That appears to be the message from the ‘Customer Experience Excellence 2011′ survey conducted by Nunwood. The survey asked 7,300 adults to rate firms they had used in the previous six months on a range of aspects including ease of the transaction. Amazon scored 8.29 out of a possible 10, ensuring that they retained the top spot. A director at Nunwood claimed that:
“There is a really strong emotional connection to Amazon, which for an online retailer is quite extraordinary.”
“The people surveyed say they love it because of the breadth of the product, the recommendations and the fact the brand delivers goods on time or early.”
Certainly I have always experienced high standards of service from Amazon and (whilst I hate to admit it) their ebook service is clearly ahead of the competition. That said, there are still concerns about their near-monopoly on the ebook market (let alone the book market in general) and their refusal to support an open ebook standard (although they have made some concessions with the availability of Kindle books for public libraries).
These concerns about a monopoly are only heightened by revelations over the past few days that Wikipedia articles have been allegedly put together to create an ebook (in this case at a cost of nearly £40 – see Wordshore for more details). The possible conversion of free information into a money making exercise is a worrying trend. Of course a balance needs to be struck between strict controls that could inadvertently lead to a degree of censorship and a free for all whereby customers are conned into purchasing material that is freely available on the internet. It is clearly unacceptable for free material to be packaged up at a premium price. If such works merely reproduce Wikipedia articles on the internet they should be withdrawn immediately.