Posted by: darien7743 | August 7, 2016

Google Ninjas, Amazon and the .5% Not So Smiley Donation….Huh…?

Happy? Not exactly……………..but I’m learning!

I like Amazon.com. I like them a lot. I also like Google.com……..and I like them a lot. I know that there are people out there who will strongly disagree with me. That’s fine. I’m aiming for unity within diversity here. Hang in there with me. I’m new at this and this week it’s another convoluted one……..but I think it has merit. I sometimes think that Google and Amazon, are, The Lone Ranger and Tonto, of my seasoned years. Sidekicks from different walks of life that changed my world and in many ways, made it better.

When things work and are helpful I strongly feel the benefit of saying “Thank you,” to my benefactor and “Yippee!,” for me. When things turn left…………I’m just as likely to tell you how I feel about that, and…………just as directly.

Let’s start with why I like the two biggest kids on the block. I’ll begin with Google. Right now I’m happiest with Google.

I am a Techno Bimbo. Not a put down; a simple fact. I do not do techy things well. I never have. I try………God, do I try……..I tried to learn how to use a computer in 1990 with 8 weeks worth of almost free classes. No go. I tried again, on my friend’s PC. Same Year, same results. 1994, ditto. 1997, I had my own PC……….double ditto. 2000, a Dell laptop. 2006 a Sony Viao. 2011 or maybe 12………….the Viao, I was finally able to negotiate, failed. It was too slow for the modem. Now what?????…………..The suggestion. A Google Chromebook. Panic! Unknown territory……..APPS!!!!

But the Archangel, Google, descended via Amazon, and I bought a Chromebook with a SquareTrade Replacement policy. (That’s another story.) Now what? There was no manual included with the Chromebook. My only option; a Whackadoodle online group in outer cyberspace that I was supposed to contact with questions, issues and feedback via the ding dong computer that I had no idea how to use!…… The problem with that one should be obvious. One needs to be a Techno Code Talker before there can be a modicum of understanding. Techno Bimbos do not talk techie. They sputter unintelligent and monosyllabic sounds in total confusion and pure panic. Normal techies boldt when someone like me crosses their path. Their day is no longer an easy one.

Enter the “Archangel,” Google, (round 2) bearing gifts……………Google Ninjas……the Gold Standard  of Techno Wizards…………I would like to request that someone at Google go find

  1. Isha. when I think of Isha I picture, Angela, from “Bones.” Bless you Isha, I seriously wanted to send you a Christmas gift!
  2. Bob. A man who should be knighted for service to mankind. I would not have been kind to man, any man, had Bob not been there on the days when Isha wasn’t. He was the EMT on more than one extended phone call. I didn’t think they’d let me send cookies either, Bob!
  3.  Finally, finally my good buddy, (and wish he were my son, but he isn’t) amazingly intelligent and patient, Chris G.,…….The Zack, Mr. Nigel Murray, Wendell and Dr. Sweets,( Chris, is literally, the Techno version of Dr. Lance Sweets.) “Bones,”characters all wound up into one. Bless you, Chris.
  4.  Give them a huge Bonus. They Earned it. Well earned it. Repeatedly………….
  5. Because thanks to this amazing group of individuals, I now am writing on my beloved 3rd Chromebook. I know how to use almost everything I need and can figure out many things I don’t. I am alive and well and functioning in a techy world and I am incredibly happy about it, each and everyday. “RedBull,” has nothing on the Google Ninjas as far as giving you wings to fly. In all honesty, this group and many others have seen me through a mega load of questions, issues, mistakes, serious flubs and major disasters. Each, dusted me off, set me back on my feet, more than once, no matter how long it took. I’ve gone from daily therapy with a Ninja somewhere, to, “Gee, I haven’t called them in????? 11 months for tech help.” Amazing!!!!!

