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Amazon Patents Bad Service For Bad Customers

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  • Waitaminute (Score:5, Funny)

    by Smidge204 (605297) on Saturday November 24, 2007 @11:54AM (#21462767) Journal
    This could be a blessing in disguise!

    If another retailer takes forever and a day to ship your stuff, they open themselves up to a patent infringement suit!

    This could be a boon for internet shoppers everywhere...
    =Smidge=
    • Re:Waitaminute (Score:5, Insightful)

      by hedwards (940851) on Saturday November 24, 2007 @03:02PM (#21464321)
      I'd be curious to learn why you were modded funny rather than insightful or interesting.

      The reality is that this is a good thing for consumers if the patent makes it through its paces. As consumers we would all know that Amazon provides bad service on purpose, and other retailers would have to pay in order to provide deliberately bad service.

      Seems like a win-win to me.
      • Re:Waitaminute (Score:5, Informative)

        by Smidge204 (605297) on Sunday November 25, 2007 @07:02AM (#21470027) Journal
        It was a joke. Amazon didn't patent "treating customers like crap" no matter what the summary or linked article say.

        What Amazon patented is a predictive model used to optimize inventory handling and shipping.

        In other words, they start to figure out the best way to ship you the crap on your "recommended items" list before you even order it. That way, should you actually buy any of that, they will already have figured out the best warehouse to ship it from and the best carrier to use. They also try to predict when you might buy those things, so they can figure in anticipated shipping costs, inventory levels and operating capacity of their various distribution centers. They want to avoid things like inventory shortages and overloading their packaging lines.

        The patent says NOTHING about penalizing "bad" customers, or even giving "good" customers a specific advantage. The name of the game is to anticipate orders and optimize the order fulfillment process ahead of time. The only reason a "good" customer would benefit more is because there is more history to build the predictive model with, and thus it will be more accurate.
        =Smidge=
  • In other words ... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Aetuneo (1130295) on Saturday November 24, 2007 @11:54AM (#21462769) Homepage
    As I said when this was posted on Techdirt, this system could encourage customers not to shop at amazon, because when you start shopping there the shipping takes longer. Appeasing a small group of users who make up the majority of purchases and irritating a larger group who make only occasional purchases is not the way to go.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Protonk (599901)
      I think it's clever and creative. It's basically a free version of Newegg's preferential shipping scheme.

      Just think that for every package that gets unfavorable treatment, there is a package that gets a better treatment. I bet you money service will improve overall.
      • Creative? (Score:4, Funny)

        by asifyoucare (302582) on Saturday November 24, 2007 @12:39PM (#21463175)
        NOBODY has ever thought of giving one's best customers preferential treatment. Pure genius.
    • I think a semi-randomized mixed system might to the trick, but would it be any different from a total randomized system?
    • by zarqman (64555) <`tm' `at' `zarqman.com'> on Saturday November 24, 2007 @01:37PM (#21463679) Homepage Journal

      As I said when this was posted on Techdirt, this system could encourage customers not to shop at amazon, because when you start shopping there the shipping takes longer. Appeasing a small group of users who make up the majority of purchases and irritating a larger group who make only occasional purchases is not the way to go.
      amazon has already implemented their picking system to discourage customers from buying direct from them. i can't tell if this is another way to discourage customers or if it's merely the formal patent for the existing implementation.

      to take advantage of amazon's free shipping, you have to be willing to let amazon sit on your order for a while before actually picking it. in my experience, across many orders, this results in about a one week (!) delay. then it's another week or so for ground shipping to deliver it to you.

      amusingly, amazon's own marketplace sellers typically ship right away, so it's generally faster to order from one of them than amazon directly. those, of course, don't ship for free. but they do typically ship for less than amazon charges (at least for what i tend to buy).

      i'd buy at least twice as much from amazon if they'd just pick the orders within a day or so. i often order from their competitors just for this reason.

      if this is a new plan to cause certain shoppers even more delays in shipping, it may cost them even more business. not smart.
    • by acvh (120205) <geek AT mscigars DOT com> on Saturday November 24, 2007 @02:09PM (#21463901) Homepage
      As it seems that no one has read the damned patent - here is the concise version:

      This has nothing to do with Amazon deciding that Joe Smith projects to be a lousy customer so lets not care about the order he just placed.

