I got my ban email from Amazon today ... and I totally deserved it.
I've been a loyal and faithful shopper on Amazon for years and years. You name it, I've bought it ... cheap and expensive. It's not an exaggeration to say I've spent tens of thousands in recent years with Amazon. But then, I started to notice small, gradual changes to the moral compass of this behemoth retailer.
The flurry came to full storm when I saw Amazon supporting the "Marketplace Fairness Act" despite its beginnings in the internet's tax-free marketplace. I would venture to say that without the inherent benefits of internet shopping, retailers like Amazon might never have existed. But, who cares? They're a multibillion dollar company now with warehouses coast-to-coast, and they will gladly accept sales taxes to stay in the good graces of those state legislatures. And if they have to sign on to federal legislation to keep their standing, at the expense of small business owners and regular shoppers, not to mention future retailer start-ups like Amazon was not even 20 years ago, then so be it.
That's not all, of course. I'll let Amazon's Wiki page tell the rest of the story:
Since its founding, the company has attracted criticism and controversy from multiple sources over its actions. These include: luring customers away from the site's brick and mortar competitors, poor warehouse conditions for workers; anti-unionization efforts; Amazon Kindle remote content removal; taking public subsidies; its "1-Click patent" claims; anti-competitive actions; price discrimination; various decisions over whether to censor or publish content such as the WikiLeaks web site; LGBT book sales rank; and works containing libel, facilitating dogfight, cockfight, or pedophile activities. In December 2011, Amazon faced backlash from small businesses for running a one-day deal to promote its new Price Check app. Shoppers who used the app to check prices in a brick-and-mortar store were offered a 5% discount to purchase the same item from Amazon.
Amazon is now the Wal-Mart of the internet.
This is not one of those whiny, "woe is me who got banned from Amazon" posts. This is not one of those self-righteous "Amazon can't keep me from buying from them" rants. I never plan to buy another thing from Amazon, and that shouldn't be too hard given how good they are at banning people!
You can say that the actions of those that get banned only pervert the "generous" policies that the "good" buyers from Amazon enjoy, but the real perverting that is going on is by Amazon itself, financed by good-natured, well-meaning people.
Buy local and support your neighborhood economy, and demand fair treatment of workers and respect for all life.
I got banned. I deserved it. So did Amazon.