February 9th, 2010

Amazon wants me back ... eh, not so fast.

Amazon sent me a nice letter today:
Hello from Amazon.com.

We're writing to let you know that titles from Macmillan Publishers are now available for purchase at Amazon.com.

We hope to see you again soon.

Yeah, not so much. My reply was direct and to the point:

Thank you for restoring the titles. However right now I am having trouble wanting to return to using Amazon. Let me explain.

It is very clear that Amazon wants to be the go-to place for books and music and many other things. And as you can tell by my usage over the years, I've used you entirely as such. For example, there were years that I did nearly all of my Christmas shopping via Amazon.

And it only makes sense for Amazon to sell that power to their vendors during negotiation. "We've got X users and Y of them buy *EVERYTHING* from us." Yes, it's a powerful negotiating position.

But Amazon crossed the line when they pulled MacMillian titles from the store. Why? Because you turned from having a strong negotiating position into being a bully. You prevented me from purchasing Macmillan titles, and you prevented them from receiving my money. If you don't want to sell Macmillan, that's your business. If you don't have a valid contract to sell Macmillan, then yes I don't expect to see the titles. But Amazon had a valid contract to sell Macmillan, and CHOSE TO DENY me the ability to purchase those titles, in an attempt to bully Macmillan into submission. This was absolutely an attempt to exert power and control over both Macmillan and me.

Well I choose to reject that power. I will not accept being used by Amazon to control their vendors. You have forgotten the basics of our relationship -- I buy from you when you provide value to me. When you act as a bully to control or limit me, you aren't providing value to me. You instead destroy any good faith relationship that might have existed between us.

As stated in the Facebook group "Amazon Shall Not Censor Me", I will return to being an Amazon customer after Amazon has agreed to a code of ethics in their business dealings. Not before.
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