      This is all about trying to determine the most profitable way to fill orders from multiple distribution centers, using projected future orders for those centers.

      Of course, it's much cooler to be a sheep and follow the herd, isn't it?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Bwana Geek (1033040)
      You'd think that, but according to the 80-20 rule, 80% of a company's profits come from 20% of their customers. If they give superior service to their most loyal customers, I bet their profits will increase overall.
  • Ok (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Protonk (599901) on Saturday November 24, 2007 @11:54AM (#21462779) Homepage
    I can understand why you would DO this, but why in God's name would you patent it? Amazon already has the black eye from attempting to give targeted prices to members (oops) and a patent black eye by flouting the USPTO's decision on one-click. What business model is being protected by patenting the mechanism to put orders on the back burner?
    • by westlake (615356)
      Amazon already has the black eye from attempting to give targeted prices to members (oops) and a patent black eye by flouting the USPTO's decision on one-click.

      How many of Amazon's customers give a damn about targeted discounts or the one-click patent? Probably fewer than are buying Ratatouille on DVD at $12.49. Blu-Ray at $24.

      • by Protonk (599901)
        LOTS.

        The targeted discounts mess was big enough to get amazon to stop and probab ly big enough to keep early adopters away for a little while. The people buying movies on DVD aren't the big spenders. Amazon is looking for early adopters of technology for high margin items, not people buying movies and CD's where the margin is probably under a dollar for the retailer.

        The one click patent, probably not so much.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by hey! (33014)
      Actually, this is just business common sense. It's common sense to take the best care of your best customers. It's also common sense that this sometimes means poorer service for your less preferred customers. Since good customers are profitable and bad customers are unprofitable, if you can shift more of your business towards your good customers you make more money. If Amazon does this right, it doesn't matter to them that you get pissed off at them and never do business with them; if that happens it
  • Wow, Amazon! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by base3 (539820) on Saturday November 24, 2007 @11:56AM (#21462793)
    Self-fulfilling prophecy much? It works both ways, guys--if you slow my order because you don't think I will be a good customer, guess what, you can be pretty sure I won't.
    • Re:Wow, Amazon! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Protonk (599901) on Saturday November 24, 2007 @12:01PM (#21462831) Homepage
      I'm pretty sure people would have forgotten about this had Amazon not seeked to patent it.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by base3 (539820)
        Guess it was pretty stupid of them to patent them and put themselves in the limelight for customer hostile practices, then, wasn't it? The good news for Amazon here is that people have amazingly short memories, but their timing might cost them a few bucks if this gets picked up on by someone like Walt Mossberg.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Threni (635302)
      Amusingly, they used to charge existing customers more, presumably on the grounds that they've already hooked you and don't need to try as hard. I don't think that little trick lasted very long. I might go to Amazon first to check the price and get details of the product, but I always then look elsewhere to see if I can get it cheaper.
      • by Protonk (599901)
        the design of the price selection system was meant to provide lower prices to price sensitive customers and higher prices to price insensitive customers. Plenty of companies do this through self selection (top of the line gaming rig vs. budget box), but amazon got busted using a pretty unsophisitcated way of doing it. Partially boned by (as base3 said) AOL's practice of aggrigating IP addresses and the mixed nature of cookie handling, it wasn't a very good idea to begin with, anyways.

        Much better to get cu
    • by reboot246 (623534)
      One of the reasons I rarely shop Amazon is because of their slow shipping. Seriously, if an item is in stock, I fully expect it to ship the next business day. If it doesn't, I won't be back often. If other retailers can do it, so can Amazon.
      • by Y-Crate (540566)

        One of the reasons I rarely shop Amazon is because of their slow shipping. Seriously, if an item is in stock, I fully expect it to ship the next business day. If it doesn't, I won't be back often. If other retailers can do it, so can Amazon.

        I used to cancel orders that sat in Amazon's shipping queue for days on end, even though the item was in stock, and it wasn't near a major holiday or anything of that nature.

        After a while, I noticed that each and every one of my orders began going into the nebulous "Processing" category as soon as I went through the checkout. This meant that I could wait the better part of a week for an item to ship, but because it was "Processing", I couldn't cancel it.

