Posts Tagged ‘Amazon’

Cowboy Amazon Logistics dump parcel on doorstep

November 7, 2016

I open my front door to find Amazon Logistics had dumped a parcel on my doorstep.

It is an educated guess left by Amazon Logistics, as no card left.

Last two deliveries were by Amazon Logistic, and both times they dumped the parcel, first time behind a wheelie bin, the second time in a wheelie bin.

Amazon has not denied parcel was dumped by Amazon Logistics

Royal Mail does not dump parcels. They may lose, but do not dump.

The location where the parcel was left, in full view of passers by in the street.

Whoever dumped the parcel blatantly lied, they claimed in tracking notes:

Parcel was handed to resident to K P

Not the first time they had lied. When the parcel was dumped behind the wheelie bin, it was claimed it had been handeed to myself. I was not even there.

Had it rained, the parcel dumped on my doorstep would have got soaked.

I was home at the time the parcel was dumped.

This is the third time  a parcel from Amazon has been dumped. Complaints are made, complaints are ignored.

Note: Tracking notes show delivered by Amazon Logistics.

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Cowboy Amazon Logistics dump parcel in wheelie bin

October 19, 2016
calling card left by Amazon Logistics

calling card left by Amazon Logistics

The last time cowboy Amazon Logistics delivered a parcel they dumped it behind the wheelie bin. A complaint was lodged but appears to have made no difference. This time cowboy Amazon Logistics dump in the wheelie bin.

Illegible scrawl on the calling card. No name, no date.

Amazon Logistics have never been told of a safe place to leave parcels. Dumping in a wheelie bin seems to be a strange definition of safe.

How long been there do not know. At a guess, at least a month. Only discovered when throwing junk mail in the rubbish bin.

Cowboy Amazon Logistics dump parcel behind rubbish bin

September 15, 2016
Amazon Logistics meaningless calling card

Amazon Logistics meaningless calling card

Yesterday, an e-mail from Amazon to expect a delivery.

Postman was late. As leaving, I saw the postman, chased him down the street, to ask had he a parcel for me. He replied no.

I left, leaving a note on the door where the parcel should be left.

In the evening, no parcel had been left where I had advised, no card left, my note still on the door.

On reading my e-mail, I found parcel have been left, but not at all clear where.  Delivery tracking

Parcel was handed to resident

I had not given consent for parcel to be left with anyone. And should a card not have been left telling me where it had been left? And my note removed?  Who was the resident? The delivery tracking also said the parcel had been delivered to myself. It had not. Or if it had, where was it?

In a separate note, it is claimed parcel was handed to me at 1521.

It most certainly had not been handed to me, as I was not there, I was in Winchester.

That evening, message posted on twitter, e-mail sent, asking where was my parcel? No response.

The next day, ie today, I found a card. It was meaningless.

This evening I put out the bins for collection. I found my parcel dumped behind the rubbish bins. Had I not put out the bins, my parcel would have still been there, and could have been there for weeks. Had I put the bins out at night, I would not have seen the parcel.

As I write, a thunderstorm for the last couple of hours, now a very violent storm with very heavy rain. Heavy rain forecast all through the early hours of the morning until late morning.

Had I not by accident found my parcel, it would by now be a soggy mess.

ChevronToxico

December 7, 2014
Chevron crude

Chevron crude

Chevron will fight until hell freezes over, then skate it out on the ice. — Charles James, former Chevron Vice President and General Council

We can’t let little countries screw around with big companies like this … — Chevron lobbyist

For decades, Texaco (now owned by Chevron), dumped toxic waste in pristine Amazonian rainforest in Ecuador.

Chevron were sued in Ecuador, Chevron lost, but has refused to pay damages. Chevron has vowed to lock in litigation until hell freezes over, then to litigate on the ice.

This is how Big Business operates.

In a landmark judgement against Chevron in an Ecuadorian court in 2011, the company was ordered to pay more than $18 billion towards the clean up of widespread contamination, as well as compensatory and punitive damages. The case, holding Chevron accountable for toxic dumping by its predecessor company, Texaco, has been upheld by appellate courts in Ecuador.

