There was only one place I could click that would allow me to advance to the next screen (simple text), the text was super small placed below a giant image, and my cursor didn't change to indicate that it was clickable, e.g., https://imgur.com/a/VNlU9L9.
Additionally, I received my package in the same amount of time as Prime said it would take. Which leaves the question, what is the benefit of Prime membership? It's not free shipping, it's not free grocery delivery, it's not Music or Video, it's not discount prices on Amazon retail website, and it is most certainly not any assurance of authentic goods.
Prime is snake oil.
After enduring the 10+ page questionnaire on why I was cancelling Prime, the only way to cancel my Prime membership, it is clear no one took the answers to the questions seriously.
This lawsuit is long overdue.
That seems like what I expect a crappy deceptive startup to implement in order to try to boost metrics for the next round of investment. It's not the kind of shady UX I associate with the largest tech companies. I seriously would not have expected that from Amazon, so I'm very happy the FTC is stepping in here.
Not to mention that this is very much against Amazon's supposed values, including "customer obsession"  -- to "work vigorously to earn and keep customer trust" . This is very much the opposite of that, when customers discover they've been deceived into signing up.
The opt in button would be at the bottom where exactly "account" sits.
Weird. Around here, Prime does give access to video.
I know folks around here who have prime just for that.
I doublechecked just to be sure; it still is like that (according to a quick google search).
For Amazon Music, see https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=36372298.
I could go on...
When you start looking at all these patterns, across all these services (e.g., Prime, Alexa, Music, Video), it's clear that one type of team must be dictating all of this (e.g., Music and Video). It's all predatory, in the same style; homogenous. Talk about placing a bet on the wrong horse.
There's a visible toggle to only show content that's "free for me", so I don't end up accidentally clicking on something that's not included. Plus, everything that's not free for prime members has a big icon attached to it, and it'll actually ask clearly if I want to pay to view it.
The UI is OK, I can easily find my way around it. I haven't used Netflix much, but it was much more of a pain to navigate, even for shows that I was already watching and wanted to get back to.
For shows disappearing, I've always seen a text saying they'd be leaving prime in X days.
I haven't tried Amazon Music, but I did buy a Fire TV stick, and I love that, too. I have a dumb PC monitor with terrible sound and the stick is the only player I've had that managed to only output the sound in stereo, so I can hook it up digitally to my stereo amplifier (through an HDMI toslink extractor I've got off Amazon for cheap). It's also able to tweak the remote signals so that it controls my amp volume instead of its integrated volume control.
I've seen shows that pretend to be in 4K (my monitor is 4k). They look pretty good, but I don't know how to be certain they're actually 4k.
4K worked for me for a few weeks when they had a special "Ultra HD" category. After that, items that would claim that label streamed in at most 1080p. Other providers continue to provide the expected service: sharp image when fullscreened on my 5k display.
Capital One had (when I was employed there) a process where if someone calls and disputes a Prime charge, they just call a specific number at Amazon and it gets removed instantly. No questions asked and bypasses the normal dispute process.
Call your credit card company, not Amazon.
The only issue: I seem to remember the process of switching from full Prime to Prime Video only was rather confusing and hidden.
Whenever I see horrible UX from big tech it creeps into my mind that the people making it are some of the highest paid in the world and these companies are some of the richest in the world. It's either intentional or we are all suckers.
If they continue to work at a place that makes them miserable for whatever reason (fear of loss of income, status, change, whatever), then I do have sympathy for their emotional problem. But in the end, they can choose to have a different situation.
I hope employees can experience federal protection against this. We definitely need it.
... typically leave these companies. I know multiple people who made such choices, leaving company that asked for something unethical.
If we were talking about low paid employees with no options, the "they are forced to" would be reasonable argument. But in here these people have choices and are just unwilling to take slightly less paid job.
I cancelled Prime after 12 continuous years of subscribing. I placed my first Amazon order a few days ago sans-Prime and was amazed at the blatant dark patterns put in place to get me to sign up again. When I finally got to the checkout page, I had to manually change the shipping for each item from $5.99 standard shipping to free shipping (because I hit the $25 threshold).
A few hours later, I get a solicitation for Amazon Music (not sure if I would have gotten this if I was a Prime subscriber).
