Amazon bug in shopping basket

05 September 2005   2 comments   Web development

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My colleague Jan discovers a nasty bug on that I believe anybody can reproduce. It's actually a real showstopper that prevents a shopper from ordering the things they want to order.

The problem is that on the View Shopping Basket page, only 10 items are shown per page. The 11th and 12th and so on, those items can't be changed (such as removed). So what do you do if you've decided not to buy that 11th book? Since you can only see the first 10 on the View Shopping Basket page, you might think that if you can delete the top couple of items, thus shrinking your list to say 8 items. What happens then is that you get a blank View Shopping Basket :) The total price is correct but apparently your shopping basket is empty. (see screenshot) It also appears, that the only way to see your shopping basket list again is to add some more items so that you have more than 10 items in the basket. And remember, what happens when you have more than 10 items in the basket? Correct, you can't reach the 11th which you originally wanted to remove. D'oh! Amazon.

Apparently contacting the Amazon team via phone or email is rocket science. There have apparently been sites on the net dedicated (from third parties) to exposing email addresses and telephone numbers of Amazon staff.

Had they only installed themselfs a proper defect tracker like the issuetrackerproduct then maybe they'd be able to pick up this bug report and fix it before the 90 day cookie expiration happens which waiting is now the only solution to this problem if you don't want to purchase that 11th item in the blank shopping basket.


Sascha Welter
Throwing away the cookie won't help? But likely the shopping basket is linked to your account, so no luck.

It's fascinating to see such a big bug to show up in a biiiig vendors application. I believe some amount of organized testing (unit test or planned usability testing) should have shown this one up.

Contacting someone on these big companies is a real pain. And it seems to get harder every day. Same problem with eBay/PayPal (as read recently on /.), same problem here in .gr with telephone companies, big vendors, etc. These companies don't want to have anything to do with their customers it seems.
eugene h. lecompte
order books
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