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uziq
Member
+286|2097
i’ve never had netflix, or spotify or amazon prime for that matter. i know all too well the consequences of massively underpricing cultural goods, nominally in the name of the consumer, but actually at the massive enrichment of a few tech tycoons and disastrous expense for creators.

this is ‘platform capitalism’: pander to wall street, go all in, and hope you can amass enough power to survive the shake down. amazon operated at a massive loss for over a decade but legislation and policy hasn’t reacted at all. now there’s basically no good independent bookstores and the average salary for a writer is about £11,000 a year. but hey! you can get a brand new book in the post the next day for under $10. and jeff bezos makes $9,000,000 an hour.

see also, to varying degrees of success, uber, wework, etc.

it’s a return of predatory pricing the indecency of which would have caused the public to baulk in 1890.

Last edited by uziq (2019-12-26 04:15:56)

Dilbert_X
The X stands for
+1,695|4751|eXtreme to the maX
Its pronounced "schpurtify" you ignoramous.
Epstein didn't kill himself
SuperJail Warden
Member
+350|2365
I watched the first 15 minutes of the Aaron Hernandez documentary on Netflix. Interesting story. For the non-Americans, he was a football player with the New England Patriots who murdered at least three people while on $40 million contract. Later offed himself in prison after getting life. What a dumbass. He could have been Harvey Weinstein's cellmate instead.

Anyway I can't finish watching the documentary. I know how it ends already. I can't play any video game, read any book, or sit through any movie if I know how it ends.
unnamednewbie13
Moderator
+1,808|5417|USA

At the price they're asking for prime, I order enough shipping-hardy stuff and use enough digital services and their partnerships (twitch prime) that the expense is justifiable. I could be using them for more, but it's not worth the headache.

The awfulness of the wishlist has already been discussed, so here's the rest:

  • Prime video sometimes does this thing where the first 30s to 1m starts out blurry, even at SD. This with an 80-down connection.
  • Book packing is a shadow of its former self. If you want your $200 in books to be bagged, boarded, paper-wrapped, bubble wrapped, and suspended in proper packing material, find a reputable third party seller on the site and hope they have what you're looking for. Amazon will toss your stuff in a box with a single plastic pillow so it rattles around. Leading to:
  • Common, prominent surface damage to collectible items. Dinged corners, cover delamination at edges, as well as rough wearing from slide contact with sharp cardboard edges on the box interior. Further damage to paper when the cardboard flap gets jammed inside the book. Book-on-book violence.
  • Especially for bubble envelopes, heat damage to binding or ambient moisture damage to paper. Folded bisectionally and roughly jammed in mailbox rather than left in package receptacle.


I would gladly pass on the free shipping if it meant they'd take their time to put care into packing, but they won't. Of course, they're fairly permissive with returns, but how much time do you want to waste shipping an item back over and over again.

Amazon lockers are nice (and I tend to use them for what is allowed), but it would certainly get old if I were one of those customers who receives daily packages from the company. I don't need that many trips to the grocery store.

e: Also, all the nearby ones are outdoor when there's plenty of room inside where it's climate controlled. Makes no sense.

tl;dr Amazon is one of the worst book sellers and their desktop e-reader is terrible and feature-barren. If I'm just out for a $10 book, I can generally just go to Barnes & Noble, pick out a copy in good condition, and go home with it same day.
uziq
Member
+286|2097
all of the above make you seem hideously self-involved as a consumer. your objection to amazon seems to be that they don’t pander enough to your needs.

companies like amazon are a very bad thing for workers and the industries they operate in. but hey! the lockers are convenient. and you can strip mine enough underpriced goods using their prime membership to ‘justify’ the cost!

the things you just wrote would sound like insanity to anyone living in a european state with, for instance, a fixed books price policy (widely understood as the best way to ensure equitable distribution and fair competition between online and brick and mortar retailers, controlling predatory undercutting/online discounting).

you just wrote 4 paragraphs of inane shit about how amazon don’t fold their envelopes to your liking. meanwhile it’s one of the most problematic companies on earth. lmao

for the well-established record, though, as a 'first world problem' the gutting of the wishlist definitely turned me off using the site for any purpose.

