The Amazon service conundrum

by / Filed under Politics

Like most reasonable people, I try not to use Amazon, but yesterday I sinned and bought an album because it was two quid cheaper than anywhere else.

Why don’t I use Amazon? Well, they don’t pay tax and they’re shitty to unions. And yesterday I got me a third reason: they don’t let you download music to your PC if you’re using Linux. I’m guessing this is because they want you to use their player and tie you into their ecosystem, just like Apple and Google, and there’s no money in building a Linux app.

All bad enough, but what’s worse is they don’t make it clear when you buy music from them. I got a nasty surprise when my browser kept getting into some weird loop when I tried to download tracks. I hunted through the help docs to find I could download a single track at a time (thanks!), only that didn’t work either.

What did I do? I moaned on Twitter of course.

And Amazon got straight back to me, apologised and said they’d pass my feedback on. Meanwhile, I’d gone to their contact page and opted for a phone call. I entered my phone number and they called me straight back, and refunded my card immediately. The woman on the other end of the line dealt with my pissedoffedness perfectly calmly.

Probably the single best customer service experience I’ve ever had.

This is the Amazon conundrum. They’re a grotty organisation who can be underhand when it comes to selling stuff, but their prices and service are amazing. You have to make an effort not to use them, which is why most people do use them, understandably enough.

(Incidentally, in the end I bought my album from Greedbag. I paid with my card and downloaded a zip containing all the album tracks and the artwork. What could be more transparent?)