SEATTLE ( – Breaking new ground yet again, online pioneer Amazon today unveiled a revolutionary plan to streamline the transaction process by randomly charging stuff to your credit card whenever it wants.

Amazon customers will now see a message like this whenever they log in. Or even if they don't.

The new approach will drastically reduce the time it takes to shop online by eliminating the proverbial middleman, said Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
“Every sale has three elements: the retailer, the customer, and their bank account,” Bezos explained. “With our random ‘Arbitransaction’ process, we simply eliminate the middleman — the customer — and go straight to the their bank account.”
Retail experts immediately hailed the strategy as “simple,” “innovative,” and “very probably illegal.”

While admitting consumers may experience a “certain amount of inconvenience” by receiving products they didn’t order, Bezos insisted the issue will be offset by savings.
“If you normally spend an hour searching for an item, reading the reviews and comparing prices, we’ve saved you an hour right there,” he said. “That frees you up to do other things. Like return the items.”

Amazon’s controversial system will also save consumers money, Bezos maintained.

“The average American earns $24.10 an hour,” he said. “By eliminating that hour-long search for products, we’ve saved you $24. So if we charge you $240 for a Cuisinart food processor, the real cost is just $216.”

And that’s just the beginning, the Amazon chief added.

“If you imagine you spent, say, 10 hours searching for the right food processor, you’re getting that $240 Cuisinart for free!” he said.

And what if you don’t want a food processor?

“C’mon, who wouldn’t want a free food processor?” Bezos replied.

The retail guru said the idea came about after the company looked at its internal processes and found room for improvement.

“At Amazon, we’ve already cut ordering time with ‘1-click’ checkout and we plan to reduce delivery time with drones, but what we hadn’t done was reduce the amount of time you spend actually looking for a product,” he explained. “But now, by randomly charging you for items without your involvement, we eliminate the time you have to spend searching.”
Amazon calls the sales “Arbitransactions,” but government officials call them something else: illegal.

“You can’t make people pay for things they don’t want,” said Edith Ramirez, chairwoman of the Federal Trade Commission. “Except cable television. I still can’t figure out why I have to pay for The Golf Channel and VH1 Classics to get Comedy Central.”

Ramirez vowed to file a lawsuit against Amazon if it goes through with its plans, which she called “fraudulent at best.” But Bezos downplayed the threat, vowing to personally resolve the issue with the FTC chair, “whose Visa card expires on 12/16 and ends in 6398,” he noted.

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