An open letter to Jeff Bezos and AMAZON.COM:
For the most part I have been a satisfied customer of AMAZON.COM over the years, but my experience with your web site today has caused me to be concerned that possibly the machines have taken over and there is no longer any intelligent life (of the human kind) in the Amazon complex. I had an issue with a new “feature” that your site served up to me today, but when I looked for some contact information, such as an email address or phone number for “Customer Service” or “Technical Support”, your web site was devoid of any contact information. I can only surmise from this that either you don’t give a shit about customer service, or the machines have taken over and killed all of your human staff.
I do understand that one of the goals of a profitable and successful business, especially when operating an e-commerce business, is to achieve a high level of automation of the processes. In this regard Amazon has been quite successful, in presenting products to customers and in completing sales transactions and in shipping products to customers, but in my book you have failed Customer Service 101 by denying your customers an opportunity to provide feed-back or seek assistance with a human being that might help you provide a better sales experience or allay customer concerns when an issue arises. Don’t be stupid and greedy, show some interest in assisting your customers, there are any number of alternatives today for those of us who shop on the Internet.
In terms of my issue today in which I wanted to contact your company it is in regard to your asinine implementation of the “Pay Phrase” feature. I believe the intention is to streamline the customer transaction experience and add a level of security to the transaction process, but you have fallen flat on your faces with this. At the end of my transaction today I was prompted to select a “Pay Phrase” and you defaulted a random phrase for me to elect. You also did not serve up an option to opt out of inputting a “Pay Phrase”, How stupid is that? Do you think I will remember some random phrase you have generated – never going to happen. Then you compound the stupidity by inviting me to define my own phrase, but any phrase I come up with, that would be unique in any context and is meaningful to me, something I will easily remember, you reject as “already used” (which I find very hard to believe). How asinine is that? Does it really matter if some other random person might be using the same “Pay Phrase”? They will not have the same user ID or password as I and the user ID, password and “Pay Phrase” combination will be unique to that person. Of the millions of random customer transactions you process every year, what are the odds that one of them would be someone spoofing my user ID, password and “Pay Phrase”?
If the use of a “Pay Phrase” is going to become a requirement for transacting business with Amazon you need to implement it so that your customer can truly elect to use any phrase he comes up with.
Show a little more respect to your customers in terms of “features” and access to Customer Service, while the machines may have taken over in your shop, all of your customers are not just consuming drones.
P.S. Don’t tell me that this “Pay Phrase” nonsense is just a lame April Fool’s joke, just admit it was a mistake.