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Tag Archives: Amazon

Reflections on Black Friday weekend 2017

Black Friday was the catalyst that turned me from a wise-ass cub copywriter, marking time till I sold a screenplay, into someone serious about their profession. Not a few years ago, I got a job as direct mail ad manager at the Broadway, a defunct chain of department stores in Southern California. One of my […]

First review of $50 Amazon Fire tablet

Mine arrived today and I wanted to review it on the Amazon website but they said the product has not yet been officially released and can’t be reviewed so I’ll share experiences here. It’s a 2 or maybe 3 star product. Good performance and graphics, but due to interface problems it’s going back if I […]

Why is eating’s lunch

I recently posted about an inane and penny-pinching customer service experience with Barnes and Noble. I also mentioned that I was switching out my iPhone for an HTC One. These two threads have now converged because of what happened when I attempted to resell my old iPhone through the “trade-in program” on I would […]

Online retail’s Obamacare moment

UPS experienced a surge of last minute Christmas orders and there weren’t enough planes to carry the packages, so many presents weren’t delivered till after the holiday. In some ways this is a good thing: consumer confidence suggests a strengthening economy and prosperous times ahead. But many of those orders had been placed with the […]

It’s almost 2014, and mail order retailers still haven’t figured out gift order options

If you give a gift, you want to be acknowledged, right? At the very least the recipient should know the package came from you and has a bit of thought behind it. Yet some of the largest mail order retailers are doing a very poor job of dealing with this issue at holiday 2013, long […]

Tech gifts for the techie dad

Father’s Day is a great time to give dad techie gadgets he wouldn’t necessarily buy for himself. Here are some ideas. 1. Last minute gift: an Apple App Store or Android gift card. Who doesn’t need more apps for their mobile device? You can buy prepaid Apple gift cards at most any Target and many […]

Is Amazon messing with its Prime program?

I was an early adopter of Amazon Prime, the membership program where you get unlimited 2-day shipping at no extra charge for an annual fee of $79. The program has over the years been enhanced with a limited selection of free instant videos and free Kindle books, but the shipping is what I really like. […]

Good CSR, bad CSR

The other day I got hot under the collar about what was basically a trivial matter. The outsourced customer service function of American Express needed appropriate phrases to express appropriate reactions when a customer called because their credit card was declined. Quite possibly because of cultural differences, the scripted responses weren’t appropriate at all. But […]

Why Facebook will buy Yelp

Robert Scoble had an example at one of the SXSW panels on how the “check-ins” we were all getting from Gowalla and Foursquare (“Jim Wood has just checked in at the Blogger’s Lounge”) could be made useful, instead of annoying. Suppose he wants a recommendation for a barbecue place in Austin. He’s going to browse […]

Hmm… possible problem with social media peer reviews

Go look at the reviews for a popular item on Compare the volume of people voting on the “most helpful favorable review” and the “most helpful critical review”. In most cases, the number of “helpful” votes on the “favorable” reviews will swamp the “critical” numbers. My hypothesis:  people reading these reviews mostly want to […]

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