It’s only eleven days ago that I got to write the heart-warming story about a local pub that, when I forgot to collect my cashback, drove it round to my house.
Today, I write in a very different mood.
Mostly from this blog’s book reviews, I — and Englishman living in England — have accumulated a tasty account balance of $274.28 at Amazon.com. And thanks to a sequence of appallingly stupid policies on the part of Amazon themselves and various publishers, that balance is almost completely useless to me.
As you may recall, I have a shedload of Amazon.com store credit that is no use to me at all. I can’t buy MP3s with it, I can’t give it to friends in the form of gift certificates (I’ve not blogged about that, it was too painful), and of course I can’t transfer it to my Amazon.co.uk account.
I just can’t, that’s all. That’s how the monumentally stupid music industry wants it to be. It’s also apparently how Amazon wants it to be — I can only assume they want a cut of all the Monumentally Stupid that’s going on out there.
Here’s a problem that’s come up many times in my life, in one form or another: when you do something for someone, how much should you charge? There are many things that could be a said about negotiation, cost estimation, and so on, but I just want to share one simple insight based on three related but distinct words: cost, value and price.
I know this is waaay off-topic, even for a blog as eclectic as this, but I had an experience this week that made me feel happy with the world, and I wanted to mention it here as a reassurance that the whole world is not spiralling down into that attitude where businesses think customers are an annoying irritant.
The Mill Race, Walford, Herefordshire