Tech wrap: Amazon concerns hit shares

December 29, 2011

 

Amazon.com shares fell to their lowest level since late March on Thursday on concern about sales growth during the online retailer’s crucial fourth quarter.

Free Wi-Fi is on its way to some Japanese vending machines, reports gizmag. Much like a mobile hotspot at a local coffee shop, people near the machines would be able to connect to the internet for 30 minutes at a time and surf the web.

Just when you thought you’d never hear the words HP TouchPad ever again, the miniature version of the tablet computer that caused a frenzy when it went on sale for $99 has emerged: the HP TouchPad Go, reports the International Business Times.

Next year will see one more regional Internet registry run out of IPv4 addresses, but networking experts say 2012 will be more of a year to prepare for the inevitable shift to IPv6 than an Internet doomsday, IDG News Service reports.

As 2011′s mediocre stock market returns become final, technology investors would be wise to keep an eye on these U.S. initial public offerings of technology companies for 2012, International Business Times predicts.

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A concerned friend,

I never noticed how many Amazon sellers whose accounts have been suspended until this happened to someone I’ve known for years. This friend had sold on Amazon with a history of 100% feedback, until last Christmas. I know they’ve always attempt to bend over backwards to work all buyers, even if a buyer was rude and sometimes ridiculous. I’ve seen communication from customers, most are nice and professional, but I’ve also seen some that are very nasty and have displayed highly unprofessional, with bad attitudes. I would be reluctant to respond with as much kindness in the face of a downright nasty buyer message, I’ve witnessed my friend had to respond to. Sometimes one has to swallow their pride, while writing with politeness in response. I don’t believe anything my friend could have done was so wrong to have their account harshly suspended by Amazon. In my opinion, after lessening to the story, this was not something they could have avoided, or could have remedied by handling it any better than they did. After this happened to them I stared researching online and came across a surprisingly large number of anti-Amazon sites, with many seller horror stories, including a blog that was ironically being hosted on the Amazon website itself. Of course, everyone has their own story to tell, but what really became so crystal clear was how many of the growing number of suspended sellers whom where once devote Amazon customers (buyers) are now looking for alternative places to patronize, both to buy and sell. It seems, in an effort to enforce Amazons own very harsh pro-buyer polices; they’ve inadvertently alienated a very large number of their best customers with an ever growing number of suspended accounts. If true, I’ve read some very frivolous and poorly investigated reasons that Amazon has decided to invoke account suspension! Amazon is shooting its own foot so to speak, by quickly (without good reason) suspending seller accounts and also at the same time loosing a large number of its supporters and customers in the process. These disillusioned/disenchanted and seemingly upset former Amazon sellers/customers, whom before having been treated so badly and shabbily by Amazon where actually once their biggest fans and supporters. Theses now shunned Amazonians whom have contributed to Amazons success, by bringing them new business and increasing profits over time are now up in arms. Also, a growing number of websites bashing Amazon also seem to be growing all the time… The few buyers who are complaining on these sites are mostly upset about less serious issues. These complaints from a few buyers are complaints such as slow shipping times, although, most sellers are claiming a large number of the shipping problems are because of the shipping companies whom may sometimes be slow, or have in some cases mishandle their orders, which the seller cannot control, yet Amazon will still hold the seller fully responsible if a buyer leaves negative feedback and complains. Additionally, I’ve noticed over time, more and more angry sellers are now complaining about more serious concerns of scams and bad behavior from a growing number of bad seeds on Amazon. There are Amazon sellers who are saying that a growing number of Amazon buyers whom are seeking to obtain free product by taking advantage of Amazon’s very one sided pro-buyer policies and are working the system. I’ve seen online claims of extortion attempts being made from fraudulent Amazon buyers, who some sellers say will leave, or threaten to leave, negative feedback if they don’t issue an immediate refund by making a false claim, knowing that the distressed Amazon seller will be in fear of their account being suspended, if their feedback ratings sink. One shunned Christian book seller had posted a very sad story, stating after having a history of high feedback over the years had inadvertently discovered that one of his supposed dissatisfied buyer who had caused his account to be suspended by Amazon was in reality a shill hostel competing seller, posing as a buyer, with the intent to eliminate the competition on Amazon. Other stories of suspended sellers posted online told very heart wrenching stories with many victims of unfair or indifferent (canned) responses from Amazon, by notifying them their seller account was being suspended. One blog told about a self-employed military serviceman who was being re-deployed overseas and was relying on his alone at home pregnant wife to keep their small home based business functioning while serving his country; according to the post, there sellers account was wrongly suspended, with no remorse or concern from Amazon. The stories are many, some including the long-time unemployed who are seeking to make a few bucks so they can put food on the table for their families. If only a fraction of these stories are true this really shows a concerning pattern of cold hearted indifference and heartlessness on the part of Amazon, for not taking better care and responsibility in it’s investigating these very serious allegations with more care and much more concern for their sellers as well as their buyers. It seem Amazon should take heed and take the individual sellers particular circumstances into consideration with further investigation before suspending their accounts willy-nilly, as most posts seem to claim. More and more sellers are saying that Amazon buyers are making false claims and are quick to file A-Z claims, without first contacting the seller (as outlined by Amazon policy) with an attempt to get the product for FREE while trying to get their money back from Amazon and keep the item. (larceny). If this is the case, who the heck would want to risk selling on Amazon if they are going to give your stuff away to a scam buyers for FREE! As a believer in second chances and learning from ones own mistakes perhaps Amazon is simply a victim of its own success. Although policies are created with the intent to do the right thing, they sometime can be bad or overbroad, and do more harm than good. Only time will tell, but let’s hope Amazon does not become a victim of its own indifference or self-importance. Those who have been harmed by Amazon, please be strong!

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