Marco’s excellent article on Amazon is worth a few minutes of your time. He summarizes reasons why he has stopped admiring the company and those reasons pretty much mirror my own. While I think you should read the article, I’ll give a peak by sharing its conclusion:
Amazon making its retail business worse to prop up another part of its ecosystem shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. Amazon doesn’t want you to be only a retail customer anymore, and they’ll keep making it harder to be.
They want to lock everyone into everything. Just like everyone else. And we’re all worse off for it.
I’ve been a Prime member ever since Amazon started the program many years ago, having dropped out of it for only six months a couple of years ago. But, I too have become frustrated by Prime, and with Amazon in general. As to the two-day shipping: three of my orders in the past couple of months were delayed, once by over a week, and as far as I can tell only one of those delays was sensible (a definite weather-related delay). [Weather was cited as a reason for two of the delays, but in one case the item was already out for delivery when the status was later changed to weather-delayed, several hours before the weather would have been a factor.)
But, it’s not just the shipping. I ordered a Kindle HDX 8.9 a few months ago, and was delighted with it for the few days that it worked, at which time it started rebooting endlessly. I used Amazon customer service to try to solve the problem technically, and I am fairly technically astute on top of that, but to no avail. After searching Amazon’s forums, I saw that numerous customers had the same problem, and one customer complained that he was on his fourth device and it was still constantly rebooting. So I returned the item for a refund.
To Amazon’s credit, I will say that the Kindle HDX, when it works, is a splendid device. In fact, I liked it so well that I decided after a couple of months to take a chance on it again, and ordered a second one. I have been very satisfied with it. It is lighter than my Amazon Air, and has better battery life when used only for reading, although I prefer my Air all the way around. For one thing, the app store for the Kindle is pathetic. Pathetic is perhaps too kind of a word for it, in fact.
In a way, I get the feeling that Amazon just does everything in a half-ass way (except for one on one customer service, in which they excel). Take the various Kindle designs as an example: the Kindle Paperwhite has a marvelous feature in which it remembers every word you look up and stores them in a Vocabulary Builder. What a great idea! But, do they carry it over to the other Kindles? No … it’s as if each Kindle is designed in a vacuum. This is not the first time I’ve seen a feature on one Kindle that was not on others, when it clearly could have been.
I’m not sure what to do about Amazon … it’s like Marco says: damned if you do and damned if you don’t, to paraphrase. My Prime membership auto-renews in September, at which time the price will be $99 instead of $79. I may just cancel it.
The problem with a sending a message to companies like Amazon is that no body wants to be a messenger. For the most part, there is so much affluence in this country, and in the world at large, that they will always have enough customers who keep paying “membership fees” instead of looking elsewhere, like there is an “elsewhere.”