Amazon, DRM, and P.S. Amazon customer service always sucks
Luke Welling stashed this in Amazon
There are lots of lessons you can take from this story. Everybody is talking about the dangers of DRM, market concentration, and cloud storage.
The part people seem to be missing, because people generally love dealing with Amazon, is their first level customer service is always horrible.
I'm not an Amazon hater. A disturbingly large proportion of my paycheck ends up there and 99.9% of those transactions are excellent. But every 1000th transaction is truly horrible.
Amazon does what it does by automating and scripting everything. Things that can be done by a computer work fine. Things that can be done by telling a person to behave like a robot and and put items in boxes or scan an email for keywords and send a canned reply at a rate of x per hour work fine.
Most transactions just work fine. Even most that don't can be solved by letting customers mail an item back for a refund. Step outside of those simple customer interactions and the experience is generally terrible.
Buy an item that can't be mailed back (eg uses gasoline) - Fail.
Have a dispute with a market place seller more complex than "Item not delivered" - Fail.
Their phone CS is generally better or at least can be escalated more quickly, but first level email support is truly awful.
I'm less troubled by this than by the e-Book is reading me.
Still, I'm glad you posted this. It warns of the dangers of consolidation.
Google seems poised to become the "good guy" of this space, but we'll see.