Last edited by uziq (2020-01-24 04:14:04)

Dilbert_X
The X stands for
+1,695|4751|eXtreme to the maX
If I ordered something I'd want it delivered in good condition, its not unreasonable.
Epstein didn't kill himself
unnamednewbie13
Moderator
+1,808|5417|USA

Inane? Self-involved? Considering I'm paying annual membership, I'm not sure why I'm not supposed to criticize service and its deterioration. Do you like having paper mulch delivered in place of a book? Going back and forth with returns, reships, refunds? Yes, it's FWP for a customer. Big shocker.

I know that the company's reputation has suffered along with the worker conditions and expectations that fold back into decreasing quality of service. I don't need super rapid delivery on a book I might not even get to for a few weeks. Selecting the longest possible delivery won't add more bubble wrap, a moisture barrier, or have much of an impact on the amount of shits warehouse workers can go take. All the same, I'll select it when I don't need something yesterday. I'd like the option to pay for additional packing, but am under no illusion that much (if any) of that would line the workers' pockets.

I get maybe one amazon delivery every two months these days (stuff like braun sanitizer packs, replacement headphone padding, certain cables, things not readily available at nearby stores). Far, far less than I used to. I shop/order locally or elsewhere online for the rest.

I mentioned the lockers in a sense of limited convenience, not as some shining beacon of company redemption. Also, what the heck about folding envelopes to my liking? They shouldn't be folded at all. Drop it in the package bin or even frisbee it onto the porch. I don't want to read a taco shell.

Rich of you to point out the length of the post. As you well know, they don't take that long to type.

This reminds me of that one time you knee-jerk thought I didn't think the Hong Kong protests were important or whatever, so wrote a fat, disgruntled post about it. Eat a bulk bag of dicks. I think they're 75% off.
SuperJail Warden
Member
+350|2365
I really like Amazon. I have maybe half a dozen Alexa devices in my home as well as a prime membership. I give Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Apple a bit of a pass when it comes their labor practices due to the fact that they are at least creating new technology, industries, and categories of services. It's a lot different than venture capitalist or resource extractors.
uziq
Member
+286|2097

Dilbert_X wrote:

If I ordered something I'd want it delivered in good condition, its not unreasonable.
if i wanted to buy a book in new book quality i'd go to a book store. and, you know, pay a fair price. how terrible that the peons working zero-hours contracts in warehouses and delivery drivers working on precariat-thin margins don't wrap everything nicely!

'you get what you pay for'. half of amazon now is actually full of fake books, counterfeits and knock-offs. it is rampant and they're doing little to combat it.

The company sits comfortably at the peak of its influence, its supply chain built on the back of tax evasion, labor exploitation, corporate lobbying, massive profits from its web-server business, and federal antitrust enforcement that has hovered between lax and corrupt. Amazon’s power has been vast and growing for so long that it’s no longer new or noteworthy in the publishing press, except for the occasional article about its depressing brick-and-mortar bookstores, where endcap displays say things like “Books Most Frequently Highlighted by Kindle Customers.” Amazon’s bookseller origins seem almost quaint now that its blueprint is so vast — its delivery vans roaming the streets, piloted by tired and underpaid third-party drivers;1 its lockers lining the walls of every 7-Eleven; its Echo speakers and touchscreens listening in from your kitchen, your living room, your bedroom, playing songs from Amazon Music and prestige TV from Amazon Prime, placing grocery orders with its recent acquisition Whole Foods. Sadly, publishing will never be as interesting as the complete and total restructuring of society. But with a market share of 45 percent of print books and 83 percent of ebooks, Amazon remains capable of crippling the industry and upending its practices with little more than an algorithmic tweak.