These gifts to the techno challenged, have treated me with dignity, and with grace, answering questions until I understood completely. All voices of professionalism, good will, and patience, using well exercised imagination, found ways to help me understand when I was sure I never would………… All of them could teach patience to Job! And Humor, lots and lots of humor! They’d make me laugh to break the tension and halt confusion.  They have stuck with me for as long as it took  and then made sure that I was doing well afterward. They set me on my feet and never abandoned me. Google lost a lot of money with my learning curve………..and they made a lot as a result of their staff. When I’m a happy customer, everyone knows,….and in just as much detail as when I’m not. To say that I am enthusiastic Ninja groupie, is an understatement.

If Google did nothing else right, they gave us the Ninjas and I will always be grateful. In point of fact, I have only had one encounter with a Ninja that wasn’t over the top in excellence, and that was years ago.  The rest were all outstanding. Outstanding is seldom what we see in Customer Service. But that is what I see in both Google and Amazon. Amazon’s Customer Service policy and individual C. S. representatives are also on my gratitude list.

I have spoken to well over 500 representatives world wide in the past 12 years, mostly with a very favorable impression……….There is some work that needs to be done with regard to Amazon, outsourced Service Reps……….Okay, there is a lot of work that needs to be done with out sourcing representatives west of California and not in the islands. Countries who think that American English is a secondary language, and are not part of Island nations, need to think again. I am not talking about South Africa, Mexico, Costa Rica, Jamaica, England, France, or the Phillipines. If your country isn’t on this list and you work at 0 dark 30 AM PST……….yeah, it’s you! And I am not alone in that concern. But, Amazon, now asks customers in the email service response, whether you felt the C. S. rep. understood you clearly. Amazon does listen. I do know that. They’ve listened to me in the past. I have seen the results.

Now, at last to the point of this topic…………..Finally! How does this have anything to do with “Happy?”

Here’s how. I’m not happy with Amazon right now……….Nope. Not happy.

In 2015 I set up a Smile account with a Piece County Animal Welfare as my charity. I read about how Amazon donates .5% of Amazon sales to the designated charity of your choice. I set it up for PCAW because of the wonderful, selfless work this organization has offered to animals of the homeless and the financially strapped since the mid 1950’s.

I live in Washington state where the failure of, Washington Mutual Bank, Seattle, in 2008, began the crash that resulted in our most recent Depression. I know it has been called a recession. No matter, we  all know it was Depression. We all felt the blow and it’s ramifications. Let’s not forget that it was the first time in history that a Presidential election campaign was put on hold. And an unprecedented event, where both candidates were called to The White House for a conference, a few weeks before the actual election. That is history. Amazon, also located in Seattle, has been dedicated to community service in whatever way they could since Jeff Bezos began this company on July 5, 1994. This is also history. Ironically, another historical, Presidential election year.

PCAW assistance has remained constant through the history and hysteria of the past 60 years. When necessary they pay for care that runs into the hundreds of dollars per pet. The love of a pet may be priceless but someone has to foot the cost. I do not have a lot of money. Frequently I have very little. My discretionary funds are minimal. By establishing a Smile donation for them I believed, I had found a way that I could say a continuous and definitive, Thank You. I would buy everything that I could through Amazon and my charity would get 5% of my purchases. I thought, “Amazon has really good prices, and yes I wait a bit for my items, but, hey! I can help this way, and Amazon will get a tax break and can give even more.  I’ll even join Prime. I can save on shipping and there will be an extra 5% I get back. Win/Win/win. That should give PCAW a nice donation. Let me get everyone who supports them to do this. Amazon is great!”

Sometimes Techno Bimbo’s need to read the fine print……or better yet, take a refresher course in math.

Last week I spoke with the PCAW Administrator because I didn’t notice any mention of the AmazonSmile option in the annual newsletter. When we talked we realized that the registration didn’t get completed properly and she arranged to have it done. Meanwhile she received notice of the amount of the donation from Amazon and was a bit surprised. The amount was less than $13 for the entire enrollment period. I told her that I would follow through. It was a significant mistake. I had made thousands of dollars worth of purchases since enrolling and it would be corrected. Tonight I spoke with Amazon. Their C.S. representative took ownership of resolving my initial issue. So, I mentioned this and he was eager to deal with the situation. Until He learned the answer. This man was dignified, gracious and compassionate………..He was also trying to find a way to explain the following, while being loyal to his employer, his position, his duty and himself.

