It's been a few days without a real rant (flexes his fingers) so here goes. Amazon:
WHAT ARE YOU THINKING ????
I was over at GeoCaching and noticed that there is a cache in Nahant. Go figure. It's like a mile from me. This might be enough to finally get me to buy a GPS. As always, with consumer electronics, I'm the last around to get one (I only got a DVD player a few months ago) since I can't write it off, I know it won't work right and will just be difficult. So anyway I surfed over to Amazon and searched for GPS and then selected the 278 results in Electronics. And got a list of results. Hmmm.... $250 odd is more than I want to spend for a GPS. So I'll just use "Sort by" and sort by price. And then I saw this fine bit of blithering, pathetic idiocy that just boggles my (admittedly little) mind:
You can't sort by price. You can't sort by price! Go figure. One of the very real advantages of shopping on a computer is something like sorting. Yes I know that I can look by "Best Selling" and then infer a price relationship since cheaper tends to sell more but that's just not the same. And then I said to myself "Wait I know that Amazon's crew of largely Perl monkeys can sort a database by price" so let's see if they do it elsewhere like in books. So I did and got this:
That's right -- search for a book and you can sort by price but search for electronics where sorting by price really matters and you can't. Go figure. That's a stupid revenue optimization strategy or it's bad product management.
New slogan for Amazon's programmers: "Amazon. First we'll take away your ability to sort by price and then tomorrow we'll remove the search engine."
Disclaimer: I have no bias against Amazon. I use them frequently and I think they absolutely rock. Things like this frustrate the ever loving crap out of me since they can do better. I'm a fan and I want Amazon to do well. For all their flaws they have done a good job and I hope they succeed. They even released an XML based webservice API. And now this. Sigh.