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Amazon Uses Merchants Like Guinea Pigs To See What Sells -- Read This And Beware
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SEATTLE, WASHINGTON -- How Amazon Uses Merchants as GUINEA PIGS to see what sells:

I was an Amazon Merchant for 1 year, sold thousands of items and received 99% positive feedback. My items are all legitimate and authentic and personally purchased from stores and official studio distributors. I sell mostly books, cds and DVDs.

I sold this DVD title on Amazon in June 2009, its a rare title and to my surprise received a lot of sales. On my 2nd week of selling, I moved about 100 PCS of this title and then I got a notice from Amazon stating I was under review but I could still sell and ship--although no money will be disbursed. That was fine as I know there is no problem with my items- I sold and shipped all orders with tracking.

When my account got released, they blocked that specific DVD title from my stocklist and there was a yellow circle with the slash in the middle at the side of the title meaning I cannot sell that item. I had the inkling something is not right and lo and behold, I searched the site and saw that AMAZON IS NOW SELLING THE SAME DVD which they did not even carry before. The item is NEWLY LISTED in the Amazon Catalog 2 days before my suspension, apparently its a new product they are carrying.

So basically, smart @ss Amazon "STOLE" the item I discovered to be a great one and is now blocking me from selling it so as not to compete with them! HOW UNPROFESSIONAL and MONOPOLIZING! I would not mind if they let me sell it but NO, they are the only ones who can because its such a GREAT selling item!

Needless to say, they suspended my account 1 month after stating that my item was suspicious and COULD BE recopied media. I emailed them my receipts from the distributor with the proper business info but no, they insist that the DVD I AM SELLING COULD BE FAKE. Oh really??? Could Be Fake??? What the heck does that mean? Its either fake or real, nothing in between! SO why the heck did Amazon get the exact same item from the same distributor I do business with to sell on their site under THEIR ACCOUNT??? They discovered it to be a fast seller because of me and has now doublecrossed me and kicked me to the curb to monopolize the sales.

I researched and discovered they have been DOING this with ALL SELLERS. They let you sell, and when they see an item selling like hotcakes, they get the item and sell it for themselves and kick the original seller to the curb accusing them of selling recopied media--its a MODUS OPERANDI with Amazon and they will keep doing this because they get away with it.

This is illegal because they are trying to monopolize sales when they are supposed to provide a VENUE for sellers and not USE sellers to research what sells FOR AMAZON's BENEFIT.

I hope that Amazon will someday get slapped with a CLASS-ACTION LAWSUIT. What they are doing, using sellers as guinea pigs to research what item is good to sell then kick them when they have the item for themselves is VERY VERY UNPROFESSIONAL, UNETHICAL and WRONG!

If you carry an item that is 100% Authentic and Sells like hotcakes, PREPARE TO EXPERIENCE THIS. Amazon is like a mafia syndicate which aims to monopolize the market and they will use you to give them ideas what to order from distributors. Once they have your item--prepare to get kicked in 1 month's time. IT HAPPENED TO ME and TO MANY OTHER SELLERS.

Amazon must be stopped and sanctioned just as Microsoft was sanctioned for billions regarding trying to monopolize software market.

Don't Give your sources to Amazon, don't give them any info on your supplier. You will get suspended either way, once they acquire the item for themselves because they don't like competition on a hot-selling item.

If you are one of Amazon's victims, try to contact a lawyer and a media company in your area and get this information out. This tactics must be stopped as it is UNETHICAL BUSINESS and ILLEGAL because they terminate your account over FALSE accusations and an INVENTED reason given you can prove authenticity of your products which I can.

One day, Amazon will have to answer for all the injustice they did to honest sellers they kicked after unknowingly using us as guinea pigs and I hope they will PAY BIG TIME! Attention to lawyers out there who wants to take on this case, there are THOUSANDS of former Amazon Merchants who have this exact same story to tell and this class action case is going to win if brought to courts. Contact me anytime if you need a plaintiff.

Merchant Victimized by Amazon
     
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Warning: Read The ENTIRE Advertisement Before You Order Kid's Toys
Posted by on
Rating: 5/51
Cyber Monday...Oh Goody, Goody, Gumdrop!
I was shopping for a Birthday gift for my Great-Nephew who is going to be 6 years old and has an obsession for Garbage Trucks and Street Sweepers.

