I ordered an iPad – so why on earth did Amazon send me cat food and chicken wire?
When Mike Oliver ordered an iPad Pro from Amazon, he was sent a roll of chicken wire. After complaining and returning the wire, he was told a replacement iPad could be picked up from an Amazon locker at his local Co-op store.
On opening the locker with the code given to him by Amazon, he discovered that this time he had been sent a box of Felix original cat food. Mike keeps no hens at his Hampshire home, although he does have three cats.
Since late September, Mike, 58, a special needs teacher from Chandler’s Ford, has been battling with the US tech giant to get refunds for the two iPads he has been billed for, but never received.
Bizarre: Mike has been battling with Amazon after it sent cat food and chicken wire… instead of an iPad
He has emailed and rung on countless occasions – and provided all the documentation it has requested, including photos of the chicken wire and cat food. But, all to no avail.
‘It was incredibly frustrating and I kept apologising to the person I was talking to at Amazon as I was getting so angry,’ says Mike. ‘The more I complained, the glibber the responses I got. In terms of patience, I was taken to the wire.’ (Not chicken wire). Thankfully, Mike need worry no more.
Last week, after the intervention of The Mail on Sunday, Amazon finally admitted the errors and said it would refund him for the cost of the two iPads (more than £2,000).
In an email to Mike, a representative of the business which bills itself as the ‘earth’s most customer-centric company’, said: ‘I am really sorry to learn that you haven’t received the two main items in your orders.
‘Please be assured that I’ll be conducting a comprehensive review to identify any areas of improvement. Once complete, I’ll be forwarding my findings to the appropriate leadership team to ensure we improve your future experiences.’
As well as the refund, Mike was given a £50 gift card which he says works out at £3 for every ‘painful, soul-sapping hour’ he spent trying to sort out the mess.
His troubles began on September 23 when he ordered an iPad Pro, together with a cover and screen protector. The total price was £1,069, although he chose to pay via an interest-free repayment scheme promoted on Amazon’s website from the bank Barclays.
As a regular Amazon customer since 1999, he waited for his iPad to arrive. Two days later, a driver turned up at his home with two parcels. To Mike’s horror, there was no iPad – just the screen protector and iPad cover.
He immediately rang Amazon and it said the driver would be redirected back to him with the missing iPad Pro.
The driver reappeared, but when he opened the box, all that it contained was a roll of chicken wire. ‘I couldn’t believe my eyes,’ says Mike. On contacting Amazon, he was told that the correct item had been delivered.
To prove otherwise, he was told he would have to take a picture of the chicken wire, the shipping label on the box, plus any other barcodes. He was also asked to return the wire.
He duly did this with the company agreeing to deliver another iPad Pro, but this time to an Amazon locker at his local Co-op store in Chandler’s Ford.
When he opened the box, he discovered packets of Felix original cat food – ‘packed with healthy goodness’. He took a picture and got someone at Co-op to verify that the locker’s contents were packets of cat food. Despite being a replacement iPad for the first non-delivery, Amazon billed him again.
Over the coming weeks, Mike made a string of calls to Amazon – and sent numerous emails. He says: ‘I was constantly being given the runaround. I was passed from one department to another.’
He adds: ‘I was told they would help me, then the phone would go dead. They would then say they were having technical problems and would have to end our chat. On occasions, they said the forms I had completed hadn’t been filled in properly or they sent me the same form again.’
One email he received read: ‘This is just to confirm that you have told me that you received cat food instead of the item 2021 Apple iPad Pro (12.9-inch, Wi-Fi, 256GB) – Space Grey (5th Generation). I’ve noted down that the reason for the return is because you received the wrong item which is the cat food. I hope you have a wonderful day further. Stay safe. Bye for now.’
Mike says that wishing him a wonderful day was infuriating as he hadn’t had one since the whole mess began.
On Friday, Amazon confirmed the monthly payments Mike had made on the two interest-free credit agreements with Barclays would be refunded – and the payment plans cancelled.
But it failed to offer any explanation whatsoever about how the two errors had been made. For example, whether it was a result of mislabelling or driver fraud.
Mike told the MoS: ‘Thank you for getting Amazon to sort out something it should have done weeks ago.’ He has now successfully bought an iPad Pro from John Lewis, without any accompanying cat food or chicken wire.
Ironically, he is going to use the gift card to buy some Felix cat food for his feline friends.