Amazon.com says its TextBuyIt system for buying merch via text message is "incredibly simple and convenient" but it actually entails a few steps. Weirder still, Amazon says the process happens "using only text messages," which is just blatantly untrue. Here's the rundown of the process—which in its defence can be used on any mobile phone, but frankly seems harder than just waiting until you get home:
Step 1 - Send a text to "AMAZON" (262966) with the product name, search term, UPC code or ISBN code
Step 2 - Amazon texts back with a numbered list of products that match your search, along with prices
Step 3 - You click on the number beside the item you want—assuming it's even in the 10 search results
Step 4 - You get a CALL from Amazon "with the final details of their order and asking them to confirm or cancel the purchase"
Step 5 - If it is your first order through TextBuyIt, you will have to provide an e-mail address and preferred shipping speed, presumably during the call
Amazon doesn't mention what you do if you have to order more than one item, but it would be incredibly annoying if you can't combine $25 worth of purchases for free shipping. Clearly, this is more of a statement about the lack of good HTML browsing in mobile phones, not to mention how much of a workaround that has to happen for retailers not to bill through carriers, like they do in other countries.
I love Amazon—just dropped nearly $100 there on "sundries"—but my prediction is, the only people who will be using this are people who download WMA files on their mobile phones for $2 a piece plus data charges. What's your take? [Amazon TextBuyIt]