I found some nice trucks for him on Amazon.com, but I have to watch what I buy because he has a 1 year old sister and I have to watch anything that may be a choking hazard for her, even though the gift would be age appropriate for him.

Anyway, as always, I read everything including fine print and I was surprised when I read the following on one of the ads for a toy truck for him.

It stated:
WARNING:
CHOKING HAZARD -- Small parts. Not for children under 3 yrs.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Product Details
Product Dimensions: 14.2 x 9.9 x 5 inches ; 4 pounds
Shipping Weight: 4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
ASIN: B004HAW1EM
Item model number: 5938
Our (Amazon.com)recommended age: 4 years and up
Manufacturer recommended age: 1 month - 10 years
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Product Description
The Playmobil Green Recycling Truck features a truck, 2 figures and other accessories.



OK...do you see what I see?

* CHOKING HAZARD -- Small parts. Not for children under 3 yrs.
* Our recommended (Amazon.com) age: 4 years and up.
* Manufacturer recommended age: 1 month - 10 years


The manufacturer actually recommends this for a ONE MONTH????
Ya got to read everything when it comes to the safety of children and remember to always use your common sense.
     
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Amazon Simple Pay's Illegal Business Practices
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
SEATTLE, VIRGINIA -- I have worked with Amazon Simple Pay in the past and have had to inquire several times about their sketchy business practices. In fact if you have a little time on your hands, just do a simple Google search for "Amazon Simple Pay complaints". I am sure that it will take more than just a little time to peruse the results, much less open and read each one.

There is no doubt that complaints about such a large company will fall on deaf ears. After all, who wants to take on Amazon? Who do you go to, and I am just guessing that they will have a swift answer for you when you do inquire and then the case will be closed, so why waste your time right?

As part of Amazons customer verification practices, when a seller opens a business account, they must submit a bank account for fund transfers. When a customer enters their bank account information, Amazon makes two small deposits into the account. The two deposit amounts must then be entered into Amazons system so that they can "verify" the bank account before funds can be transferred. In the meantime a seller is allowed to collect funds from their customers for products, services, etc.

After a few weeks and after you have accumulated a rather large sum of your customers funds, you will find that you are still awaiting the two small "deposits" into your bank account from Amazon. You will make several attempts to contact Amazon about the deposits and you will receive a response, usually within 2-3 days. The response will undoubtedly be "We were unable to verify the two deposits into you bank account". This is a scripted answer, as I have found from perusing others complaints from around the world. The sad fact is that Amazon never makes the two small "deposits" into your bank account. This will leave you in quite a predicament for quite a while.

You will most likely continue using the credit card processing service as you do not want to disappoint your customers. However those two small "deposits" will never come and you will be unable to withdraw any of your funds. I personally submitted 3 bank accounts, even opening one of them solely for the purpose of collecting my funds from Amazon. The first two bank accounts were completely valid, I have had them for several years without a single problem. However for reasons only known to Amazon, the two small "deposits" that they submitted never found their way into any of my bank accounts.

I was forced to cease using their service because I was unable to collect my customers funds from Amazon. I am sure that this is a routine complaint for you guys and if a human ever reads this, it will simply be dismissed as an "isolated case". I can assure you however that I am not the only one that has experienced this issue.

As I stated earlier, please take a few minutes to search the internet for complaints about Amazon Simple Pay. I am sure you will be surprised. Please take the time to investigate this issue in detail. If you do decide to contact Amazon, please do not accept the first response that you receive. Please take the time and initiative to actually investigate Amazon Simple Pay.
     
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Stick
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
VARIOUS LOCATIONS, VIRGINIA -- This is worth a 1 time read for anyone looking to sell on Amazon or expect to have a great experience dealing with Amazon.

I am a seller on Amazon and pay a subscription fee to have a professional type seller account with them. I recently logged in to my account to find all my listings have been wiped off their website in a hold status and informed I didn't meet a certain criteria to sell until the first week in Jan, about 6 weeks away until the holiday season is over with. I of course being shocked that I only had 1 issue with my account because of a buyer putting in a hotel temp address and didn't receive their item from the hotel thief.

