Amazon’s Monkeys Need to Get Smarter

Maddie loves to help us unwrap

Maddie loves to help us unwrap

Sometimes, in spite of all the smart things they do, Amazon seems as dumb as a bag of hammers. Oh sure, they have warehouses that are so automated that they don’t even have to have lights on. They have One-click checkout and wish lists and reviews and oh-so-many shipping options. And, for whatever it is you want, need or already bought somewhere else, you can rest assured that they have it available for less than you might spend or have already spent.

Despite the fact that they have probably collected more data about me than my wife has, they don’t seem to know Jack about me. In case they, or their employees minions robots army of flying monkeys happens to follow this blog: “Amazon, listen-up I’mma gonna learn ya somthin:’

Note: These lessons are in response to emails received from Amazon’s monkeys, during the past four weeks.

You bought this. Do you want to buy 10 things just like it?” – No, one jointer knife-setting gauge will suffice. You see, I only have one jointer. Even if I owned more than one jointer, I could set the knives on them with the same gauge. Maybe you should spend some time learning about the stuff you sell.

We want to know about your Amazon experience. Was it good for you?” – I chose the “Amazon experience” because I thought it would be quick and painless. Quick? Maybe. Unless I answer all these surveys. Painless? Far from it. I might get carpal tunnel just deleting this stuff.

Please rate and review everything you bought. Hurry, the world wants to know.” – I bought gifts! As far as gifts go, they were fine. They wrapped up nicely and they fit under the tree. I bought gifts at Target, too, but they aren’t hounding me asking if I liked that bag of chocolate I put out for my coworkers. Figure out who I gave those gifts to and send them a survey.

These 15 things are on sale right now.” – Who cares? The point of Amazon, for me, is that I have an idea, I search, I find, I buy. I don’t wander around looking for ideas. I go to a store for that experience. And, if I see something in the store, I buy it. I don’t check to see if it’s cheaper on Amazon ‘cuz that’s just wrong!

And no, I don’t want to join Amazon Prime.

I know, it might be a good idea. It might save me money. Get me faster shipping. I’d get to watch movies and listen to music, but then I’d also be more connected to Amazon. I want less of that. If my existing connection to Amazon worked better, I might consider it, but as it is, I don’t think that would end well. I would expect things like:

“We noticed that you listened to two songs by the Allman Brothers. The Bee Gees were brothers, maybe you would enjoy Night Fever.”

“You watched ‘The Bridge Over the River Kwai’ last night. Would you like to watch ‘The Bridges of Madison County’ tonight? How about “Bridge to Terabithia?”

And, oh my goodness “NO!!!” I do not want an Amazon Echo, Dot, Puck or carpet munching robot following me around while being hooked into everything in my house. No!” I’m pretty good with “honey, it’s cold down here, can you turn up the heat” and “do we have any Swiss cheese?

Now, I grant you, if it’s 8:00 pm and we don’t have any Swiss cheese, my wife isn’t likely to go get me some. But, neither is she likely to say: “Wait, there are 14 places within 5 miles that sell Swiss cheese, do you want directions? I can get some on Friday when I buy groceries. If you promise to put gas in my car, I can get some tomorrow, and if you run it through the carwash after getting gas, I’ll go get some right now.”

Maybe Amazon can fly me some cheese. Still, when I think of all the surveys I’d have to fill out about the drone service, my head hurts – “Was the drone quiet?” “Did the drone land in the right spot?” “Did the drone frighten your dog?” and then, the emails – “Our drone noticed a newspaper on your porch. Would you like Alexa to cancel that and read you our curated news?” “Our drone had to fly around your Dogwood tree. We have five affiliated arborists in within a 15-mile radius of your house. Do you want Alexa to schedule one to prune that thing?” “Our drone detected 15% moisture content in the exhaust vent of your dryer. An efficient dryer would have at least an 18% reading. Click here to see all the LG Driers we have ready for immediate delivery in your area.”

