Fortunately, amazon.com is pretty good about returns, so I've filled out the form for a replacement, and it ought to be here soon. The damaged book is packed up and labeled, ready to go back. I also got an e-mail confirming all this and apologizing for any trouble, which contained the following quote of the e-mail the customer service representative actually got based on the form I filled out on the website:
> Date: Wed Dec 13 02:38:50 UTC 2006
> Subject: Replacement request: Amazon.com Order #[whatever]
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> From: email@example.com
> Dear Amazon.com,
> I am requesting replacements for the following item(s) from order
> Item Description: [removed because it's a present and I must hide it!]
> Quantity: 1
> Comments: Front cover and several pages badly bent.
> Bottom of back cover mangled.
> Thank you!
The only part of that I put in is the Comments, because the box was actually labeled something like "describe the damage here". The interesting thing to me is the "Thank you!" That's automatically generated, and I assume added to all the requests for refunds or replacement items. But it really does make the whole e-mail cheerier, and probably makes the customer service folks who have to read these things much happier and more kindly-disposed towards the requesters than they would be if it weren't there.
So yay, clever form e-mail generator programmer and/or designer at amazon.com! Good work.