I wrote a nice well thought out email to their seller support dept only to met with a brick wall and a dept that had no sense of being flexible with my situation despite the fact there were over a dozen items sold in my store in the few days prior. I just couldn't believe that someone who pays to have a upgraded subscription and in a desperate situation to make money being unemployed couldn't make an exception as sometimes have to be done on a case by case basis especially when a customer is making a very strong complaint......

Now the juicy part..... The only way myself and others in my situation can even have a hope to get back to supporting their households are to inlist in Amazon's own FBA (Fulfillment By Amazon) warehousing system. I have to pay and provide boxes, packing material etc. to have my items shipped to their warehouse to sell them or else I cannot sell them. Hmmmmmmm. What a strong-arm tactic. Selling collectibles this isn't a good option as in a massive warehouse items aren't handled with care or concern and are stacked on shelfs and possibly mixed with others and confused and result in a loss of a sell by return. Oh and I also have to pay an additional charge to have by their carrier to have the items picked up... What a crock!!

So to sum up all the hours I've spent loading hundreds of items on their website and the special care and attention I can give the items that sell and the extra special care I give my customers has to be extinquished for???? Not to mention paying money for a service not rendered as a professional seller account. What a joke!

What a poor business decision to cut off the hand that feeds. Obviously if I'm not selling they aren't making their cut of my sells and of course this hurts me also. I don't see the logic in this move but I guess if your a big fish then you can swim however you want to but I can't share how vexed this has made me. I'll be spending the holidays broke and trying to figure out how to mail hundreds of items to their local warehouse so I can try to keep it all together...
     
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Merchants Beware- Selling on Amazon
Posted by on

The Merchant program that Amazon.com offers is absolutely deplorable and shockingly unprofessional. It has turned out to be a nightmare for our small business. We wonder how they have been able to get away with their mistreatment of merchants for so long. There is no support or protection for merchants at all and you are left defenseless against Amazon, as well as scam artists who make a living off of purchasing items and claiming they "never received" them to get refunded.

Amazon has a very lax and customer-friendly refund policy. I am all for customers who legitametely did not receive something they purchased or are unhappy getting refunded, being that I have been a consumer myself numerous times myself. Amazon, however, refunds customer even in situations when the merchant can substantiate that the claim is untrue. We recently had a situation where a customer was refunded for an item that they initially claimed they never received, and tracking confirmed that the item was "delivered", and the customer recanted their story. We urged them to inform Amazon that they received their package so the claim could be dismissed. We also forwarded the A to Z Guarantee department and the Seller Guarantee department (because it was affecting our sales statistics) a copy of an email from the customer stating that the item was received and asked what we should do. We did this repeatedly five times. There was no response. We then tried to get the situation resolved by contacting the only help by phone that they have available, the tech suppport department. We were told by them that they couldn't assist us with any areas other than technical issues. We attempted to get a number from them to contact the Seller Performance and A to Z Guarantee department. The customer service rep's response was that they could only be contacted through email and they did not even have a number to contact them. So essentially, we had to wait for someone that was not responding to us and that we had no contact number for, to contact us at their convenience about money that was rightfully owed to us. Finally, we were contacted by the Seller Guarantee department SEVEN DAYS LATER, stating that the claim was dismissed and we would be credited for the refund!!

The next day later, we finally received a response from Seller Performance as well, which was not what we expected. The email said that our account was suspended, all of our listings removed, and any disbursements to us withheld. It did not mention how or when we would get paid the money they owed us and instead referred us to another department, the Payments department, which also has no contact number. The email also was very vague as to why our account had been suspended.

This mysteriously followed an email sent to us two days before from the Merchant Approval department after being notified that our account was under review. The email did not state the reason why we were under review and actually said that the review was a common practice. They also said they needed tracking information for all items we had already shipped so they could confirm that they had been mailed out and encouraged us to submit "a plan for improving your selling performance" if review was due to poor performance. We gladly complied and gave them tracking information. We were unaware why we were under review but submitted a plan for performance improvement just to be safe. In the letter that included the outline for seller improvement, we stated that we strongly believed we had been targeted because of the A to Z claim filed against us that was reversed and that we tried to contact them numerous times so that they could prevent the claim from affecting our seller performance. The response from them was suspension of our account.

