Amazon.com has been a leader in Internet commerce since it’s launch in 1995. Since then with the exception of a few years when the “Internet Bubble” burst it’s march to Internet supremacy has been unquestioned. Today it is the largest online retailer in the world with Staples selling 1/4 as much a Bezos’ baby.
But along the way it might have gotten too big for itself. As evidence I would offer up my recent experience with my new Kindle. First let me tell you about the Kindle.
The Kindle is an amazing device. I thought I would have missed “the feel” of a book in my hands. Missed the tactile experience of reading, not at all. Reading on the Kindle’s electronic ink screen is a joy. And as you are ready the technology of the Kindle disappears. You can download books directly to your Kindle, make notes and highlights and even share them with your friend through twitter and Facebook. I’ve read two books so far on it and I think I read faster on the Kindle than with the real thing. If you are a reader GET ONE TODAY .
When you are signing in to your Amazon account to buy it though you need to be VERY, VERY careful. As I would find out later… Amazon at some point stopped checking to see if your password is correct. Meaning that if you have an Amazon account with the email address email@example.com and the password of abc123 and you enter the correct email address but a password of abc132 their system doesn’t say wrong password, it just creates a new account with the wrong password, fatfinger it again and you can end up with three amazon accounts all tied to the same email address but with completely different purchases, stored cards, and services.
I found out because I registered my Kindle and a gift card under one password and tied to link my iphone Kindle app under another and couldn’t understand why my books and store credit weren’t showing up on my iPhone. So I tried reregistering my Kindle and lost my purchases (no content on my Kindle) and gift card balance.
I had enough and eventually got to the point where I could have them call me. Which Josh did quickly, he was the one who explained that an account is any email address and password combination and this multiaccount situation can easily occur. It took him 25 minutes to find my purchases, push them back to my Kindle, close the duplicate accounts and ensure the balance of my gift card was found and made available to me.
I cannot believe that an eCommerce vendor that has been open for 15 years would allow this condition to occur. It would seem to me to be alot less problematic to tell someone when they entered a password incorrectly instead of creating a duplicate account. It might prevent some sales, I’ll give you that, but if you are going to start offerring online registration of devices and content then there should only be one version of my account. This is something that they need to fix.