Monday, April 13, 2009

A Response from Amazon and some resolution

I emailed Amazon this morning about this widespread problem and my concerns. Tonight I received the following response:


This is an embarrassing and ham-fisted cataloging error for a company that prides itself on offering complete selection.

It has been misreported that the issue was limited to Gay & Lesbian themed titles - in fact, it impacted 57,310 books in a number of broad categories such as Health, Mind & Body, Reproductive & Sexual Medicine, and Erotica. This problem impacted books not just in the United States but globally. It affected not just sales rank but also had the effect of removing the books from Amazon's main product search.

Many books have now been fixed and we're in the process of fixing the remainder as quickly as possible, and we intend to implement new measures to make this kind of accident less likely to occur in the future.

Further, I'm sorry to hear that you had an unsatisfactory experience when you called us previously.

I do apologize for any misunderstanding that may have occurred and I have passed your feedback along to the appropriate people in our company.

Thanks for contacting us. We hope to see you again soon.

On its face the email reads like a form letter sent to many others, but I did note in the closing paragraphs several things were addressed on a personal level. At least it gave me the feeling that the person answering did read my email. It was signed, but I don't see the necessity of posting the name of the person who signed the email.

I have noted that front-page search, as well as ranking, have been restored for my books.

Would resolution have taken place as quickly without community support and outcry? Probably not. But Amazon has responded, and done so quickly.

Hopefully this will not occur again, but it always pays to watch closely and to speak out.

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