Before I go into my personal stance on this, here’s part of an email from someone affected by this and it includes the email he got from Amazon asking him not to answer Kindle questions on NowNow.
I’m one of the volunteers at Amazon’s Mechanical Turk – A service that Amazon has to preform tasks that aren’t easily computerized. One of those tasks is answering NowNow queries. What I have noticed is that Askville queries and Kindle NowNow queries are posted here for people to answer.
As you might expect a lot of folks have posted Kindle customer service questions here. I’ve tried to post responses to those questions if and when I know the answer.
Then I received the following email last week:
“Message from Amazon Requester Inc.
Dear MTurk worker,
It has come to our attention that Kindle users are seeking Kindle customer support by asking these questions through the MTurk HIT “NowNow Research Question for $1695 Weekly Reward. ”
We appreciated that some of you have tried to answer Kindle customer support questions, but we have decided it is more appropriate that our own Amazon customer service support these users to ensure they have a great experience. Therefore, please do not work on any HITs for “NowNow Research Question for $1695 Weekly Reward. ” that could be Kindle customer support questions. If you submit a HIT on any Kindle customer support question, we will be forced to ban you from working on future NowNow research questions.
It has also come to our attention that some workers have been soliciting “Great” votes from our users. Soliciting votes from our users is against our rules and will result in your account being banned from working on any future NowNow hits.
Thank you for your understanding and support.
I don’t have a problem with ceasing to answer the NowNow inquiries – it’s Amazon’s program, they can set the rules. What I do think this brings up is that Amazon needs to let Kindle users know 1.) that the NowNow service is not staffed by Amazon, so they need to direct customer support questions to Amazon, and 2.) if they have existing NowNow inquires regarding Kindle problems, or even requests for information (one example this was a user who deleted his bookmarks, and wanted a list of the default ones, so he could set them back up), they probably aren’t going to a response to those existing queries.
So basically Amazon has two important messages for Kindle owners
Please contact Amazon customer support for Amazon Kindle questions
Your Kindle related NowNow queries will not be answered – because its not allowed.
My Stance – This makes zero sense. People tend to follow the path of least resistance, and a phone call to customer support is too much effort. And an email is too slow. So what is the channel for instant answers – yeah, you got it – Kindle NowNow. Even though this is going to generate more traffic for me and all Kindle internet resources it doesn’t make me happy because the customers lose out and it diminishes the Kindle customer experience.
Suggestion: Either let people answer Kindle questions on NowNow OR get your staff on NowNow answering Kindle questions. However that channel is the path of Least Resistance (thanks to Mark Cuban for that idea) and people will not like it being taken away at all.