I have always liked Amazon. I’m sure they’re still among the best at what they pioneered fifteen years ago. But they don’t do it as well as they used to, and I think it’s because they’re doing too much.
By that I don’t mean they’re selling too many things (which might be the case, but I doubt it). I mean that they’re selling too hard, and in too many ways. Their site is garbaged up with too much noise, too much irrelevancy, too much promotional BS, too much “personalization” that flunks the Turing test, every time. You know that’s machine intelligence you’re dealing with. Nothing human there.
Here’s a photo set on Flickr that chronicles my current problem with Amazon. I wouldn’t have said “current” yesterday because I thought the problems were over. But today some packages arrived from Amazon (following the order documented in that photo set), and they included two copies of one book and three copies of another, where I wanted only one of each. Turns out the order was correct. But how did I arrive at ordering multiple copies of books? And how did I miss the mistake when I reviewed the order before it went out?
I don’t know yet, and in some ways I don’t want to know.
What I do know is that dealing with Amazon used to be a model of ease. Now it’s a pain in the ass.
And that’s not good for either one of us.
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