t be a dink on the phone, play dumb, and be nice.
Yes, I'm a prime member. And, I reiterate every time I speak to someone, I know it isn't their fault. IN fact I empathized with the CSR last night as I could tell she was very uncomfortable having to tell me that they didn't know anything more about when the order would be filled. It's a tough job having to deal with customers' situations like this.

I had a delivery issue with Best Buy this week and I worked with them so that they are going to resolve it and they credited me $100 for the troubles they put me through. I had an issue with Wayfair and they were very supportive. No excuses, no run around and they gave me a 10% off coupon for my next order.

The big issue with etail transactions is you can't have that personal connection to smooth things over. Other than that, I love buying things online far more than going to B&M stores.
[OP]
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Oct 25, 2001
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aaron158 wrote: send an email to jeff@amazon.com that will get u in touch with the top level c/s dept.
I will do that if I don't hear back from Amazon in the next couple of days. I wonder how many people it takes to monitor that email address...
Sr. Member
Mar 28, 2011
871 posts
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Toronto
makes no sense

they sometimes sell things below cost all the time and honour them (most being price errors too)
but thats probably automated and yours has caught attention of an actual person reviewing it

email jeff and it will be solved
not your problem their dynamic pricing system messed up and now they have to sell at less than cost
Deal Fanatic
Jul 24, 2009
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When product has 1 in stock, you should get the exact date of delivery once you place the order. There is a chance more than one person enter the order at the same time and one of you will need to wait. However, since the supervisor asked you to reenter the order, I believe your order was stuck in the delivery system. Amazon should get the technical team fix the issue instead of reentering the order.

If Amazon admits it is price error, then your order will be cancelled. However, if it is the pricing system controls the fluctuation value of the product, Amazon normally will honor it even it is sold at loss as this is the intention of the system.

You know every time you contact Amazon CSR, everyone will tell you different story. If you talk to another CSR, they will tell you another story. I don't quite believe the front end CSR (even supervisor) can see the manufacturer cost of the product. I believe only the inventory team will see it as the information should be resided on another system. However, the inventory team should not care how much you paid for the product as they are only responsible for placing the order from the distributor or manufacturer. I believe there is another team is responsible for catching any price error. Most of these steps are done by software robot without any human intervention. If there is something wrong, it will raise the alarm.

Believe me or not, as long as Amazon don't cancel your order and your item is not a discontinued product, the inventory team will order it for you eventually without caring how much you pay for it. Right now, I believe the item is probably out of stock from the manufacturer or distributor. You just need to be patient.
Deal Fanatic
Jul 24, 2009
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The chance you will hear anything back is very low. However, if you contact Amazon head office and if the product is definitely a price error instead of controlling by the price system, the head office will cancel your order; maybe with or without any compensation.
cannon_fodder wrote: I will do that if I don't hear back from Amazon in the next couple of days. I wonder how many people it takes to monitor that email address...
[OP]
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Oct 25, 2001
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lcmt wrote: When product has 1 in stock, you should get the exact date of delivery once you place the order. There is a chance more than one person enter the order at the same time and one of you will need to wait. However, since the supervisor asked you to reenter the order, I believe your order was stuck in the delivery system. Amazon should get the technical team fix the issue instead of reentering the order.

If Amazon admits it is price error, then your order will be cancelled. However, if it is the pricing system controls the fluctuation value of the product, Amazon normally will honor it even it is sold at loss as this is the intention of the system.

You know every time you contact Amazon CSR, everyone will tell you different story. If you talk to another CSR, they will tell you another story. I don't quite believe the front end CSR (even supervisor) can see the manufacturer cost of the product. I believe only the inventory team will see it as the information should be resided on another system. However, the inventory team should not care how much you paid for the product as they are only responsible for placing the order from the distributor or manufacturer. I believe there is another team is responsible for catching any price error. Most of these steps are done by software robot without any human intervention. If there is something wrong, it will raise the alarm.