The case now goes to the International Criminal Court.

Please sign the petition calling on Chevron to pay for their crimes.

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Follow Amazon on twitter

October 19, 2014

How do you pursued people to voluntarily follow Amazon on twitter?

Offer them some free Bose music equipment.

Not even that, offer them the remote possibilty of some free Bose music equipment.

Amazon v Hachette-publishers-readers-writers

August 28, 2014
Amazon

Amazon

Amazon is locked into a bitter dispute with French publisher Hachette, but this is not the first dispute, previously it was with Macmillan.

What Amazon is trying to do is drive down the price it pays, it demands ever larger discounts, whilst pretending it is acting for readers.

The techniques Amazon adopts are those of medieval siege warfare.

With MacMillan, the buy button for any of their titles no longer worked.

With Hachette, long delays on a book, advance orders not possible.

The Penguin Random House merger, was an attempt to produce an even bigger conglomerate to challenge Amazon, or at least put up a fight.

Amazon has now not only upset publishers, it has upset writers whose books are not available, it has upset readers who are seeing much loved indie bookshops close.

The current issue is the price of e-books. Amazon wants to set the price at $9.99, Hachette wants $14-99.

Both are wrong, there are zero marginal costs associated with e-books, the price for an e-book should be less than a dollar.

The figure of $9-99 came from if a song is a 99 cents, then let us make a book $9-99. It is also a holy grail $9-99.

There are other players in the market, though they are small fry.

Publish a book and apart from well known best-selling authors, you take a risk. The majority of books go from published to remainder, or published to recycled.

Crowd sourcing removes the risk, you do not publish until you have a guaranteed number of buyers. That is the route Unbound have followed, though their books are expensive, and they have published very few books.

Writers can cut out the middle men, publish a book direct on Amazon, they retain 70%, much better than traditional publisher, but not as good as leanpub.

Disadvantage of Amazon, it is a proprietary format for a Kindle.

Kindle is an inferior e-book reader to a Kobo Touch, and the Kobo Touch uses epub, an open source format.

Leanpub, download in various formats, and with a minimum price, the reader can set what they wish to pay, and they see what goes to the publisher, what goes to the writer. The writer retains the rights.

For an audio book, there is bandcamp. Leanpub is very much offering for the written word what bandcamp offers for music and the spoken word. As with leanpub, the author retains the rights.

Publishers and the book chains have very much themselves to blame for the dire straits everyone now finds themselves in.

Adultery is an international best-seller from an international best selling author. Now if you are in the business of selling books, do you not, if you have an international best seller on your hands, pile it up and sell it fast? Not if you are Waterstone’s or WHSmith.

With Waterstone’s, you may find it on display with new releases, you may find someone who knows what your are asking for.

With WHSmith, it is far far worse. You will not find a member of staff who knows what you are asking for, you will search high and low in the store and not find it, you will probably find it not even in stock. And yet, WHSmith has Adultery on special offer at half price, and a further 20% off with a 20% off voucher. This is less than buying from Amazon. I repeat, cheaper than buying from Amazon.

Publishers are to blame. They offer the chains who cannot deliver, deep discounts, leaving indie bookshops to go bust. Offer the same discounts to indie bookshops, where they know about books, and you will sell more books.

An analogy would be indie coffee shops. An indie coffee shop, serving quality coffee, is more than able to see off the big chains with their disgusting coffee.

Amazon started with books. Books are cheap, easy to ship, fairly indestructible.

Amazon may have overstepped the mark. They are seen as a bully. They have poor working conditions, they dodge tax. They are now abusing their near monopoly position and stranglehold on the book market. Writers who are not published by Hachette may not be seeing their books blacklisted, for now. Their turn will come when the Amazon siege engines pitch up outside their publishers. And if this is what happens to the giant publishing conglomerates, what of the little publishers, where they care about books, where books have not been reduced to commodities, pile em high, sell em cheap?

Books are important, like music and art, they are part of our culture.