Then the next day I got an email saying "Your package is arriving earlier than we previously expected"... the same as Prime 2-day shipping. Maybe it's logistically easier to just ship 2-day instead of holding on to inventory?
I thought cancelling Prime would have been difficult (especially with Prime only discounts at Whole Foods), but finding alternatives to Amazon and Whole Foods has been easy. I guess it's no wonder Amazon tries to push it so hard because it's relatively easy to live without.
Exactly this: https://imgur.com/a/Xi4ZO3i.
Notice how I am being told that I'm "saving $5.99 if I enroll in Prime", and the default selection is the $5.99 delivery option, however I qualify for free shipping. Further, this free shipping option changes location between purchases, making it even more confusing for customers to not be unnecessarily overcharged.
FWIW, I use it for Prime Video, Prime First Reads ((where you can choose from 1-2 free books per month)) and Prime Reading.
A long time ago, I did use it for faster delivery. There was definitely a difference. But the items I tend to order now are usually heavily stocked and are delivered quickly anyway.
I wonder if people who live in rural areas are still benefitting from faster Prime delivery.
(Also, no offense, but I canceled my annual Prime subscription when they upped the price and then restarted a monthly plan later when I decided I did want to keep the other benefits. It wasn’t as difficult as you’re making it seem to cancel. And it didn’t seem any different than when I cancel other services where they try to get you to stay.)
(Also, I’m not sure if you were aware, but technically you can split the cost with multiple people (i.e. friends or relatives) if you set up an Amazon Household account)
(Also, interestingly, it looks like you can ((in certain countries I think)) just subscribe to Prime Video instead of the whole service. I guess Kindle Unlimited can be considered a separate ((and slightly better)) service for Prime Reading. Hmmmmmmm, maybe I will cancel the whole service.)
It's just two adults now (and a limited "teen" program which doesn't acknowledge the realities of kids living at home past 17). I have four adults on my account, but two of them are grandfathered in and still receive my "prime benefits", but aren't shown anywhere in my Amazon account that I can find.
2% extra cash back (on Amazon credit card) (so 5% in total).
Not sure if there is anything else, but it can be worthwhile.
The unlimited photo backup, including raw, is worthwhile for me (5tb or so)
Significant redactions around Amazon executives being aware of a "nonconsensual enrollment problem" and blocking any changes.
> the primary purpose of the Prime cancellation process was not to enable subscribers to cancel, but rather to thwart them. Fittingly, Amazon named that process “Iliad,” which refers to Homer’s epic about the long, arduous Trojan War. Amazon designed the Iliad cancellation process (“Iliad Flow”) to be labyrinthine, and Amazon and its leadership—including Lindsay, Grandinetti, and Ghani—slowed or rejected user experience changes that would have made Iliad simpler for consumers because those changes adversely affected Amazon’s bottom line.
A lot of the evidence in the complaint is completely redacted. FTC says "For now, the FTC’s complaint is significantly redacted, though the FTC has told the Court it does not find the need for ongoing secrecy compelling."
Wonder who allegorized as the customer for them, say Priam, Hector or Cassandra?
The first two are of course slaughtered, while the last is merely enslaved, IIRC. So I'd bet on Cassandra.
(I know many of you in urban areas are getting one day shipping but those of us in less favored geographies, such as the same ZIP code as AMZN warehouses, have seen two day shipping turn into five, which makes Amazon uncompetitive with going to the store or with other e-tailers which usually offer faster shipping.)
I agree it's not actually that hard to cancel, but the flow is so needlessly complex from a consumer perspective.
It should go straight to a page with three buttons and associated explanations:
1) Cancel at the end of the term
2) Cancel immediately and receive pro-rated refund (Since they offer this, I'm including it here - wouldn't expect it in general)
3) Keep subscription
But nah you have to scroll to the bottom and click “Continue canceling” where you’re taken the page you describe.
I don’t know how anyone can say this isn’t deceptive. If I click cancel membership, I shouldn’t be taken to a no-op interstitial page that makes me scroll to find a “continue canceling” button. That only exists to look like a “Canceled successfully” page.
> Under substantial pressure from the Commission, Amazon changed its Iliad cancellation process in or about April 2023, shortly before the filing of this Complaint.
- page 43, https://www.ftc.gov/system/files/ftc_gov/pdf/amazon-rosca-pu...
