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Amazon Named the "Most Reputable Company" 199

Posted by samzenpus
from the one-click-heroes dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Amazon has been named the most reputable company in the US this year (up from 21st place last year), according to the sixth annual list of the 150 Most Reputable Companies from advisory firm Reputation Institute (RI), in partnership with Forbes Media. The list is based on RI's US RepTrak Pulse Study, which measures trust, esteem, admiration, and good feelings consumers have towards the largest 150 companies based on revenue in the US. The ratings are analyzed from nearly 33,000 online consumer responses taken in January and February."
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Amazon Named the "Most Reputable Company"

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  • At some point, we have to figure out how e-tailers can and should responsibly collect sales taxes. Amazon could be helping that process, instead of fighting it tooth and nail.
    • by WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Wednesday April 06, 2011 @09:10PM (#35740138)

      At some point, we have to figure out how e-tailers can and should responsibly collect sales taxes. Amazon could be helping that process, instead of fighting it tooth and nail.

      One of Amazon's advantages is that they don't require sales taxes, which can often result in the product costing less even with shipping charges. Once they are required to collect sales taxes they'll lose that price advantage and will likely lose sales because of it. It is not in their corporate interest to 'help' in the process.

      • by Scowler (667000) on Wednesday April 06, 2011 @09:19PM (#35740210)
        Being "reputable" means not always placing your profit interests first and foremost. Besides, if they actively negotiate with these states they may find a solution acceptable to those states, that actually does not sting as bad as expected. And, anyways, many other e-tailers collect those taxes and still manage to prosper.
        • by demonlapin (527802) on Wednesday April 06, 2011 @09:30PM (#35740300) Homepage Journal
          There's not really any negotiation to be done with the states. The states believe that Amazon should collect and forward sales taxes for them, despite receiving no services from those states. Amazon thinks that lacking a physical presence in a state exempts them from that. There's not really a compromise position where they collect half the tax, or something. And as long as Amazon keeps its presence out of those states, they'll keep winning - there's no way to enforce a judgement against them, even in a court ruled that the state had standing to sue them.
        • Being "reputable" means not always placing your profit interests first and foremost.

          Drivel. Companies have a fiduciary duty to make a profit. "reputable" means how you go about trying to make a profit, not whether or not you prioritize making a profit. Then again .... I'm an idiot ......

        • Being "reputable" means not always placing your profit interests first and foremost.

          While I don't disagree with your sentiment, nothing in the article defines reputable as such. There are plenty of people who think a company who tries to earn more profit is therefore more reputable than a company who fritters profit away for altruistic reasons.

          For the record, I hate those type of people.

      • by Firehed (942385)

        And it's none of the state's business to collect taxes on something I bought from another state, which is Amazon's completely valid argument. One could argue that they should be collecting taxes on the state from which the item is shipping since there's the obvious physical presence (this would more closely mimic what happens when I buy an item at retail), but I think sales tax is bullshit to begin with since the state is providing no value to either the buyer or the seller, other than merely existing.

        • by WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Wednesday April 06, 2011 @10:06PM (#35740502)

          And it's none of the state's business to collect taxes on something I bought from another state, which is Amazon's completely valid argument. One could argue that they should be collecting taxes on the state from which the item is shipping since there's the obvious physical presence (this would more closely mimic what happens when I buy an item at retail), but I think sales tax is bullshit to begin with since the state is providing no value to either the buyer or the seller, other than merely existing.

          Actually, Use Tax [wikipedia.org] is applicable to products purchased out of state when no sales tax was collected (in states that have sales and/or use taxes).

      • by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Wednesday April 06, 2011 @10:06PM (#35740500) Homepage Journal

        One of Amazon's advantages is that they don't require sales taxes, which can often result in the product costing less even with shipping charges. Once they are required to collect sales taxes they'll lose that price advantage and will likely lose sales because of it. It is not in their corporate interest to 'help' in the process.

        I've about had it with companies this big looking to get out of paying taxes. We've got a congress that wants to cut a supplemental nutrition program for infants and pregnant women in poverty so Amazon can skip out on taxes, pay lobbyists and provide unfair competition to mom and pop bookstores.

        I say fuck 'em. I've got no problem paying taxes and I've got no problem paying the stiff sales tax we've got here in Chicago. They like to use the nice internet the government made for them but they don't want to give anything back. Meanwhile, Borders is closing stores and the little bookstores where I shop can't even make ends meet.

        • by demonlapin (527802) on Wednesday April 06, 2011 @10:19PM (#35740576) Homepage Journal
          In this case, the tax avoiders are the citizens who order things off the internet without paying their proper use tax. Not Amazon - at most, their duty is to collect the tax, not to pay it.

