Image credit: Steve Jurvetson/Flickr
I have been a fan of Amazon.com for many years, in fact I wrote extensively about them in my new book, the Customer Culture Imperative.
However some recent news about some of their practices have caused me to pause and question whether they remain true to their stated vision as being “the most customer centric company in the world”.
As recently reported in PC World, the FTC filed a complaint against them for billing parents millions of dollars’ worth of unauthorized in-app purchases made by their children.
To me this raises some alarm bells, targeting kids in this way is problematic. Kids are clearly less sophisticated and financially literate consumers, vulnerable to impulse purchases.
Also it sounds as though employees at Amazon had their own concerns, this quote was cited in the PC World article:
“One internal Amazon communication said that allowing unlimited in-app charges without any password was “clearly causing problems for a large percentage of our customers”
As a customer centric business, you have the interests of your customers as a first priority. This approach builds trust and long term relationships, the outcome for business is sustainable ongoing profits.
Is making it easy for kids to spend hundreds of dollars on in app purchases reflective of a company with its customer’s best interest at heart?
Jeff Bezos is a well known long term thinker, however this sounds like some short term profit thinking to me.
What do you think?