Cancelling the 2nd time, they refunded me for the unused month. But maybe that was to do with the linked case rather than the goodness of their hearts.
I wouldn't read much into the internal names of things at Amazon. They're picked at random by nerds. I've seen apps internally named after space, Dragon Ball Z, Lord of the Rings, coffee and candy, etc. I'm pretty sure I've used another, completely different thing that's also called Iliad.
It's not malicious. It's just one of those Amazon things that make working there sometimes a chore.
> Internal documents also show that Amazon intentionally drew out the process of canceling a Prime membership. Under a project code-named "Iliad," Amazon created multiple layers of questions and new offers before a Prime member could cancel their subscription, in hopes of reducing member churn. The number of cancellations dropped by 14% at one point in 2017 following the launch of Iliad, and fewer members were navigating to the final cancellation page, one of the documents said.
Also really frustrating, if I go to "Order Details" for an order that was delayed, the "Delivery Estimate" line shows the day it was actually delivered. Not the day it was originally estimated. I had to check my email to find the original delivery estimate.
Amazon's response? Let's not fix the underlying issues in the company. Instead, let's attack all other social media sites for "fake reviews":
"Social media sites failing to curb 'cottage industry' of fake reviews, Amazon says" (Sun 18 Jun 2023 12.27 EDT).
You read that correctly. Amazon. Is accusing everyone else. Of failing to curb "cottage industry" of fake reviews. Hilariously sad. RIP Amazon.
This was the case 4 years ago. I don't think it's new.
Nevertheless, let me find a few examples.
16-Feb-2023: "Amazon making me file a police report after they delivered my neighbors package to my home."
17-Feb-2023: "Delivery Issues"
14-Feb-2023: "My item was marked as “delivered” but isn’t actually here, contacted Amazon and they’re asking for a police report"
25-Jan-2023: "Amazon wants me to file a Police Report."
24-Jan-2023: "Amazon is refusing to refund me for a missing item even after a police report. Has anyone else dealt with this and found a work around?"
Title says it all. This is straight up BS.
*Mon* - Delivery Day: Package Delivered, not my package it’s my neighbors package so we walk it across the street. I chat with Amazon and let them know they delivered my neighbors package but listed it as mine. I am told search around my house and check my mailbox… you must wait till the following day after 6pm before you can contact us again.
*Tues* - Contact them and this is where things should have been easy and I should have just asked for a refund. They ask do you want a refund or new item and I say I just want the item I ordered please. I am told in the next couple days wait for an email with the replacement order..
*Today/Thur* - I chat with them and say I still haven’t received an email and I am immediately greeted with [this](https://i.imgur.com/3m0W4hV.jpg). WTH I have never had an issue before what the hell is going on. I tried to give them my neighbors tracking ID on his package to say that’s the package they delivered as “mine”.
Now I have filed a police report, got my credit card company involved and am waiting for answers. I cannot believe this, they are making it seem as if I CAUSED THIS TO HAPPEN.
Needless to say I’m not happy. Just venting I’ve never been in this position before and this really ruins my experience going forward.
I came home from work on the 11th having seen my parcel as being marked as being “behind the wheelie bin”. No photo attached though. As I went round the back to get it, I noticed that there wasn’t any obvious parcel, I looked around there and back round the front of my house only to find there was no package. I spoke to my neighbours and my housemates to see if they’d seen anyone delivering from Amazon during the day, to which both parties said they hadn’t even seen a van.
I attempted to report this to amazon that day, and was told to wait until Tuesday 14th. I waited and came back to report it then, only to be told that there’s nothing to be done and that I must file a police report if I wish to get my money back.
So I call the non-emergency line (101) and explain to them what’s happened. I’m told in no uncertain terms that a non-received parcel is NOT a police matter and for the amount of the items (1 item) missing (~£50), it’s too small for them to file a report anyway. I explained to Amazon that I don’t even know if it’s stolen so how can I report it as such and am told that until the item is physically in my possession, it remains the property of Amazon and if they believe it’s been stolen then you need to file the report. The police told me it’s more of a civil matter and my best chance would be letting my bank sort this as a dispute.
Until I receive the parcel, it can't be stolen from me, and seeing as I don’t have it, how can it have been stolen from me. Amazon have a sales contract to deliver the items I ordered to me. How is this not their issue to solve?