So, dear Amazon monkey, handle the data you have about me a little better, and maybe I’ll consider giving you more. Until then, I’ll stay close to my delete button.

Not the Bee Gees!

About Dan Antion

Husband, father, woodworker, cyclist, photographer, geek - oh wait, I’m writing this like I only have 140 characters. I am all those things, and more, and all of these passions present me with opportunities to observe, and think about things that I can’t write about in other places. I have started this blog to catch the stuff that falls out, overflows and just plain doesn’t fit the other containers in my life.
This entry was posted in Humor, Rant, Technology and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

81 Responses to Amazon’s Monkeys Need to Get Smarter

  1. msgt3227 says:

    Since I never eat grilled Pigtails, I don’t need the flipper thingie, but I WOULD enjoy the Allman Bros album (do we still call them albums???)… :)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. bikerchick57 says:

    Hilarious. If I bought a pig tail turner, would Amazon ask me if I wanted a pig in a poke? A pig’s eye? A case of pork rinds? Or would the monkeys suggest I buy a fork or kitchen tongs that would work just as well?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This topic could lead to some interesting conversations because there are those who love having suggested buying tips and then there are those of us who want to be left along except for when we want to purchase a specific item. While we are on the topic, the #1 thing that annoys me is to have to go back into a site after a purchase and remove my credit card because they’d prefer it was on hand for one click shopping and I’d prefer not to have it sitting there available for who knows who. :-)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dan Antion says:

      “For your convenience, we’ve stored your personal information for others to steal” Yes, that bothers me. Also, that I have to remove expired credit cards.

      I know some people like the suggestions. I’m just not one of them, especially when they make so little sense. Thanks for taking a look, Judy.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ha! Dan, you are in rare form. The flying monkeys were the creepiest movie monsters of all time, so they’re a perfect fit for the data mining fiends. I think Netflix employs monkeys that are just as simple minded. “Because (I) watched Moving Art” I should like “Spectral, A sci-fi/thriller story centered on a special-ops team that is dispatched to fight supernatural beings.” Seriously? I mean, that sounds extremely loud and violent, quite unlike a peaceful, calming video of scenery, music, and nature sounds…
    Thank you very much for showing my novella in this post. You’re very kind. May the year end on a happy note. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks Teagan. this post has been brewing for so long. I couldn’t post it without giving away the gifts, but oh the emails…there’s just no stopping them. Happy to include your novella. I look forward to reading it :)

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I still haven’t bought a single item on Amazon. I usually prefer offline shopping. However, I will certainly associate with them for affiliate marketing program when I get my travel site.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. marianallen says:

    You speak for me, Dan! What a super post! If Amazon doesn’t stop sending me requests to review the dish mop I bought for Mom, I might just have to go do it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks Marian. The ones that make me cringe are the ones online, like “People who bought this item also bought this dish mop for their mom.” Sometimes, they make sense, like a hammer and a chisel, but a lot of times they seem like random connections and I just have to shake my head.

      Liked by 1 person

      • marianallen says:

        Yeah, genuinely love it when they recommend books I don’t have yet by an author I love, or books that are actually SOMETHING LIKE books I love. You’ve zoomed right in on the kinds of recommendations that make me go, “Hmmm.”

        Like

  7. Almost Iowa says:

    OMG, now that I have read your post Amazon will be pestering me to buy a jointer knife-setting gauge and The Bridges of Madison County sound track.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I had to laugh out loud while reading this post. You have captured the flying monkey syndrome perfectly. I find it funny that Amazon always asks what you think of everything and think at some point they will implode with data.I do thank you for buying my book and know you have already reviewed it. Many thanks.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dan Antion says:

