Disgruntled Lego Customer

Disgruntled Lego Customer

The process of acquiring a Mindstorms robot kit has left an extremely bad taste in my mouth.  Lego apparently has something of a reputation for openness with the Mindstorms Kit (although the programming software is both closed and won’t run on Linux – and you’re not licensed to develop commercial applications with it).  However, they do not seem to have a reputation for free trade.  Pricing for the kit on Amazon equated to about AU$330 delivered (Amazon have just sent me an email suggesting I buy it from them based on my earlier searching – which has set off this post).  This compares very favourably to local pricing of AU$450 (not delivered).   Or, it would compare favourably if someone was willing to ship one to me from overseas.  While there are a couple of small places that will, they don’t have the volume, so shipping costs are very high.  Amazon claims “warranty issues” as the reason.  For a bunch of plastic which runs off AA batteries, and for which an identical product is sold here?  GMAB – I call baloney.  I can only assume that distributors have been heavied by Lego.  This reeks of market segmentation.

In rough terms,  for every two sets an Australian school can buy,  a US school can buy three.  Yet another example of how copyright hobbles innovation in this country.

Update: I’m not being particularly critical of Amazon (except perhaps for sending me an email asking me to buy a product that it has already refused to ship to me) because a number of suppliers wouldn’t ship it (including from Singapore and Hong Kong) – this might not have been obvious from the post.  It would be nice if this was all just a coincidence


1 Response to “Disgruntled Lego Customer”

  1. 1 TimC 20 March 2010 at 10:17 am

    Mind you, most times I have attempted to buy an electronic gadget off Amazon, they’ve blocked it. I could have bought a weather station for $180 all up from Amazon if only they were willing to ship it, but had to pay $270 for a model that turned out to be lower spec on Ebay, or $330 from reputable dealers.

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