When we join  Amazon Prime, we are delighted to learn that along with several other benefits, we receive 5% back, on all our Prime, purchases. We think, if we read as I did, that we are also benefiting our Smile Charity, for the same amount. We are wrong.

We do receive 5% personally from our Prime purchases…………but our charity? Our Charity receives .5%. It isn’t the same. For every $100 you spend on Prime, you are credited $5, personally. For every $100 you spend on Amazon your Smile Charity, receives $.50. Nope. I didn’t make a mistake. Your charity gets Fifty Cents per One Hundred dollars. $.50/$100.00.

I don’t need new glasses. I don’t need a better education. I need to pay closer attention. I thought I was making a difference. I thought I was supporting a unique retailer, a conglomerate corporation that stood for the benefit of others. My intention was to contribute to a cause that has given much to the less fortunate for over 60 years. I was wrong. So now, what? I need to consider what I might do to rectify this error.  I sparked their enthusiasm, I got their hopes up. I initiated changes. I was  trusted…………..Now, I need to be flexible and change what I can while offering support to those who can effect a beneficial outcome for all.

Do I feel guilty? No. Guilt is not a productive emotion. It is a debilitating way of punishing myself and derailing my thinking. Do I regret my choice? No. I learned and there is great benefit for me to continue with necessary Amazon purchases. I have the opportunity and the ability of making others aware of the situation, their purchasing power and any changes they may choose to make. Do I have options for resolution? You bet………….as long as I don’t get sidetracked and sucked up with remorse. You can’t take action when you’re wrapped up in reaction instead of response.

Response is not avoiding an obstacle. It’s seeing it clearly and then flowing around the obstacle. Reacting is beating your head against a rock resulting in a concussion and no resolution……..of anything. …………………..Every philosophy has it’s own version of this. My Dad’s  Texsan version; “Use your head for something other than a hat rack.”

I have options.

Option One. Dear Amazon, please take the money that I would ordinarily get back for my Prime purchases and donate it to my charity of choice.

Option Two.  If Option one doesn’t work,  make do with fewer purchases and donate the rest.

Option Three. Let others know of the situation and help them to see that they too have options.

Option Four: Write this blog and end with the following.

Dear Amazon. A few years ago, I contacted you about an Issue with SquareTrade. You hopped on that one and cleared it up. Thank you. Last year, I contacted you about a less than ethical experience I had with Samsung. You took care of everything when all else failed. Yea! Amazon!!! This spring I bought two Fire tablets because I believed that Underground contained more than it did. The picture I saw showed that what I wanted was included. It wasn’t, you changed the ad. I kept the tablets. I appreciated the response. Today, well……………I’m not happy and I doubt that a whole lot of other customers will be happy after learning about what I’ve written. The way the copy for the charitable donation was inserted lead us to believe that we were doing something significant when in fact, we weren’t. We were lining our pockets a bit but simply teasing our charities.  I’m not comfortable with that kind of practice. It makes me want to take a shower. And would you be more careful about the integrity surrounding the way current copy is being written. Implying, may be perfectly legal………but it’s hinky and beneath the auspices of a company that touts good conduct, value and integrity as part of their mission statement……and, calls Oprah, a friend.

If you think it’s, “Not Nice to Fool Mother Nature!”……………….Don’t even think about trying to mess with Oprah. She holds a Phd.in, Ethics of Charitable Donations and has a vested interest in maintaining impeccable personal and professional integrity.  I’m sure you can come up with an alternative way for your customers to be of benefit to those whom we wish to support.

In fact, with the caliber of the Amazon Imagineers,  I know you can…………….We’ll be waiting to read it on your bannerhead.

And thanks for taking the initiative.  Sometimes our greatest friends  are those who most clearly show us how to be our best. When I do my personal best, I am a far greater success in every way.

 

 

 

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