Amazon Music and Amazon Prime Canada

Today, I downloaded the Mac app for Amazon Music.

I saw this mentioned in some tech article and thought, “Hey, I’m an Amazon Prime Member! Maybe I could ditch Spotify and get some ad-free Music playing for when I work. Even if it doesn’t have the latest pop tunes. I just need lots of soundtracks with ambience for when working!”

To my dismay, logging in with my Prime credentials, the app did not recognize that I had a Prime membership.

I suspect the problem is that I have an Amazon Canada Prime membership and not an Amazon US Prime membership. This is frustrating. It should really be global and unified. For people who travel lots and/or live in different countries in different times of the year, this is disappointing. Heck, even for Canadians staying put in Canada, this is frustrating.

Amazon music player for mac

 

So I wrote to support. Fingers crossed the feedback leads to some improvements in the coming months and years. Here was my feedback support email:

Hi,

I’m living in Canada and have an Amazon Canada Prime membership. I downloaded the Amazon Music app, logged in, but it still doesn’t recognize me as a Prime Member. There’s no documentation explaining this for Canadian users.

I also have a US Amazon.com account (same credentials exactly), and used to be a US Prime member when I’ve lived there too.

Please advise. I’d like to invest more in Amazon and ditch Spotify, but not giving Canadian Prime customers the same benefits you give US Prime customers is frustrating and unfortunate.

Honestly, I’d like to see you unify Prime to be a global membership. Let me also have the benefit of fast shipping when I’m in the US, UK or Canada with one single Mega Prime Membership.

 

Groupon’s Misleading Deal Pages

I recently needed to get some auto detailing done, and thought I’d rummage through LivingSocial.com and Groupon.com to find any auto-detailing deals in the area. I went with Groupon. What a mistake. They don’t seem to vet the vendors at all.

The Public Deal Page

Here’s the public front page of the deal I purchased: https://www.groupon.com/deals/detail-auto. Since that URL will cycle through different deals, here’s a photo of what you’ll see at the time this post was written:

Deal front page

Sure, there’s only 23% of who chimed in with a thumbs up, but perhaps most people just don’t bother giving feedback. After all, there are no thumbs down ratings visible here.

The Publicly Visible Testimonials

Let’s look at the publicly visible testimonials for this deal. The three testimonials look really positive. You can’t glean anything negative about this vendor.

 

Public page testimonials

 

The Post-Purchase Visible Reviews

Now that I’ve purchased, the page I can access for this deal gives me access to all reviews. Surprise surprise. These guys have a horrendous reputation. See below. Not a single positive review on the first page. The only good reviews are right at the beginning, and very short. Suspect.

Why does Groupon have a thumbs up icon next to each of these reviews when they are all bad reviews?

 

The real reviews

 

No Refund Contact-Us Link Available

Since I purchased the deal about 5 days ago, I’m outside the window of requesting a refund. There’s no button on the Groupon website to do so. I can’t find a phone number to call. There’s no one I can email. I keep going in circles trying to find a support link that will let me contact someone with a human brain, instead of getting looped through “read this policy” and “read these fine print details”. Nothing. No way to reach a real human being and have a conversation.

I’m not comfortable taking an expensive vehicle to a shoddy place with water damage reviews like this.

Lesson learned: be weary using Groupon.

Epilogue

I finally find a way to chat with a human agent by stating that I couldn’t get in touch with the vendor (which is true; I just tried calling and their voicemail box is full). I’ve got a refund in ‘Groupon Bucks’, but I’ll be sure to use those in more established businesses, if I can even find such deals.

 

Groupon Live Chat

 

Ridiculous Uber Trip Cancellation Policy

Yesterday, I took an Uber. The weather was beautiful for a 25 min walk, but my friend and I needed to get to the theatre, and so I thought Uber would be faster. 

An UberX was “3 minutes” away. We ordered one up. The three minutes passed. Several more minutes passed.

We kept waiting. It said the driver was still “3 minutes” away.

We were running out of time to get to the theatre (a live performance; might not get seated if you’re late).

To our dismay, the Uber app on my iPhone relayed, “Trip Cancelled”. Why would the driver cancel on me!?

Immediately, I ordered another Uber. That one came and we got to our destination, just in the nick of time.

Today, I woke up with a $5 cancellation charge in my email inbox, from Uber.

Imagine my frustration. Insult to injury!

To Uber’s credit, they reversed the charge and gave me a $10 credit.

However, their policy response on Twitter has me scratching my head. Uber reserves the right to charge a cancellation fee to the customer when a driver cancels on the customer!? WTF!? Seriously? How dumb is that?

This is the policy cited by Uber Support in response to me asking why they couldn’t tell the difference between a driver cancellation and a customer cancellation.

By directing me to that policy, they are effectively saying that “if you use our service, and don’t do anything wrong, we may charge you $5 and provide you with aggravation and no service”. It’s like ordering a pizza, waiting for 15 minutes as you think they are making it, and then having the pizza shop cancel your order, and charge you $5 because it was cancelled. Oh, and you don’t get a pizza.

Here’s my conversation with Uber Support. 

Clearly, Uber has a really dumb policy on their hands, and/or support staff lacking common sense. 

 

Twitter Conversation

 

Pandora.com: personalized Internet Radio

I’ve been pretty impressed with Pandora.com. It’s an Internet radio player that plays in your browser and fine tunes what it serves up based on your training it with a thumbs up or thumbs down. You can set up several “radio stations” reflecting different styles.

See CNET.com / NYTimes.com article by David Pogue discussing the Squeezebox 3 from Slim Devices.

Tres cool.