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 .
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:
- 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.
- 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).
- I un-created the stupid Amazon Household because it’s useless and also, did I mention stupid?
- 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.
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.