      Sometimes, I wonder if Amazon remembers that they still sell books, John. Then I wonder what kind of profile they have of me based on the books I buy (mostly as gifts) and the few I buy – like yours and the other featured ones – to read. AND, they almost seem to want me to buy the Kindle version instead of the actual book. Sorry amazon, I’m going to fill bookcases, and when I can’t have them anymore, others can have the books if they want them.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Charles Logan says:

    Survey’s are everywhere. For example, every time I stay in hotel–I get a survey–and then two days later I get a reminder that I was given a survey to fill out. By the time I stop receiving reminders about that hotel stay; It’s time for me to stay in a hotel again. The fun never stops!!! I feel your pain.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      And the surveys never seem to be about the actual place. “Was the clerk nice to you?” “Was the room kept clean?” Where do I get to say “Why does the stupid smoke detector seem to have a thousand watt LED, and why does it blink?!!” Thanks for the comment, Charlie.

      Like

  10. Don says:

    Hell Dan, I loved this post. That bit about the drones was an absolute laugh. Read it to my wife and she also had a good laugh. I got some similar stuff from them as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. The bit about the drone was hilarious. I haven’t had one deliver any packages…that I know of.

    I too get too many ads and questions from Amazon so my delete key and my delete key finger get a work out.
    I don’t think I like the idea of having an Alexa, or Dot, or Echo in the house…my brain keeps asking,” what can go wrong?” Not going to get one anytime soon.
    Baby Girl gave Alexa to Big Baby Boy for Christmas…we’ll see how well he likes it, IF he uses it.

    I have Roomba, she’s pretty dumb. She gets stuck sometimes, picks up things she shouldn’t once in awhile, can’t clean the whole house, and runs out of battery under furniture sometimes, but she doesn’t chase me or Diva Dog around the house, and does a good job of keeping the floor surfaces clean which I like b/c I don’t have to break out the “real” vacuum more than once a week…usually.
    I just hope she’s not hackable!!! I do wonder about that. :)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks Deborah. My wife wonders about my gps and its connection to the traffic network. We’re getting closer to 1984 and we’re going willingly. I’ll give you a sneak peek at an Internet of Things post I’ve got in my drafts folder. Roomba is tired of picking up pistachio shells so she hacks into your shopping accounts/apps and deletes them. I hope Alexa works out well.

      Liked by 1 person

      • OMG! It wouldn’t be pistachio shells it would be Baby Girls Hair Extensions. The hair falls out more than human hair growing out of our heads and clogs up her brushes. She’d delete those from shopping apps and cancel hair salon appointments. :)

        Speaking of GPS and what is it connected too? A couple of years ago some friends and I were coming home from a birding/landscape day trip and we weren’t talking at the moment, you know tired, it was late, and we were reflecting on the day when all of the sudden “Diana” I call this friends GPS unit Diana said very seriously, ” Message received.” WHAT? What message? From whom?
        That kind of freaked us out. I still would like to know what the message was and who sent it!!!
        Your wife is right to wonder what and who your unit is connected to. I do!

        Liked by 1 person

  12. loisajay says:

    Oh my gosh, Dan–this must be a thing. One site I visit–if I click (‘to view this, click here’)–I receive an email in a couple of days saying, “Did you forget something? This is in your basket.” Well, take it out! I viewed it–I don’t want it! Review a product? No, thank you. I get overwhelmed going into certain stores so would much rather look online, but now online is getting overwhelming, too! WTH! Maddie is such a good helper–sweet girl.

    Like

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks Lois. Maddie appreciates the people in her fan base. As we gathered up the shreds of paper, she tore them out of our hands and shredded them into smaller, wetter pieces. My wife gets aggravated at those “did you forget?” Emails. They are watching everything you do. I have gone to sites and found stuff from months ago in my cart. I think they hope I’ll forget.