        That's when I gave up on Amazon, as if their re

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by DrEldarion (114072)
        I guess I've been on the good end of this policy. My orders nearly always ship next-day, and I placed one yesterday that shipped same-day. Whenever I've had to contact them, I've had a reply within two hours and they've always resolved every issue I've had at least to, if not better than, my expectation.

        For reference, I buy something from them about once a week.
    • by bangzilla (534214)
      Have your read the patent? There is *nothing* about slowing orders if you don't order much. Scheese - if you're going to go negative please do so based on actually *reading* what you are complaining about.
    • They've been doing something similar to this for a while, they kind of sit on your order if you get the el-cheapo shipping, which I'm willing to deal with. Sometimes the shipping can end up negating any savings you might realize from buying through amazon.
  • Great idea... not. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Coopjust (872796) on Saturday November 24, 2007 @12:00PM (#21462813)
    This is not only a dumb thing to patent, but also something that is a dumb idea in general.

    A) How are you going to prove that another company delayed an order for that reason? How would you be able to prove anything in a court of law, so your patent wouldn't be infringed on?
    B) Why, oh why, would anyone use this idea? Delaying the orders of non-longtime customers or customers that are not extremely active is the wrong way to do things. First impressions count, and one of the reasons that I am such a Newegg fanatic is because my first order came overnight via UPS ground, extremely well packaged to boot.

    If Amazon implements something like this, I'm not going to shop there out of principle.
    • by Protonk (599901) on Saturday November 24, 2007 @12:06PM (#21462891) Homepage
      this is a GOOD idea, and not that far removed from the Newegg concept. Newegg spends money and charges more in order to push items out the door faster. You can pay MORE in order to get something tomorrow. Partially what allows them to do this IS an ordering system that prioritizes orders from one source over anothers. That is what allows them to fill boxes and get them to UPS faster.

      In the case of Amazon.com, you are talking about getting this service without paying for it. If you buy things from Amazon that indicate that you will buy fancy stuff in the future, your order will get pushed out the door faster. If you only buy used books from allied used retailers, then you're order will get fewer CPU cycles devoted to it.

      It's just interrupt priority for shipping, basically.
      • If you buy things from Amazon that indicate that you will buy fancy stuff in the future, your order will get pushed out the door faster.

        Very interesting thought - say your first experience with Amazon was buying textbooks in college. Is there incentive for them to ship, say, medical textbooks faster than philosophy textbooks, since doctors are generally going to have more expendable income than philosophers?

        This example isn't perfect (philosophers may buy more books, philosophy as pre-law, etc), but there

        • by Protonk (599901)
          Meh. Probably not. I would be impressed if they had the data to universally correlate type of textbook purchase with future value. To me it seems likely that a new tezxtbook purchase would signal pretty clear price insensitivity of demand, and they would declare you a priority customer.
    • If Amazon implements something like this, I'm not going to shop there out of principle.

      Oh please. Every brick-and-mortar you do business with does the same thing. It's the expected norm. Don't believe me? Pick a locally-owned restaurant small enough to actually care about customer service. Go there often enough to become a regular. Notice that sometimes you get magically promoted to the front of the "waiting to be seated" list, and maybe get drink refills a little more promptly than other tables on busy nights.

      Now, one could argue that you should give preferential treatment to first

      • I see your point, but this is Amazon we're talking about. Basically, they're saying if you're a new customer you may have to wait four hours for a glass of water, shit the only thing Amazon should ever say about poor service is that they're doing whatever they can to eliminate it. Dumb-asses, if I'd heard about this two years ago, before two different "Amazon direct" purchases were delayed nine months I'd have felt even more entitled to good service, I wonder how they'll treat good customers they treat like
        • by Protonk (599901)
          YOu know that this system isn't just: "Ok, if you suck and buy used books, we are going to bench your order just out of spite for months on end." Every time someone's order is delayed, another order gets expedited. This is how shipping preference works. It's how ocean container shipping works. If you pay big bucks for the container, you get moved in first, if you don't, you get to wait until another container shows up and you can fit inside it after someone else has paid its way. This way, more shippin
          • I guarantee that this will result in net faster service.

            I could give a rat's ass about "net faster service" I want my shit next week, not some time next year.