In the past decade, Bezos’s early, antagonistic mentality has been diffused across a massive platform with limited oversight and the default ability to make life hell for publishers. In January 2010, Amazon removed buy buttons from all Macmillan titles in retaliation for their disagreement over ebook terms and prices. You could still peruse Macmillan books on Amazon — but you couldn’t purchase them. Not unless you wanted a used copy from a third-party seller, in which case the writer and the publisher would get nothing, while Amazon still got its cut. In 2014 Amazon did something similar during a dispute with Hachette, eliminating pre-order buttons and imposing shipping delays on Hachette’s titles. In retrospect, the latter conflict was most notable for how public it was; as an industry, book publishing prefers to fight — and mostly lose — its fights behind the scenes.

These days the buttons don’t have to vanish for publishers and authors to get screwed. Since 2017, third-party sellers are no longer relegated to links in small type: now they can compete for orders directly through the buttons. When you click buy now or add to cart, you might be purchasing a book — even a new book — from a reseller, even when you intend to do no such thing. You might end up with a foreign-market edition, or a secondhand edition at such a steep discount that the brand-new paperback seems like a bad deal. Or you might forget about the book altogether, because throughout the shopping process Amazon has been encouraging you to choose one of its own titles instead. Imagine an independent bookstore whose employees are always interrupting your browsing to offer a cheaper, bootlegged copy of the book you’re holding, and to point you to an array of even cheaper books they wrote themselves. Now imagine that process weaponized with vast amounts of information about your browsing and purchase history — and that of millions of other consumers.

The Times’s indefatigable David Streitfeld wrote two huge stories in 2019 about the explosion of counterfeit books on Amazon. Technical manuals, Pulitzer Prize winners, headline-grabbing nonfiction: all of it exists on the site in both authentic and forged editions. Readers encouraged to choose between bootleg editions, secondhand editions, and foreign editions — any edition, as long as it’s cheapest — don’t tend to notice who they’re buying from, and most wouldn’t care if they did. If the product is somehow defective (Streitfeld tracked down a customer who’d purchased a copy of 1984 in which instances of the word faces were replaced with feces), they’ll get a replacement with free two-day delivery.

Publishers would be structurally incapable of keeping track of every instance of malfeasance even if keeping track were a top institutional priority, which it isn’t. Amazon could distribute typo-free books if it cared to, but it doesn’t. As Streitfeld wrote, “This is not really negligence on Amazon’s part. It is the company’s business model.” Like Facebook, Amazon doesn’t put a high value on moderation, or any kind of human/editorial intervention, casting the very core of the bookselling business as one more efficiency to be optimized. Thus the everything store is not a store at all, but rather the retail economy in miniature, its seedier and illicit aspects brought to the surface, operating on an equal plane with more straightforward transactions — all of which Amazon profits from.
https://nplusonemag.com/issue-36/the-in … e-bottoms/

so yeah, people subscribing to amazon prime have about as much grounds to complain as streamers do about spotify's service, imo. you are already accessing a radically underpriced product/service, much to the cost of the creator. if you want quality music, go buy a record. if you want quality books, go visit a good bookseller.

tl;dr: fuck amazon

Last edited by uziq (2020-01-24 08:01:30)

uziq
Member
+286|2097

SuperJail Warden wrote:

I really like Amazon. I have maybe half a dozen Alexa devices in my home as well as a prime membership. I give Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Apple a bit of a pass when it comes their labor practices due to the fact that they are at least creating new technology, industries, and categories of services. It's a lot different than venture capitalist or resource extractors.
yeah except they have all sought to create monopolies or monopsonies through any means necessary, radically undercutting existing businesses by selling things at a loss, dependent on a fat cushion of ... investor money. but sure, they are creating amazing new technologies. nobody had ever heard of a search engine or a social network before. it's totally justified.

Last edited by uziq (2020-01-24 08:05:37)

unnamednewbie13
Moderator
+1,808|5417|USA

uziq wrote:

so yeah, people subscribing to amazon prime have about as much grounds to complain as streamers do about spotify's service, imo. you are already accessing a radically underpriced product/service, much to the cost of the creator. if you want quality music, go buy a record. if you want quality books, go visit a good bookseller.

tl;dr: fuck amazon
A long term customer has every cause to complain when the quality of a service decreases. I know it's company policy, etc., to blame (duh). My growing disuse of it will probably lead to cancellation one of these days when I get bored of prime video, twitch prime, and find a nicer source for annoying-to-find items.

