Thursday, July 28, 2011

You may experience problems with the Amazon currency converter

It first seemed like a convenient way to save a few cents, but turned out to be a bad idea: using the Amazon currency converter when ordering with Amazon.UK.

Amazon.UK offers to pay in EUR - the "Amazon Currency Converter". Seems nice:

  • you see instantly what you are paying - in EUR
  • you save the bank fee for not paying in EUR
  • you have to type less in the expense report (you think)

But speaking of the expense report - that's where you need a correct invoice, and that's something you won't get. What you get on the printed invoice is:

  • the total in GBP instead of EUR and
  • a conversion rate that doesn't match what you were actually charged in EUR.

So first there is no way to match the amounts on the invoice to what you were charged and secondly you still have the typing effort to explain the relationship between foreign currency, conversion rate, and native currency in your expense report.

I already got the Amazon hotline to tell me that they

  • have a different conversion rate for my transaction in their system than is printed on the invoice
  • they charged me according to the conversion rate in their system not the one on the invoice

But up to now no corrected invoice - they still think I want money back, when all I want is a corrected invoice. Aaaaaargh!

Update 2011-07-31: The third e-mail was comprehended - they promised to send a corrected invoice. Jippie! Nevertheless I don't think I'll use the Amazon currency converter again.

Update 2011-08-18: Got no corrected invoice yet. Sent another email. Got the corrected invoice by fax after being called by Amazon UK and a short conversation on the phone. The real surprise here: there seems to be more manual work involved than I could imagine. I thought Amazon's system was not working correctly when it was just a everyday human error as it seems. Softened the title a little.

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