Amazon is once again throwing a two-day sale this October, just like they did back in July. I took advantage of the July sale to pick up a very discounted Apple Watch 7 in red. I justified that purchase because (1) I had a Watch 3 that was on the verge of no longer getting watchOS updates, (2) it had extensive new features that I’ve since used to help track my health and sleep, with notable improvements to both, and (3) it was Apple and I’d already checked a number of stores comparison window shopping. (By-the-way, the health support is genuinely useful for retired elderly people such as myself.)
That doesn’t mean I’m a fan of Amazon. Far from it. I have absolutely no intention of shopping for anything from Amazon in October.
Let me go down a list of what I find reprehensible about Amazon that’s motivating me to avoid shopping there. This list was actually pulled from an Ars Technica post ( https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2022/10/best-amazon-prime-day-deals-2022/ ), in which all of these negative little issues were buried as a string of hard-to-read links in the body of an article that spends nearly all the text talking up all the wonderful items soon to be on sale.
- Amazon admits its drivers sometimes have to pee in bottles — https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2021/04/amazon-admits-its-drivers-sometimes-have-to-pee-in-bottles/
- Amazon fires at least 3 employees who criticized workplace conditions — https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2020/04/amazon-fires-at-least-3-employees-who-criticized-workplace-conditions/
- Amazon’s anti-union conduct made free election “impossible,” NLRB officer finds — https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2021/08/amazons-anti-union-conduct-made-free-election-impossible-nlrb-officer-finds/
- Amazon ends widely mocked scheme that turned workers into Twitter “ambassadors” — https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2022/01/amazon-ends-widely-mocked-scheme-that-turned-workers-into-twitter-ambassadors/
- Amazon will use cameras and AI to monitor delivery drivers — https://arstechnica.com/cars/2021/02/amazon-aims-to-improve-safety-by-monitoring-drivers-with-cameras-and-ai/
- Amazon is using algorithms with little human intervention to fire Flex workers — https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2021/06/amazon-is-firing-flex-workers-using-algorithms-with-little-human-intervention/
- Leaked pics from Amazon Ring show potential new surveillance features — https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2020/04/ring-cameras-may-someday-scan-license-plates-and-faces-leak-shows/
- After helping decimate department stores, Amazon plans to open its own — https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2021/08/after-helping-decimate-department-stores-amazon-plans-to-open-its-own/
- US cracks down on “Fulfilled by Amazon,” citing sale of 400,000+ hazardous items — https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2021/07/amazon-shipped-flammable-kids-sleepwear-and-hair-dryers-that-can-electrocute-you/
- AG says he forced Amazon to shut down “unlawful price-fixing” program — https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2022/01/ag-says-he-forced-amazon-to-shut-down-unlawful-price-fixing-program/
- Amazon lied about using seller data, lawmakers say, urging DOJ investigation — https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2022/03/us-lawmakers-seek-criminal-probe-of-amazon-for-lying-about-use-of-seller-data/
- Amazon blocks LGBT products in UAE, says it “must comply with local laws” — https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2022/06/amazon-blocks-lgbt-products-in-uae-says-it-must-comply-with-local-laws/
- Price gouging and defective products rampant on Amazon, reports find — https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2020/09/amazon-products-marked-up-more-than-1000-during-pandemic-report-finds/
- Thinking about selling your Echo Dot—or any IoT device? Read this first — https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2021/07/passwords-in-amazon-echo-dots-live-on-even-after-you-factory-reset-them/
- Alexa suggests 10-year-old put a penny on partially exposed plug — https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2021/12/alexa-tells-10-year-old-to-try-a-shocking-tiktok-challenge/
Those fifteen stories are not even the tip of the iceberg, but you gotta start somewhere. Note that the first six are about Amazon warehouse employee abuse, the most egregious abuse to be sure. The rest are Amazon customer abuse, especially that last story where Alexa was repeating a TikTok crazy challenge. As for price gouging on Amazon, I can speak to that. If an item is popular and suddenly goes on short supply, the price shoots up dramatically across all of Amazon. For example I have six cats and two dogs, and I’ve seen animal supplies from all the major suppliers suddenly rocket up over ten times (or more) when they hit a supply issue. That’s why I buy all of my animal supplies from Chewy, because Chewy is always honest with its pricing. When an item is out of stock at Chewy, meaning they can’t get any and thus can’t sell you any, then Chewy marks it as out-of-stock. When the item is back in stock it comes back at a regular price. I can live with that, finding ways to substitute. I now have far more trust in Chewy (and other stores) than in Amazon.
My trust in Amazon is gone and will never come back. Because I no longer trust Amazon I will shop at Amazon only when I can’t find an item anywhere else.
One thought on “amazon’s problems”
Me too. Their unethical and sometimes illegal practices are far-ranging and detrimental to buyers, sellers, and everyone in between. (Incidentally I was about to write a post about Amazon for much the same reason; their recent two-day ‘sale’ of nothing very good at enormous prices. It’s like a cult you have to believe in.)
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