So i had ordered a couple of things off of amazon but when i received it i had only gotten one of my packages. I contacted customer support to ask for a refund or something and they told me i need to file a police report first because i guess i had already asked for a refund for a package that never showed up a while back. Never had this happen before, so do i just go and file a report and they'll refund me? Has anybody been through this before?
I bought an IPhone 11 and case from Amazon (sold and shipped by them). Once the package arrived it only had the case/screen protector and no Phone. Support told me to wait a few days then they would help with a refund…but instead they told me the weight on the package was correct so they can’t do anything until I filed a police report.
So I go ahead file a police report, send Amazon the report and number of my local police and they’re still refusing to refund me. Claiming there isn’t enough proof of investigation. I just don’t know what to do and I’d rather not charge back because ik amazon has a habit of closing down accounts after that.
In both cases, they completely stiffed me. That was the final straw that made me stop using Amazon.
What kind of products people ordering that they're getting fakes? I've ordered a variety of books, art supplies, shoes, some tech like batteries and cable (typically from Anker store), coffee beans, some audio streamers, Legos, notebooks, stuff for pets, gardening supplies, etc...
Look up "pet sweaters". Resulting brands listed in order: Dxhycc, Fitwarm, ANIAC, Jecikelon, Queenmore.
"Audio streamer": WiiM, Andover, iFi, Arylic, Douk, ACEMAX.
"USB cable": Jelly tang, AINOPE, Ruaeoda, etguuds.
I could go on, but you get the idea.
And now, the more I think about it, I'm typically using amazon's search for zeroing on something specific. I wouldn't even do "car charger for phone", but would do something like "Anker USB-C Charger for Pixel 6a".
And likely, most items I'm going for I'd be referred to from a site, like America's Test Kitchen or something.
In short, I guess I don't "search for discoverability" on Amazon at all, and that's how I stay out of their optimized mess.
EDIT: I also don't really purchase things that aren't independently reviewed elsewhere, like using ATK for some kitchen items, etc...
Without prime I still order from them more than I feel good about, but only ever opt for the free, slow, shipping.
I’m at something like 30% deliver relay in 2 days, 40% deliver in less than 5 days, and 30% take the full five days.
combining your experience with my own, really sounds like they’re losing it.
When I signed up the guarantee (if not then?) was three days. At first it was good for small town Canada. But then the bottom fell out. But now something may say ship time a week or two but the thing arrives four days later. They're all over the place. One may think incompetence but it's benefiting me.
The other thing I hate it Prime Video more than once I've been two episodes from the end of a show and suddenly the show access is pulled. But oh look you can rent or buy it now for more $$$ on top of your subscription.
The UX, and product reliability are a completely different thing. I won't by any Amazon Basics products ever again, and many technical products (USB Cables, Chargers, etc) are a total crapshoot unless you buy from known mfg and even then who knows for sure.
The other components to the decision were the ever increasing volume of identical no-brand junk/counterfeit products with fake reviews, and the significant improvements in online inventory/buy inline pick up in store options from brick and mortar retailers.
When I signed up for Prime 13(?) years ago very few stores had accurate online inventory, now tons of them do, and the more limited selection actually feels like a benefit.
How? Patience. I add things I plan to order to my cart, and once the collection goes above the "free ship" threshold (currently $25) only then do I place an order.
Of course, on the order page they always default to "paid shipping" and force one to explicitly check the "free shipping" radio button to actually get free shipping.
Some years back it felt like Amazon deliberately delayed for an extra week any "free shipping" packages -- they would sit, waiting, for about a week, then packed, shipped, and arrived in about 4 days. I always attributed it to Amazon punishing those who chose to gain free shipping without signing up for prime. But over the last few years that "delay" has shrunk such that it no longer seems like "free shipping" packages get intentionally delayed to "encourage" prime sign-up next time.
My point is that the "de-prioritization delay" seems to have evaporated and I get items shipped in about the same time as the prime estimates (when they are "shipped by amazon" -- third party shippers are all over the board with shipping delays).
Walmart offers Walmart Plus - I've never used it but it looks infinitely less sketchy. Between that and the fact that Walmart has its supply chain under control ("commingling", anyone) the choice is easy.
Most of the common items we order are 1-2 day shipping. Less popular items can be several days or more.