          Incidentally, to the extent that the Internet is something "the government made for them", it's a product of the federal government - which does not collect sales tax.
        • Except that this isn't tax evasion by a big company, it's tax evasion by individuals. Many states have a use tax that you have to pay for items purchased out of state, but people don't seem too keen on paying them.

          Corporate tax evasion is a serious issue, but Amazon not paying states it doesn't have locations in isn't an egregious violation. If you want to get angry about something, get angry about Exxon entirely dodging federal taxes by going offshore.
          • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

            Except that this isn't tax evasion by a big company

            You're right. I withdraw my wrong-headed argument that Amazon should pay sales tax.

        • So if Amazon pay tax to a State they have no phyical presense in, what do Amazon or it's customers get back .... nothing

          They are not using any services that have not already been paid for and taxed so what exactly are they paying taxes for?

          • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

            So if Amazon pay tax to a State they have no phyical presense in, what do Amazon or it's customers get back .... nothing

            A virtual "store" is the transaction between customer and shopper. When that book or CD shows up on my doorstep, me, the book or CD, the guy in brown pants bringing the book or CD up the stairs, his truck, the street, streetlights and police to keep those streets safe are certainly a "physical presence".

            Do you believe that a lack of "physical presence" should exempt a corporation from all

        • by epyT-R (613989)

          I've about had it with companies this big looking to get out of paying taxes. We've got a congress that wants to cut a supplemental nutrition program for infants and pregnant women in poverty so Amazon can skip out on taxes, pay lobbyists and provide unfair competition to mom and pop bookstores.

          or how about those women take responsibility for themselves and get abortions if they can't afford to have those kids? isn't that what they wanted the right to choose for? that way less tax needs to be paid because of irresponsible behavior.

          I say fuck 'em. I've got no problem paying taxes and I've got no problem paying the stiff sales tax we've got here in Chicago. They like to use the nice internet the government made for them but they don't want to give anything back. Meanwhile, Borders is closing stores and the little bookstores where I shop can't even make ends meet.

          I guess you aren't counted among those who DO have a problem paying it..literally. you know...like those poor helpless women you mentioned?

      • by __u63 (65413)

        The question at issue isn't what is in Amazon's corporate interest. It's whether Amazon merits the "most reputable company" designation that has been given it, in light of the fact that its business model basically involves evading state sales tax, which any company that sells out of a physical location is required to collect. That is a controversial business model, at a minimum.

        Pursuing shareholder value and behaving reputably are obviously different things.

      • by SeaFox (739806)

        I live in a state where Amazon has a presence so I still have to pay sales tax (8.85%), and generally Amazon's prices are still lower than the brick-and-mortar stores. I always group my orders into $25+ bundles for free shipping, though.

      • I've never ever ever never ever taken the lack of sales tax into account when buying stuff from Amazon or not. It's about the availability, the price, and the ease of shopping.

      • It's an advantage, but I still buy everything on Amazon and Amazon collects sales tax here.

        Especially with prime. It's cheaper and more convenient than driving or walking to a store.

    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Desler (1608317)

      Yeah, how dare they don't just bow down to all these lame cash grabs by various state governments! They should know it's their duty to make up for all the shortfalls of politicians who can't learn to cut their own spending habits! Maybe we should send their execs to gitmo to make them learn how a truly patriotic company should work!

    • Amazon does a very good job of looking after their customers' interests. Even when those interests include letting other people pay for police, fire suppression and education.

      • Amazon pays for police and fire protection for their warehouses via the property taxes. And it's not their responsibility to pay for the locals' education, it's the parents' responsibility.
        • Despite your (somewhat painful) libertarian trolling, you kinda missed the point. clem.dickey was talking about Amazon assisting their customers in avoiding the payment of taxes through locally-operating vendors who presumably would be subject to the sales tax.
    • You make it sound like sales tax is some noble charity that they should be ashamed of themselves for jumping at the chance to pay. How about instead we end Sales tax for For both Online and Local Businesses?
    • This entire situation has been hashed over, and over and over, since mail order buying began well over 150 years ago.

      A state cannot require a retailer in another state to collect taxes for it. Period. Nothing has changed that would affect this.

      Every bit of this idea is nothing but the same sh*t, different day. There is nothing to be seen here. Move along.
      • A state cannot require a retailer in another state to collect taxes for it.

        Unless, of course, the retailer has a presence in that other state. Which Amazon does, have affiliates all over the place.