            I doubt it will result in "net faster delivery", Amazon has orders in the preferred queue and in the non-preferred queue. They need 51% moved into the "shipped before I die" line while the other 49% need to get out the door within the same god-awful time frame we're used to and like you said this doesn't happen, it's either expedited or delayed.

            • by Protonk (599901)
              ok, so don't shop there. I can't fix you if you're bent out of shape about some order you didn't get. I bet you AMAZON gives a shit about net faster service and the rest of amazon's customers do as well.

              • Customer's don't care about "net faster delivery" when one out of ten of those orders are late, one out of twenty are excessively late, and one out of fifty are shipped whenever. Anyways, when Amazon is filling every shipping container, "net faster delivery" will not be achieved without adding infrastructure. Oh, and I guarantee the only person that gives a shit about when I get my order at Amazon is the guy at customer support. Otherwise, I'd be compensated.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Moralpanic (557841)
        Alright, lets run with your restaurant analogy. I know that if i were at a busy restaurant, and i was waiting 30mins for a table, and some regular showed up, and got seated before me, i would leave. What would you do?
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Just Some Guy (3352)

          What would you do?

          I'll go along with your intent: I'd leave.

          From the restaurant's perspective, that's fine. They'd rather turn away someone who may never have come back anyway than a regular who provides them consistent income.

    • by timeOday (582209)

      A) How are you going to prove that another company delayed an order for that reason?

      This could easily get hit with civil rights lawsuits for that reason. In the US most minorities are, on average, less wealthy. Now what if it turns out that poor people are on average not the best customers because they shop less often, return things after using them for a week, whatever. They could be disproportionately affected by this. This sort of lawsuit happens all the time [nytimes.com] in other industries such as insurance a

      • by Protonk (599901)
        It happens all the time in those industries because they STILL red line and STILL use scare tactics to push black and latino buyers and policy seekers out of the market. there isn't even room for comparison between ACTIVE discrimination in housing markets and an automated system that computes predicted value of future purchases and assigns a shipping priority accordingly.

        Comparing the two only ignores the ignoble and disgusting nature of racism in insurance and realty.
      • by DrSkwid (118965)
        Are poor people a minority now ? I didn't notice that happen.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by cliffski (65094)
      It doesn't sound like they deliberately delay anything, just that good customers get to the top of the queue. I'm not at all surprised by this. If you sell widgets and have 2 emails in you inbox, one from a guy who orders a widget each Christmas, and one from that guy who buys about 36 a week, whose do you reply to first? They are just automating the system.

      I'd guess amazons order scheduling system is very complex and balances a variety of elements, such as:

      total order value
      ease of scheduling that drop-off
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by moosesocks (264553)

      B) Why, oh why, would anyone use this idea? Delaying the orders of non-longtime customers or customers that are not extremely active is the wrong way to do things. First impressions count, and one of the reasons that I am such a Newegg fanatic is because my first order came overnight via UPS ground, extremely well packaged to boot.

      I think you've missed their intent here. Such a system would almost definitely prioritize new accounts, because of their "future potential".

      The sort of account that would likely

  • by canUbeleiveIT (787307) on Saturday November 24, 2007 @12:02PM (#21462835)
    Why is this different than any other enterprise? Bigger customers generally get preferential treatment. If two customers call me and have network issues, and I have billed one of them $50,000 in the past year, while the other one bought one compact flash card from me two years ago, which one am I going to take care of first?

    Now, as to why they thought that patenting it was a good idea, I don't have a clue.
    • by rucs_hack (784150) on Saturday November 24, 2007 @12:14PM (#21462959)
      Now, as to why they thought that patenting it was a good idea, I don't have a clue.

      That's really easy to answer. It's to stop someone else from patenting it and using it to sue them.