      Like

  13. Pamela says:

    Bank of America! Not one more email about my experience in stopping by to make a deposit, or any such transaction and then there is your audacity in sending reminder emails for weeks that are worded in such a way that they are almost threatening and definitely insulting (We’re still waiting for your feedback on your experience at your local branch; did you forget?).
    I bit once, I don’t want to do the same survey that takes just “a few minutes of my time” every freakin time I walk through your doors. My time is valuable; You want my opinion? My rate is $100 for that valuable time.
    Whew, thanks Dan I needed that! Those flying monkeys have been driving me bananas. Maybe that’s what consumers need to start doing; sending a time and labor bill to these data collectors. Bombard them with so many invoices they just might get the message.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Norm 2.0 says:

    The Allman Brothers vs. The Bee Gees? No contest man.
    And yes those damn monkeys have some serious learning to do.
    BTW: Congrats to your Steelers for the big win this weekend. Looks like they now have a better chance than my Raiders :-(

    Liked by 1 person

  15. C.E.Robinson says:

    Dan, only you could write the most humorous, true-to-life post about Amazon “monkeys.” You know they do swing from trees and end up on Facebook, Instagram and any other place I’ve a connection! Just to remind me I looked at such-and-such and would I like to buy it? Or you haven’t been back to such-and-such a place for 2 days, why not visit now…click here! This is the kicker, they follow me into a fellow bloggers site advertising such-and-such I showed interest in…What? It’s nothing but online harassment! I do agree, yes I will buy books on Amazon and write reviews! Nice that you mentioned my favorite fellow bloggers books! Happy New Year coming up! 🎆 Christine

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks Christine – And yes, the monkey tails flick far and wide. I haven’t paid much attention to ads in blogs, but I guess that doesn’t surprise me. What other experience will they ruin?

      Talk about who “knows when you’ve been sleeping…”

      Liked by 1 person

  16. GP Cox says:

    When I was a kid, people always said ‘Big-brother was watching’ Nowadays it’s Amazon, FB, Google, etc. But as always, you find a way to make it hysterical!! Thanks, Dan – I needed that!!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Wendy Brydge says:

    What drives me crazy about Amazon is the insane difference in pricing between the American site (.com) and the Canadian one (.ca). It’s not at all unusual to see an item for $20 on the American side, search it out on the Canadian site and IF they have it (which many times they don’t), it’s pushing $50-100. I’ve complained to them before about that, how even when our Canadian dollar is in the tank and I’m paying $1.30 CAD on every $1 USD, it’s STILL cheaper for me to pay the exchange, pay the shipping, and get it from the American site. And I have done that on many occasions.

    And I’m glad you skipped Amazon Prime, Dan. Oh, sure, it’s such a great deal. But most people are so dense that they don’t realize the only thing they’re REALLY getting out of it is a desire to buy more things!! You’re paying a membership — so you’d better spend enough to make that cost worthwhile. Shipping is free on everything? Well, I guess I can buy more frequently! Nope. Not me. Most of my Amazon purchase are NOT necessities. They’re things that I want but can certainly live without. And when I’m forced to wait until I have enough items in order to get my shipping for free, then I buy less — either because I get frustrated waiting, or because I simply realize that I don’t really need all this stuff anyway.

    I am grateful that Amazon is an option though, and they’ve probably pocketed more of my money than any other retailer in the last 10 years. But like you said, Amazon, we’re not BFFs, so back off. I don’t need 4 emails a day, a reminder to leave a review of an item I bought for someone else, or 53 other brands of coloured pencils. And that wrestling figure I looked at yesterday? Yeah, the one that you think is worth $94 but is $7.99 at a US Walmart? *hold up hands* You can just keep it.

    Hope your Christmas was a merry one, Dan!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Wow! I had no idea, Wendy, that that kind of pricing practice is in place. That’s just nuts, but I’ve heard that before from a friend in England. Even thought the Pound trades 1.3 – 1.6 to the $US, a $20 item in the US will be 20-25 pounds. I think you’re also right about Prime. They sell just about everything, so if they can divert a few of your purchases from Walmart to them, they win – especially _your_ purchases, at those insane prices.