If it makes Amazon Customers 1% LESS LIKELY to unsubscribe, then $$MILLION DOLLAR AMAZONCOM MISSION ACCOMPLISHED$$.
I wonder how long until you have to call someone or mail in a 1,000 word letter on why you don't need Prime to cancel it.
Life Pro Tip: Be a shareholder, don't be a customer.
Maybe, but they are still miles better than most other online shops, so they still get to grow. Just for the return policy, they are kind of worth it.
I'm also pretty sure there is no way not to get no results. They don't want to say "sorry we don't have that". Instead they give you infinite inaccurate results that you need to go through to confirm that.
Yeah, it might have improved things at first. But now I avoid Amazon because I don't want to have to wade though pages of results to find what I am looking for. So they probably shipped this with a temporary blip in sales but didn't consider the long-term effect.
Try search on most online shopping sites and despair. Amazon is hardly the worst one.
In case anyone is wondering what I use, here's a short list:
Computer/electronics, I visit Newegg. (I haven't been thrilled with them moving into other areas like Auto parts, etc. but they seem alright for the time being.)
Hardware or similar, I go with Tractor Supply Co, Home Depot, or Lowes.
Music, I go with 7Digital.
Car stuff, I have used NAPA in the past, but I hate that they don't store order history for over 1 year. Also, their search function is not great, and their selection is somewhat limited.
General stuff, I've tried to use Walmart for stuff like pillows or sheets or whatever, but most of the stuff they offer is also offered by Amazon, and Amazon is usually stocked better and generally a few dollars cheaper. I've been weary of trying out sites like Aliexpress.
It's frustrating because it seems like Amazon just generally has a larger selection than most other offerings out there. For more niche subjects, I feel like I have some reasonable options, but when it comes to more broad subjects, it feels like it's Amazon or nothing.
Except with electronic parts. For those, I typically go with Digikey. For electronic devices and computers, I go to a local recycler. They have what I need about 80% of the time.
I've never had a situation where Amazon was the only option, and rarely a situation where it was the best option.
I haven't heard of Digikey before. I'll have to give them a looksee.
For the recycler, have you had any issues or concerns with reused hard drives? I'm aware of how to securely wipe them and whatnot, but I feel like my nerves would still be on end to some degree, no matter how many times I reformatted or securely erased the data on it. Similarly, is it safe to assume that they have some kind of thorough physical cleanliness policy regarding hardware? I've listened to stories of computer repair techs who receive desktops that have literal cockroaches crawling out of them.
When I think of a recycling plant my immediate gut reaction is "dirty", but I feel like that reaction is unfair, if not unfounded. I've never been to that kind of place and am not really sure what to expect.
Do you mean buying used ones? I've never had an issue with them at all, no.
I never donate my old hard drives. I keep them forever, as a kind of last-ditch backup. I have a collection of them that goes back to late '80s.
> Similarly, is it safe to assume that they have some kind of thorough physical cleanliness policy regarding hardware?
At this place, everything they sell is as clean as if it were new, inside and out.
Generally, I don't see it as any "extra" effort to type in a different website name. I shop with the intention of already knowing what it is I want, it's simply a matter of finding it. I've already set up accounts on each of those sites, and use a password manager. I need to login to each site no matter where I end up because I have my history and cache cleared whenever my browser closes. It's the same process, whether it be Amazon or someone else. Now, compound that with my general distaste with Amazon, and it means I'm essentially completing the same process I would have been completing with Amazon, but without the associated distaste and annoyance.
I think of it this way: If I want quick and cheap food, I go to McDonalds, but generally dislike the place. It serves it's purpose. If I have a hunger for something specific, like Chinese, Italian, etc. I go to those places. The amount of effort expended is the same. The drive time might vary slightly, but each of those niche restaurants is going to be able to cater to that desire much more specifically, and presumably with a higher care of attention and customer service.
I'm placing an order, regardless.
I'm getting in the car, regardless.
I'm paying, regardless.
All of those actions are required to happen. No matter where I go, effort must be expended, so why use that effort on something lack luster and morally questionable? Wouldn't it be more logical to spend that effort directed at something catered specific to that desire, rather than go to McDonalds and hope that their version of spaghetti and meatballs will be "good enough"?
How do you judge that other online business that have a lower profile than Amazon are not morally questionable?
