Better than Black Friday.
How to Get FREE STUFF FROM AMAZON!
If you don’t want to read this entire post, just scroll on down to the step by step instructions that follow.
I didn’t invent this idea, nor have I ever gotten anything free from Amazon. But I recently learned that Amazon’s A-Z guarantee pretty much exists so that scammers can have their cake AND eat it too. In fact, I wish I were back in college taking Econ 101, because I just learned that there IS such a thing as a free lunch.
First a little background, then I’ll teach you How to Get FREE STUFF from Amazon.
I sold a TV Sound Bar through Amazon to someone in Massachusetts for about $35. The sale transaction occurred on 10/28/14.
The only address I had for the buyer was a PO Box, so I purchased postage through Amazon, printed the shipping label they created, carefully boxed what I’d sold and handed it off to our friendly postman on 10/29/14.
The shipping label included a USPS tracking code, which would confirm delivery.
On 11/6/2014 I received an email through Amazon from the buyer. It stated,
“Hi Seller! Do you send my speaker bar already!! please let me know it should be already in my hands! Thank you”
According to Amazon, the legal delivery window for that package was anytime between 11/4/2014 and 11/20/2014 so I wasn’t worried.
I had done everything correctly and had handed the package to our trusty postman (he really is trusty – no sarcasm there).
I replied to the buyer that I had purchased postage via Amazon and had shipped the product on 10/29/14, and that he should have received shipping confirmation and a tracking number for the shipment from Amazon.
On 11/10/14 I received an email from Amazon letting me know that there was an A-to-z Guarantee Claim filed against my order. It read: (I’ve highlighted and italicized the text – other than that it is a straight copy. The misspellings by the buyer are real).
“Greetings from Amazon.com. We have received a claim under the A-to-z Guarantee program for the order 104-2792061-2110640 because the buyer in this transaction believes the item(s) sent were materially different from how they were listed. This could mean that the item(s) are defective or damaged, that the wrong item(s) were sent, or that the item condition and/or details are different from what was represented in the product listing.
The buyer’s comments were “Item not received!- : -Hi Amazon! I don’t received the sound bar yet! I contact the seller and he don’t gave me a valid response!! So I want my money back. thank you and sorry for the inconvenience. “.
Please note that you have seven (7) days to respond to this e-mail. Failure to respond with all requested information below may result in a debit to your Amazon Payments account. If you accept or want to defend this claim, the easiest and quickest way to refund or represent yourself is to use A-Z- Guarantee on-line forms. By doing so you will ensure faster resolution to the buyer and yourself. Do not reply to this email if you use the on-line forms.”
Which I did, to no avail.
First off, the delivery windows hadn’t closed yet on 11/10/14. That window wouldn’t close until 11/20/14.
Had the buyer used the “I didn’t get my order” pull-down, he would have been advised that the shipping window hadn’t closed yet, and to be patient. Instead, he pulled down “The item(s) sent were materially different than how they were listed.”
By lying, he was allowed into the system to write:
“Item not received!- : -Hi Amazon! I don’t received the sound bar yet! I contact the seller and he don’t gave me a valid response!! So I want my money back. thank you and sorry for the inconvenience. “.
Interesting. So, if the item wasn’t yet received, how could it have been different than what had been listed?
Hmm, could this guy be a scammer??
I logged on to the Amazon site, and found confirmation that the package had been delivered according to the US Postal Service.
Where was it delivered?
That’s not 100% clear, but I can assume it meant to the US Post Office that housed the buyers PO Box.
If you’ve never had a PO Box, here’s what happens when someone sends you a package. Since your PO Box is small, the Post Office receives the package on your behalf, places it in a safe place, and leaves a note in your PO Box alerting you that they have a package ready for you to pick up.
Then you stand in that long line at the Post Office counter, and wait your turn.
When you are called to the counter you hand the postal employee the slip you found in your box alerting you that they had a package for you, and the employee heads off to retrieve your package.
No slip – no package – no exceptions.
Amazon has an amazing Customer Service system in place. But only if you are Amazon.
They have a bevy of automatons in India that handle each and every inquiry with a short canned response. I’m guessing they are paid by how many inquiries they answer per hour. Or maybe it’s per minute. I’m sure they use their own system of “pull-downs” when handling an inquiry.
At any rate, I explained to Amazon in India that my account showed that the package was delivered so the buyer should NOT be refunded the money.
Their answer back said that since I didn’t have a delivery confirmation signature from the buyer, I had no proof that he received the item, and that they were returning the purchase price including shipping to the buyer and would be debiting my bank account.
Which they did rapidly!
I wrote back and complained, which prompted this reply from Amazon.
“We can only change this claim upon receiving direct communication from the buyer stating that the item was received with authorization to recharge them for the purchase. We encourage you to contact the buyer directly to determine if the order was received subsequent to the claim. It is important to remember you are accountable for all aspects of fulfillment when selling on amazon.”
So now the buyer, who presumably has the product I sold him AND his money back, can only be charged for the product again if HE lets Amazon know that he actually got it.
Like that’s going to happen.
I tried to explain the whole PO BOX thing to them but got this response,
“Thank you for writing back to us about order 104-2792061-2110640. While we understand your concerns about this transaction, we cannot reverse the claim decision at this time.”
The arrogant automaton had spoken. Jeff Bezos’ minions had unilaterally decided that I’m wrong. End of story.
I’ve tried to escalate my complaint a couple of times and haven’t heard back. I’ve got about 5 (of the same) cases pending right now.
