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My Kickstarter campaign is blocking on the Amazon Payments tax interview process.

I’m about to launch a Kickstarter campaign, which means I need to complete the Amazon Payments online tax interview process (since Amazon is the only payment mechanism for Kickstarter), but I can’t because Amazon repeatedly gives me an extremely unhelpful error message early in the tax interview.

Here’s the screen video. First you see the problem happening in Firefox, then I switch over to Chromium and show it happening there too, then back to Firefox just to confirm. Note that Chromium says the interview process is only “10%” complete, whereas Firefox has it at “20%”. This is because earlier in Firefox I had finally made it past this error on an earlier step, and am now stuck at 20%; in Chromium, I couldn’t even get past that first step. Update: I later reproduced the problem repeatedly with Internet Explorer on Windows, at a nearby Kinkos, though that’s not captured in this video.

The error just says:

There was an error. You may retry by closing this box or abandon the interview to try again later.
[Abandon Interview]     [Close]

That’s it. Pretty informative, eh?

Anyone seen this problem before? I guess my next step is to go to a Kinkos and rent time on a Windows machine; a pity, but I’ve got to get this done, and reimplementing Kickstarter is (pardon the expression) a nonstarter. I realize it greatly simplifies their business to just offer one payment mechanism, but this is far from the first report of problems with Amazon Payments; I hope Kickstarter decides to diversify their payment mechanisms someday.

Update: The problem happened on the Windows machine at Kinkos too, in both Internet Explorer and Firefox. I eventually found a workaround: I kept hitting “Abandon Interview”, then restarting from the beginning: it seemed to let me go one more step each time, though I had to do a lot of abandoning and restarting to finish the process. Urgk.

Notes: on my own machine, the software details are: Firefox / Iceweasel 10.0.10 running on Debian GNU/Linux; Chromium version 22.0.1229.94 Debian wheezy/sid (161065). I didn’t get the details from the Windows machine at Kinkos.