Last week I saw that Emotional Design by Donald Norman was now available. As I had pre-ordered the item on Amazon four months ago I wanted to check what my delivery date would be.
But my estimated delivery date still showed as the 6th May, even though the availability stated that the item would be dispatched in 10 or 11 days. I checked the information on Amazon and found that is was available and could be delivered in 10 or 11 days as stated on my order. I also noticed that the price had changed from £14.65 to £13.42 since my order was made, so I wanted to make sure that I paid the new lower price for the book.
I needed to find some way of "refreshing" my order so that it could re-calculate the delivery estimate. There was no obvious way of doing this, so I used the "Change Gift Options" screen to force it to update the order. This seemed to do the trick and my delivery date had now changed to 7th January, but the price I was going to pay had not been changed to reflect the cheaper price.
Whilst Amazon would allow me to change the delivery address, the payment method, the gift wrap and even the number of items in the order, it would not allow me to pay the current cheaper price for the book. It seemed that my only option was to delete this order entirely and create a new order so that I could get the cheaper price.
It seems ridiculous that I have to cancel a pre-order for a book, just so I am allowed to pay the proper amount the this book. Does Amazon deliberately price pre-ordered books at a higher rate because they think that their customers won't notice the price change? I want Amazon to sell my books at the lowest possible price, and this means that they should automatically update my order with the new price if they make it cheaper but they should still honour their original price at time of ordering if they increase the price.
After I re-ordered the book to get the lower price I thought I would compare the US and UK Amazon prices to see what the difference would be.
I found that the book cost 30% more in the UK than in the US ($18.20 = £10.23). Even if I paid for the International Shipping I would still be slightly cheaper ($27.18 = £15.28) to order the book from the US.
Now I don't expect something for nothing, but I feel that I am being taken for a ride by Amazon and I will now start looking at other ways of buying my books as I am losing my trust in them.