        That's besides the point, though. Quite aside from their tax strategy, given that Amazon is a bunch of patent-abusing censoring bastards [unreasonable.org], no sane and informed person can call them "reputable".

        • "Unless, of course, the retailer has a presence in that other state."

          Well, true. But then they're not "in another state". They're in that state.

          Washington State has tried -- and maybe succeeded, I am not sure -- to collect taxes from Microsoft's corporate sales branch, which is incorporated in Nevada, on the basis that Microsoft's actual main offices are in Washington State. I am not really sure of the outcome of that, but the State might have a valid argument.

    • by tompaulco (629533)
      They do responsibly collect sales tax. They collect sales tax for the state that they reside in and states that they have a physical presence in, just as they are supposed to. They do not collect sales tax in states where they have no presence and where the government has no authority to make them collect sales tax. However, despite what some people have said, e-tailers do not have any kind of price advantage over local stores as the buyer is still legally responsible to pay Use Tax on the items purchased.
    • You want polls? Here's a bunch: the Worst Company in America [consumerist.com] tournament. Amazon isn't in it.

      I've had decent service from Amazon. They could be the most beloved of all the large companies. Which maybe is saying they're the nicest turd in the latrine. That a Worst Company contest exists is merely emphasizing what we all know, which is that large corporations have far too much power. As the saying goes, power corrupts. We do have problems getting these 900 pound gorillas to behave responsibly, and no

    • by julesh (229690)

      At some point, we have to figure out how e-tailers can and should responsibly collect sales taxes. Amazon could be helping that process, instead of fighting it tooth and nail.

      Not everyone agrees that Amazon has a responsibility to volunteer to pay taxes they don't legally have to:

      Any one may so arrange his affairs that his taxes shall be as low as possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which will best pay the Treasury; there is not even a patriotic duty to increase one's taxes. -- Judge Learned Hand, 1934

    • by epyT-R (613989)

      or maybe we need a taxation system that isn't insane to begin with.

    • by Golddess (1361003)

      At some point, we have to figure out how e-tailers can and should responsibly collect sales taxes.

      Weren't such things were already figured out back in the days of mail-order catalogs?

  • Still not enough (Score:5, Insightful)

    by toby (759) on Wednesday April 06, 2011 @09:11PM (#35740142) Homepage Journal

    ...to make me regret closing my account in protest at the treatment of Wikileaks.

    Fuck Amazon.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Wikileaks went down for a couple of hours and are still releasing excellent information (Ecuador lately).

      If anything they got the Streisand effect (not that Wikileaks needs that).

      Amazon is a good retailer, especially with DRM free MP3 songs for $1. And good if not great prices on other things (always check SlickDeals first though...).

    • Did you close your credit card accounts too?
    • Yay! My sentiments exactly.

      I don't know who decides what constitutes "most reputable", but they sure as hell aren't any of my friends, a large percentage of whom thoroughly dislike Amazon over its treatment of WikiLeaks. That disqualified them for any "reputable" list I might keep.
    • by horza (87255)

      I used to buy an awful lot from Amazon, in fact it was the principal place I did all my shopping, but also stopped since their treatment of Wikileaks. For books I now buy here: http://www.abebooks.co.uk/. For electronics this is good: http://www.mymemory.co.uk/.

      I also now find myself with more cash after I closed my Paypal for the same reason, I used to buy tons of junk from ebay.

      Phillip.

      • I used to buy an awful lot from Amazon, in fact it was the principal place I did all my shopping, but also stopped since their treatment of Wikileaks. For books I now buy here: http://www.abebooks.co.uk/ [abebooks.co.uk]. For electronics this is good: http://www.mymemory.co.uk/ [mymemory.co.uk].

        I also now find myself with more cash after I closed my Paypal for the same reason, I used to buy tons of junk from ebay.

        Phillip.

        ..... AbeBooks is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Amazon. You're like those people that "boycotted" BP by going to the Arco station across the street.

