Sunday, October 16, 2005

Is in trouble?

Is in good health? I've been wondering lately. I've been a customer since the initial launch, back before they were sending customers mugs. Over that time I've seen some performance and customer service issues, but their core software systems have been remarkably reliable. Lately, however, I'm running into bugs. Mostly they're cosmetic or irritating, like a wish list that can't be accessed (server error). Most recently, however, I have an order that's stuck in limbo. It can't be cancelled, but it doesn't ship. It is 'being prepared for shipping' - apparently they're mining the metals to build it.

Amazon's always tweaked their UI (annoying), but lately the tweaks have been moving backwards. I used to usually be able to sort a search result by ranking, sales, etc -- but that ability is increasingly constrained. Also, Amazon hasn't removed negative reviews, but they are increasingly obscured.

My sense is they've lost some important software people. Maybe it was an outsourcing move. Maybe some relatively senior people vested and left. Maybe they've downsized. Whatever they've done, it's not working ...

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