Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Should you Buy Toys from Amazon? A Note About Amazon as a Business, and Their Treatment of Partners

This is a rather unusual post for me to be making on my blog today, but I wanted to express my opinion about a recent action taken by Amazon.com to their partners. 

I am not a happy camper.  

For the past couple of years, I have been what is called an "Associate" with Amazon.com, and have been an honest believer in their company and what they offer for consumers in terms of generally lower prices than other websites, a huge stock of merchandise and an easy way to shop online. 

On Monday I (as well as over 4,000 others) received an email from Amazon that stated that since I am a resident of Colorado, and that since Colorado recently passed some legislation regarding taxation on the internet, that I was now being dismissed from the program.  No notice, no prior information on "Hey, this is coming..." - Just poof, gone.

I won't go into too many of the "gory details" of exactly what this means to me personally, but I wanted to let my readers know that this action (though still within the realms of a clause of their affiliate contract) lacks in common decency.  Why? 
  • Amazon did not provide any sort of notice on this to allow their partners the time or wherewithal to make changes in their business to compensate or somehow "ease the blow"
  • ...Which means, they are making money from my efforts, and I will receive nothing in return.  Does this sound like "something for nothing"?  It is. 
This is no small matter, and in fact has been receiving quite a bit of national attention.

Yes, I disagree with the bill that Colorado passed (HB 10-1193) and have also stated my viewpoint to the "powers that be" in my state.  However - Amazon's retaliation action on this was to "bite" their partners, rather than asking for help from them or providing them with a "teamwork" action that would effectively handle the problem without injuring those who helped Amazon to achieve their current status in the first place. This is not righting a wrong, it is making something that is wrong - MUCH wronger.  =(

This has hurt a number of people including myself, and I will no longer be recommending products from Amazon, nor will I shop there ever again.  (And goodness knows I have done a lot of shopping there in the past!)

Note:  In the past I had made the assumption that Amazon (since it is so big) was "the only fish in the sea".  That was a wrong assumption to make!  I have spent a good amount of time over the past couple of days looking around at other resources and you know what?  They're out there!  =D

Should you buy Toys from Amazon?  I can only give my own personal viewpoint on this -- I myself would never support a company that behaves in such an unprofessional and "strong arm" fashion.  (I never liked bullies on the playground either.) 

Stay tuned...

All for today -

Tonya B.

6 comments:

Barbara D said...

You GO girl ! There are other fishes in the sea.

Tonya Brisnehan said...

Yes ma'am! =)

jim said...

That is terrible Tonya. I am so sorry to hear that. May I ask what the other similar sites are that you have found. I would love to give them a try. Amazon is starting to sound like Walmart with their business practices.

Tonya Brisnehan said...

Hi Jim!

Yes, Buy.com is one that I am now using, and depending on the products I am researching I also have been recommended products from Drugstore.com - which has quite a bit of selection of toys! =)

Thanks for your comment!

Baby Slides | Toddler Slides said...

Sorry to know that amazon has terminated your account. sometimes the laws change fast... Hope you found a new provider...

Annalee said...

When I read your article, it didn't change my mind about Amazon. Instead, your frustration has added to my growing list of examples about how screwed up our government has become from local on up to the Fed.

Your issue is really an example of how raising taxes on business doesn't mean our govn't will get more money out of business ... it means the gov't will get more money out of us ... thus slowing our economy one penny at a time.

I used to work at Amazon's fulfillment center and didn't enjoy the work enough to make it a career. But, I do have to say that Amazon strives to provide a higher-than-average wage for their employees. That, and they have an excellent safety record (which is a very expensive). They don't cut corners with the people they employee that I could see ... so if they cut the affiliate program in Colorado it was likely because they couldn't afford it.

Sounds like a story the TEA Party folks in Colorado should take on. Enough is enough! You should send on your frustrations to your legislature and let them know how their decision has changed your life.