• Jacobus Kotze


Updated: Nov 9, 2020

It will cause you only annoyance

As a rule, there is no customer support with Facebook or Amazon. As long as nothing goes wrong the system works fine. When it does go wrong, and it will, it becomes a nightmare.

Last week Thursday I was kicked out of my Amazon KDP with a request to “authenticate” the account. I did nothing extraordinary, by the way, I was simply loading new versions of the books as I did many times before. The problem... the one-time code was sent to my South African phone number and not my Swiss one. And so I cannot and could not access the code. Thus, I was locked out of my own account. I was so angry that I had to go for a walk to calm down. Half the books were loaded and half not, and thus different versions of the same book (paper and Kindle) existed on the website. It is serious, authors actually take their readers very seriously and have no wish to annoy them with administrative hassles. Content is something else. You cannot please everyone. Not even Jesus could. So, you will always have critics.

So why not just change the phone number, you ask. If it was that simple this blog would not be written. The next problem was two-step-verification. You cannot change the South African phone number without a one-time code being sent to the South African number which does not work in Switzerland. Unless flying back to South Africa, during the time of the Coronas, impossible, the number cannot be accessed by myself. The sim card I lost when I arrived almost a year ago. It will not work anyway even if I had it. A horrible catch 22 that took hours of phone calls (at my expense, of course) to resolve. First, you speak to untrained people that cannot speak English properly and certainly don’t give a flying f either. And I do feel sorry for them. They are paid nothing and are mostly Third World people. It is disgusting how the workers are treated whilst the companies make record profits, billions.

I must also say that I have a short temper with this type of thing. Luckily, my wife does not and comes across much friendlier and thus gets more service than what I would ever get. With her assistance, three calls, three hours of wasted time, four days, countless emails, and lies, the problem was resolved. What do I recommend to you:

1. Never ever enable two-step verification. It is not worth the hassle.

2. Take a picture of whatever you entered in the “billing address” because you will be asked years later. Without you remembering, and you cannot refresh your memory, they will simply say that they cannot help you. Interestingly, you become the crook instead of a valued client and author. Yes, explain that one but anyway.

3. Don’t expect good service, hell no, let me rephrase, don’t expect any service.

Patience is a virtue, yes, but there comes a time when you wish that you knew something before doing what you think is a good thing to do, i.e. two-step-verification. Just don’t enable it. Make sure that your information is up to date and keep a good record of what was filled in. It will make life easier if you don’t have to deal with “Customer Service.”

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