Et tu, Amazon?

Been having my share of ‘bad business moments,’ but I never thought that I’d add Amazon to that list.

In all the years I’ve been involved in online commerce, I’ve only had one negative experience with Amazon.  It was a good fifteen years ago, or so, and I’d ordered a recently released history book.  I’d planned to order it directly from the publisher, but Amazon put such an attractive price on it, that I would have been crazy to pass on it.  Unfortunately, despite paying for two-day delivery, nothing happened.  After a week (and a few nasty e-mails), I’d learned the truth: Amazon had not taken possession of the book yet.  In other words, they simply didn’t have it.  So, I cancelled my order, got my refund, and bought the book – on sale – from the local Barnes & Noble.  Like I said – this was about fifteen years ago.

Since then, I’ve  had nothing but great experiences from Amazon.  Until now, that is.

I found some items that I wanted to get, but they’re marked “Add-On,” meaning that the only way to acquire them is to buy more stuff.  Apparently, this is some moronic policy Amazon began a couple of years ago: Certain items were simply too inexpensive – so much so, that one spent more on the shipment than the product itself.  Therefore, to justify the low prices on said items, Amazon will only sell them to you if you buy something of a specified value (or hit that as a total, before shipping).

In my case, the item that I want is approximately $3; I’m willing to buy several of them to legitimize the expense, but I’m not willing to purchase enough to make the $25 minimum purchase limit.  I don’t need that many, and frankly, I resent having to shell out what will be essentially another $30 just to acquire a three-dollar product.  I’m sorry, Amazon, but I’m really sick of this.

You see, Amazon pulled this “Add-On” nonsense on me a few years ago.  I’d hoped to buy a stocking stuffer for Christmas of an item that was not available in the stores.  Amazon had it – for weeks it was $15 – but after Black Friday that year, it mysteriously dropped to just $4.  Well, I thought I’d had the bargain of the century!  I couldn’t wait to get it – except that Amazon had declared it “Add-On”.  In this case, I needed to spend another $30 minimum to get it or kiss it good bye.  Considering my post-Black Friday state of economic affairs, I reluctantly let it go; I just couldn’t afford to buy things for which I had no need.  In time, Amazon raised the price, but by that point, I was no longer interested.  Nowadays, that same item goes for about $30 alone, but I’ll never own it.

I get that this is what capitalism is, but I resent the ‘bait and switch‘ nature of stunts like this.  I want a product (actually, the stuff I’m after I need), but for me to get it shipped to my home safely, I have to submit to what comes across as some sort of blackmail.  No, thank you.

So – I’ll see if I can find what I need locally.  Maybe I will, maybe not.  I know that there are other outlets, so it isn’t as if Amazon holds a monopoly on these sorts of things.  But it’s frustrating to have to jump through a lot of pointless hopes to satisfy a need all because some idiot at Amazon developed a scheme by which they could squeeze out another buck from their customers.

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