So, I figured with Black Friday coming up, and Amazon touting their Amazing Deals, I’d share with you How To Get FREE STUFF from Amazon by following the steps used by this buyer to scam me (I’m assuming) with Amazon’s blessing (I’m sure of that last statement).
So here are the steps To Get FREE STUFF From Amazon.
1. Get a Post Office Box and have your product shipped to the PO Box, not to a street address; that way the seller can’t use UPS or Fed Ex with their pesky tracking numbers and easy signature delivery confirmations.
2. Order the product and pay for it. Don’t worry; you’ll get your money back.
3. Go to the Post Office, pick up what you bought and enjoy it!
4. Four to five days after you’ve placed your order, contact the seller and ask them where it is. (Don’t worry that the shipping window hasn’t closed, we’ll cross that bridge soon).
5. Wait a couple of days and claim an A-z Guarantee Claim via Amazon’s website.
6. Don’t pull down the “real” reason you are claiming damages (that you didn’t get your package) because the delivery window isn’t closed yet. Instead, use the pull-down that says, “The product is different from what you ordered.”
7. In the comments, write that you didn’t get the product and you want your money back. Actually I’m guessing that you could probably write anything you want in that box, because I doubt anyone reads it. They certainly don’t check to see if the pull-down and the comments match.
8. Sit back and wait for your refund. You should get it in the next few days – maybe even hours.
There you go.
Step by step instructions on How to Get STUFF FOR FREE from Amazon! At least it appeared to work for the guy that bought my sound bar.
And as we all know, FREE STUFF from Amazon is way better than any Black Friday deal they could offer.
Amazon has re-credited my account for this transaction. They shorted me about $4 but how else are they going to pay for that new campus they are building in downtown Seattle.
I’m leaving this post here on my blog, because it shouldn’t be THIS hard to get any company, even a HUGE one to listen to everyone they touch. Not only people like me who make a lot of noise!
So, while I thank Amazon for almost doing the right thing (the right thing would have been to credit me the entire amount they refunded to the buyer who they allowed to scam me and not short me $4), I feel strongly that they need to add more “pull-downs” for the customer service agents in India to use. Or at least them them actually read stuff and respond!
Friendly Voice awarded Big M Award by The Marketing Awards
For Stern Center TV Commercial titled “Someone You Know”
|(May 21, 2014 Seattle, WA.)
Friendly Voice, Inc. was awarded a "Big M" Award during The Event held last night at Seattle's Bell Harbor International Conference Center.
The competition, organized by Marketing Northwest recognizes creative work produced in the Pacific Northwest region in Advertising, Public Relations, Creative Arts, Direct Marketing, Outdoor and more.
According to Friendly Voice president Steve Lawson, "Our client, Dr. Fredric Stern and The Stern Center in Bellevue needed to stand out in a narrowly targeted cable TV buy. The budget was small, and the need for an upscale look drove us to use stock footage. The theme, Someone You Know Had a Little Work Done, was developed as a new way of delivering The Stern Center positioning statement "Creating Natural Appearing Beauty through the Art of Laser Cosmetic Surgery."
The commercial was written, produced and edited by Steve Lawson of Friendly Voice, Inc. The voice-over announcer is Vera McKinney Kutz.
I saw this article on October 10th about Pioneer Human Services being awarded $1.17 million grant from the US Department of Labor to help expand their job training program.
Pioneer Human Services was founded in 1963 as a halfway house. Fifty years later, it operates 10 of the 16 state’s work-release programs through contracts with the state Department of Corrections.
I had the privilege of interviewing many of the founding board members of Pioneer in 2009 to create a living history of the founding and early days of Pioneer. It’s an amazing organization. If you have an hour or so to learn their story you can watch the series here.
These videos bring the history of this remarkable agency to life through stories told by its founding board members and honorary governors.
This story was distributed internally on DVD and has been posted online for additional public exposure.
Want to see their incredible story? Just click on the image below.
Cartier 2012 commercial. Image builder?
Or commercial masturbation?
I was watching CBS Sunday morning when this ad came on for Cartier (the jeweler). Ever since, I’ve been trying to figure out the message. Is it, “our stuff is expensive because we have absolutely no handle on expenses” or, “we make so much money on this crap that we don’t care what our commercial costs” or??
Don’t get me wrong, this commercial is a production masterpiece. Everything about it is absolutely gorgeous and amazing. But it’s also a commercial exercise in masturbation. Is it effective? Or a huge waste of money??
See for yourself, then let me know what you think.
Content Is King!
Content is king. But you may be surprised at which content drives revenue. The Local Online Media Report from Borrell and Associates indicates that while “news and information sites do indeed generate revenue, the Top 5 local online companies derive all their content from their own advertisers. In fact, half of the top 20 are all-advertising sites.” These include AT&T Yellow Pages, Auto Trader and more.
According to the report’s Executive Summary, “TV stations and yellow pages companies continue to do well with about 11 percent share each, up from the past year. Radio stations, meanwhile, are languishing at a two percent share of all locally spent Internet advertising and appear to be barely treading water.”
For 2010, Borrell found that local online media accounted for 14.9 percent of all local ad spending, or $13.5 billion. They are forecasting that to grow to $15.9 billion in 2011, or 17.8 percent more.
By 2015, for the first time ever, Borrell Associates expects newspapers to be toppled as the perennial king of local as online media reach $24 billion, for a 22.7 percent share of all local advertising.