The morality of a company is more of a secondary factor, though. The things I care most about are if I feel their system is trying to take advantage of me, the consumer, rather than how it treats it's employees. I realize that sounds horrible, but we're not generally privy to what happens behind closed doors. Amazon makes headlines on a regular enough basis to make that sort of abuse common knowledge.
If a company like Newegg acts the same way, it's not something that I am routinely made aware of.
I mentioned return policy. You said nothing about that.
In my personal experience, Amazon has the worst return policy of anywhere I've shopped.
Not my experience at all, Actually completely the opposite. Amazon has had the very best return policy, with no questions asked.
To cancel? You need to send in a letter via post. that may be changed but I'm guessing probably not.
Oh and the rewards used to be 5% of cash purchases now it's 0.5% dismal. Just a glorified spam farm for your info.
To be fair, that's all rewards/loyalty programs. But clearly, some are worse than others.
In any event, despite knowing that they'll try to get you to join Prime at every interaction, and despite trying not to do it, I accidentally clicked on the "Yes, sign me up for Prime even though I've been telling you no for literally years" button instead of the "No, just take my money and give me my stuff" button. It instantly signed me up for Prime. It didn't add it to my cart, or take me to checkout, or ask, "Are you sure? It's going to cost you $x per month." That was the really shocking part to me. The button didn't say, "One click purchase" or whatever they sometimes say when you're viewing a product. Absolutely no indication that it would be immediate and irrevocable.
I immediately canceled and had to go through 5 "Are you really really sure you want to cancel?" and "Can we just suspend it for now?" pages before I actually got to cancel. Not the worst I've seen, but certainly scummy and deceptive.
I've been clicking the "no-thanks" link for years -- as I've never signed up for, nor ever wanted to sign up for, amazon prime.
But, as I know it is going to show up, I'm not surprised by it in the least, and I know where to go to get past it without accidentally signing up for prime. Maybe the FCC complaint might finally make this nice dark pattern example finally go away.
I was trying to reproduce the prompt that I was thinking of and found an equally obnoxious prompt:
If you accidentally click on prime, you are shown this
Which makes it seem like you can't even remove the "free" Prime trial, unless you look extremely closely.
Alternatively, if you do click on free shipping, but not on Prime free shipping, you get a popup showing this
Which defaults to trying to steal any gift card balance you have in order to pay for Prime.
I knew that Amazon was awful, but it's really gotten so far out of hand that it's surprising they haven't had the sort of legal trouble Microsoft had back in '98.
Several large donations to the re-election funds of various congress critters.
> Proposal seeks to make it as easy to cancel enrollment as it was to sign up
Fingers crossed. This FTC is a welcome change, thanks to having a young tech-savvy chairwoman who was a scholar. (The norm seems to be "old corporate executive.")
I clearly don't have a cheery outlook on how congress operates, or the ethics of most businesses.
I had to wait a couple months to cancel because of a weird clause requiring some amount of "sub time" before one could get a pro-rata refund in the agreement.
Cancellation had to be by phone, and the SiriusXM person went so far as to offer a full year of free service to keep me on board. She was quite shocked when I told her, no, not even a free year will keep me as a subscriber. I also asked her to be sure to tell her managers that the reason why they lost a sub was adding talking DJ's to channels that previously had none.
I switched to a commercial free, DJ free mp3 player for my commute, and eventually the "mp3 player" was replaced by my cell phone.
However, PayPal has some pretty slick tools for managing recurring payments and subscriptions, so I think I could manage it from the dashboard over there. Haven't checked yet.
What an example of how local optimizations within an organization can destroy long term customer value.
Many comments below discuss how Amazon has lost customer trust through these practices.
Most likely the PM or business lead was praised at the time for the short term revenue bump gained from these dark patterns.
It's not clear that they haven't profited more by having people retain prime through these patterns than they have lost through losing consumer trust.
People are not stupid and they learn. They will go to the place which works best for them and if Amazon stops working for them, they will go somewhere else.
One final comment is Amazon says one of its corporate values is customer obsession. On the retail side of Amazon, I am not seeing a lot of customer obsession. I am seeing a lot of short term thinking which gets Amazon more money today but will hurt their business in the long run. Here are some examples:
- Horrible content discover for books, movies and TV. Amazon just returns the results of a database query. It does not try to help you find content you will like. In TV shows, it lists each season as a separate show (web site, about 5-7 years ago).
