Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Amazon to Canadian Customers: These features are for US Only

Over the break, I decided to abandon my Samsung S4 and move to the Note 4. I made the mistake of buying the first cell at an independent cell shop thinking that I would get ahead on contracts. But it had chronic issues with getting the IMEI to work and then the speaker didn't work either. Never had these problems before when buying on contract. So back on contract I go.

Device is beautiful:

I had the first iteration of the device, the Note 1. This is much better and the pen seems to be much improved in terms being able to write by hand. Much crisper screen as well. Anyways, I digress.

Given the decent size of the device, I figured this would be the perfect opportunity to try out the immersion reading feature. Immersion reading enables you to hear and read the book at the same time, giving you the benefits of both the audio learning and the visualizing the text.

Much to my dismay I figured out after hours of trying to make this work that it didn't. Why? Because I am in Canada.

However, it was only after confirming my suspicions with this post that I realized the truth: Canadians are locked out of yet another one of Amazon's services. Now the real issue is why doesn't Amazon openly say this on the website? In fact, I even corresponded with the help and assumed that they would warn me that this feature does not work. As you read the posts, I was not the only one that was frustrated by this state of things

The incident reveals a couple of things. Firstly, Amazon is a US focused company, it does not serve Canada well. For example, it's prime video service is only in the US. This is just another example. I wonder why Chapters has not exploited this?

Secondly, it exposes the weakness with mass service model used by Amazon as well as cloud computing companies, it can serve the masses but not the unique needs of particular clientele.

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