Monday, August 24, 2015

An Open Letter To Amazon

Dear Amazon,
I hope you don't mind me writing to you like this but I would like to raise with you a problem with your Amazon Prime free next day delivery service. I spend most of Saturday washing-up, vacuuming, making cups of tea and trying to persuade my Good Lady Wife why it was necessary for me to buy a new camera. I had to explain the complexities of bridge cameras, zoom range, and pixel formats to a non-photographer. I also had to clarify why none of the dozen or so cameras I already own would be able to fulfil the complex requirements of capturing the likeness of both garden sparrows and dead pubs. After what I must say was a master-class in logical persuasion, towards the end of the day I managed to achieve my goal and the "buy now" button could be pressed. 

It was only a matter of hours later that there was a knock at the door which I dutifully answered. Returning to the marital bed-chamber (it was hardly past day-break) the GLW asked who it had been. I explained that it was nothing but the delivery of my new camera (20.1 megapixels, 63x optical zoom - please note all you camera-heads out there). "What, already" she pronounced in a voice laden with accusation, a voice that implied that the offending article (Super HAD CCD sensor, X Type lithium-ion battery - please note all you digi-freaks out there) had been procured long before budgetary approval had been obtained. "They are very efficient", I pleaded in my defence. "They must be", she replied, sarcasm dripping from every word.

All I ask is for the addition of a little check-box that can be ticked in order to slightly delay delivery in order to make things more believable and restore marital harmony.
With Kind Regards,
Alan Burnett

I remember reading a science fiction story, fifty or so years ago which predicted a future world where drones delivered products at the demand of customers. A man took delivery of a parcel he had not ordered nor knew anything about. He thought and thought about the parcel which he left unopened until he could discover what on earth it was. He thought about a lot that day, but by the next he had forgotten about the delivered box that had been left unopened on his table. He then realised that he urgently needed a new part for his jet-car (this was the 1960s after all), so he phoned the delivery service up and put in his order. "When do you need it by?", came the annoying computer generated voice. "Bloody yesterday", he barked back in anger. And then realisation suddenly descended upon him.

Try as I might I can't remember the name of the story nor its author. No doubt some sic-fi fan out there will e-mail me the details. I must check yesterday's inbox to see if they have.


  1. Wow, quite an interesting follow up fiction story to complete this tale! I've never ever had service that quickly from them, and we're members too. That is so incredible! But I can see her questioning it! Enjoy your new toy!

  2. I dropped a package at the post office today. Before she handed me my receipt, the clerk circled a portion of it, showed me where the package was going, the tracking number and the date it would be delivered. "Are you" I inquired.

  3. I've had very fast service from Amazon, too. But then again, I live about a half hour's drive from one of their larger East Coast distribution centers, so I have an unfair advantage. Heh, heh!

  4. was it really delivered by a drone? was it hovering outside above your door when you opened it and then did they drop the package into your hands? I ordered something day before yesterday and it's not here YET!

  5. Hope you enjoy that new camera:)

  6. You are a naughty boy! I have one in my family too.


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