- Posted by Johanna on August 31, 2008 at 12:18 pm
- Category: Meta
I love shopping from Amazon.com, and I use their ads and links on this site to get a percentage commission. But this weekend, over the US holiday, two policy changes are being discussed that suggest there’s a new era coming at the large online retailer.
First, some customers have reported getting “we aren’t going to sell to you from now on” letters. The general message is that due to the number of returns, they aren’t allowed to be customers any more.
In the normal course of business, the occasional problem is inevitable. The rate at which such problems have occurred on your account is extraordinary, however, and cannot continue. Effective immediately, your Amazon.com account is closed and you are no longer able to shop in our store.
The letter goes on to say that new accounts will also be shut down if they can be linked to the customer. Later discussions suggest that those targeted also had other issues with their accounts, like the shipping and billing addresses not matching and the involvement of high-ticket items.
More important to me, Amazon seems to have removed its post-purchase price matching. The information also no longer appears on its pricing help page, in contrast to what the page displayed in January of this year, shown below (courtesy archive.org).
I loved this feature. It was great whenever a book or DVD was reduced in price by several dollars after I bought it — it kept me feeling like a valued customer instead of someone who got rooked. For instance, I wound up saving over $20 on my purchase of the Marvel Vault because over a month, Amazon.com just kept dropping the price.
Now, if they really are no longer doing that price match, I’ll be much less likely to buy from them as easily. Instead, I’ll do a lot more research and check out competitors to be sure I’m really getting a good deal. And I’ll be more likely to put off purchases just in case the price continues to drop.
I suspect that automated sites like PriceProtectr that watched for drops and notified the customer without them having to do any manual work may have affected this decision.