Believe me or not, as long as Amazon don't cancel your order and your item is not a discontinued product, the inventory team will order it for you eventually without caring how much you pay for it. Right now, I believe the item is probably out of stock from the manufacturer or distributor. You just need to be patient.
I was given an exact date initially and when it passed without delivery that's when I called them up and spoke to a CSR and then a supervisor. The item went back in stock a couple of weeks after it went out of stock and the stock still shows 5. Now my order still shows waiting for delivery date.

I didn't mean to imply anyone I spoke with knew the cost, but they can easily see that Amazon is now trying to sell the same stool for 4x the cost of my order (yes it has gone up yet again). They have two suppliers so I don't know why their system is defaulting to show the highest price rather than the supplier who has the lowest price.
Deal Expert
Mar 23, 2004
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Freakatola wrote: Are you a prime member? They usually move quickly if you are.
Um this is the very first sentence of the OP:
cannon_fodder wrote: I have an Amazon Prime membership and order very often from them.
Like not even just the first sentence...the very first words in fact!!!

Anyway, I agree with post#2. Them's the breaks. I ordered some RAM at a really good price too, it never shipped and a couple months later they sent the "unable to obtain" email. Of course the item mysteriously went to not available shortly after my order and the same item basically popped up at much higher price under a technically different listing as well. Granted it wasn't shown as in stock to begin with but rather "will ship when available" or whatever it tends to say on OOS items. After other ppl let me know it wasn't going to get fulfilled I just shrugged and left the order in place until I got the "sorry" email. Didn't really get too upset about it.

As said Amazon isn't going to go out of business over one person shopping there less or "boycotting" and rescinding their Prime membership (if that's what OP will do). It's not like they do this with every item and there are always good deals that people do get, evidenced by this very forum. So I'm not sure OP is going to continue on RFD, keep having to see all the Amazon deals get posted, and refuse to buy any of them just because of one thing they didn't get shipped, lol.

In the end I think more belly-aching will probably get you more money. I mean keep complaining and maybe they'll credit you $50 instead of $20 but I doubt you'll ever get the stool(s) shipped. If Lenovo got away from the Quebec complaints for so long (where it was law there that they had to make good on a price error)--over a year I think--pretty sure nothing is going to force Amazon to send you the stools, regardless of what you do.
Deal Fanatic
Jul 24, 2009
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Apparently either your order stuck or there is inventory error about this product. However, if you reenter the order and still pending for the delivery date when it was in stock. Most likely it is inventory error.

If it is in stock now, you can do some test. Create another order using the standard shipping and see if you can get the date immediately. Remember to cancel the order after the test is completed. They delivery date is independent of the price you pay. If you got the date when using standard shipping, then talk to CSR again.
cannon_fodder wrote: I was given an exact date initially and when it passed without delivery that's when I called them up and spoke to a CSR and then a supervisor. The item went back in stock a couple of weeks after it went out of stock and the stock still shows 5. Now my order still shows waiting for delivery date.

I didn't mean to imply anyone I spoke with knew the cost, but they can easily see that Amazon is now trying to sell the same stool for 4x the cost of my order (yes it has gone up yet again). They have two suppliers so I don't know why their system is defaulting to show the highest price rather than the supplier who has the lowest price.
Deal Fanatic
Oct 26, 2008
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It's the new reality. You are dealing with a gargantuan organization with no personal accountability, so the excellent customer experience you expect is going to be elusive.

Will happen sometimes, but there is no set pattern.

Just like you can choose to place your future major spending elsewhere, they can choose to not strive to keep you as a customer because there are so many ready-made replacements.
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May 12, 2004
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BoredAtWork wrote: not your problem their dynamic pricing system messed up and now they have to sell at less than cost
Pretty sure the dynamic pricing system is pissing off more customers than pleasing them. Case in point; me. I don't like getting screwed so if it's not at its lowest in past year on ccc.com I'm not buying from them (no price protection so if it drops tomorrow I'll be kicking myself). I'll just wait until it gets cheaper...and then it suddenly goes on sale at another retailer and I patronize them instead and forget all about amazon for that purchase.
Censorship is telling a man he can't have a steak just because a baby can't chew it.
- Mark Twain
[OP]
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Oct 25, 2001
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Great points posted.