They also implied that a factor in suspending our account was order cancellation (we cancelled three orders and notified customers in advance). We pointed out to them that we had not cancelled one order since four days before they sent us the first and only notification that order cancellations could affect seller performance. Otherwise we had no negative feedback, late shipments, or other warnings from Amazon.

The outcome of all of this is that we only sold on Amazon for a month and had the worst selling experience with them out of all selling platforms. We are out of around $400 and are considering legal action so we can recover the money owed to us by Amazon. We will share our story will as many merchants as we can to make sure that they are educated about the dangers of selling on Amazon. We will also never encourage anyone to sell nor buy on Amazon again!!
     
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Nobody Should Do Business With Amazon
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
SEATLE, WASHINGTON -- We were selling our products on Amazon for about a year. Then the Seller Performance Team (or Merchant Approval Department) emailed us that they suspended our selling privilege. They told us that they would consider reactivate our account if we submit a detailed business plan so that our defective order rate would meet 1% as the standard set out by Amazon. That means if we sell 100 products, only 1 is allowed to be returned. Anything more than that is unacceptable.

Due to the technical complexity of the products we sell (we sell point of sale hardware for retail stores), that standard is probably unattainable. 2 big reasons are responsible for that. One is the lack of pictures and description. On most items, there're only representative pictures so the customers do not know how the item they order look like. There are only conditions of the item such as "like new" or "very good", "used good", and "used acceptable" The description of the item are filled out by sellers, and extremely user unfriendly. It asks many technical details that are totally irrelevant.

The 2nd reason is Amazon follows the philosophy that "the customer is always right". They refunded the seller's money in a heartbeat without listening to the seller's side. They even refunded the money before buyer returns the item.

After doing business with Amazon for sometimes, I find that they only like to do business with other big businesses. The prices are about the same as if you order from other retailers. Good bargains are hard to find on Amazon. It's fine if Amazon just want to do business with certain merchants. I just wish they make it clear from the beginning what kind of expectations they have and give you enough warnings before they shut you out permanently.

As a customer, I would stay out of Amazon as much as possible. It's not because they are not customer friendly, but because the prices and selections are suck.
     
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Prepare for utter frustration when dealing with Amazon CS
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
UNKNOWN, WASHINGTON -- I ordered a portable generator from Amazon.com recently. The order was placed with no problem and I received a confirmation. Then I got called out of town on business and was to be away during the window that Amazon estimated for delivery. I called CS. After the CS agent put me on hold multiple times (apparently to find out what to do), I was told that Amazon would not work with me on the shipping/delivery date. Even though the item was fulfilled by Amazon and I was only asking that they delay the shipment by a few days to allow me to be home for delivery. My only option at that point was to cancel the order which the CS agent did. She told me that Amazon had only pre-authorized the $1000 for the generator so they would simply release that and the funds, which she said had never been taken out of my account, would be taken off "hold." I checked the account every day for several days. No funds appeared. I called the bank. They stated that Amazon had not pre-authorized but had charged me for the generator. I called Amazon CS again. This CS agent didn't seem to know what to do either so his solution was to submit a refund investigation ticket with some department or other. Meanwhile, still no funds in my account. Almost a week later I received an email from the mysterious refund department stating that they had no record of a current pre-auth on my account nor did they have any processing records that I had ever been charged for the generator. I called the bank again. The bank insisted that I had been charged and the money had been taken out for the generator by Amazon. I emailed CS. They wanted me to fax my bank records and a number of other items. I don't have a fax or access to one. I called CS again. The person I reached this time stated that I had actually been charged, that because it was a pinless debit card, the other CS agents probably hadn't had a clue. He further told me that they would refund me, BUT that they wouldn't refund the card, they would process a check and I could expect to receive my money in 2 weeks. This will be about 6 weeks after I cancelled my order. I didn't have much choice so I agreed to this. I subsequently received an email that they were going to process a check for me and that it was being sent to my shipping address which is not an address at which I can receive mail. Instead of sending it to my billing address which they also had, they sent it to a non-deliverable address. The check will now go into the pit that is the undeliverable mail process at the USPS and eventually, weeks later, turn BACK up at Amazon or, get lost in that pit and have to be cancelled and reissued. I emailed CS again about whether it was too late to send the check to the correct address and they have not responded. By the time I get money back for an order that was never actually placed, it will be months down the road. I can't see how this is even legal and certainly a horrendous way to treat a customer (especially one who was making a fairly substantial purchase). Beware before placing any orders with Amazon.com. Prices might seem nice and low but heaven help you if you have any issues and need to deal with CS. They are inflexible, have no knowledge of their own internal procedures and their processes/policies are not remotely consumer friendly.
     
