4 Ways You Didn't Realize Online Stores Are Screwing You

If you had told us 20 years ago that there would come a day when we could buy stuff like movies, clothes, and shipping containers full of Kit Kat bars while sitting on our toilets and without having to talk to a single human being, we would have passed out and not woken up until this wondrous future had arrived. Such is the miracle of Internet shopping.

Unfortunately, online retailers are getting more and more afflicted by the virus known as corporate bullshit, getting to the point where the long lines and sweaty people of the days of yore are looking mighty tempting. For example ...

#4. If You Disagree With Amazon, Your Books Stop Existing

Amazon's dominance over the book market is so complete that it's reaching existential levels: If you have a book, but it isn't on Amazon.com, does it really exist? Some lucky authors are finding out the answer to that question after the rain forest-size retailer had a disagreement with their publisher (Hachette, one of the biggest in the world) and retaliated by unleashing every desperate shopper's worst fear: the "Currently Unavailable" button.

Amazon.com
"We originally had a giant middle finger, but parents complained about it being in the children's books section."

When e-book pricing negotiations fell through with Hachette in May (we assume this was less "negotiations" and more a Mr. Burns-esque "Release the hounds!"), Amazon decided to stick it to them by suddenly fucking over every book associated with the publisher. Overnight, even big authors like J.K. Rowling had the purchase buttons from their books literally removed. For those lucky enough to keep their books available, Amazon instilled an artificial two- to three-week extra delivery time.

Amazon.com
Colbert has a shorter wait to get The Late Show than his book.

Other book authors reported inflated prices and convenient recommendations to similar but cheaper books, presumably leading to a sudden spike in sales for the Larry Cotter: Boy Witch series. It's not the first time Amazon has been accused of shady practices (including secretly charging extra shipping fees, passing off fake Chinese cosmetics as the real thing, and selling illegal and prescription drugs to anyone with a credit card), but they've never been so brazen about it. Hell, they flat out admitted they were intentionally discouraging people from buying Hachette books, even going so far as to say that if you want them so bad, you can buy them from their competitors.

Star-Telegram/Rodger Mallison
"... for now."

So, like every corporate spat, both sides are going to realize that this is just a giant shitfest costing them millions of dollars and will figure out terms quicker than you can moan "I'm sick of this crap," right? Nope -- Amazon didn't merely publicly announce their douchebaggery, but also claimed that it's not going to end any time soon. Yeah, when you have control over the majority of the e-book market, corporate suicide is apparently something you can afford to do.

#3. Lululemon Bans Customers for Reselling Products That Didn't Fit Them

Buying clothes generally means you're free to do whatever the hell you want with them, and if that includes using your new $200 shirt as a flappy condom or scrubbing it against the muddy ass of a drunken elephant, it's your business and your business alone. Unfortunately, this isn't something Lululemon, online retailer of yoga pants and other boner-inducing garments, agrees with -- this year, anyone reselling their old Lululemon items found themselves banned from the store quicker than a brony on any non-brony forum.

facebook.com/lululemon
Never mind the bans, we wanna know what Breanne did to piss off Katelin so much.

The issue began when Eric Lewis, a Lululemon superfan (a thing that exists) and founder of the LuluMen blog, received a phone call from the company he had thrown $10,000 at over the past five years to tell him he was banned from their website because they saw him selling their products on eBay. Yes, they actually tracked down the guy's phone number to make sure they could hear the sound of his heart breaking when they gave him the devastating news.

When Lewis took to the Internets for justice, Lululemon stated that he was banned because he was reselling the products at a higher price. They were just looking out for their customers! However, dozens of those customers joined in to say they got the same tragic "No pants for you" phone call, even if they were selling used items for cheap because they didn't properly fit -- something that is bound to happen when you shop at an online store with an extremely limited return policy. Considering that this was pretty much the Internet equivalent of lawyers dropping in on your neighbor's local garage sale and kicking over the tables in a tornado of legal documents and "NO SELLING" signs, soccer moms and yogis all over the world were rightly pissed.

facebook.com/lululemon
"Eric Lewis once used your pants to deliver a baby who grew up to be Abraham Lincoln, and this is how you repay him?"

Seeing the sheer amount of pissed-off people flooding their Facebook page, the company cut its losses and admitted they got a little carried away with the bans, adding that they'd contact the customers to apologize. Hopefully not on the phone, or some poor intern is gonna need trauma counseling.

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