Letters to The Man, Technology

Amazon.com Feedback

Your web site is becoming a useability nightmare, which is discouraging given that this has traditionally one of your core strengths.

I have a gift certificate. I try to buy something with it. I order a used item, I go through all this stuff, and it says NO YOU CAN’T BUY A USED ITEM WITH A GIFT CERTIFICATE. Why not? Hasn’t someone given you $10 to send to a third party?

Okay, so a few days later I want to see your price on color sidekick. You don’t have them. Pity. Ah, but I could afford a heavily-discounted hiptop carrier! Okay, let’s put that in.

And it says “your gift certificate wont cover it” which is interesting because the item is $8 and the GC is $10. How much IS shipping? It won’t tell me HOW MUCH my order costs, just that it needs a credit card, and submitting my credit card is the ONLY navigational option.

Okay … well, let’s do that, and there are items in my cart from WAY BACK, like the used item I tried to purchase the other day. The only option is to confirm my thirty dollar order. Where do I say no? There is what LOOKS LIKE a navigation bar on the top of the screen, but it doesn’t do anything, not even clicking on “Amazon.com” to start over.

So, I go in to my web browser and TYPE Amazon.com to get to the point where I can clear out my shopping cart to just the item I want, proceed to check-out, and you STILL want $3 shipping for a little piece of neoprene. After all this hassle? FORGET IT! I could stuff that thing in a padded envelope and smack an 80 cents stamp on it and send it USPS, but you can’t, because you’re designed to extort money out of your previously-loyal customers.

Please fix your user experience.


I try to be very laid-back about most things, but I guess I take customer service really personal now, huh? And it is all the more frustrating to be thwarted by Amazon.com because for a long time they distinguished themselves by being pretty clueful and user-friendly.

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Categories: Letters to The Man, Technology

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