Denny’s Daily Zinger: Amazon Punished for What It Does Best – Make It Easy to Order

List of Amazon's free apps for kids.

Retailers around the country are whining because of Amazon.
And why not? Jeff Bezos—Amazon’s peripatetic founder—has aced the retail business.

Amazon’s vast inventory selection; ease of ordering; low, low prices; quick delivery; and customer service are marvelous. Consumers and businesses save money, save time and save the world by not having to gas up the car and physically go shopping.

On July 10, 2014, print and online news media ran this AP story:

FTC Sues Amazon Over Kids’ App Charges
The reason: Amazon was making it too easy for children to order apps. Parents are whining over big hits to their credit cards.

Type in Free apps for childrenand Amazon lists 17,514 results.

Back in the 1960s, I served my apprenticeship at Grolier Enterprises.

The mentoring was terrific. I am convinced in two years I got my master’s degree in direct marketing.

From that experience, among the rules hard-wired in my brain:

“Make it easy to order.” —Elsworth Howell

So when the Federal Trade Commission sues Amazon for making a product too easy to order, it is wildly overstepping its bounds.

I don’t have children. Never have.

But if I had kids in this era of WWW (Wild West Web), I would damn well control my kids rather whining to the FTC.

I am sick unto death of wussy, whiny, weary parents who have gone into the sex-change business.

Sex change?

Uncle Sam has become Aunt Nanny.

Takeaway to Consider

Always make it easy to order!

Denny Hatch’s new book is “Write Everything Right!” Robin Perron writes, “***** Five Stars. “Write Everything Right!” is a great resource for anyone who uses writing in their lives, because he talks about all forms of writing from emails to articles and memos. The goal is for everyone to write in a way that makes it easier for the reader to read it than to ignore it.” Click here to download (opens as a PDF) and read the first three chapters FREE. The title is also available on Kindle. Reach Denny at

Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. His latest book is “Write Everything Right!” Visit him at

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  • Matt J.

    Retailers are whining because in many markets, Amazon doesn’t have to collect sales taxes and they do. Given that the stock market has given Amazon a pass on the need to make money (like nearly any other business does), retailers have to have higher prices when sales taxes are included. They aren’t whining, they are just asking for a fair fight.

  • Michael Feldstein

    I rarely disagree with my friend Denny Hatch, but I do take exception with his latest column on Amazon.

    Denny says: “So when the Federal Trade Commission sues Amazon for making a product too easy to order, it is wildly overstepping its bounds.”

    The FTC is not suing Amazon for making it too easy to order; it’s suing Amazon for not providing the appropriate informed consent.

    Yes, I agree that direct marketers should always make it easy for the customer to order.

    But they also have an obligation to make sure they clearly and conspicuously tell the customer what they are ordering, so when they do order (hopefully with ease), they know what they are receiving and won’t be surprised about what they are being charged.

  • Barb R.

    Denny, you hit the nail on the head; it’s a hypocrisy of our society to demand ultimate freedom while also demanding to be completely taken care of. Did the FTC (or any government entity) give birth to your kids? Be accountable for their behavior so they can learn to be accountable for their own. And let those of us who can handle Amazon (et al.) responsibly continue to do so.

  • Double Standard?

    Denny, inferring from other of your posts, you are a Democrat by political party. Aunt Nanny is the ‘patron saint’ of that political persuasion. Sorry, but your whining in this post just doesn’t fly.

    BTW, I also think Michael Feldstein makes a very strong point. How does Amazon perform any age verification related to the purchase of youth-focused apps?