Tuesday, 18 January 2011


Re my post from Sunday ('I beg your pardon') about Amazon, and my efforts to upload new biographical details to my Amazon profile which inexplicably rebounded on grounds of 'profanity':-

I used Amazon's Help system, which is actually very streamlined and involves (1) an exchange of emails, followed by (2) immediate telephone help by on demand if the problem is still unresolved. Their email confirmed that they had manually uploaded the text I requested (hasn't happened yet but that may take a couple of days), which is fine as far as it goes, but I went for the telephone option to find out why the text had been rejected in the first place, and that experience was less satisfactory.

On the only other occasion I used Amazon Help, two years ago, I ended up chatting to a guy from Dublin who couldn't have been more helpful (and in fact emailed me later to say he had ordered The Blue Cabin for himself). This time, well... it wasn't a guy from Dublin. I was told that the offending text had been rejected automatically by Amazon's computer, and that they had manually uploaded my details. I said I had assumed it was the computer and was aware that they had uploaded the text, for which I said thanks. My issue, though, was why the computer had taken exception in the first place, and whether it was likely to happen when I tried to edit my profile in the future? I was told that the computer had rejected the text automatically, and that they had manually uploaded my details... As Yogi Berra would say, 'it was like deja vu, all over again'. There was no confrontation or anything, but if the record was stuck I didn't really feel like fiddling with it there and then. I said my thanks, and that was that.

I know computers are stupid, but I didn't realise they took offence for no apparent reason. I must watch what I say in front of the laptop - come to think of it, that's probably why it goes on strike now and then. How insensitive of me - I should choose my words more carefully. When I say 'stupid', I don't mean...
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