My email to Amazon

Which I sadly got a standardised reply to:

 

I’m contacting you about what I see as a flaw in your recommendation service.  For most of the year, the recommendations are great.  But immediately after Christmas they’re not very helpful.  I, and I imagine most customers, mainly buy things for myself from Amazon, minus the occasional birthday present.  But in December I bought 6 things, and, sadly, none were for me.  So when it comes to January, and I’m ready to spend the money I got for Christmas, I go to Amazon.co.uk.  And what is the first thing I see?  Items that my mum, girlfriend and aunt would like.  Recommendations relevant to me, honed by months of delightful spending, are gone (or at least much further down the recommendations list).

I propose that, instead of all purchases being seen as equal by your recommendation algorithm (or the oompa-loompas that study my buying habits), purchases from January-November be weighted more heavily than December’s.  The recommendations I currently receive would only be useful if someone in my family had a birthday coming up.  Or I simply wanted to buy them something for no reason.  That’s not going to happen.

This may read as petty, and the product of someone with too much time on their hands (true), but I do see this as Amazon losing out on sales.  I basically have to start buying things again before I am offered things I might like to buy.  Again, I realise that there are more accurate recommendations further down the list, but that involves a lot of click-through, and that’s not what i want when I load up the site.

I buy films with spaceships and books about pain.  Yet Amazon thinks I might like a Cheryl Cole album or a Sex And The City DVD.  I should never have to see Sarah Jessica-Parker’s ‘face’ unless I explicitly ask to.

I’m sure I’m not the first person to mention this, and I don’t even expect a reply.  I just think that it was worth mentioning.  Thank you for your time.

 

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