Kindle Fire Review

December 9, 2012

If you want to read free ebooks, don’t buy the Kindle Fire. Amazon has locked down the Fire to make it hard to get any content to it, except by buying from Amazon. It is a huge step back in freedom from the Kindle 3.

Even Apple has not gone so far as Amazon in locking down their devices. You can easily download and read ebooks on Apple devices using only the standard apps.

You can get free ebooks to the Fire too, but the process is so cumbersome that it isn’t worth the trouble given the alternative of buying a Nexus 7, which doesn’t purposely interfere with free content.

The commercial ads are extremely rude. If you put the Fire on standby, it sometimes turns itself on again just to show you ads. It happened to me when I was in bed and wanted to go to sleep. I tried many times to turn it off, but it always turned itself back on and showed me one more ad. In my desperation I shut it down completely, but it rebooted and showed me another ad! To make it shut up I had to lay it face down on the floor with a newspaper on top, where it showed ads to the carpet for I know not how long. In the morning it was finally off, but I surely won’t use that device in bed any more.

  • Don’t buy a Kindle Fire. Buy the very similar Google Nexus 7 instead, that costs the same and is not locked down.
  • If you have already bought a Kindle Fire, return it, and then buy the Nexus 7 instead.
  • If you cannot return your Kindle Fire, you can replace some of the functionality Amazon deliberately left out with this app.

This extremely brutal and to the point review is by the webmaster of Project Gutenberg.

I was warned by Kobo, Kindle Fire is inferior to equivalent Kobo device and about the intrusive adverts. Kobo also warned of the lock down, and said you were restricted on net access, for example youtube blocked.

Other reasons not to buy any Kindle:

  • propriety format not an Open Source non-propriety format
  • Kindle monitors what you are reading
  • Amazon can at any time wipe all the books off your Kindle
  • Amazon are tax dodgers

If you insist on e-books, use Calibre and ePub an Open Source non-propriety format. Better still, read real books.

38 Degrees seeks your help in tackling tax dodgers

November 23, 2012
£4.1bn: the true cost of tax avoidance

£4.1bn: the true cost of corporate tax avoidance

Starbucks, Google and Amazon: they’re all at it. These super rich big businesses were recently dragged up in front of MPs and exposed for using tax havens and other scams to pay little or no corporation tax.

There’s big talk from our politicians but not much action. Google even recently admitted “We could pay more tax but we would have to do so voluntarily”.

But together we have the numbers, track record and imagination to tackle tax dodging and win. And it’s the perfect time to work together to take it on. It’s all over the news and lots of people seem to want real change. These are the best ingredients for a great 38 Degrees campaign.

We’ve got the right moment – but we need the right next move to force a change. 38 Degrees members have voted time and time again to prioritise tackling tax-dodging. Can you fill out a few questions to decide together what we do next to tackle tax dodging?

Businesses based in the UK aren’t playing on a level playing field. From our local bookshops, right up to big names like John Lewis they’re being undercut and put out of business by tax dodgers. Something needs to change.

Alongside this, scores of high profile business people and celebrities have been dodging tax on their incomes. Our public services are being cut and we’re being asked to tighten our belts whilst others are being let off scot free.

We’ve shown before that when we act together we can push corporations and politicians to do the right thing. We’ve taken on companies like McDonalds and embarrassed them into not dodging tax around the Olympics.

If we focus our people powered movement on the right next move – we could force the change we need to see. It takes a couple of minutes to fill out the survey.

And please do not forget to join the occupation of Starbucks on 8 December 2012. If there is no action organised near you then organise one.

Why buy from Amazon?

November 17, 2012
 Martha reading NeverSeconds

Martha reading NeverSeconds

Martha with her book NeverSeconds

Martha with her book NeverSeconds

Neverseconds book launch, what every Waterstone's should look like

Neverseconds book launch, what every Waterstone’s should look like

Price is the usual reason cited to buy from Amazon, but another reason is service.

Order a book from Amazon and you will receive your book the next day, or at least that is what Amazon claim, and it will often be post free.