- No way to distinguish between high quality non-fiction books and disinformation.
- Its book categories are very badly done. One example is I once went looking for computer science books. There were duplicates in the top 50 (i.e. one book listed more than once) and almost none of the books were computer science books. They were either “How to use technology X” books or “How to ace the programming interview” books. Some were also public policy books. This was about 10 years ago.
- Canceling Prime took too long and was far too hard. I will never subscribe again after I saw how they treated me when I unsubscribed. Note Netflix is easy to subscribe to and unsubscribe from.
I remember it clearly because it stood out as the only time I interacted with them (outside of buying something) that went without complication.
I'd love to see FTC target cancellations that require you to call a phone number and speak with someone. There's always a very long wait, and once you speak to someone you have to do gymnastics to get them to cancel.
Very similar to uber, it was such a breath of fresh air compared to taxis, now it's worse than them.
These "disruptors" that just buy their market position suck.
That is AWS & Amazon fulfillment.
Amazon shopping site is garbage at the level of peak eBay BS.
Video/Music/Alexa are afterthoughts.
Kindle is extremely mediocre hardware & software for how long its been around, but they priced out competition.
It's as if Amazon is really great at building the glue for other people to build their products on top of, but horrible at building products themselves.
If by "regulated", you mean that dark patterns should be prohibited, then I agree.
It means Amazon knows they are kings of online retail and have no problem abusing customers now.
Walmart online is sometimes cheaper, but also sometimes more expensive. Makes it really hard to make the switch. I have refused to give money to bad companies, but with the rest of the world being manipulated into giving them money, I realized I never made a dent.
Its weird because a mega corporation would consider the quality and if it meets the qualities, they would buy the cheapest price(with few other considerations, maybe china-US relations might deter).
In this case, the objective right answer is to buy the cheapest when it comes to 3D printer filament, as long as it meets the quality. It does.
I wonder if its some emotional decision to buy a more expensive product that performs equally.
I respect that you have to make decisions based on your own financial situation. For me, getting a few things for less money with the possibility that you might suddenly get hit with a big charge for something you didn't actually sign up for voluntarily is not worth it. To me it's like putting off fixing a car problem. You're saving money in the short term, but it could cause other much more expensive (or fatal) problems later. It's just too much risk for me. (But I have also been in a position where I had to put off a car fix because I simply didn't have the money. It absolutely sucked.)
Idk, I worked for a lot of companies, and I'm not sure any would pick the same product when its more expensive elsewhere under the fear of an unexpected charge that has never occurred before.
I suppose I should be preparing for a volcano to emerge in the north east US too. :P
Bad practices by NYT impact 3% of Americans. Bad practices by Amazon impact 48% of Americans.
You can be cynical and say that going after Amazon is political because more voters are impacted, but at the end of the day it seems reasonable to go after the biggest target where the biggest impact can be made to benefit Americans.
If you have a valuable product, it should stand on its own as valuable. If you have to engage in deceptive practices, you're just accelerating your journey towards enshittification and destroying your brand equity. I guess that's fine for short-term gain/pump-and-dump, but it's unethical.
I'd rather die poor and honest, than rich and full of regret.
Even if it's designed correctly initially, the areas has a permanent bull-eyes for someone's promo packet to go and optimize.
What do you mean by "career limiting"? Just at the company in question, perhaps, but speaking up like that should be considered a good thing. If it's not, why would you want to continue working there?
Career limiting means you'll see less career advancements.
> speaking up like that should be considered a good thing.
Agreed. But in practice it's unfortunately not always seen that way.
> If it's not, why would you want to continue working there?
Because I weight several factors when deciding where to work and there are other benefits to working here.
So you mean career-limiting at that particular company? I understand. Thanks!
In areas with very close knit industries it can hurt your opportunities.
It's probably limited my opportunities some, but I can't really tell. There are plenty of opportunities out there, and if a company doesn't want me because I'm willing to be honest and argue for what I think is right, then that's a company I don't want to work for anyway. So it all works out for the best for everybody.
Umm, I totally see why others would decide differently. Everyone makes their own choices and trade-offs.
I was just trying to point out that if the objection is that doing those sorts of things is a career-killer, that's objectively not true. It might mean that certain specific companies won't like you, but you won't be rejected by the industry overall.
