Thursday, January 5, 2012

A 1-Click Mishap at Amazon

I guess it had to happen sooner or later. Last night as I was preparing to watch an episode of Dr. Who streamed from Amazon, I accidentally clicked on a link that instantly purchased a license for said episode. I was blind-sided because I knew that I had the right to stream the episode by virtue of my $79-per-year subscription to Amazon Prime. To me, it didn't make any sense that Amazon would offer to let me watch a show for $1.99 when I had already paid for the privilege of watching it.

What really frustrated me though were my fruitless efforts to back out of my mistake. With most 1-Click purchases, you can cancel the order for any reason prior to the order being shipped. It turns out that 1-click purchases of digital media are irreversible. I find this policy absurd and indefensible. I spent maybe 20 minutes poking around on Amazon's web site trying to find a usable "Contact Us" page. There were plenty of FAQs and Help pages, but their contact information was very well hidden. I finally discovered a usable page via Google search.

Amazon did reverse the charge after warning me that 1-Click purchases of digital media are non-refundable.

I like the convenience of 1-Click purchasing, especially when shopping on a Kindle or my Droid. I always assumed that I had a safety net if I accidentally clicked a purchase link. Now that I know this is not true, I've disabled 1-Click on all devices. Curiously, the "Buy now with 1-Click" buttons still appear.

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