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Amazon Prime Day Sale Backlash, Call For ACCC Investigation

Amazon is facing another backlash, with sales that lasted less than two minutes, server crashes and questionable sale marketing practises, with some retailers now calling for an ACCC investigation into the US retailers online sales practises.

The big Prime Day sales was supposed to last 36 hours yet less than 24 hours into the Amazon big event many prices that were initially reduced are suddenly back to full price with no indication that the goods have actually sold out.

A Nintendo Switch SKU appears to have only been on sale for less than two minutes. Customers who did decide to buy a Prime Day sale product suddenly found that the big US retailer who also owns Amazon Web Services was facing transaction problems both online and via their app.

Two retailers have told ChannelNews that they are set to call for an Australian Competition & Consumer Commission investigation into the Prime Day sale.

An Amazon spokesperson was asked for a comment but 12 hours later we have not got any comment from Amazon Australia.

Bose headphones, price jacked up shortly after going on “sale”.

One Sydney based retailer said “It appears that Amazon are using bait marketing this may be okay in the USA but not here in Australia. You cannot advertise a sale one minute and change the price as soon as one gets traffic into a site”.

Trouble on the Amazon site spiked late into the first day of the sale in Australia had declined significantly within a couple of hours, according to Downdetector.com, which monitors web trouble. Shoppers were expected to spend US$3.4 billion on the site during the event, up more than 40 percent from a year earlier, according to Coresight Research.

Amazon said on Twitter that “some customers are having difficulty shopping, and we’re working to resolve this issue quickly,”.

“I’m candidly shocked that they’re not prepared for the traffic,” Forrester analyst Sucharita Kodali told Bloomberg. “Unless this is way beyond their wildest expectations, it’s just odd.”

At one stage there were 4,670 social media posts about the Prime Day crash. Eighty percent of online sentiment about Prime Day conveyed anger or sadness, according to Crimson Hexagon, which monitors social-media feedback.

Instead of deeply discounted consumer electronics and appliances and other sale items, shoppers were treated to photos of dogs tipped to belong to Amazon employees.

“Meet the dogs of Amazon,” the site said, allowing users to click through a mix of dogs with names like Soju, Barkley and Emma.

While some users were completely blocked from accessing deals, others experienced problems after trying to buy items in their shopping carts, according to Twitter accounts.

Fairfax publications described the event with a headline across their publications as ‘Amazon’s ‘Prime Day’ exclusive event turns into a fizzer’.

This is the same media organisation that a week ago was being given access to press releases ahead of other media.

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