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Should you use Amazon Payments as Merchant?
Posted by on
There are many, many reviews about Amazon Payments throughout the web. If you happen to come across this one before signing up with Amazon Simple Payments, please pay attention. I have been an Amazon Simple Payments customer as a merchant for nearly 2 years now. Of course you never know what to expect when signing on as a merchant with any financial institution. For the most part, as can be expected you will not always agree with the merchant provider in just about any aspect of the agreement. Amazon Simple Pay may act the same as any merchant provider as anyone would expect from any type of this service. I am here to speak from several years of experience with this service provider. I will spare the details of how I ended up using Amazon Simple Pay and will get directly to the point of why I am writing this article. Amazon Simple Pay is very easy to use. Anyone can sign up by simply providing some simple details of themselves and their business and begin using the service immediately. However you will very soon discover that once you begin bringing in sales, Amazon takes on a split personality. While maintaining a "professional" front, you will soon discover that you may have made a "not so smart" decision. Amazon is extremely "customer friendly", as opposed to merchant friendly. I am not exactly sure why this is because the merchant is where Amazon makes their money with this particular service. I will give a few examples to stay within the maximum characters that I can use in this article. I have very many transactions on a monthly basis, so I am guessing that Amazon may or may not use this as a tool to their ways. For example, I will receive an order for say $100. A month later the customer may file a "dispute" stating that they were not satisfied with their order. Amazon will immediately refund the customer the entire amount of the customers order, including shipping/handling (to the customer). I (the merchant) will be be out the entire cost of the product, etc. You are entitled to appeal the dispute but Amazon does not respond in any of these situations. You are simply out the entire cost of the product(s) and shipping/handling. I have personally lost thousands of dollars due to these practices. The merchant will NOT Win a dispute with a customer, even supplying shipping tracking numbers, etc. If there happens to be a chargeback by a customer, Amazon will send you an email giving you instruction on how to battle the chargeback, including their fees for battling the chargeback o your behalf. I have personally provided tracking information, email details, etc to Amazon and have never heard a word back from Amazon as to the outcome of the battle. However my account will conveniently be charged a$10 fee for doing so. When receiving a chargeback, Amazon will immediately deduct the chargeback amount from your account. Then after a certain amount of time Amazon will then again deduct the chargeback from your account once more. You can inquire about the double chargeback as often as you wish but you will not receive a response. In short, for every chargeback you receive, such a a $100 chargeback, Amazon will deduct $200 from your account. This cannot be appealed. They will also generously deduct the $10 battle fee as well. Amazon claims that there is a 6 month "probation" period once you sign up, meaning that they will hold every sale from every customer for a total of 14 days after the sale was imitated. However this is not the case. Amazon will hold your customers funds for anywhere from 14 to 21 days after the initial sale...with no explanations or response. This makes it almost impossible to ship goods within a reasonable time frame. There are many, many reviews about Amazon Payments throughout the web. If you happen to come across this one before signing up with Amazon Simple Payments, please pay attention. I have been an Amazon Simple Payments customer as a merchant for nearly 2 years now. Of course you never know what to expect when signing on as a merchant with any financial institution. For the most part, as can be expected you will not always agree with the merchant provider in just about any aspect of the agreement. Amazon Simple Pay may act the same as any merchant provider as anyone would expect from any type of this service. I am here to speak from several years of experience with this service provider. I will spare the details of how I ended up using Amazon Simple Pay and will get directly to the point of why I am writing this article. Amazon Simple Pay is very easy to use. Anyone can sign up by simply providing some simple details of themselves and their business and begin using the service immediately. However you will very soon discover that once you begin bringing in sales, Amazon takes on a split personality. While maintaining a "professional" front, you will soon discover that you may have made a "not so smart" decision. Amazon is extremely "customer friendly", as opposed to merchant friendly. I am not exactly sure why this is because the merchant is where Amazon makes their money with this particular service. I will give a few examples to stay within the maximum characters that I can use in this article. I have very many transactions on a monthly basis, so I am guessing that Amazon may or may not use this as a tool to their ways. For example, I will receive an order for say $100. A month later the customer may file a "dispute" stating that they were not satisfied with their order. Amazon will immediately refund the customer the entire amount of the customers order, including shipping/handling (to the customer). I (the merchant) will be out the entire cost of the product, etc. You are entitled to appeal the dispute but Amazon does not respond in any of these situations. You are simply out the entire cost of the product(s) and shipping/handling. I have personally lost thousands of dollars due to these practices. The merchant will NOT Win a dispute with a customer, even supplying shipping tracking numbers, etc. If there happens to be a chargeback by a customer, Amazon will send you an email giving you instruction on how to battle the chargeback, including their fees for battling the chargeback o your behalf. I have personally provided tracking information, email details, etc to Amazon and have never heard a word back from Amazon as to the outcome of the battle. However my account will conveniently be charged a$10 fee for doing so. When receiving a chargeback, Amazon will immediately deduct the chargeback amount from your account. Then after a certain amount of time Amazon will then again deduct the chargeback from your account once more. You can inquire about the double chargeback as often as you wish but you will not receive a response. In short, for every chargeback you receive, such a a $100 chargeback, Amazon will deduct $200 from your account. This cannot be appealed. They will also generously deduct the $10 battle fee as well. Amazon claims that there is a 6 month "probation" period once you sign up, meaning that they will hold every sale from every customer for a total of 14 days after the sale was imitated. However this is not the case. Amazon will hold your customers funds for anywhere from 14 to 21 days after the initial sale...with no explanations or response. This makes it almost impossible to ship goods within a reasonable time frame. After the 6 month "probation" period has ended, Amazon will not release all of your funds to you. They will still hold a certain amount of your funds indefinitely. In my case they seized over $1000 and are still holding it to this day. I could continue but in summary, Amazon is not a law abiding merchant provider. They do not hold their selves to their own standards and will breach their own contract with no remorse or explanation. They do not abide by their own written rules and your rights will be violated and laws will be broken. However this being said, you may complain to everyone in sight but realistically Amazon Payments is not regulated by anyone. It will take an extremely large class action lawsuit to bring down a company like Amazon. I wish you the best of luck when using this company. The do not obey the law and they will steal from you without remorse or fright of consequence. Best of luck if you decide to go with Amazon Payments!
     