I doubt Amazon does this. It would expose them to too much legal risk. Almost no large employers (in the US) will say much more than "This person worked here from date X to date Y and they (are/are not) eligible for rehire."
Not being eligible for rehire is a black mark with many potential employers, of course. But then, having Amazon in your work history is also a black mark with some employers.
Nobody is desirable to all potential employers.
You are overlooking the salient fact that managers and recruiters know each other from one company to another. Backend conversations matter.
Likewise once you find the https://www.amazon.com.au/mc page, cancelling your membership from there is about three clicks through the "are you sure?" and "are you really, really sure?" pages not too hard.
I've probably had one month free prime memberships about three times now just to get the fast delivery. In fact I had a reminder for three days time to cancel the latest membership, but I just did it now. (I usually let it run for twenty days or so.)
I wonder if there are consumer protection laws in Australia that are limiting the amount of dark patterning they can do.
Also Australian, my dad (70) came to me a month ago really stressed out about signing up for Prime accidentally. I managed to cancel it for him, which wasn't too hard, 3 or 4 pages where you have to click the right button to continue.
I think designs like what Amazon does here are easily navigable by us, but anyone who's not great at computers will struggle.
My Dad was adamant that he chose the delivery option without Prime, which is why this situation was really stressful for him...
So when I contacted them, I got a refund for the $99, but I also told them they needed to pay me a $25 inconvenice fee for having to waste my time to call them for this....
They paid it.
I can get a free month of Prime, then 1 minute later cancel it (yes, you need to click through a couple screens), but keep it for the rest of the month. No need to set a reminder (even though Amazon offers to send you a reminder).
Not sure if it's still true, but you used to be able to cancel paid prime and get a partial month refund.
Just used the free trial to get something in time before i left another country, and nicely wasted some $$ because i wasn't aware they will refund you for every remaining month.
IMO that's a more significant problem.
This is, of course, easily bypassed with browser controls, but I agree that it is a dark pattern which can trap less savvy people into pressing forward, because it seems there's nowhere else to go.
Edit: I checked again. It isn't there. Note that I said checkout, not my cart. It has big CTA buttons to go straight to checkout without first going to the cart.
It is there for the "cart" screen but once you get to checkout, you are stuck either proceeding or abandoning the page.
So it is well hidden away, but at least for my Amazon account, one can delete from the "checkout" screen.
The elderly seem to favor a lot of muscle memory over reading the screen, so any UI updates are painful.
I finally gave up and convinced myself it’s worth it to watch a few crappy movies on occasion and get my horrible used knock-off products shipped to me for free after paying for the shipping anyway as a markup on the product price.
In several years of membership it still has not managed to recommend a single thing I'm interested in. How are they so bad at this?
On the other hand, none of it is quite as bad as Marketplace Web Services, or even SP-API it's replacement.
2: I'm pretty sure financial operations have hard rules against this behavior that could be ported here.
3: Isn't Google in a kerfuffle for almost exactly this?
How many emails does Jeff@amazon.com get per day you think?
I'd posit that suing news organizations would be perceived as more political than a retailer.
Or am I missing something important here?
Probably because newspapers are notorious to be the worst of the worst when trying to cancel free deals that automatically turn into expensive memberships.
Common methods are to only allow cancellation through telephone and only have open during work hours when most people can't call. If you manage to get hold of a human being, then you'll have to spend an hour arguing before they accept your cancellation. Then, even if you manage to get through it, you're missing the paper trail so the newspaper can just claim you changed your mind.
As late as yesterday, the Swedish Consumer Agency published a report on the issue.
You won't get any argument about that from me. To butcher Mel Brooks: "...they stink on ice!"
However, that's orthogonal to my point -- that going after a newspaper would likely be perceived as more political than going after a retailer, especially in the highly charged US political environment.
Modulo that underlying dynamic, do you have a specific argument about how the status quo governmental power structure performing the tiniest bit of regulation on the status quo corporate power structure is "political" ? Or are we just supposed to not think too hard and jump to some kayfabe partisan narrative?
The FTC lawsuits against Meta and now Amazon are politically motivated and are a misuse of the the system if not outright corruption.
I don't appreciate being subject to one dark pattern after another just to buy an sd card or a bath towel.