Thursday, January 29, 2015


I recently made several purchases from Amazon.  I didn't have a very positive customer experience.  On one purchase they offered me a $10 credit to sign up for their 'pay with points' program in which you can use credit card reward points to pay for Amazon products.  This isn't actually a bad idea as I have lots of reward points which I should do something with.  But when I signed up I didn't get the credit.  Amazon customer service did give me the credit when I complained but by that point I was so annoyed I had unsigned up.  So Amazon ended up paying me $10 not to sign up.  I also bought a TV.  Amazon claims to offer price protection on TVs, if they drop their price within 14 days you can get a credit for the difference.  But again I had to email customer service to actually get the credit although according to their help pages this should not be necessary.   On another item I was ready to buy but there was no buy button on the product page.  It showed up some time later but only after I had wasted considerable time.

A general complaint I have with Amazon is that if you get to the final page before buying and notice something wrong there doesn't seem to be an easy way to fix it.  At least I didn't see anything to do but abort and start over which is quite annoying if you had several items in your cart.  Another general complaint I have is about their numerous significant price changes (both up and down).  Perhaps these are somehow revenue maximizing (although I find that difficult to believe in some cases) but I wonder if they are properly accounting for how annoying this is.

My most recent purchase was TurboTax Deluxe 2014.  I ordered it Friday night (during a brief period when it was selling for under $40) and surprisingly it was delivered around noon on Sunday by the USPS much earlier the estimated arrival time.  This was kind of impressive but also seems sort of pointlessly expensive, why not just deliver it with the regular mail.

As for TurboTax, Intuit has annoyed a lot of people by removing a bunch of long standing features from the Deluxe version (in order to force upgrades to the much more expensive Premier version) but fortunately it appears I don't need any of them for my 2014 taxes.  I did have some trouble installing it and was worried when it first came up with the Basic version logo but this eventually changed to Deluxe and it seems to be working ok.

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