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Amazon Payments. A Personal Banking Nightmare from the 1990s.
Posted by on
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON -- With the slow but steady demise of BillMonk, my friends and I turned to other means of debt tracking and bill sharing for our nights out. Ultimately we turned to Amazon Payments and their 'TextPayMe' service. While many of them may rant about how cool this is, I'm not going to.

Here is how it supposedly works. You give them your credit or debit card number, or alternatively your bank routing number and bank account. They supposedly from then on will magically deduct the texted amount from your bank and automatically drop it into your friend's Amazon Payments account. No need to split bills anymore, no need to settle up later. Its all done with a quick, flashy text from your cellphone to Amazon's number. You just text them the short "Pay $$ 'Account Name Here'" and tada! No muss, no fuss.

Nuh uh.

Here are the massive hiccups involved in this service, and the inducement of what is at least a 5-7 business day headache... it not much much longer, because one then must undo the damage done.

1). Unless you weave through the complicated and ill-laid out Amazon Payments website to find the box to check, the TextPayMe is going to call you and demand your Amazon Pin. No big deal. The phone call takes a minute or two. You're done, right? Nope.

2.) You've authorized the payment, it should be done, right? No. Something happens, and I have not yet been given a straight forward answer as to why. You get a text back either confirming that the money was transferred, or the OTHER message. "Your credit card was declined."

Okay, well... you know theres plenty of money in your account. Why was it declined? Meanwhile your friend wants his money and you look a bit like a deadbeat. You apologize and say you'll try again. Cue the annoying slew of 'call your banks' from your friends. Yes, that's exactly what I want to do- sift through a phone tree of computer automation.