      We had a very nice Christmas, I hope you did too.

      Like

  18. joey says:

    I am over here LMAO so hard that my family wants me to read what I’m laughing about but I can’t because I’m laughing too hard. OMG the LOLZ Dan!
    I am an Amazon Prime person — movies, shows, music, shipping, specials, discounts, pantry, oh yes! But! I ignore all the emails.
    Fantastic post!
    I think I like this one even more than Jesus Eats Here.
    Thank you for the laughter!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Joanne Sisco says:

    You nailed it Dan. This drives me crazy too… especially all the creepy pop-up ads that occur later in FB for the item I just bought!! Hello??? I just bought one, why are you now dumping ads for that exact item on my FB page?
    … and NO! I don’t do surveys or write reviews. Stop asking.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Val Boyko says:

    Really funny! Really good commentary Dan❣️

    Liked by 1 person

  21. reocochran says:

    Oh my goodness, Dan! I am more likely to never use Amazon now. . . I dislike it when there are ratings and surveys attached to businesses. The funny parts were suggestions that you imagined yourself! The ones you suggested were clever, exaggerated and not dumb!!
    My DIL used Amazon to buy a few things for me which I liked. So glad she was stuck with the reviews, she might be brutally honest!
    By the way, your back deck and white railing are so pretty with the old-fashioned lamp post nearby!
    Maddie is one lucky gal! :) <3 Hope it was a very happy and maybe (?) plenty of pie with ice cream! ;)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks Robin. We had a wonderful day. I hope you did too. We try to keep Maddie happy. Otherwise, she can be a pain.

      Liked by 1 person

      • reocochran says:

        I just thought I would add, Dan,that Hotmail must be monitored as well as texts. I gave a dear friend of 36 years a nice quality gold necklace bought at a jewelry counter. We have met for 30 years 1/2 way to her home from mine after I moved away in June and December. Anyway, usually it’s not this big a gift but she and her hubby are moving out of state, retiring to Hilton Head area. After we talked and ate breakfast, I received a text telling me she hot home safely and had put an antique gold coin from her deceased Mom in the gold chain. My “cloud” sent me a message that her coin “was worth $29.99.” What?!!
        You mentioned Big Brother. . .

        Liked by 1 person

  22. Dan Hen says:

    You’ve hit the nail right on the head , Dan ( with the bag of hammers ? )

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Aunt Beulah says:

    I didn’t realize Amazon irritated me until I read this post. Now I realize my nagging headache isn’t a result of too much egg nog; no, it’s all those emails from Amazon, which arrive in my inbox because I share an email account with my husband, who orders from Amazon ALL THE TIME!!!. I guess I could solve my problem by severing all connections with either my husband or Amazon. Though it might be easier to cut off any ties to Joel, he’s my CFO, sidewalk shoveler, best buddy, and funniest companion so I think I’ll keep him.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Ha ha – thanks Janet. I’d keep Joel for sure. We set up a “shopping” email address that we use for most orders. I don’t use it for gifts because I don’t want my wife to know what’s coming. I think it was easier when I went to the store and paid with cash (I still do whenever I can).

      Liked by 1 person

  24. prior.. says:

    I still call them albums too- and what is a knife joint for?
    You have raised some interesting points here D- it reminds me of a google (gmail?) one you did a while back – am I right?
    And I am all for getting feedback, but this does sound over the top in many ways.
    In early December, I was in inundated with their countdown sales emails a couple times a day, omg were they a lot – I was able to unsubscribe and stop them – but it was aggressive for a few days in s row and I never asked to be solicited with such products.
    And laughing at the dryer humidity gauging ….
    oh and maddie had s grinch toy…. nice !

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      I’m glad to see this resonates with you too. Or maybe I’m sad about that. You’re right that you can unsubscribe and otherwise manage these things, but it’s getting to the point where that process takes a lot of time.