A new book will cost me about as much on Amazon as it would at Barnes & Noble, the vast majority of which I buy from the latter (though I've never received a "fake book" from Amazon or the decently rated third party distributors I've ordered from). Three used book stores in the area. I browse when I have an hour to burn. Sorry I can't implement European policies and regulations across the whole of the US and international business. I'm not God.

Don't/didn't you play World of Warcraft? Didn't Activision Blizzard lay off like 800 people after record earnings? Bobby Kotick raking in eight figures (not that waiving some of those earnings would have saved those jobs, but bad optics). Not to the same scale as Amazon, but hashtag companies are evil.

If you select prime shipping you can probably get that bag of dicks in two days or less.
uziq
Member
+286|2097
are you really comparing blizzard games to amazon? sorry but i can't even follow your argument there.

if blizzard had systematically undermined the rest of the games industry and forced competitors out of business; if blizzard were offering the cheapest game in town so that i was by default playing their games as my first port-of-call; and if furthermore i was continually unhappy with a shoddy service that they were offering, despite my continuing to use it, then maybe the analogy would work?

furthermore, you can buy the same book from multiple vendors. you have the choice. you just don't exercise it. that's because you're lazy/cheap and thus opt for amazon. blizzard vend a game that i can choose either to play or not play. their success and size is based on the success of the games they create and bring to market, not by hedging out retailers of common products. i am quite literally scratching my head at what you're getting at. corporations sometimes restructure and do bad things to their employees? corporations pay their CEOs big bonuses?

i've subscribed to warcraft and given blizzard 3 months subscription in about 10 years. i cancelled when i stopped playing. because, you know, you can always cancel a subscription unnamed!

Last edited by uziq (2020-01-24 09:33:58)

unnamednewbie13
Moderator
+1,808|5417|USA

Not to the same scale as Amazon
Not to the same scale as Amazon
Seriously pissy day for you, huh.
uziq
Member
+286|2097
it's not even the same type of business. are you retarded?
unnamednewbie13
Moderator
+1,808|5417|USA

as it would at Barnes & Noble, the vast majority of which I buy from the latter […] Three used book stores in the area. I browse when I have an hour to burn.
I imagine you read like two words before going off on your wild tangents.

Lazy.

Fuck off.
uziq
Member
+286|2097
you just wrote 4 paragraphs kvetching about amazon's literally dead (and industry-killing) cheapness when you know you have several ready alternatives in the area.

therefore you're either too cheap or too lazy.

either way i don't know what blizzard, a games company who make and sell their own products in a competitive market, have to do the fuck with anything.
unnamednewbie13
Moderator
+1,808|5417|USA

uziq wrote:

i've subscribed to warcraft and given blizzard 3 months subscription in about 10 years. i cancelled when i stopped playing. because, you know, you can always cancel a subscription unnamed!
My growing disuse of it will probably lead to cancellation one of these days
Would you look at that! Holy shit.
unnamednewbie13
Moderator
+1,808|5417|USA

uziq wrote:

you know you have several ready alternatives in the area.
Why the fuck are you still on about that? Right, there are alternatives and I'm fucking using them you clod. Streaming services were a topic before I even chimed in in the first place.
uziq
Member
+286|2097
ah, yes, 'one of these days ...'. let's face it, amazon has won as far as you're concerned. it's a paradigmatic case of platform capitalism: undercut everyone, slow creep into consumer habits, and then become indispensable/too convenient to lose. 'one of these days' you'll stop using amazon, only you've been banging on about the shape of their cardboard envelopes for about 3 months now. but, sigh, there's new content on amazon prime ...

i can only conclude that you are a peon.

