Situation was resolved. Hiding the details below the jump, so as not to clutter up the front page.
The mail list service I use for SPARKY’S LIST processes payment through Amazon. After signing up for Amazon payments and being led to believe that I was approved, I made the list public, and a lot of you signed up for it. At midnight last night, Amazon sent me an email informing me that my account was on hold until they could further evaluate my proposed use of their service.
Wonder how many people tried to sign up last night and got turned away. Hell of a way to roll out a new product.
Update from Amazon: they say they’ll resolve the situation–within two days! Of course I’m in the middle of a product launch and losing potential customers every second this continues. Unbelievable.
Update 2: thanks to the power of Twitter, high-placed people have become involved. Hopeful of a resolution soon.
Update 3: Amazon apologizes for their “mistake.” You should be able to sign up for the list HERE.
Update 4: Situation was resolved at least partly due to intervention of Amazon CTO Werner Vogels, who I was able to contact through the magic of Twitter. I’m grateful that he took the time to get this straightened out in a timely manner, but I will repeat here what I said to him on the Twitter: Amazon’s first response to a successful business launch should NOT be to shut the business down. If there’s a question, put a hold on the money — but don’t turn customers away in the first 24 hours of a rollout. That’s just crazy. I intend to follow up on this, in the hopes that Amazon will reform their policies.
Also: the folks at Amazon payments really need to learn to use the Google. If they’d looked me up, this whole mess could probably have been avoided.