      The whole thing is absurd, not just this particular patent, but this stupid torrent of all but worthless patents that is busily burying the US's future ability to innovate..
      • by Protonk (599901)
        Pretty sure that unless it was actually patented previously, their protection would come from prior use. Patent protection serves (in cases like these) to defend a competitive advantage based on novel tech for a while.
  • Patents are supposed to protect an inventor's invention so that other's can't duplicate it allowing the inventor to earn money for his invention. Generally speaking a patented idea is a good idea. Yet lately I'm seeing more and more patents being approved that just seem downright bad ideas. They are trying to protect themselves from potential 'bad customers'(being those that will only buy once or twice). How can someone even think of something as idiotic as this? Seriously? They're already marking som
    • by Protonk (599901) on Saturday November 24, 2007 @12:08PM (#21462911) Homepage
      Your idea of 'good' or 'bad' ideas doesn't really factor in to what patents are or aren't supposed to protect. They protect novel ideas.
      • They're intended to protect novel (or improved, see patent law) implementations of ideas. Not ideas themselves - no matter how novel they may be.
  • by Tsu Dho Nimh (663417) <abacaxi AT hotmail DOT com> on Saturday November 24, 2007 @12:05PM (#21462883)
    "Essentially, if Amazon deems that you won't be a long time customer or ordering again soon, your order will take longer to be expedited."

    And slow service will make me want to be a repeat customer?

  • by gregor-e (136142) on Saturday November 24, 2007 @12:29PM (#21463077) Homepage
    It's a form of Pareto optimization, in which a reallocation of resources is expected to improve the utility for a subgroup without decreasing the utility of others. In this case, users who are not regular Amazon consumers will not have pre-set expectations of service. So fulfilling their orders in a slightly less rushed fashion will not be noticeable to them. By applying the resources freed from servicing new customers to improved service of old customers, the old customers will sense that Amazon just keeps getting better and better for them, further cementing their loyalty.


    Amazon wishes to patent this as a form of obstructive competition. (Which seems to be the only use for software and process patents). If they hold a monopoly, nobody else in the commercial optimization space can offer software or business process design that includes this particular expression of Pareto optimization without fear of Amazon's lawyers. It is ugly, but because our government rewards this sort of behavior, it would be against the shareholder's best interests NOT to pursue such patents. Now, if the consuming public provide a massive negative reaction to this behavior, then the shareholders would be rightfully demanding that Amazon and other companies not play the patent game. But we all know how thoughtful most consumers are.

    • by fermion (181285)
      Except that for huge operations like amazon, they set the expectations prior to the customer receiving the goods or services. This is the basic philosophy of a big firm. There is supposed to be less risk than if one deals with a small shop. In the case of Amazon, the ads, or a friend, or a next door neighbor, may have lead me to expect free shipping in less than a week. If I order a few things from them over some long period of time, and each item takes longer than my expectations, I may decide not to u
    • by zarqman (64555)

      It's a form of Pareto optimization, in which a reallocation of resources is expected to improve the utility for a subgroup without decreasing the utility of others. In this case, users who are not regular Amazon consumers will not have pre-set expectations of service. So fulfilling their orders in a slightly less rushed fashion will not be noticeable to them.

      the problem with amazon's approach to this is that they already have some of the slowest shipping times of any retailer online--at least if you want their 'free shipping'. any other retailer with free shipping picks your order promptly, amazon sits on it for a week before bothering. if i'll pay amazon for the shipping, even though it's the _same_ shipping, they'll pick it right away and i'll get it a week sooner. of course, next day or 2 day shipping is faster yet.

      i have no idea if i'm considered a regular

    • by DrSkwid (118965)
      One should mention that just because they have patented it, doesn't mean that they are necessarily using it.
    • by Alef (605149)

      Now, if the consuming public provide a massive negative reaction to this behavior, then the shareholders would be rightfully demanding that Amazon and other companies not play the patent game. But we all know how thoughtful most consumers are.

      Well, if we are talking about optimization, thoughtful customers maximizing their own situations individually would probably still find it suboptimal to buy from another supplier, if Amazon is the cheapest one. The kind of behaviour you ask for requires cooperation

  • The patent (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Cracked Pottery (947450) on Saturday November 24, 2007 @12:34PM (#21463113)
    I read as much as I could before my eyes glazed over. The patent doesn't simply address individual customers, it describes a system to minimize costs where a large vendor, such as Amazon, has a number of distribution centers. It as much concerns regional demographic features as individual customers.


    Now, I hate business method patents in general, but this one appears to be sufficiently arcane as to not risk much litigation. The point being that it would be extremely difficult to prove infringement by another business, given that business practices are typically kept private.

    Of course somebody probably has a patent on labeling isles in stores according to what products are found, and I know somebody had to at least try to patent the mall display that provides a map and legend system to locate stores. Those patents, if they exist, would be an easier target for an infringement suit.

