Amazon Associates Reporting Interface Changes Are Horrible and Wastes This Affiliate Hours of Time

A message today to Amazon Associates support:

quoteCan no longer download reports for 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014.

Not good to remove stuff (with no notice) when you decide to upgrade to your new (but not better) reporting interface.

Many of the “generated” reports are delayed and not even downloadable.

Completely one-side changes and you forgot about the user.

Thought Amazon has lots of fancy servers to save reports.

This is beta quality and we do not want to be your testers. We expect more.

We love Amazon for many things, but when you push out stuff like this, it tarnishes your brand. :(

Why would we send such a message?

Look at this:

20170430 amazon associates reporting limitations update changes downgrade

I hate when companies dumb-down their service or user interface.

The probable logic from some minion or outsourced “talent”:

quoteHey Amazon, you are spending a fortune buffering/archiving reports for your publishers/affiliates.

Ding, ding, ding.

So let’s dump the database.


We can form a narrow queue and process reports one at a time.

All from some remote back office.

There is no rush and we only have to do this when our affiliates ask us nicely for such things as an earnings report.

Don’t worry, affiliates will not need earnings reports that often.

So go ahead and turn the screws on ‘em.

So here it is! Isn’t it super trick, cool and of course very “modern”. Gotta keep the user interface current, right?

See how much money we saved you, Amazon?

Now remember: If you want us to actually test the new interface, that will be extra$$.

Don’t worry, we did not ask any Amazon affiliates what they thought about the new interface before deploying.

So absolutely zero complaints.

We LOVE it!

Gold stars for us…


The problem developers of the new reporting interface created is that the reports are no longer generated in real time.

Amazon says that reports can take “minutes” to generate.

As if that were even in the realm of acceptability (it is not), “minutes” is a gross and rather disturbing understatement:

20170430 amazon associates reporting slow processing preparing

That is more than 5 hours of waiting!

And no, we were not sitting in front of the computer for these 5 hours. We worked on other tasks and came back periodically to check progress.

Not good.

Are we unreasonably impatient?

Not wanting to wait 5+ hours and counting for some stupid Amazon Associates reports of our declining commissions?

We have many reports to review. Across individual months or multiple years.

Had we been given notice of the interface changes, we would have downloaded what we needed and never looked back.

The Amazon reports for the Associates program, now only report a few months back.


And the downloadable reports in CSV or Excel format do not even work.

First you have to wait for Amazon to “generate” the report.

Then you have more waiting.

And waiting.

And waiting.

We have been waiting for the past 5 hours, refreshing the page periodically and many of our reports are still “generating”.


Hey Amazon: Stop messing with Amazon Associates. Many are publishers and influencers and you are only setting yourself up for responses from peeved bloggers who can no longer make a buck with Amazon Associates.


We have previously seen this “downloadable-reporting-scheme-in-order-to-save-a-few-bucks-on-hosting” attitude.

But that time it was PayPal.

The same nonsense.

Let’s not save reports on the system directly.

Let’s not make them easily accessible.

Only allow your valued customers to download reports after jumping through hoops and then after waiting some back-end processing. For a long wait time and the fail.

Let’s be honest. This is the same cost savings move that charred Paypal with many complaints.

Right now PayPal is hosting two reporting systems while trying to figure their stuff out.

PayPal is threatened by strong competitors and some pretty good alternatives.

Amazon, on the other hand, feels more secure and just cuts over 100% to the “new” system, like a thief in the night. With no way for long time users to get access to lost features, unavailable reporting and the expected “usability before deployment” testing.

If this is the direction Amazon is going (by making such one side upgrades that save them money and cost users time and convenience), then Amazon must not really need that army of affiliates they were so well known for (and which helped build their company).

Moving on…

  • Facebook
  • TwitThis
  • StumbleUpon
  • Digg

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,