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Amazon plus Hermes means a new model online service that signally fails to deliver

How come everything in modern life is supposed to make your life better – but doesn’t.

A case in point in Amazon, Jeff Bezos’s construct that delivers you what you want, when you want it at a lower price than everybody else. Or maybe not.

My other half placed an order last week for a vacuum cleaner for her aged father, which she wants to take up with her when she sees him tomorrow (Tuesday).

It was supposed to be delivered last Friday. It wasn’t. Amazon said it had been, by a delivery company called Hermes*, who are supposed to leave a card if they deliver and you’re not in. They didn’t, but we were in anyway.

Amazon then said the package would be delivered some time on Saturday, Sunday or today (Monday). It hasn’t. This seeming certainty has been confirmed in numerous emails and also in one phone call to their call centre, somewhere in India. This was predictably useless. It’s not that the Indians are useless but they’re not told anything and have no power to do anything about such problems. They’re the cheap labour version of kicking the ball into the long grass.

Amazon is, apparently, testing the notion of deliveries by drones. This worries various security types who fear that such machines can be captured by terrorists and used to bomb Western cities.

There’s really no need to worry. It won’t turn up and, if it does, it will target the wrong place anyway.

*In Greek mythology Hermes was the son of Zeus and the messenger of the gods (above). That’s why he had eagle’s wings on his feet. The Hermes delivery firm in this instance seems more akin to Leda after her encounter with Greek mythology’s rapacious swan: not rushing around like a two year old.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.
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