I've complained about Amazon before now on this blog.
The last time was in connection with buying a new phone online from them last January. They billed me for £800-odd - quite a good price at the time for a Samsung Galaxy S20+ smartphone I wanted. But the thing didn't arrive by the date promised, and in fact never did come. I found out, too late, that their supplier was abroad, and so there was bound to be a long and unpredictable delay because of post-Brexit red tape. It became increasingly clear that the delivery date first quoted was unrealistic and misleading. If Amazon had been frank about the prospects for delivery I would have looked elsewhere, not having the patience of a saint. On top of this, the fiasco was compounded by a tracking breakdown, so that my phone - supposed to be on its way, but in reality stuck somewhere - became 'lost in the system'. Perhaps even stolen in transit.
Meanwhile I got in touch with Amazon, cancelled the order, and commenced the long-winded refund process.
I decided to buy the same phone for £999 from John Lewis. Yes, it was more expensive; but it was in my hands very quickly, exactly when promised, and I had it set up and running long before Amazon's procedures ever gave me my money back.
I've still used Amazon for occasional purchases of small stuff, because little is at stake and I can shrug my shoulders if the purchase doesn't work out.
But they let me down big-time over that phone, and I won't give them another chance where expensive or important items are concerned. There are alternative places to shop - places I have more confidence in - and I don't mind paying a bit more for getting what I want, exactly when I want it, from a retailer I can trust.
And now I have two further reasons for not ordering goods from Amazon, and even severing all connection with them.
One reason is their recent decision not to accept payment from Visa credit card accounts, effective late January. Presumably Amazon have asked Visa to reduce their card service fees, and Visa haven't agreed. Amazon have therefore set a deadline, judging that they are big enough to dispense with Visa if need be. And I think they might well be right - to the inconvenience of people like me, whose only credit card is a Visa card. (It may be of course that Amazon are gearing up to offer their own credit card, no doubt with extra goodies to hook people in. But it will have strings attached, and I won't want one)
The other reason is Amazon's creeping policy of getting customers to subscribe to Amazon Prime for general shopping, and - particularly where mp3 digital music is concerned - to Amazon Music Unlimited. As I make only occasional online purchases, for small amounts, subscription models are not in the least attractive. I don't care about any benefits offered: I would end up paying much more each month in subscriptions than I would actually want to spend.
It's a good thing that I now have almost all the digital music I'd ever want. I have slowly built up, over the years, a highly-personal music collection of nearly 1,900 tracks, representing all the music that means something to me - the 'soundtrack of my life'. And I could, without regret, stop there.
It's no good offering me access to millions of songs if I subscribe to Amazon Music Unlimited. I don't need them. It won't bother me if I can't have them. So I'm not going to subscribe.
As it happens, it's still possible - just - to purchase individual mp3 music tracks using the Amazon Music app, but you have to put in quite a bit of work. not just to find what you want, but to persuade the app that you want to buy outright, and not subscribe. My guess is that sometime soon it will no longer be possible to make a one-off track purchase with the Amazon Music app, even a forced purchase. At that point I will probably stop using Amazon altogether. I'll just close my account - with no compunction, no cares, and certainly with no fear of missing out.