Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Now to dig into Amazon.com (and co.uk)

I've ranted at Three. I've ranted at CityRail. Now to get stuck into Amazon.

I like writing book reviews, just ... because. Anyhow, I started an account on Amazon so I could, every so often, write something about a book I had thoughts on. I found out if I set up an account I could do this. All I needed was an email and a password.

Everything was getting along dandy, and the last review I wrote was 12 days ago. Then I got a message when I tried to write a review: That I needed to purchase something before I wrote a review.

A purchase requirement was necessary to control the quality of review.

Now of course, that doesn't exactly follow, because you can buy some handcream or something from Amazon, and you can still be allowed to write a review on War and Peace, and that doesn't really control the quality of the review. It doesn't guarantee anything - that the person has purchased the object they're reviewing, or that they have read the book.

What it does guarantee is that if you want to write a review, you have to hand over your credit card details, and some money.

However, it is Amazon's site, so if that's their rule, I guess it's their rule. though surely they could come right out and say "Amazon needs to have your personal details and cash before we let you review products".

So I began browsing reviews. My own previous reviews, which I'd mysteriously been able to write 12 days previously, and before, were still up. I thought, I couldn't write a review, but could I comment on someone else's? Underneath each review is a section where you may post a comment on someone's review, or vote as to whether it's helpful.

I attempted to post a comment on someone's review. it told me that unless I made a purchase, I couldn't comment.

So I tried to post a comment on my OWN review. I couldn't do that either - I had to make a purchase too!

Hey, I thought, that's not fair!

Sometimes people get quite heated in comments on reviews. Under your review they ask questions, scoff, debate why you wrote your review in a certain way. Amazon had let me write a review, then changed the rules on me so it was possible for others to debate my review but not possible for me to answer those people - unless I paid a fee!

That really irked me, so I tried to get rid of all my reviews in one hit, by deleting my account. Funny thing was, I couldn't find a "delete account" button.

I did a google search and found some articles saying that Amazon was quite sneaky in that it did not provide a facility for deleting accounts! You could change your details, etc, but you could not actually delete your account. And often people did not want their account there.

So, I went back and manually deleted every single damn review I had written. Laborious, I know. I'll be writing reviews elsewhere in the future, methinks. And the account remains, but it's empty. Since I didn't ever buy anything from them, I s'pose the worse thing that I can get from them is spam mail; I didn't hand over credit details.And I didn't have wish lists to delete or anything.


I really think it's crap for these big places not to have "delete account" facilities.

Oh, and Amazon has been slow in getting a parcel out to Mr Coffee. That's another thing not in their favour!


R.H. said...

Cutiepie they are bums.
Post your reviews at The Paper Drunkards, I've commented there myself and never copped one bit of abuse from them. They are dissipated by they are polite.

-Robert. QC.

R.H. said...

Well I must have had a few myself to write but as "by". Never mind. Tell the truth, I have indeed been a Queen's Counsel, it occurred one day in Oxford Street when I defended a homosexual man against slanderous abuse being shouted at him by a ruffian.


JahTeh said...

You must use The Book Depository for buying. There's no delivery fee and usually the book is here from England within 7 days. Unfortunately there are so many books and too little money for me to forage through the site.

Maria said...

Thankee all for suggestions, and much appreciated. I really think Amazon ought to think about whether it's people writing reviews who do them a favour (by making their site interesting and encouraging people to buy books and other products) or whether they're doing us a favour by letting us write reviews. I'd say the former; our reviews help sell their products, if we want to write stuff - which we can do for free - there are plenty of places we can do it for free - what about a charmingly free blogspot we can create of our own, on BLOGGER, f'rinstance, if we really were starved of other options?

Love to know more about book options, unfortunately, as you've pointed out jahteh, the limit is money. Oh darnitall, if only it weren't the case.

Maria said...

Your comment, R.H., is reminding me of the show King of Queens (it's a show about a man who lives in Queens, New York, and is considered important, to himself, I think. I'ver never watched it, only read about it).

When I first saw the name of the show I was convinced it was going to be a show about a person touted to be the greatest of all homosexuals. Perhaps a reality show. How they would structure the contests and activities, I wasn't sure.