  • by gman003 (1693318) on Wednesday April 06, 2011 @09:14PM (#35740170)
    I'd mod this one "+5 Funny".
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by dadioflex (854298)
      I think the crux of the article is that Amazon are getting disreputable less quickly than most other large companies. The headline should read, "Amazon Losing Race To Be Least Ethical".
  • by ThorntonAZ (780964) on Wednesday April 06, 2011 @09:14PM (#35740176)
    Amazon really is a great company to buy from. I have been purchasing from them more than any other etaler now it seems. I have even replaced some items that we would buy at Target or Costco and purchase them from now. I have had to deal with customer service a few times and it has been a pleasurable experience. I also stand with amazon as far as sales taxes go. I also run a small business online and I cant collect taxes from hundreds of counties across the US. I could be for a flat national sales tax maybe though.
  • by theshowmecanuck (703852) on Wednesday April 06, 2011 @09:16PM (#35740184) Journal
    I just ran across a book the other day that cost more on amazon.ca than on amazon.com. Not sure how that works. There is no duty. The difference in shipping costs of the printed book should be moot especially where I am, within fifty miles of Niagara Falls. And to top it off, the Canadian dollar has been worth more than the U.S. dollar for the past few months. Amazon had no good reason to charge almost ten dollars more to Canadians for the same book. Not very reputable if you ask me. But since they bought bookpool.com a few years ago, they're the only real game in town.
    • Amazon's primary business concentration (and by extension, their largest paying customer base) is in distributed computing services, not Internet retail. In the former arena, they are exceptionally successful and popular. In the latter arena, it's my understanding (please don't shoot me if I'm wrong) that they are really only a middle-man for other distributors and as such do not control the base price or handling costs of merchandise sold.
      • Amazon actually does a substantial amount of retailing on their own in addition to acting as the middle man for 3rd party distributors. They own huge distribution centers for their own merchandise, I can't comment on what percentage of stuff on their site is sold by them vs. by 3rd parties though.

    • I'm sure that some of this is just the regular screwing that Canadians get for being a small market that nonetheless has its own copyrights and legal minefields to wander through. However, are there any other possible reasons? I had always wondered why European (e.g., with British being among the worst) prices on so many consumer goods were so much higher than what we pay in the US, until I learned about their consumer protection acts, which (in the UK, as I've been told) lets you get a replacement or refun
      • Similar return policies on both sides of the border. What is interesting is if you purchase something from say Best Buy in America, they won't warranty it in Canada and vice versa. Legally they are separate entities in the two countries, but I bet the money only goes to one place. :) This has bit me too.
    • by Kjella (173770)

      Well, if I was to make a simple 2D chart of stores I think my two axis would be price and reputation. Too low prices tend to go with cutting corners, unserious business practices, stock and shipping date cheating, problems with returns and so on. Then there are companies that I consider reputable, as in everything will be in order but their prices are far too high.

      I'm not sure I'd rank amazon as #1 but they work well enough and their prices are typically good. That said I typically order DVDs and video game

    • Consider the source.

      Reputable in the context of this dumb article means "Firms that paid Reputation Institute" to put them on the Reputable list.

    • I just ran across a book the other day that cost more on amazon.ca than on amazon.com. Not sure how that works. There is no duty. The difference in shipping costs of the printed book should be moot especially where I am, within fifty miles of Niagara Falls. And to top it off, the Canadian dollar has been worth more than the U.S. dollar for the past few months. Amazon had no good reason to charge almost ten dollars more to Canadians for the same book. Not very reputable if you ask me. But since they bought bookpool.com a few years ago, they're the only real game in town.

      I think your issue might be more with book prices in general than with Amazon specifically. It's long been a North American book publisher tradition to print USD and CAD prices on books with seemingly little regard to the current exchange rate. According to Exchange Rates Revisited: U.S. Dollar and the Cost of Books [seekingalpha.com], in 2009 the CAD prices printed on newly published books were as much as 27% higher than the USD prices. This was at a time when the US and Canadian dollars were at parity. I would guess the pri

    • by nedlohs (1335013)

      Oh no, a company charges a price they think will get them the most profit. Curse them!

    • by metlin (258108)

      I believe you are mistaking charging the market price with reputable -- just because they are a reputable company does not mean that they should discount all profits from a free market enterprise.

      • I know there used to be a term for charging one distinct group of people more for your goods than another group of people because you could get away with it; even though the costs involved to the seller were the same.
  • by blair1q (305137) on Wednesday April 06, 2011 @09:16PM (#35740186) Journal

    Howcome they didn't rate in the top half on their own poll?

  • While it is disheartening that Amazon shafted WikiLeaks, they are free to do as they wish with their private enterprise; most likely the decision was made by those with a financial stake in the company, not by those with a strong sense of idealism regarding freedom of speech. There very likely would have been no issue in the eyes of Amazon's stakeholders if their government weren't so heavy-handed and secretive.

    So, I say don't shoot the messenger. Amazon does incredible things and has contributed a gre
    • by Desler (1608317)

      While it is disheartening that Amazon shafted WikiLeaks

      Shafted? Wikileaks broke their rules and thus according to the agreement they had with Amazon they lose access to Amazon's service. Maybe they shouldn't have agreed to terms that they couldn't follow?

      In b4 some Wikileaks troll mods me down again.