Last edited by uziq (2020-01-24 09:43:20)

unnamednewbie13
Moderator
+1,808|5417|USA

Right, this is the Uzique I remember from the old days. Now you're college educated but still prone to bouts of thickheaded trolliness.

Used to order a lot, now barely at all with waning use. "Amazon has won as far as you're concerned!"

Shops at multiple stores. Would still like for amazon to improve the site and conditions for employees. Would pay more for it. "You're cheap and lazy!"

Doesn't like damaged goods so only orders durable items when at all. "Banging on about cardboard envelopes!"

Get a grip.
SuperJail Warden
Member
+350|2365

uziq wrote:

SuperJail Warden wrote:

I really like Amazon. I have maybe half a dozen Alexa devices in my home as well as a prime membership. I give Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Apple a bit of a pass when it comes their labor practices due to the fact that they are at least creating new technology, industries, and categories of services. It's a lot different than venture capitalist or resource extractors.
yeah except they have all sought to create monopolies or monopsonies through any means necessary, radically undercutting existing businesses by selling things at a loss, dependent on a fat cushion of ... investor money. but sure, they are creating amazing new technologies. nobody had ever heard of a search engine or a social network before. it's totally justified.
Amazon's reliable service and customer attention really helped promote and legitimize online shopping during the early internet. Amazon's voice activated home assistants are something I use all day. Amazon Web Services are the backbone of a lot of the internet. Google is investing in self driving cars, satellites, and advanced robotics. Facebook is pouring money into VR technology, and also satellites. Apple set the standard for what a smart phone and other tech should be like.

They expanded way past what they started as and there is a legitimate argument that the United States permissive corporate culture allowed them to do so. It's all off the backs of countless poor but what isn't? There are worse corporations that exploit the poor and make humanity worse off. The focus on the tech companies is disproportionate compared to the awfulness of cigarette and alcohol companies for instance.
uziq
Member
+286|2097
why is it either/or? i was never comparing amazon to big tobacco. it’s an unethical and shitty choice in a market of many readily available alternatives.

i’m not even saying every consumer should be angelic and ethical. i’m merely saying that whining about amazon’s deliveries is retarded. if you’re unhappy with their service then patronise another, better deserving business.

Last edited by uziq (2020-01-24 11:11:10)

unnamednewbie13
Moderator
+1,808|5417|USA

I think the biggest FWP today was your whining about me criticizing deliveries I don't even get much of these days. Intentional misreads, ignoring multiple times that I do shop at other companies, and general putting words into my mouth. Posting about a delivery three months ago equates to "banging on about it for three months."

"Lazy and cheap," embarrassingly wrong on both fronts. It would be more galling, but I know you were pulling it directly out of your ass.

Paying another nasty company is alright I guess if they're different enough. Gotta get that WoW nostalgia in.

Prick.
uziq
Member
+286|2097
o k, boomer
SuperJail Warden
Member
+350|2365

uziq wrote:

why is it either/or? i was never comparing amazon to big tobacco. it’s an unethical and shitty choice in a market of many readily available alternatives.

i’m not even saying every consumer should be angelic and ethical. i’m merely saying that whining about amazon’s deliveries is retarded. if you’re unhappy with their service then patronise another, better deserving business.
I don't think Amazon is a shitty choice. I am very happy with their services. I just believe that the amount of negative attention they receive is disproportionate to their effect on American life when you take into consideration worse older corporations that middle America made peace with for reasons unknown. "Break up Facebook" is a meme opinion from people who have no Facebook friends.

I also don't believe in supporting small businesses just because they are small. Small businesses in America are probably a big driver of our inequality issue. Small businesses don't hire brown people. They don't open up places in poor communities. They charge more and give worse services to brown people because they can. They do allow middle class white people to buy BMWs and send their kids to private school while smashing that button for Republicans though.

Of course someone will say "not all small businesses...". Whatever, I am speaking for personal experience in what is supposed to be the most liberal part of America. Do you know what businesses actually hire minorities and provide services fairly? Walmart, Amazon, McDonald's, etc.

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