Thank You Amazon, Now I Know What Divorce Feels Like

Thank You Amazon, Now I Know What Divorce Feels Like

I just went through a traumatic end to a relationship. It’s a bit of a weird one, in that as far as I know, my husband and I are still together physically, legally, and even emotionally. Just not digitally. You see, thanks to Amazon, I’m getting a taste of what it would be like, if we decided to separate.

Picture the scene. Your spouse/partner/BFF just did the dirt/found a better offer/decided you were pants, and left you. Two days later, you get the following email from Amazon:

Hello Tara Sparling,

You and [INSERT PERSON WHO TORE YOUR HEART OUT OF YOUR CHEST BEFORE DECLARING IT WAS A CRAP HEART ANYWAY*] are no longer members of an Amazon Household as a result of one of you leaving the Household. Within 24 hours, any digital content and Prime benefits you may have shared with the other member of your Household will no longer be accessible to that person via Amazon, and vice versa. You will continue to be able to use any shared apps you downloaded to your devices. Any of your payment methods that may have been shared with the other member of your Household via Amazon Household payment sharing will also no longer be accessible to that person, and vice versa. However, any order that is currently in-progress, such as a pre-order, may still be charged against a shared credit card.

As a reminder, per Amazon Household policy, you can only join a new Amazon Household once every 180 days. If you believe this request was made in error, please contact Amazon Customer Service .

Sincerely,

Amazon.co.uk

We’re Building Earth’s Most Customer-Centric Company

*actual text of Amazon’s e-mail, bar the bracketed bit, where Himself’s name originally appeared

The reason for this tragic ending of my Amazon Household is not terribly interesting, but I feel I need to explain it to you in any event, for context. Broadly, it’s like this:

  1. I signed up to Amazon Prime to watch video content, thinking that by adding my legally contracted husband (seriously – he had to sign a pile of stuff when he married me) to a so-called ‘Amazon Household’, we would both be able to watch stuff on the same account, just like we do on Netflix.
  2. Amazon refused to allow us to share access, because we are in Ireland, where you’re apparently not allowed to share anything (the famine was nearly 200 years ago lads; it’s time to move on).
  3. I un-created the stupid Amazon Household because it’s useless and also, did I mention stupid?
  4. Amazon now thinks both my husband and I have some sort of non-compete contract regarding the Internet, and therefore neither of us are allowed to share anything with ANYONE ELSE for 180 days.

Thank You Amazon, Now I Know What Divorce Feels Like

Imagine how you would feel, getting the above e-mail, if you actually had broken up with someone?

What if your ex was the one to dismantle your Amazon Household as a result (and you lived in the UK, where people are allowed to use Amazon services, as opposed to Ireland, where you are not, despite the irony of living approximately 200 yards away from where Amazon established their major Development Centre)?

Now, to the best of my knowledge, I have not actually undergone a break-up or divorce, in that the last time I looked, I was still married, and co-habiting, albeit in digital penury (because we are now forced to watch episodes of Preacher on the one laptop, like savages).

Not to mention the fact that I myself was the one to remove said husband from our fledgling Amazon Household.

But for just one moment there, after I got the e-mail, I felt completely and utterly rejected.

How would it feel if it was for real?

There you are, drinking neat tequila and gin in your worst underwear, singing “I Will Survive” to yourself, cursing the bastard/bitch/gender-fluid villain who left you: and your e-mail inbox pings with a message from Amazon telling you that you’ve been dumped… AGAIN.

It would feel like your ex – the one who yanked the foundations of your personality and self-worth from beneath you, leaving you a shell of your former self; a kind of amoeba-like creature, capable only of ingesting bad food and excreting bile and sorrow – had taken one last pot-shot from the safe distance of a keyboard warrior, with the message of hate carried by Amazon.

To add insult to injury, not only have you been rejected – again – but Amazon is telling you that you’re not even allowed to form another Household with anyone else for SIX MONTHS.

Embed from Getty Images

In this respect, Amazon really is like Ireland, where even if both parties in a marriage are frothing equally at the mouth to get divorced, the law states you have to be separated for something like 4 years before they will allow you to cut the ties that bind you. And even then, they put you in stocks and pelt you with cabbages before granting you your decree nisi (okay, I may have made one part of that up).

If Amazon are going to be so Irish about you dissolving your Household, I really don’t see why they don’t allow Irish people to have one in the first place. But ours is not to reason why. Ours is only to deal with corporate behemoths whose customer care policy and service e-mails are surely written by people who have never had any relationship with a live human, ever.