Of course, Amazon isn't going to bat an eye by losing any portion of my business. And, I don't believe any live person with whom I spoke is intentionally trying to thwart this order or not empathetic to how this has played out.

One other course of action I could try is to see if they'll substitute a different colour as their is a supplier providing the same stool in a different colour for only $80 less.
Jr. Member
Aug 22, 2005
193 posts
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ES_Revenge wrote: Um this is the very first sentence of the OP:

Like not even just the first sentence...the very first words in fact!!!
My Bad, long post, on my iphone.

I'm sorry that you somehow got offended by this.
Sr. Member
Nov 4, 2011
646 posts
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YYZ
I had this happen, but I was ordering from Amazon.co.uk. I ordered a winter jacket for 25 GBP and it was supposed to ship back in Oct, with a defined delivery date. The regular price of the item is 180 GBP, which it went back up to after I placed the order. The item kept saying 1 left in stock after I ordered it, so I knew it was available for shipping. I kept contacting CS, who gave generic responses, such as there's a fulfillment issue, I'll contact the fulfillment center to ship it to you within 48 hours. Eventually the story changed so there was no stock and they were waiting for more. CS did mention that they said it's probably a price error, so I should cancel it. I emailed jeff@amazon.com twice, my first agent said they're waiting for stock, but we're not sure when, so you should cancel it. I recently got in touch with a different agent who said, there's actually a customs issue, so change your address to an EU address. I did that, and it's been dispatched for delivery.

I would go ahead and email jeff@amazon.com, they tend to be helpful. I doubt they'll give you a price error response, but rather try to resolve your issue. I would suggest being clear in your email, use a timeline of events (ie. Dec 1 - Placed Order with estimated delivery date of Dec 3, Dec 3 - Contacted CS, etc.) and letting them know what CS told you, and how you're disappointed. I'm pretty sure they'll let you know why your order hasn't shipped yet, and then will try to help you with your order. I don't guarantee it will be fast, but it'll hopefully get resolved.
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Jul 24, 2009
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As I said, there is a different between price error and the incredible low price controlled by the system. If it is price error which is a mistake made by the staff, they may not honor it, but will offer you compensation in return if you keep complaining. However, if the price is controlled by the system, then they normally won't cancel your order unless Amazon cannot find the stock for you. Honestly, if it is the delivery issue, they should not ask the customer change anything, they should fix the problem on their end by their tech staff.
zappy312 wrote: I had this happen, but I was ordering from Amazon.co.uk. I ordered a winter jacket for 25 GBP and it was supposed to ship back in Oct, with a defined delivery date. The regular price of the item is 180 GBP, which it went back up to after I placed the order. The item kept saying 1 left in stock after I ordered it, so I knew it was available for shipping. I kept contacting CS, who gave generic responses, such as there's a fulfillment issue, I'll contact the fulfillment center to ship it to you within 48 hours. Eventually the story changed so there was no stock and they were waiting for more. CS did mention that they said it's probably a price error, so I should cancel it. I emailed jeff@amazon.com twice, my first agent said they're waiting for stock, but we're not sure when, so you should cancel it. I recently got in touch with a different agent who said, there's actually a customs issue, so change your address to an EU address. I did that, and it's been dispatched for delivery.

I would go ahead and email jeff@amazon.com, they tend to be helpful. I doubt they'll give you a price error response, but rather try to resolve your issue. I would suggest being clear in your email, use a timeline of events (ie. Dec 1 - Placed Order with estimated delivery date of Dec 3, Dec 3 - Contacted CS, etc.) and letting them know what CS told you, and how you're disappointed. I'm pretty sure they'll let you know why your order hasn't shipped yet, and then will try to help you with your order. I don't guarantee it will be fast, but it'll hopefully get resolved.

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