Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Amazon.com is ridiculous

I was intending to be flagging up a new give away in this email, but, due to the vagaries (bizarreness) of Amazon.com, I'm not.

A while back, I saw the following on my Amazon.com Author Central News page (click to enlarge):

Excellent! I could do a give away of The Wrong Kind of Clouds on Amazon.com for my US followers. Or so I thought.

I logged in, found my book, clicked on Set Up a Give Away and started to fill in the different sections on the online form. All looked great. I clicked on Proceed to Checkout.

And this is where it all started to become ridiculous.
I was faced with this message:
We found one or more problems with the information you entered. Please correct them below.
Perplexed, I scrolled down the page. This was the problem:

I looked and I looked and I could not see what could be offensive in that. I posted it on Facebook and asked what might be the issue. No-one could see any problem. I tweaked the wording and kept trying. No. It would never let me proceed.

Still totally perplexed, I contacted the 'help' page and selected 'chat'. I started the help-chat at 7:43 PDT. I explained the issue and showed them the message. They couldn't see what was wrong. They contacted someone more senior. They couldn't see what was wrong. In between these contacts I was left hanging for LONG periods - 20 minutes or more - with no idea if anyone was still actually on the other end of the chat. Finally, at 8:53 PDT (yes - over an HOUR later) they said they couldn't deal with it and that someone would get back to me in 1-2 business days.

I then got an email repeating the information that someone would get back to me in 1-2 business days and then (unhelpfully) telling me "You can set up an Amazon Giveaway by clicking "Set up a giveaway" on the product page of eligible items."

Grrr!

I then heard nothing at all for a week, so I emailed them back asking when I might get an answer, seeing as they'd quoted me 1-2 business days and it was now 5 business days and I hadn't heard anything. I got this reply:
Hello,
You'll need to contact our partner site, Amazon.co.uk, for more information about issue, as our international websites operate independently. You can contact them directly at:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/help/contact-us/general-questions.htm
We look forward to seeing you again soon.
The issue had been with Amazon.com, the email address I used is associated with my Amazon.com account. Nothing would have linked my communication to them with the UK account.
I replied, asking why I should contact the UK site when my issue was with Amazon.com.

I got this reply:
Hello,
You'll need to contact our partner site, Amazon.co.uk, for more information about issue, as our international websites operate independently. You can contact them directly at:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/help/contact-us/general-questions.htm
We look forward to seeing you again soon.
I'm afraid that at this point, I stopped being polite. This was my response:
PLEASE READ MY REPLY THIS TIME?
My problem was with AMAZON.COM. That was why I was on an hour long chat with AMAZON.COM help who then said they would need to get further assistance. AMAZON.CO.UK will NOT be any use. They will tell me to contact AMAZON.COM.
Please, could I get a sensible answer from you this time?
Well, that seemed to have got someone's attention as I then got this, when the US woke up:
Hello,
I'm sorry for the inconvenience caused to you in this case. I've reviewed our previous correspondence with you, We certainly don't want our customers to experience this. I'll definitely look into this for you.
In this case, I'd request you can create an Amazon Giveaway that is available on Amazon.com, regardless of the publisher.
Scrolling down further, I read:
Note: Currently Amazon Giveaways can only be created on a personal Amazon.com account. The customer can't use their Business to Business (B2B) or Author Central (AC) account to set up a giveaway at this time.
Yep, you read that right. An author, who will more than likely have an Author Central account and who will have seen in the news page of that account that they can set up a give away, cannot set up a give away from their Author Central account. I have asked if this can really be the case as it seems both ridiculous and contrary to what they said in their news page:
In addition, the giveaway layout and entry experience has been updated with authors in mind to better highlight you and your book.
They replied and told me to contact the Amazon.co.uk site.
I emailed them to ask why (again), as the issue was with the US site and got this:
Hello,
I'm so sorry, but we can't offer any additional insight or action on this matter.
We appreciate your business and hope to see you again soon.
So I have given up. Sorry US followers. I wanted to do a give away for you but this has driven me insane (and there is zero chance over them getting my business again!).

Has anyone had any success with an Amazon.com give away? Or have you been faced with the same problems? Let me know in the comments?



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