Anyhoo, I’ve learned my lesson from all this. I’m off now to work on my marriage.

Just as soon as the husband stops looking so scared.

***********************

*SUPER EXTRA BONUS AUDIO CONTENT (or just plain old audio content – up to you)

Ever wonder what I sound like when I’m giving out in real life?!

Well, now you can find out… I was a guest on the most recent Bookish podcast (a monthly podcast from Dublin about books). I talked about 3 books which are particularly important to me for reasons I will pretend here are very lofty and intelligent, but you’ll only be able to disagree with that, if you have a listen. It’s available on the Headstuff podcast network here at: https://www.headstuff.org/bookish/bookish-august-2017/ and my slot appears around 15 minutes in.

Thank You Amazon, Now I Know What Divorce Feels Like

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  41 comments for “Thank You Amazon, Now I Know What Divorce Feels Like

  1. Carol McNamara
    August 29, 2017 at 7:42 am

    Great blog Tara. Am never going to join my husband up…just to lose him again .There isnt a hope… He is still trying to master the TV remote.Hope your virtual household will soon return to its pre Prime bliss. Have a great day

    Liked by 2 people

    • August 29, 2017 at 9:23 am

      Thanks, Carol. If I’ve learned one lesson from this, it’s that domestic harmony can’t be bought, but disharmony can be yours for the princely sum of 7.99.

      Like

  2. August 29, 2017 at 9:33 am

    Ai-yai-yai! 😦 My sympathies, Tara. Prime is a big con I think – and there’s all sorts of perks that don’t filter down outside Amazon’s cyber borders in the USA to the rest of the great unwashed world. Like putting on editorial reviews, or ‘gifting’ books that only live in the aether anyway, outside of your substandard geographical jurisdiction – nope! you can’t do that sunshine, ‘cos it’s too hard to do the tax sums… *rolls eyes*
    Feckin’ multi-nationals! 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    • August 29, 2017 at 10:59 am

      Their strategy meetings must be an absolute hoot. And when I say hoot I mean deadening dirge.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. August 29, 2017 at 9:51 am

    Huh. I wonder what the situation is like in Greece. Nah, on second thought, I’m not gonna find out. I’ll just pretend I’m single and that Electra’s a figment of my imagination, as far as Zon is concerned. Now, off to that podcast…

    Liked by 1 person

    • August 29, 2017 at 11:01 am

      There’s something just so millennial about being targeted by a corporate giant and promptly dumped by them, Nick. I feel so zeitgeisty right now, but I think you have the right idea.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. August 29, 2017 at 11:13 am

    It’s hard to be funny about things your readers have no earthly conception of, but you did it. Amazon is a totally-owned property of My Lovely Wife Ordering Inc Pty Ltd, and she does nothing on it that makes a sound or moves. So it has never arisen that we might have the chance to form an online household, or consume video in it I guess the way other people eat, you know, food. But we do order stuff from there- and by order I mean stuff that doesn’t move, like clothing and toilet paper, and by we I mean MLWOIPL. So it’s especially cool that I laughed at what you have written here, because I was so completely lost to the concept except of course the notion that large companies have not a single clue how to interact with us.
    You have a marvelous voice! Much more alto than I’d have thought, and a great living-room chat sound to the podcast.

    Liked by 1 person

    • August 29, 2017 at 1:40 pm

      Ah now Will, you’ve at least ten minutes to stop that. Firing compliments all over the place like they’re water, honestly, and here’s us in Ireland in a two-decade-long compliment drought with the Anti-Boast Police breathing down everyone’s necks… how am I supposed to get out of this one?

      Could YLWOIPL maybe order me some Modesty Armour? Although could she maybe order it from somebody other than Amazon? Just a thought.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. August 29, 2017 at 1:31 pm

    gaH – My husband would be scared too if I tried to “work on our marriage.” But then, he’s Scottish. (Why do I think that explains a whole lot of things?)

    Liked by 1 person

    • August 29, 2017 at 1:41 pm

      But I like them scared, Melodie – don’t you? Makes one feel alive. Or perhaps I’m a little bit Scottish too. 😉

      Like

  6. August 29, 2017 at 1:49 pm

    That’s all sorts of wrong. We have an Amazon household so we can share e-books, which was great in theory, but we’ve found that I’m not hugely interested books like the Wealth of Nations or post-military career biopics (not that there is anything wrong with either, but I prefer escapism in my books) and for some strange reason I can’t fathom he’s not all that excited by the latest epic tale of elves on a quest. So at this point, I think we still have the household set up if only to turn our noses up at whatever it is the other is now reading.

