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Saturday, June 20, 2015

As a customer I'm disappointed by how Amazon is changing

Snowball With Teeth by Property#1 from flickr (CC-NC-ND)

I'm usually a fan of Amazon, but I'm really disappointed by some of their recent changes.

Amazon UK used to have free slow delivery - which of course wasn't actually free, just included in average price. Then they increased minimum spend to £10, and recently to £20. This really interferes with my ability to go to Amazon, and press buy button for whichever gadget I need, and get it the next week or so, without thinking about it.

What's worse - that £20 spend is not on anything on the website, only on items dispatched by Amazon directly (and presumably not even all of them), so it's hard to pad the order by "well, I guess I also need some X, I might as well order it now", as for many Xs they're actually dispatched by some 3rd party.

All this is of course blatant attempt at making Amazon Prime more appealing. But I don't want Amazon Prime. It bundles:
  • something I want that used to be included in price (free slow shipping)
  • something that's a nice to have, but I really don't care about it terribly much (free next day shipping), and presumably only on items from Amazon, so I'll still be paying for shipping on half of stuff I order from Amazon website
  • Amazon Prime Instant Video service, which is just a painfully bad player with painfully limited selection of painfully low video quality - and of the few things they have almost everything needs to be paid for separately anyway. Most ridiculously after paying for Prime subscription and the video you need to pay the third time to watch it in HD. And to just rub it in, you can't download any of that to watch it on a train, or in a better video player. It's just hopeless crap.
  • There's some kind of Kindle library, which I haven't tried, but I presume selection is just as ridiculously low as for instant video. Not that it matters much, stacks of books I sort of want to read somehow keep growing endlessly anyway, I shouldn't be adding more.
  • Oh and now it includes "unlimited photo storage". Like I don't have all the photos in multiple more convenient to use clouds already.
That's not nice, Amazon. If you want to just increase prices, you can do that without doing this delivery fee nonsense. And stop trying to make Amazon Instant Video happen, it's not going to happen.

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