The Case of the Missing Vanilla Top

Watkins vanilla

I’ve been ordering Watkins Clear Vanilla from Amazon for some time, but for the past three months it’s arrived without a top. The inner seal was still attached, so it was usable; I just had to use the jar top from the previous jar.

Initially I didn’t complain, as I thought it was just happenstance. The jar top had fallen off in transit and slipped through a crevice in the shipping container. The second time it happened I realized it was a pattern, but I expected someone else would complain. But the third occurrence? Time for me to take action.

There was no place for me to just indicate a comment or complaint on the Amazon site, so I opted to return the item, even though I didn’t want to actually return it. When asked to describe the problem, I said just that: the bottle cap was missing for the third month in a row and although I didn’t want to return the item, I wanted them to take action.

I was told that the item could not be returned.

So I persevered.

Did I want to take further action? I did.

I described the problem again.

And once again was told that the item was not returnable.

But this time there was an option to speak to an agent. Did I want a phone call or did I want to chat? I opted to chat.

And I described the problem yet again.

Eventually an agent arrived and apologized and asked me to describe the problem.


I should have copied and pasted my problem description, but by this time it had scrolled out of view and I didn’t think of it.

So I described the problem yet one more time, once again explaining that I didn’t really want to return the item, I just wanted someone at Amazon to be aware so they could prevent it from happening again.

The agent initially sent me a string of canned sorry-this-happened-to-you, I-know-how-frustrating-this-must-be-for-you replies.

And then I think he actually read what I had typed because he asked me to wait a minute while he reported the problem to someone who might be able to do something about it.

So I waited.

When he returned, perhaps two minutes later, he assured me that this would not happen again.

I told him that that was all that I was asking.

He said he would like to give me a refund. Would that help to assuage my frustration?

I replied that it wasn’t necessary because the jar of vanilla was still usable as the inner seal had not been broken and I could just use the jar top from a previous jar.

He thanked me for being so courteous and pleasant to deal with as it was such a change from the usual jerks that he typically encountered. [I’m just making that up that last part about the jerks; he didn’t say that bit.]

I told him he was welcome and we parted as friends.

And I kicked myself for not taking the refund when offered!


Note: When you purchase something after clicking Amazon links in my posts, I may earn a small commission. As of this date, I have yet to earn anything. 😎

Leave a Reply