    Liked by 1 person

    • August 29, 2017 at 3:11 pm

      Agreed, Allie… I don’t think I’ve ever had a relationship with anyone I could have shared books with! But watching TV is definitely a social activity in our house – if not our Household, because Amazon won’t let us have one, because they do not understand humanity. Sorry, am I over-egging the pudding slightly (or should that be over-elving the quest?!)

      Liked by 1 person

  7. August 29, 2017 at 3:19 pm

    That was so fun listening to you! Too funny that the satire on your blog was a surprise – I never would have thought! And thanks for the book recommendations. 🙂
    I’ve never heard of Amazon Household, but I’m so sorry to hear about your digital divorce. The way you explain it, It does sound very Irish. The good news is that watching movies on one laptop is sweet for the Sparling Household – enjoy the cuddle time. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • August 29, 2017 at 10:21 pm

      Yes, Diana, it seems I can still surprise myself, which is surprising. Bet I sounded weird. I don’t know what I’d think I’d sound like if I never met me but I’d say probably not like I actually sound. 😉
      You’ll be glad to know I’m over my digital divorce already. Apparently I’m as fickle as I am easily affronted…

      Liked by 1 person

  8. August 29, 2017 at 4:56 pm

    This would be hilarious if it wasn’t so annoying 😱

    Liked by 1 person

  9. August 30, 2017 at 4:25 am

    I enjoyed your podcast interview. You sound Irish. Who knew? ;} Kidding aside, good voice and talk about the three books. I’ll try them out..

    Liked by 1 person

    • August 30, 2017 at 12:56 pm

      Thanks, Stanley. I’m now living in trepidation of people who hated my book picks. It’s okay, though. Nothing like a bit of terror to keep the creative juices gushing.

      Like

  10. August 30, 2017 at 4:26 am

    I had no idea Amazon was offering a deal for households. But what a strange notion that is – I mean how do they define that term in today’s society with so many variations of relationships. Anyway I am about to part company with Prime having found the so called benefits are not that big of a deal.

    Liked by 1 person

    • August 30, 2017 at 12:58 pm

      That’s just the point – you hit the nail on the head: Prime benefits turning out to be not so beneficial. In fact, if it wasn’t for the fact that they’re using the Prime name for their video content channel, I see no point to the service at all. Good luck on the parting company – let us know if you get any threatening emails!

      Like

  11. August 30, 2017 at 2:22 pm

    Sorry that a crappy incident led to this post…but I loved it. Thanks so much for sharing it with us.

    Liked by 1 person

    • August 30, 2017 at 6:55 pm

      Oh, don’t be sorry, Anthony. Without crappy experiences, I would fade away. If everything was fabulous, what in Blog’s name would I write about? 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  12. August 30, 2017 at 9:55 pm

    So just got the four pikanins in bed – mostly – and poured myself a glass so that I could listen to your podcast in peace and quiet. Fascinating to put a voice to your blogger’s ‘voice’ (actually you sound exactly like one of my neighbours!) I was so interested by what you said about humour and fiction vs non-fiction, I couldn’t agree more. There are two exceptions though that I can recall and that’s Captain Corelli’s Mandolin (Louis de Bernières – the film was terrible) and Cry the Beloved Country (Alan Paton) – I laughed out loud as well as cried my little heart out in both. Perhaps they just both have the gift of writing fiction so well it comes across as real life. That would be my own writing ambition, to be able to write in a way that resonates deeply with readers.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. September 2, 2017 at 9:52 am

    Amazon Household? Never heard of it until I read your post. What would be do without the non-linear logic of corporations? The kind of silly-buggery they carry out must make perfect sense to someone, perhaps in their legal or corporate governence departments. I can imagine Jeff Bezos turning up for one of the token board meetings and he enters a room with twenty-four chimpanzees sat around a table full of tea cups.

    Still, forget Prime, there always, whisper this, Kodi. Or those illegal sites where you think you’re downloading Rogue One and it turns out to be something horrible filmed in a front room in Smolensk.

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 2, 2017 at 11:59 pm

      You make a lot of sense in that comment, Chris, but I’m afraid I’m too preoccupied with fervent hope for a movie actually called “Something Horrible Filmed In A Front Room In Smolensk” to react intelligently.

      Liked by 1 person

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