      A jointer is a wood working machine that flattens one side/edge of a board. It has a revolving cutterhead that has three or four steel knives in it. The knives have to be aligned so that that are parallel with the table and at the same height as each other.

      The Grinch toy may be entering the stage where ‘had’ is a better choice than ‘has’

      Thanks for the comment!

      Liked by 1 person

      • prior.. says:

        Ha! Like the Had…
        And thanks for the tool details.
        And did u know that Richmond is near an amazon outlet and so on the news last summer they had a reporter order ice cream cones and they were delivered within two hours – ice cream!
        Crazy.
        And last year I recall that google listed amazon as one of the most secure sites around (something like that) and my hubs raves about prime – And my older son loves them too.
        Side note –
        Just watched amazon’s original series “man in the high castle” and it was fantastic ! Well I caught the last four episodes of season 2 – but was briefed on some and Dan, I think you would love it. It is based on the 1962 book and is a story about what would happen if Germany and Japan won WWII.
        I don’t want to spoil anything in case you do watch it.
        But it makes me wonder about the further of movies and shows – when companies like this can get their hands in the movie making business and bring some cool stuff to the choices.
        And ok – have to mention another show coming out this January thanks to amazon –
        It is called Sneaky Pete and even though the pilot aired in August 2015- I juts heard of it and watched it last week with holiday visitors –
        Not sure if you are a breaking bad fan, but this is a Bryan Cranston project and the pilot was pretty awesome. It had a little bit of an “Alias” directing vibe, but was written pretty well – and my point with the last two mentions is that holy shit amazon is so much more than books – !!!!!!!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Dan Antion says:

          Thanks for the comment. They do a lot of things, and they do a lot of them well. I just wish they would ease up on the email. I’m sure I’ll join Prime at some point, but not just yet. I really don’t buy a lot of stuff from them outside of the holidays.

          Liked by 1 person

  25. brickthomas says:

    That was funny, Dan. I loved the brothers and bridges connection.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. This is funny, except when it’s terrifying – because it’s so accurate! The warehouses are totally automated? I did not know that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      I don’t think all of the warehouses are totally automated, but I’ve read articles about some that are and some functions that are so automated that they can keep the lights off. It’s scary from the point of view that we (society) are eliminating lots of jobs that we aren’t replacing with similar caliber jobs. We always tend to catch up, but change is happening faster and faster these days, Thanks for the comment, it’s good to have you back :)

      Like

  27. dweezer19 says:

    😂”You watched ‘The Bridge Over the River Kwai’ last night. Would you like to watch ‘The Bridges of Madison County’ tonight? How about “Bridge to Terabithia?””LMAO! You are SO right! I feel the same way. I bought it. I arrived on time. Contact the recipient. Lord only knows what they will tell you. I love the updates and suggestions that have nothing to do with what I purchased on Amazon but may have mentioned in a blog post or email. 😳 BTW speaking of irritation, WordPress suddenly did not send me any notifications for blog posts on Friday. What’s up with that?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks Cheryl. The troubling thing is that the seem to thing we are all so narrowly defined. so much for not judging a book by it’s cover. As for WordPress, they seem to be in the process of some “upgrades” – my browser looks a little different, there are notification problems with the app and some of my emails.

      Like

  28. I agree. Amazon controls too much of my life already. The life and death of my book relies on its ratings and sales. Barnes & Noble seems to be dying a slow death in comparison. I don’t want Kindle Select. I don’t want to rate their products to improve my reviewer standards on its site. I want small stores, big stores, and a whole range of online stores to choose from, but that’s not going to happen. Soon there will just be over-sized Amazon.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Peter Nena says:

    I made the mistake of buying the Amazon Fire Tablet. I wanted it mainly for reading and reviews said it is good for such. But it’s so full of ads, embedded Amazon ads that I couldn’t remove. So I gave it to my nephew.

    Liked by 1 person

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