Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Ah, But I Digress: Dear John, and by John I mean Amazonbot

Ah, But I Digress: Dear John, and by John I mean Amazonbot: Dear Amazonbot, Thank you for your recent email recommending books I might enjoy, based on my previous selections. That's quite a progra...

Dear John, and by John I mean Amazonbot

Dear Amazonbot,
Thank you for your recent email recommending books I might enjoy, based on my previous selections. That's quite a program you have there, because those books are similar to what I've read. In fact, I HAVE read them. You should know that because I bought the Kindle versions FROM AMAZON! Don't you remember? You delivered them "wirelessly via Amazon's Whispernet." Am I now just a number to you? I've entrusted you with my wish list of books. You give me reminders when the books I've pre-ordered are released! Oh, oh! We've been together so long and yet you barely remember me. I have reviewed books for you; I've filled out surveys for customer service; I'M A PRIME MEMBER!

Amazonbot, I'm just not feelin' the love. I'm beginning to suspect you have outgrown our relationship. I suppose I was just a number all along, just another line in your database. But I couldn't see it for all the correspondence we've shared, your lovely thank you notes after I've visited your site and made purchases. So many visits. You allow me to browse through books before I purchase them! Well, at least those the publisher allows. You let me explore your site, to take a tour with no pressure to purchase. Except for those rows and rows of "people who bought this also bought these" sales tactics. Yes, sales tactics. I now see them for what they are. You try and make me feel like you're helping me, offering suggestions. I thought you were concerned I might miss a good read. I thought you were doing it for me. ME, Amazonbot. But no, you do the same for all your "customers." you probably tell people they should buy a book because I've purchased it. Oh, you don't name me. Nothing as personal as that. You just lump me in as an "other" who purchased this book or that.

Amazonbot, I'm not sure we can mend this, this, RIFT in our relationship. Hopefully we can continue our business relationship, at least. But I must warn you, there are others out there, just waiting for the chance to replace you in my life. In fact, I'm going to be honest with you. I, well, I have strayed a time or two. I've snuck into Barnes & Noble's NOOK. I had to! I had to satisfy my curiosity. With all the rumors of price fixing, I had to be sure you weren't taking advantage of me. And yes, I have purchased books from iTunes? I'm not proud of it, but I HAD A GIFT CERTIFICATE, It wasn't my fault! It wasn't my choice. I KNOW your Kindle version is the best available.

Oh, Amazonbot. Please don't forget me. Please don't lose me in your vast database. I can't bear to have to switch. Amazonbot, I can't quit you!

With thanks for all we've shared, and all I hope we can share in the future, like the third book in Ken Follett's trilogy which I wish was coming out soon but won't be here 'til 2014.

Barb Wallace
Customer number 123456789

PS just so you know, you're not fooling me with that "delivered wirelessly via Amazon Whispernet" shit. I know what you're doing. You're trying to make me feel like I've gotten some kind of special fracking delivery! First of all, I'm not that stupid. I KNOW it's wireless. There's no wire that connects me to your store. I'm not a moran. And what's with the Whispernet bullshit? You use the interwebs, just like everybody else. You don't have your own internet. You can't just rename it. Cheesus, I don't know what I ever saw in you. I don't know how or why I was so taken. It must have been those customer service calls. I remember Phillip, whose real name was probably Muralimanohar, who casually discussed basketball with me as he searched for the answer to my problem, or Ahladita, who told me her name was Amber, who asked me to verify my address and then checked the weather channel so she could talk about what great weather we were having. Yes, it must have been those calls, those online chats with the help center with extended wait periods while you were helping other customers. Crap. I should have known then. Damn you. DAMN YOU Amazonbot! You've taken me for a fool! Well, as our formerly beloved president (yes, I know that should say beloved former president but believe me, he's not so beloved anymore. As a president, that is. Apparently when he doesn't have anybody pulling his strings he's a pretty nice guy!) anyway, as W once said "There's an old saying in Tennessee — I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again." So don't even try, Amazonbot. I'ma got my eyes on you, ya bastid.

Barb Wallace