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Kind people are sending me presents...

[UPDATE This really wasn't a hint. I know that's meta.... --lambert]

... and they must think me very discourteous because I haven't thanked them. I haven't, because I rarely check my physical mail, so and but when I went out today to check it, there were three mysterious packages!

There was a new power supply for my OS X laptop (thank you!), a copy of The Developer's Guide to Social Programming (thank you!), both from my Xmas Wish List at Amazon, and a copy of Lost Country Life: How English country folk livesd, worked, threshed, thatched, rolled fleece, milled corn, brewed mead.... (thank you!)

NOTE I actually have one name to thank, and some locations, so I can guess, but since anonymity is the spiritual foundation of our traditions...

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Valley Girl's picture
Submitted by Valley Girl on

I assume that "high priority" means "most wished for".... just to be sure.... I have a reason for asking... *g*

Valley Girl's picture
Submitted by Valley Girl on

That helps. I used my imagination with the thrift store cashmere sweaters. This time I'll go the more mundane route.

If you check your xmas wish list, you'll see that another one has been checked off the list.

Submitted by lambert on

I can't even figure out how to know what's been sent!

Can one of you, Jeff, undo the order? Can I reject it? I like to think of myself as technical.... But I find the Amazon Wish List interface baffling, even worse than (say) GoDaddy...

Valley Girl's picture
Submitted by Valley Girl on

tho I had to google for their number because it's not on the site, or at least not obvious. fwi, this is the number I called- 1(800) 201-7575

So, my book for you has already been shipped, and on the truck, so I can't undo that. I did have a conversation with a helpful person.

So deal is, you accept the first copy that arrives. And then you refuse the second copy, when it is delivered. The person said "refuse the delivery from the delivery person" So, I asked, but what if the book is left at the doorstep, but person is not there.

Service person said, well, the information as to how to refuse will be in the packing slip. I said "are you sure? And what if it's not?"

So he gave me a phone number so that you can get info as to how to do this-
1-886-216-1072

That said, it really doesn't address the problem of how two people can send you the same book on your wishlist. Get a clue, Amazon!

Jeff W's picture
Submitted by Jeff W on

Yes, same situation. I couldn't undo it.

From the above comments. lambert, if you deleted the books from your "Purchased" list, I don't know if that action cancels our orders but I think it does not—it seems like it just clears the list (for list management)—I say that because I received no email message from Amazon saying my order's been canceled (and one thing Amazon is good about is sending email messages regarding the status of orders).

If the double book order is not canceled, it seems you have two options: returning the gift or refusing delivery.

Returning the gift
Use Amazon's Returns Center to return one of the books and get a credit from Amazon. (It's not clear if you have to pay for the return shipping charges but it seems like it as Amazon says it will pay if the item was sent as a result of its error—which it arguably is, given the way the Wish List is).

Refusing delivery
If you simply refuse delivery, that falls into the category of "Undeliverable Items" and the purchaser (VG or me) gets the credit. (I'd prefer that you get the credit, of course, but there is the issue of the shipping charges.) If you do refuse delivery, one of us will then be in the position of purchasing something else. I have a feeling the person VG talked to suggested this method so you would avoid any shipping charge issue.

So maybe call the numbers provided by VG and ask what to do in this instance.

P.S. And no need to feel embarrassed, lambert, I think I had the same issue with the wording when I first looked at that Wish List. These things happen and we'll work it out.

Valley Girl's picture
Submitted by Valley Girl on

[UPDATE This really wasn't a hint. I know that's meta.... --lambert]

Yeah, I knew that!!!!! You were thanking people for their generosity. And, revealing that you don't check snail mail all that often.

Submitted by lambert on

Maybe somebody else knows? It sure seems odd that you can't just send something to somebody else's address. Leah has sent me food books like that.

Jeff W's picture
Submitted by Jeff W on

Well, that's a fascinating usability problem and, with a little experimentation, I think I found out one (convoluted) way to do it.

A description of the problem first: if you don't have (or know) the recipient's address (let's say the recipient is someone named lambert), you can use that address as a shipping address only if you are buying an item on lambert's Wish List. (And if you've already bought an item on lambert's Wish List and shipped it to that address, that address is not saved in your "Ship-to" addresses for a non-Wish List purchase.)

Hmm, what do you do?

It appears you can "trick" Amazon into allowing you to ship a non-Wish List item to lambert:

  • Go to lambert's Wish List and place any item in your shopping cart. It doesn't matter which one. You'll delete it later. Having that item in your shopping cart makes lambert's address available for shipping.
  • Choose lambert's address for shipping.
  • Continue shopping (you can click Back on your browser—Amazon will remember the order in process) and place the non-Wish List item(s) you want to send lambert in your shopping cart.
  • Delete the Wish list item you originally placed in the cart in order to make lambert's address available.

Voilà! You now have a non-Wish List item (or several) in your shopping cart to send to lambert. That was easy.™ Oh, no, wait, that's Staples's slogan. No wonder. (There might be an easier way but it sure isn't obvious to me.)

twig's picture
Submitted by twig on

Thanks, that's very cool. And if it doesn't work, I'll just blame you (kidding!).

Jeff W's picture
Submitted by Jeff W on

Yeah, just blame me! I can take it! (I'm curious to see if it does work.)

It is truly weird that you can't easily send a non-Wish List item to someone whose address you don't know without going through that rigmarole.

twig's picture
Submitted by twig on

The geniuses at amazon set up the system so it reverted to my address when I removed the Wish List item.

Sorry, JeffW -- you tried! You'd think a major retailer would want to make it easier for people to give them money, but apparently not.

Submitted by hipparchia on

i just wanted to add to the pile-on!

also, i've never used an amazon wish list, either to ask for stuff or to send stuff, in part because i'd always wondered what happened in cases just like this one. thank you jeff and valley girl and lambert for creating this test case! :)

Jeff W's picture
Submitted by Jeff W on

Ha, well, actually, this problem never occurred to me because I had sort of assumed that Amazon, in its infinite marketing wisdom, would have something like "Want to send lambert something that's not on his Wish List? Continue shopping" and let you add whatever you want to your shopping cart with his address already selected. I'm actually surprised that Amazon doesn't do that, unless the thinking was something weird like "People want the items on their Wish Lists and only those items."

Of course, this is the same company that lets people send two of the same item on a Wish List without any kind of alert so maybe it's not that surprising. Obviously, perfecting the Wish List feature is not Amazon's highest priority.