I read on Kotaku that Plants vs Zombies was launching on Amazon’s appstore. For FREE.
And since I recently acquired an Android phone, I gave it a go.
I went to the site linked in the article. It said “Available instantly from your Android device.” Ok. So I need to download the Amazon Appstore.
-Ok. No biggie. I’ll do that.
So I downloaded and installed the appstore app, and I clicked the Plants vs. Zombies in the upper right. The download failed.
“To purchase Plants vs. Zombies (WiFi Download Only), please add a payment method in your 1-click settings,” it said.
-Ok. I’ll do that. Whatever that means. Oh, you need my phone number. But why? Ah well.
But that wasn’t enough. I then had to put in my card details. Again. At this point I’m thinking, If I have to go through all these steps anyway, I might as well pay the measly $2.99 for the game. And yet, I was only slightly annoyed.
Now that I’d put in my details, I click to download again. And it fails. Again. This time, though, they have the courtesy of telling me the Amazon appstore is unavailable in my region.
“Available instantly for your Android device” my ass.
As if there was no opportunity to do so as I was putting in my details. Or at the instant I logged in. Or even better, they could’ve told me the appstore wasn’t available BEFORE I even downloaded it. It could’ve been right there on the website. Something like “We see that your IP address is so-and-so, and unfortunately our appstore is unavailable in your region. Sorry about that.”
But no. Nothing even remotely like that, until I’ve gone through several steps of the purchasing process.
This, to me (a potential paying customer) is unacceptable. I can accept the fact that it’s unavailable in my region, despite it being the 21st century. But seriously, Amazon. Tell your customers BEFORE they go through all that. Maybe you’ll even keep them.