Yesterday I came across something interesting about the internet giant Amazon. Amazon.com had committed an error sometime around Christmasin December 2006,where it accidently offered two DVD box sets for the sum total of 0$(or some very small amount in cents).This was a possible mispricing. Obviously,a large number of people took advantageof this generous offer and placedtheir orders.
And Amazon shipped a large number of these orders without actually checking the billing detailsto a large number of customers.Few days later (December 28), after the orders had been received and presumably opened, Amazon contacted all the customers and told them that if they didn't sendback the DVDs, they would go ahead and charge their credit cards.
I feel that this was a complete act of foolishness on part of Amazon.comto threaten its customers like this.The company should have quietly accepted its mistake and instead of bothering its customers it should have concentrated on improving its billing system.As such the free or nearly-free box-sets must have cost them a mint.And it was shocking to see that Amazon did not foresee the consequences of an act like this,they did not realize how much ill will and negative publicity such an event would cause them.
I think that such acts of unauthorized charges on customer's credit cards would make customers lose their trust in big companies like Amazon.It is the duty of such companies to protect user privacy and not go ahead and misuse it.Obviously,I can understand that companies are in business to make a profit, but sometimes it's better to just let things go while admitting a mistake, than to make a few extra bucks in the short term.
What do you think?Feel free to comment.