Hey Amazon, I hear you’ve started a waste reduction initiative. Let’s chat!

So I (mostly) love Amazon. It has just about everything one could ever need to purchase – in gigtuplicate – and those reviews that are legitimate can be really helpful.

(What? Some of the reviews might not be legit? Umm… yep. There’s a whole industry out there getting paid to write positive reviews. You really didn’t think that half of the 584 people who reviewed that charging cable would say basically the same thing, did you?)

Over time, Amazon has cunningly gotten to know a lot about me from the things I’ve ordered. The suggested items are remarkably spot on for my lifestyle, sometimes eerily so. (I suspect studying ordering habits would lead to some interesting doctoral theses.) And I swear Alexa is listening to our conversations because I see things pop up in my feed that, remarkably, we were just talking about. (I’d love to run a test with Alexa where we talk a ton about something like Aruba, then see if Aruba-related stuff starts showing up in my feeds!)

But let’s be honest: I order from Amazon pretty regularly and it’s darned convenient. Apparently a gazillion other people like to order from them as well, and it’s causing a bit of a waste issue. Not only are we talking packing materials and the packaging for each thing we buy, but the carbon impact of all of the deliveries. They’ve even started a new thing called Amazon Day, where they encourage people to set a specific day of the week when all of their orders get delivered. This makes a lot of sense as far as emissions and delivery staff is concerned. It will just take a while for those of us spoiled with Prime 1- and 2-day delivery to come around to Amazon Day.

But I have another idea to help with their waste reduction initiative, and I’ve been trying for a couple of days to figure out how to actually talk to a real person in Amazon to share the idea. Really, have you ever tried to talk to a PERSON at Amazon, like have a conversation where people’s mouths are moving and sounds are coming out? Doesn’t happen. Oh, there are lots of ways to contact Customer Service about an issue with an order or a product, to contact the seller with questions, or to give feedback. But all of these are either through their many contact forms or through their online chat. No phone numbers appear anywhere on the Amazon website that I can find. I get it… they’re ginormous, and how in the world could you field calls from all of those customers? But you’d think there’d be some way to reach beyond the order/product/seller connections to reach a real person, even if it is via email. I even reached out to Amazon through their Twitter account to see if I’d have success there, but despite their very speedy and cheerful reply tweets, I haven’t yet been successful in getting past the curtain to speak to the Wizard.

What do you think the odds are that I’ll actually be able to speak to someone with the waste reduction initiative? Time will tell. I’m not giving up, though, even if they eventually think my idea is naive or impractical. Hey, some of the best ideas have started out that way!

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