Oh, you didn’t know? Well, well, well.
Amazon first settled on South Africa’s shores in 2006, when they set up an Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) in Cape Town’s CBD.
Five years later, and chuffed with their South African experience, they opened a Customer Service Centre in the same area.
At the time, then-Senior Vice President for Customer Service, Marc Onetto, told Engineering News that, although Amazon doesn’t provide its traditional services to South Africa, the decision made total sense:
Key was the geographical location. He explained that weather could often disrupt Amazon customer service centres during the Northern Hemisphere winter, and so having a customer service centre in the Southern Hemisphere, especially during the peak Christmas season, is advantageous. The longitude of South Africa provides a time zone advantage and assists in Amazon being able to provide a 24-hour global customer service.
Onetto said that the quality of the South African staff was another key consideration. “When we offer customer service we make it from places where people are nice! We found that in South Africa,” he said.
Cape Town has been able to offer a unique language advantage to Amazon in terms of customer service. “Beyond just the people being nice to our customers there is the fact that there is a diverse culture here and we were able to find a lot of German speakers, which allowed us to offer customer service for Germany.”
Is it, hey? Well, it appears Amazon is here to stay.
Driving up or down Roeland Street, you might have noticed construction taking place on the site of what was once the car dealership you most likely grew up dreaming of doing business with:
It has been mentioned by those in the know that this is the new Amazon.com office, being built where the infamous Viglietti Motors [below] was once situated:
Chad Shapiro, senior commercial broker for Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty in the CBD, City Bowl and Atlantic Seaboard, says: “Several property owners have also been involved in the transformation and redevelopment of commercial buildings in the previously semi-industrial area which is now also home to a growing number of upmarket bars and restaurants as well as a new retail component that synergises well with the new creative element that exists here.”
He adds that a number of the larger commercial buildings have already been remodelled and upgraded, including The Harrington, 50 Buitenkant the entire Church Square area and new construction includes the new amazon.com building which is being built where Viglietti Motors was situated.
You know the spot:
However, that doesn’t mean that Amazon will be extending the full range of its services to South Africa just yet.
Rather, Amazon is expected to be expanding their Development and Customer Service centres, which means you will still have to use the likes of PostBox Courier to get your stuff safely to South Africa.
A groundbreaking service that gives you a shipping address in the US, UK and Hong Kong, any time you order a package on Amazon that doesn’t (or does) deliver to South Africa, just pop in your Postbox Courier-provided postal address in country of choice and, as soon as it’s delivered there, Postbox Courier will grab it and bring it to you in South Africa in three to five days.
They have someone at SA’s major airports who deals exclusively with whisking your goods through Customs, securing the best rate on clearance and duty tax, and all that other nonsense that can make buying goods from overseas such a hassle.
Much better than waiting for someone at Customs to let you know your goods arrived, and then watching them chop an extra charge on that you’re pretty much powerless to challenge.
Here’s a quick look at the Postbox Courier process:
It’s too easy.
I’m sure we will one day see Amazon challenge the local online retail market, but for now Postbox Courier is your foot in the door.
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