OK, not as good as walking into a bookshop and laying your hands on what you want there and then, although that does assume they have it in stock, if not it may be a long wait whilst they order it for you.

NeverSeconds was published two days ago. I would love to lay my hands on a copy but so far this has proved impossible.

Not a single Waterstone’s I have tried has even been aware of NeverSeconds, let alone had a copy on the shelf or on display.

I tried again today. The assistant looked at me blankly when I asked for NeverSeconds. I explained it was a book, authors Martha and David Payne.

She looked it up. No we do not have it, but we do have it on order.

That it is on order is probably only because I and maybe others have asked for it.

When will it be in? No idea.

How many have you ordered? One.

One! At this point I had had enough. A book that has been serilaised by the Sunday Times, mentioned on Breakfast, on STV, Martha has been on Woman’s Hour, the One Show and Waterstone’s orders one copy!

I know Waterstone’s is a pathetic joke as a bookshop, but this is beyond a sick joke.

A book in which there has been lots of media interest by a writer who has generated even more media interest, a potential best-seller, and a bookshop does not have it on display, does not have it in the window, the staff know nothing about the book!

The irony, Waterstone’s Glasgow on Thursday hosted the book’s launch.

This is why bookshops are going under, not because of price, but because they are pathetic about what should be their main business, selling books.

It would appear the only way to get my hands on NeverSeconds is to order from Amazon.

This is not a one off for Waterstone’s. This is a repeat of what happened with Aleph last autumn. A book by an international writer Paulo Coelho, a book that was a best seller all across Europe, and yet in Waterstone’s staff knew nothing about the book, often did not know the author, not on display.

At the e-book debate a couple of weeks ago at the Guildford Book Festival, the panel were asked did they expect to see Waterstone’s in business in two years time? They did not hesitate, the reply was an emphatic no.

Martha Payne is one of the biggest news stories of the year, she has been awarded an Observer Food Award for her writing, The Herald has named her Campaigner of the Year, NeverSeconds, the story of her and her blog NeverSeconds, now exceeding over eight and half million hits. Walk into Waterstones, NeverSeconds is not on display, not on the shelves, not on order, and the staff have never heard of it!

There are many reasons not to buy from Amazon: Screwing writers, publishers and readers, Kindle uses a propriety format not an Open Source format for e-books, Amazon can wipe books of a Kindle at any time for no rhyme nor reason, Amazon dodge tax.

Amazon makes UK publishers pay 20% VAT on e-book sales

November 3, 2012

Luxembourg-based Amazon profits from European tax anomaly, itself paying only 3% VAT on digital books sold to UK readers.

Amazon dodges UK tax

Amazon dodges UK tax

Amazon is forcing British publishers to cover the cost of a 20% VAT charge on ebook sales – even though the true VAT cost to the online retailer is only a fraction of that amount under its generous Luxembourg-based tax regime.

The firm is able to wield such power over publishers because it has a near monopoly of the UK digital book publishing market. According to reliable estimates, it sells nine out of 10 ebooks in the UK, while using its Luxembourg tax status to wring more profitable terms from publishers.

Companies such as Amazon collect the VAT levy from consumers before passing it on to governments. In the case of Amazon’s UK ebook sales, it only has to pass 3% to Luxembourg. If it was based in the UK it would have to hand over 20%.

According to a contract seen by the Guardian, Amazon starts negotiations with its publishers on the basis that the UK VAT rate of 20% must be knocked off the cost price.

However, its base in Luxembourg allows it to benefit from a European tax anomaly and pay only 3% VAT on digital books sold to UK readers. Subsequently, Amazon charges the difference between the UK VAT levy imposed on publishers and the actual 3% that it pays, which amounts to an extra £1.38 of profit every time it sells a £10 ebook in this country.

It then negotiates further substantial discounts on top of the VAT subsidy, which in some cases can result in publishers receiving less than 10% of the price paid by the online customer.

Publishers that do n0t fall into line can be dealt with summarily. “These are not pleasant people to do business with,” one senior publishing executive said. “They have no compunction in shutting down the buy button on their site on our titles if we step out of line,” a practice that can be carried out in seconds. The publisher asked not to be named for fear of permanent damage to their commercial relationship with Amazon.