What Amazon's very vague text that literally says, 'your credit card was declined' actually means is its been 'temporarily declined.' That is the exact wording given to me by the person on the other side of the 'Contact Us' link. But they don't tell you that in the text. Its just declined. In the rest of the world, that means its over. Try again. So what does it really mean?

This charge has been put into a review, which they claim takes 24 hours. I assume business hours. Unless you go onto their site and figure this out yourself by clicking on the right thing, you would never know. But why was it put into review? I wish I could tell you this. They have a box you can click SOMEWHERE that says, 'call me above a certain payment amount.' I had this unchecked. But they still called.

More confusion before we go on. They bounced certain charges, but let others go through.

Back to the meat of it. Tired of dealing with them pulling directly from my credit card because they didn't seem to like it, I decided to dump my 'going out' budget into Amazon Payments so they could directly pull from there. The TextPayMe system is supposed to pull from your balance with Amazon Payments first, and if you don't have enough there, it pulls from your credit card or account. Reasonable. But then we enter the 1990s.

Depositing AND withdrawing money into your Amazon Payments account takes 5-7 business days. That is 5-7 business days that it disappears from one place, reappears in another but isn't actually usable until then. Didn't we dispose of this (I believe by law) way, way back? This is not a money transfer where physical tender is being moved from place to place, this is electronic information. This is two computers talking to one another and saying, "Got it?" "Yep, got it." "Give me." "OK." Done.

So your budget for going out is in limbo, your Amazon Payments balance is still nonexistent, they are still reviewing your 'temporarily declined' payment and your friend wants his money. So what do you do? Try again? No that would be silly. But I did it anyway. Result? The exact same. The card was declined, the payment shunted to a reviewed status and I now have two payments and a balance transfer hanging in limbo. Its like the sword of damocles. When and where will the payments strike, further depleting your weakened saving account.

I had finally had enough. I contacted Amazon and they told me all of this 'temporarily declined' nonsense and they assured me that my poor limbo'ed budget would eventually arrive. And oh, they reviewed the first declined charge and its going through. But the other charge is still pending. When its deemed successful, it will be charged too... whenever that is. Twenty hours has passed, I'd like to note. Fantastic! Except I asked them to cancel them both so I could just pay my friend in cash! Now he must pay ME back for the duplicate charge.

So here I sit. Officially complaining about a product for the first time in my life. Lets add one last insult to injury. When I finally get my balance that has been floating unusably through cyberspace until then, I still either have to use this service to get it back, or else wait ANOTHER 5-7 days for them to transfer it back into my account. 10-14 BUSINESS days that I have not had my budgeted funds available, and have had to dip into other budgets to fulfill demands made. That is 2-3 weeks to those who are counting... business days after all.

A double payment that was supposed to come from my Amazon Payments account has been pulled out of my savings account, and I won't be getting that back until it is all settled. I did kind of want to go buy some groceries this week, but heres a fun fact- the money you have in your AP account can only be used with Amazon, and even then only on certain products.

I don't think an ATM (or a kind, apologetic smile and a request to split the check) has EVER looked so good right now. I ask you: who would do this to themselves? How is this convenient to have a reserve of difficult to access, difficult to replenish, difficult to use money that is not doing anything useful but sitting there possibly a good thing? Even in an ordinary savings account, its use or movement is near-instant, and in the meantime its making tenth of cents in interest.
     
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Access to free books
Posted on
I discovered that Kindle now allows people to "check out" books via their local libraries.

Just like going to the library, you get the book for only a certain amount of days. (In my case, I can have a book for 7, 14, or 21 days.)

I went to my local library yesterday and signed up for a "Library Card." This takes every bit of 3-5 minutes. When I left, I was able to download books from the library directly onto my Kindle for 3 weeks.

It works exactly as I was told. (I guess the book will disappear from my machine in 3 weeks.)

Fabulous!

As if you needed a reason to get a Kindle. (Oh yes, the first reason is that you have any slight interest in *reading*. Duh.) But when you get one, one of the first things you will probably explore is how many free books you can get (there are literally millions). After these books, what can you check out from the library? Well, anything you want to.

Free books. Borrowed books. (And even books that you give as gifts.) Kindle just keeps getting better and better and stronger and stronger.


     
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