    Have we reached such a perfect state of justice that lawyers have nothing better to do than this? Isn't there an ambulance to chase somewhere?

  • by renoX (11677)
    Even mom&pops shops have been doing it for a long time: best customers are treated better.

    I just don't understand how patents can be delivered for such obvious things..
  • Claim prior art on this one?
    • Because they standardize poor service for all customers uniformly. Exactly the same as both wired and wireless phone companies and also all the major brand PC makers too.
    • No, because the airlines generally do the reverse. "You are obviously a business traveler, who flies more often, therefore we will charge you more."
      "You on the other hand, are a casual traveler who only flies occasionally, so we will give you a heavy discount so you don't go to our competitors."
  • Businesses have been doing this for a long time, using various paper-based methods. While a specific way of doing this might be patentable, merely creating a computer version of this shouldn't be a valid patent.
  • OK, enough with the negative-veiwpoint-only here. The poster is making it sound like Amazon is trying to patent and codify a method to give bad customer service. This is misleading in the extreme (not that that's anything new in Slashdot articles). Amazon is trying to ID and reward customers who are likely to do larger amounts of business with them in the future.

    You can make the argument that the corollary of such a policy is that "bad customers" get the shafted, but that's not the intent. Using that lo
    • by Kjella (173770)

      Using that logic, any "customer loyalty program" that anyone ever introduces is shafting someone. Does that sound like a sensible argument?
      No. Was I supposed to expect any?
  • I order to different yet related items yesterday. For some reason one of them was eligible for free shipping. But the default order packaging is to ship the items together and charge me $15. I have to go in, tweak the order, separate it into 2 shipments and the shipping cost goes down by half, that is one of the items is free. They both come to me from the same place. I am scratching my head on this. It can't be good for Amazon to break up the order. And it irritates me to have to muck with their order. Plu
  • This is a patent on a system to provide tiered service.. nothing more, nothing less. However it is worded in it's summary or abstract has nothing to do with the method it implements other than to provide an example of how it COULD be used, not how it WILL be used. In fact this could be implemented to provide tiered internet service, tiered data provisioning among servers... ie: it could be used as a clustered server farm system management policy - wherein a server that is not doing so well (DOSed, traffic b
  • First let me say I have never used Amazon although I might do at some point in the future.

    I did used to use a much smaller online retailer (dabs.co.uk) quite frequently though to buy computer parts. When I first started using them they offered free delivery if you ordered online. The delivery was only 2-3 day though not next day. Most of the time this didn't bother me, of it did I always had the option to pay for the next day option.

    At first when I ordered something that was out of stock so I had to wait fo
    • by wikinerd (809585)

      The moral of this story is that this is something that every company does unofficially anyway.

      They do it because it is a well-known business practice that is actually being taught as part of selling and business courses.

  • by eaglej (552473) on Saturday November 24, 2007 @02:10PM (#21463913)

    Anybody who actually read that patent (obligatory of course not, this is slashdot) can see that the article has it totally wrong. First of all, Amazon -would- be stupid to patent what the article claims. It would be very bad for business, and whatever you may think of Amazon, they are extremely good at business. This patent describes a system for determining how to fulfill an order (not just in terms of when to ship, but also, where to ship from, how to ship, etc) based on a multitude of factors. These factors include future orders, but those future orders refer to the expectation of future orders for all customers. Statistics 101 (Amazon surely knows this): the future orders of one specific customer are very hard to model, but the future orders of all customers are pretty easy to model. The point is to optimize the fulfillment process for all customers. Yes, it -could- be possible for them to use these techniques to target specific customers, but I would think it much more likely that they would use this in the favor of new customers they are trying to hook, rather than older established customers. Netflix, anyone?

    How can anybody here think they deserve to waste space by posting an opinion on something they haven't even taken the time to check out?

  • I really like how many retailers are now taking this war on customers stance. I think a lot of companies are realizing they don't really like customers, only their money, so they are working harder to get the money with little customer involvement as possible. And those customers that do interfere with getting money are treated more as enemies.
  • This idea, that you should take care of 'good' customers more than 'bad' customers, is lesson 0 in any selling course, taught from the very first day. So, now to get a patent, one has only to take an established idea and computerise it?
  • What if another business already has a broader claim? Providing bad service for all customers.

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