Amazon Applies For Patent For Automatic Gift Conversion Program
According to Michael Rosenwald of the Washington Post,Amazon has applied for a patent for a program that would alert you when that relative or friend buys you a gift and allow you to select a substitute item before the gift even ships. It describes this program in part as "Convert all gifts from Aunt Mildred."The program would allow the user to establish a list of gift givers from whom he would like the option to intercept and replace gifts. He can also preselect to what these gifts would be converted, such as gift cards.
The program could save the giftee the hassle of returning the bogus gift, but the impetus behind it is most likely Amazon's desire to reduce the expense of returned gifts.
Economics aside, however, one must question the politeness of such a program. Many people would no doubt feel highly offended to find that the gift they so carefully picked out had never even been sent.
Given this, it would be bold of Amazon to risk the ill will of those so offended. Nonetheless, if this program could save the company money, it just might see the light of day.
How would you feel to find that your gift had been converted before it was even delivered to the person you were gifting?