According to another unnamed publisher who negotiated an ebook deal for a well-known figure, Amazon sought a deal that would have resulted in a 92% discount. The publisher refused the terms, which would have seen them receive just 80p on an ebook selling for £10 on Amazon’s UK website.

The contract seen by the Guardian is couched in legal language that confirms Amazon’s considerable commercial power. The section that spells out the fact that Amazon’s starting price for discount negotiations is exclusive of 20% VAT says: “Base price is the digital list price exclusive of the standard statutory rate applicable to ebooks in the United Kingdom.”

This means a publisher signing up with Amazon would have to agree to a starting price of £8.33 for an ebook retailing at £10 – the digital list price – to reflect the 20% VAT any UK-based ebook retailer would have to pay.

But if it were based on the true 3% rate paid by Amazon, that starting price should be £9.71 – meaning the publisher is already giving the online retailer a £1.38 discount even before it agrees to a wholesale discount that can run as high as 90%. Typically, however, Amazon seeks a discount of up to 65% on ebooks including the phantom VAT charge.

The contract also bars the publisher from offering a better deal to a rival retailer without automatically giving the same discount to Amazon. The contract says: “If the base price exceeds the base price … provided to a similar service then … the base price hereunder will be deemed to be equal to such lower price, effective as of the date such lower price comes into effect.” Effectively, the contract mandates that no other bookseller can undercut Amazon.

Amazon’s grip on the ebook market, via the Kindle device and a large digital catalogue, has ensured that the publishing industry has not suffered the same trauma as the music industry from digital piracy. It is unclear whether Amazon passes on any of the gains from the VAT charge to consumers.

In private, British authors and publishers express fears that Amazon’s dominance will send the industry into further decline.

They fear that turning the screw on price will force smaller and medium-sized publishers out of business, reducing the choice of books and authors and creating more problems for the already struggling high street book retailers.

Amazon has a reputation for using its global scale to seek the most competitive arrangements possible. None of its arrangements are illegal. Amazon would not answer specific questions about its market share, contracts with publishers, VAT, and its business practices.

It said: “Our goal is to make it easy for readers to discover and read the books they love by expanding access to millions of books in both digital and print.

“We’ve been able to do this by focusing on innovation, as exemplified by Kindle, and by offering customers the widest selection at the best possible prices and service.”

Earlier this year the Guardian revealed that Amazon generated sales of more than £3.3bn via its UK website last year but paid no corporation tax on any of the profits from that income.

Security and Exchange Commission filings, highlighted by Bookseller magazine, show that in the past three years, Amazon generated sales of more than £7.6bn in the UK without attracting any corporation tax on the profits from those sales.

First published by the Guardian.

At the E-book debate, part of the Guildford Book Festival, it was stated Amazon is good at what it does. True, good at shafting authors, publishers and readers, good at dodging tax.

The Random House House Penguin merger is being driven by the bullying tactics of Amazon. But this is the wrong approach. What is needed is for the Big Six (hopefully not soon the Big Five) publishers to establish an e-book digital platform, open to all, not just the Big Six, using non-proprietary open source format with no DRM e-books, available for download at one dollar, with the revenue (less costs of running the platform) split 50:50 author and publisher. The low price would reflect the zero costs involved in e-books, lead to more downloads, make piracy irrelevant, like bandcamp, readers would be encouraged to share.

VAT on e-books is an anomaly when books in UK and Ireland are zero-rated for VAT. This is currently being challenged in the Courts and if successful could result in e-books being zero-rated.

If you own a Kindle you run the risk that Amazon could at anytime without rhyme nor reason wipe all the books off your Kindle, close your Amazon account, and provide no explanation.

Waterstone’s sell Amazon Kindle, but if you go to their website and click on e-books, it warns you they are epub format and cannot be read on a Kindle. talking to one of their stores, it was confirmed this was correct, a historic legacy from when they sold Sony e-readers. Buy from Amazon. Bizarre.