Nothing But Trouble

I ordered some software through Amazon.com this morning and this evening got an email saying the order had been canceled. The woman with whom I spoke on the telephone was very helpful and said that the ordered had been canceled by the seller, NothingButSoftware. Upon reordering I discovered that the same product is sold directly by Amazon.com. Given that Amazon.com probably ships quicker than smaller sellers, I will probably get my software no later than if the original order had not been canceled. But the experience shows room for improvement for Amazon.com.

First, when I originally placed my order I was not informed that Amazon.com sold the same product (albeit for a different price). I appreciate that they wanted to show me the lowest price, but my decision-making process includes the seller as well as the price. Screen real estate is at a premium but I think it would be better to indicate that there are other sellers, even if not showing the list of sellers themselves.

Second, when NothingButSoftware canceled my order I could no longer see my order through Amazon.com’s web site. I tried different combinations of viewing my orders. But the canceled order stayed persistently hidden. I know that it remained in their database because I got an email about it and the gal on the phone could see it through her interface. The order should remain visible to me and it should have clearly indicated that NothingButSoftware canceled my order. That would have saved Amazon.com the cost of my call to customer support.

Third, NothingButSoftware should be penalized inside Amazon.com for canceling customer orders. The seller rating system was not available to me because, as mentioned previously, my order was completely hidden. Amazon.com should internally track the number of canceled orders and decrease the seller’s rating (and eventually drop them) based on the number thereof. If Amazon.com continues to hide canceled orders, they should at least state in the email their policy regarding sellers who cancel orders.

Fourth, the canceled order reflects poorly not just on NothingButSoftware but also on Amazon.com. By reselling NothingButSoftware’s inventory, Amazon.com has explicitly vouched for NothingButSoftware. When NothingButSoftware fails the user, Amazon.com is guilty by association. Amazon.com needs to better vet their sellers and clearly communicate to the customers how they will enforce their service agreements.

Using the magic of the interwebs I found a customer contact page for NothingButSoftware. I explained what happened and indicated my displeasure with their performance. The generic message said that they would respond in seventy-two hours. Based on my experience with them so far, I don’t expect any response from them at all. Unless and until I get an apology and explanation from them, I strongly recommend against doing business with NothingButSoftware.

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