    • by horza (87255)

      And all of us on here are free to never buy anything from Amazon again. It's a narrow mind that can't see there are now better alternatives to buy from than a company that censors publications which do not break any laws.

      Phillip.

  • It's been earned... (Score:4, Informative)

    by demonlapin (527802) on Wednesday April 06, 2011 @09:23PM (#35740236) Homepage Journal
    First, it's pretty hard for people to get an unfavorable opinion of Amazon from anything that doesn't happen directly to them (as opposed to, say, BP getting unfavorables based on Deepwater Horizon from people who live nowhere near the Gulf of Mexico). Second, their customer service is pretty good. My wife's Kindle, which I bought about two years ago, had an untimely meeting with a Diet Coke back in October. I had bought the extended warranty, which came with a one-time we-don't-care-why-it-died replacement clause, mainly because her electronics have a surprisingly high rate of mysterious death. Despite the fact that the warranty is technically sold by another company, not Amazon, I got ZERO runaround - instead I was seamlessly transferred from Kindle support to the warranty processing people, who pulled up all the necessary information. The replacement stopped erasing its screen properly this week, so I called Amazon again yesterday - and again, got a no-hassle experience (the only stupid hoop to jump through was that they wanted me to reboot it once). The replacement's replacement will be here tomorrow. And they've paid the shipping both ways, every time, even including a prepaid shipping label so that all I have to do is drop it off at a post office.

    Customer service, in short, works.
    • I too have had nothing but good customer service from Amazon. Twice I have had to return items that broke during shipment. Both were handled quickly and courteously. Yes, they do have actual people who will TALK to you about your problem. In one case, the replacement item got to my house just two days after I notified them of the problem, the same day I sent the broken one back!

      Low prices, (usually) no shipping costs, no sales tax, great customer service...Amazon has earned MY business!

  • The ratings are analyzed from nearly 33,000 online consumer responses taken in January and February.

    2 months. 33,000 reports. Seriously? This "award" is worthless.

  • The most reputable company is among the most tax-evading
  • by Shippu (1888522)

    I've seen all sorts of scams running on Amazon and they don't give a fuck. A few examples that I've seen so far:
    Counterfeit items.
    Products advertised as £0.01 with the actual cost in a fake shipping charge.
    There are hundreds of thousands of "books" which are actually auto generated pamphlets consisting of a main Wikipedia article and some linked articles, selling for £30+ and almost all rated 1 star by anyone who bought one. (Search for Betascript on amazon)
    Crap watches selling for £10, su

    • by parens (632808)
      I don't know that "people who didn't notice" counts as Amazon "not giving a fuck".

      Sounds a lot more like the people who failed to notice the terms of the service they signed up for, didn't give a fuck.

    • by maxume (22995)

      In the U.S., sellers get fixed shipping rates, so when they charge $0.01 for something, they get the same cut from the shipping as when they charge $10. I wouldn't call that a scam.

      The fake books thing is a bit of a thing, but other than copyright violations, what line are they supposed to draw?

      And anybody who takes a retailers word for what something is worth and then pays the retailer less than that for the item should learn a lesson from it.

  • by maiki (857449) on Wednesday April 06, 2011 @10:18PM (#35740564)
    The "150 Most Reputable Companies" from a sample size of 150? Seems more like "the largest 150 companies sorted by reputation".
  • I am pleased to announce that I have just formed the "Most Ethical & Respected Slashdot Reader Institute." Please send your contributions to my paypal account, so that I many conduct a purely scientific, and completely unbiased survey. I will post the results in a slashdot article I plan to submit later.

    Hey if Obama can win a Nobel peace prize, and Microsoft is rated as the 4th most ethical company, and Amazon is the most respected company in the world - how could my results be any worse?

  • Was going to ask where Goldman Sach, AIG, Freddie Mac, Fannie Mac, Citigroup and Comcast were...but after looking at the list they are down there with ExxonMobil and News Corp? But I can trust News Corp, Glen Beck told me so!

    Selex
  • This story on general principle.
  • Newegg gets my vote. I don't know about the rest of you guys/gals, but my experience with Newegg rocks! That's not to say that won't turn 180 and turn into total douche bags, but that's a hypothetical tomorrow. Today however, they have my love :)

  • Three companies that help keep Americans fat and a pharmaceutical. No wonder the world thinks so little of us.

     

  • by Tablizer (95088)

    Their Amazon Credit Card charged me a $30 late fee even though it wasn't late. It was sent out at the same time as another card and the other bill made it just fine. And the Indian call-center employee was rude about it when I called, insisting it was my fault. Screw them!

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