Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Amazon's anti-social behaviour?

Today I got home from work and found I had a package waiting for me. I couldn't remember ordering anything it could possibly be, so imagine my delight when I saw the monster below:

Bigger is, after all, better. It measures 4'4'' x 2'4'' x 6'' (132 x 71 x 15cm). That is my orange sofa-bed behind it, and the white thing is a normal sized (less than 12''/30cm in length kitchen towel) for comparison. Surprisingly, I could lift it very easily with one hand, which prompted the concierge to joke to me that it was probably a coaster.

Well it was packed with this much brown paper:

And even contained the actual thing I had ordered from Amazon - a 3'4'' (102cm) long rolled up, laminated Peters Map (oh how liberal of me).

And here are the happy couple together:

WTF?! No - that deserves to be said in full: What The Fuck?!

Now, I basically hate shops, so ordering stuff from the internet is brilliant. But I must admit to wondering whether it is better or worse from the environment. It might save a car journey a few miles, or I might use public transport. The post is probably coming my way anyway and I do deliberately ask Amazon to group my order into as few a deliveries as possible. Something which they consistently completely ignore, much to my annoyance. Internet shopping means that goods only go to where they are needed, potentially saving on transport. But maybe there are more returns too because people haven't seen the products. Ignoring this case, is there more or less packaging? In short, I don't really know what is best for the environment.

My initial thought was how bad this is, and I was pretty angry. But now I have just been to the gym so have calmed down. Still, surely, surely, they had a smaller package it could have fitted into. Would it have hurt? I am recycling the cardboard, but that still takes energy. This package took up more room in a van, and if so little care is taken, how many extra vans are driving about on the roads?

I'm prepared to think that there might be some good reasons for sending me this, but I can't think what they might be. Any ideas? I am actually still angry enough to write a 'strongly worded letter' to Amazon complaining. My own feeling is that this is completely disgusting anti-social behaviour by Amazon. Perhaps I should have spent longer at the gym.


  1. Happily, Amazon have a special comment section on their packaging:

    I just attached a photo and left my comment:

    Please justify this photo (the box and the only thing delivered in said box) in environmental terms because to my mind it is disgusting and shockingly anti-social. It will definitely make me reconsider purchasing similar items through Amazon in the future. I am highly disappointed.

    Also, I understand why things aren't always grouped together when the customer requests it in order to speed up shipping. But when the difference is a couple of days, why does this not happen?

    Irresponsible behavior like this will (and should) result in higher taxes on fuel and packaging in order to discourage it.

  2. That's truly ridiculous! I can only assume that they either ran out of poster rolls, or someone was having a bad day. Perhaps you should post them a letter - inside that box.