Christian and Lisa Seger were expecting a surprise gift from a friend from Amazon in the mail. Instead, they received a piece of conveyor belt equipment.
The Segers are co-owners of Blue Heron Farm, a Texas farm specializing in ethically-farmed goat cheese. They told Gizmodo the nine-pound conveyor belt roller arrived in a poorly wrapped Amazon package.
The Segers documented the whole weird experience on Blue Heron Farms’ Twitter and Facebook pages from the day the mysterious package arrived. On Blue Heron Farm’s Facebook page, Christian said: “This appears to be part of amazon. Like, literally, part of amazon. Part of the belt from the warehouse.”
“I’m a farmer so I’m familiar with a lot of mechanical doo-dads,” Christian told Gizmodo. “Right away I could tell this was nothing I need at all, and it came from some really heavy-duty equipment.”
Jay Roussel, a friend of the Segers’, had mentioned sending Christian and Lisa a chicken book via Amazon. They confirmed the package the Segers received was the one Roussel attempted to send them by checking the tracking number. “At some point the book he was supposed to be sending got out of the box and what wound up in the box we’re pretty sure is part of their conveyor belt system from the warehouse,” Christian told Gizmodo.
The Segers took to Twitter to document their ordeal.
Amazon gave them an answer pretty quickly: The Segers were told to send back the cylinder or pay $US19 for another book. Of course, it would be their friend who’d have to pay the $US19, since he’s the one whose card was on file for the purchase.
“There is an option [on the website] to say that you got the wrong item,” Roussel told Houston real estate news website Swamplot.
“But not one to say that the item I got was clearly completely random. If my friends didn’t send the roller back, I would essentially be charged for the item twice (at least that’s how I read it). And another friend said that if I called them, he’s quite sure that they would have cleared it up in their system… Just not a prompt on the website to handle such an odd case.”
Despite the situation, the Segers were pretty good-humored about the whole thing.
Roussel has since bought and shipped the Segers another copy of “Why Did the Chicken Cross the World?: The Epic Saga of the Bird that Powers Civilisation.” UPS came to pick up the roller within 24 hours.
But then, according to the Segers’ tweets, Amazon customer service called to say the company wasn’t sure it was Amazon’s roller — it could have come from either UPS or USPS. In any event, Amazon decided to overnight the chicken book to the Segers.
We reached out to Amazon for comment and will update if the company responds.
Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through his personal investment company Bezos Expeditions.