Amazon Security Policies Lax?

This may be nothing, but I thought it was worth blogging in case anyone thought otherwise.

I read a lot of books. A few months ago some stuff changed at work where I thought it would be easier to listen to audio books. So I re-enabled my old Audible account. Audible was recently purchased by Amazon, so after I logged in they wanted to merge my Audible account with my Amazon account. The process was pretty painless and I was on my way listening to some audio books.

A few months pass and I realize I'm just not listening to enough books to justify the account type I purchased (I now had way too many credits built up). So I logged into their site and learned that I could put my account on hiatus for a few months (meaning, I won't get billed, nor will I receive any new credits. But I'll be able to use my account and existing credits to purchase audio books). There was no option to do it in the settings screen though. After starting up a chat session with a representative I learned that only a representative could do it for me. Okay, works for me.

All they need to do is verify some security settings. What were those? My Amazon login (email address), my name, and my billing address. Yes, sir. That was it. That's all the info you need to start modifying someone's Amazon account info.

At this point I was very upset with the representative (sorry, Jessica. I know it's not your fault. I should have been nicer) and let her know how upsetting this was. I then asked her if she could update my credit card info, billing, or password. After a short pause she assured me that she could only update my Audible membership plan. Was she just telling me what I wanted to hear, or covering up a very large issue... I don't know (yet). I'm tempted to try again tomorrow with another representative and see if they can update any of those other fields of data.

But here's my question to anyone who cares: Even if they can only update my Audible membership data, is that not a valid reason to complain? I mean, this is Amazon. I get that they purchased this company and that it takes time to change policies, code, and [unfortunately] staff when you do a takeover, but hasn't it been long enough that Amazon would have taken care of any account security concerns before merging Audible's accounts with Amazon's accounts?

Perhaps I'm just getting upset over nothing and this is all just a moot learning experience.

I'm Really Liking

Sometime last year I discovered the website Shelfari. At first the site ran slow and didn't have too many features (the site was still fairly new). Then by the end of last year the site made some serious upgrades (to the UI and overall speed). Since then they've consistently added new functionality and the user experience is amazing to say the least.

About a week or two ago I started telling some close friends about the site and I've seen a few of them blog good experiences about it. So I just wanted to give my two thumbs up as well :).

If you read at all and want to look at a really good social networking site based on reading books (as well as somewhere to record all the books you've read), make sure to check it out.

Also feel free to take a look at my bookshelf. I don't have all of my books on there (I can't remember every book I've read), but I've gotten quite a few of the ones I can remember (plus I also read about 1 book a week, so I'm always adding more :) ).

My first experience at a book signing

Shadow Divers Last night I met the New York Times Best Selling author Robert Kurson author of the the 2004 non-fiction book Shadow Divers. I bought the book online a couple weeks ago and just finished it Monday.

I felt it was such an adventurous novel that I wanted to find out more. Clicking on his website I quickly learned that he was coming to Connecticut in a few days (last night) for a book signing at R.J. Julia book store.

He gave a 45 min summary of his book (what a story teller!) and followed up with questions and answers (I got 3 questions in myself).

Because I am such a terrible father and husband I dragged my wife and 5-month-old child along who had fun upstairs in the children's section the whole time. When I finally got my chance to get my book signed my wife had come back downstairs to meet me. Robert (who is very polite in person I might add) made googlie noises to Hannah who smiled back and added a wink (okay, I made the wink part up :).

Overall I was pleased with my first book signing event and am anxious to meet more of my favorite authors in the future (I try to read about 8-10 books a year).

This was Robert Kurson's first novel. He comes from a background of writing for magazines and other publications. Due to the great success of this book I'd expect more great books from him in the future.

For those of you curious I asked him last night if he is working on a new book. His answer basically entailed that he is currently looking for a good story to work on.

Also he told me that there is a movie deal in the works. Fox 2000 Pictures has picked up the deal. Here's the best part. The screenwriter chosen for the movie is none other than William Broyles. He is well-known for screenwriting successful movies like Cast Away, Apollo 13, and The Polar Express. The current "guess date" for the motion picture is sometime in 2006 (according to Kurson).

There is no producer or director attached to the project yet. You can read more about the movie at sites like The Z Review or search for more info on Google.

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