Amazon: Other Trivial Changes Post Bezos

July 18, 2022

I read “Amazon CEO Andy Jassy Breaks from the Bezos Way.” I suppose the sentence “He was very inquisitive” sums up a key difference. Did Mr. Bezos know? Does Mr. Jassy not know? The thrust of the write up is that Amazon is changing. Like many “real” news discussions of the Bezos bulldozer with a new person at the controls, some small — and probably irrelevant to many. From my point of view, a few small changes suggest rather interesting adjustments for the giant online bookstore.

Let’s look quickly at four small changes and conclude with a question.

First, if you want to manage books on a Kindle reader, the process is now cumbersome, unintuitive, and ill advised. Why? People who read want to know what books are on the Kindle, ready to read. Also, when one finishes a book, some people — including me — want to remove the book from the device. No more. Now once has to be quite careful when trying to navigate the device; otherwise, one buys books. How does one connect from a WiFi network? That process is also convoluted, and I use a simple trick: A Faraday set up. Doesn’t everyone have one? The software is not a Dark Pattern; it’s an indication of Amazon’s desire to make what once worked unworkable for some.

Second, order certain products and then try to cancel them. Sorry. The cancel order policy has changed and results in messages like this:


I like the hope to see you again. My hunch is that you will be seeing some people less and less.

Third, news is circulating in the “real” news stream about Amazon releasing certain Ring data without the warrant process being followed. “Today I Learned Amazon Has a Form So Police Can Get My Data without Permission or a Warrant” allegedly presents this Amazon policy and discusses it. If the write up is accurate, my thought is that following legal procedures is a helpful policy. Defense attorneys love to discover this type of work around. The result is that expensive investigations can get thrown out and alleged bad actors can resume their activities. That’s a change worth monitoring.

Finally, have you tried to reach Amazon customer support? Give it a whirl. Our test efforts to contact Amazon and AWS went nowhere literally. The chatbots and logic are set up to lead one back to forms which are like merry-go-rounds. Fun for the young at heart. For a customer with a problem, the process is not too amusing.

To sum up, there are changes at Amazon post Bezos. Lobbying is one facet of the brave new world for the online bookstore. The other shifts may be as or more important. Is Amazon a monopoly? That’s a good question.

Context is important in my opinion.

Stephen E Arnold, July 18, 2022


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