— This article, by Jerry Cates, was first published on 26 September 2016, and was last revised on 27 September 2016. © Govinthenews Vol. 7:9(1).
Sometimes you just have to stand on principle. This is one of those times.
Amazon.com is today one of the world’s prime (!) suppliers of books and just about everything else you want to buy. Last year I purchased a lot of stuff on Amazon.com… a lot. I won’t mention how much… I’m embarrassed to admit how much of my hard earned money went to that company. Yes, I must also admit how convenient it has been to take advantage of the perks attached to being a prime member of Amazon, getting things in one to two days instead of waiting twice or three times that long.
Well, that’s over. Over! I’m done with Amazon. I cancelled my prime membership today… well, not exactly today, because my prime membership runs through January 2, 2017, more than three months from now. That doesn’t matter, though, because I’ve gone onto my online account at Amazon.com and disabled purchasing through that account effective less than an hour ago. And I won’t be re-enabling purchasing by myself or anybody in my company. Nor will I ever purchase ANYTHING from Amazon.com again.
Unless… yes, there is an unless here. There is a condition under which I will renew my prime membership with Amazon.com, and under which I and my employees will again begin spending loads of money buying stuff there.
Specifically, Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon.com, must publicly apologize to America for Amazon.com’s editing of negative reviews of books that reflect Mr. Bezos’ political biases, OR must publish credible evidence that reports it is doing that are not accurate. When someone reviews a book on Amazon.com, that review should be published whether Mr. Bezos agrees or disagrees with the review. Removing negative reviews (see WND’s report on Amazon’s editing of reviews of Ms. Clinton’s book “Stronger Together”) of a book to make that book appear more acceptable to its readers than it is amounts to fraud. Amazon.com appears to be guilty of fraud. Supporting a company that is or appears to be guilty of fraud is a form of enabling. I will not be a party to such behavior, nor will I countenance anyone in my company doing so.
YES, I have read the commentary on Amazon regarding this incident, but NO, I cannot agree with any of those who commented that the negative reviews were from disgruntled Republicans and thus were subject to righteous censorship. They may indeed have been written by disgruntled Republicans but that is immaterial, particularly if Amazon does not apply “righteous censorship” to comments by disgruntled Democrats regarding books written with a right-wing bent. Amazon does not do that, because it would be impossible to do so in an unbiased manner, and they should not try to do it with books written by Hillary Clinton.
Do I really expect Jeff Bezos to make that public apology? Are you kidding? Yeah, he might. But chances of that are just about zero, so I’m not holding my breath.
Earlier today I was planning to place orders on Amazon.com that amounted to more than $1,000.00 in company expenses. Then I read that article on WND, and did an Internet search for alternatives to Amazon.com. Did you know there are some? Yes, there are. And today I placed all my orders with those alternate sellers, not on Amazon. They may not arrive quite as quickly, and I may pay a little more for shipping, but … maybe not, too. Some, actually most, now offer free shipping. And some, yes, actually most, ship pretty fast. So, all in all, the loss is not really a loss. I’m feeling pretty good about this new way of doing things, And I will continue to do things this new way until Mr. Bezos makes his public apology.
Check out my account, Mr. Bezos. Zero purchases today. Zero purchases tomorrow. Zero forever. You have lost my business. You. And I won’t look back, no matter what. Unless, as mentioned earlier, you apologize. Not to me, to the entire world.
Do that, or it is bye-bye, Amazon, forever.
I know. Easier said than done. Still, it can be done, and I know whereof I speak, as I’ve had experience weaning myself off life’s perks that I was better off not taking advantage of in the first place.
In December of 2014 the Texas Tollway authority in Houston informed me I was being fined for going through several toll booths without a proper RFI sensor on my windshield. One of their RFI sensors was actually on my windshield, but their detectors failed to trigger it, so they assumed — despite photographic evidence the RFI sensor was present — that the vehicle had no RFI sensor and proceeded to charge a fine several times the amount of the normal toll. On calling the authority, the representative stated it would be necessary to take proof of the RFI sensor installation to the authority’s office, in person, to have the fines removed. The process involved standing in line for over two hours, then having the clerk behind the counter explain it would also be necessary to return two weeks later to ensure the fines had been removed. Could that be handled over the phone? I asked. No, she replied. It had to be done at the office, in person.
I canceled my account with the tollway authority immediately, and have not used Texas toll roads since. Not only did that result in a savings of over $7,000.00 over the next 21 months (I put a lot of miles on my work vehicle, traveling all over Texas each month visiting clients), it confirmed a nagging suspicion — that using the toll roads did not save that much time, and actually led to greater wear and tear on my vehicle because of the higher speeds permitted on the toll roads. It took a couple of months to set up my GPS devices to avoid toll roads automatically without having to manually override what the GPS wanted me to do, but once that was done it was smooth sailing.
Like I said, weaning myself off of unnecessary perks in life is not that big a deal. It wasn’t with the toll roads, and it won’t be with Amazon. I’m actually looking forward to it. Oh, and here’s an aside note: even if Jeff Bezos decides to come clean and make that public apology, I may still not return to Amazon. The feeling of freedom that swells my chest right now is pretty liberating. Why let that pass? Why not go on to bigger and even better things?
Like, what’s next? Weaning myself off the intrusive devices that destroy my privacy? Hey, that’s a pretty big deal… I’m told it will be tougher. But it, too, is possible… at least I hope it is.
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