Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Banned From Amazon for Life


Every month we find on our Amazon sales where several ebooks have been returned.  Amazon allows returns within 7 days.  I used this once when I bought a book accidently hitting the mouse on my computer on the one click buy button.  I have not been able to find where Amazon limits returns.  So when we saw several returns of our ebooks, we both wondered if people buy ebooks, read them, then return them.  I am sure some have, but I was curious what would keep readers from doing this all of the time.  A little Googling gave me the answer.  If Amazon thinks you’ve returned too many of your purchases, you will get a letter like the following.

Greetings from Amazon.com.

A careful review of your account indicates that you have required refunds on a large majority of your orders for a variety of reasons.

In the normal course of business, the occasional problem is inevitable. The rate at which such problems have occurred on your account is extraordinary, however, and cannot continue. Effective immediately, your Amazon.com account is closed and you are no longer able to shop in our store.

Please know that any accounts related to yours have also been closed. If you were to open a new account, the same will result and it will also be closed. In the event that you attempt to do so, we will not accept the return of any additional orders, nor will we issue further refunds in connection with any future orders. We appreciate your cooperation in refraining from using our web site.

Going forward, all inquiries must be directed to (deleted email address).

Please do not contact regular Customer Service again, as they will no longer be able to assist you.

Best regards,

Account Specialist
Amazon.com

It’s a little frightening that they can close your account with no warning so that you can’t access your Kindle books, you would lose all money on gift cards, and to be banned from Amazon for life.  Yikes!  This would be well deserved to the people who abuse the return policy and basically steal, but a policy like this could harm innocent people, too.  A little warning might be nice.  So here’s a fair warning to all the people who return ebooks after they read them.  You can be BANNED FROM AMAZON FOR LIFE!

16 comments:

Troy D. Smith said...

I've wondered about that too!

Caroline Clemmons said...

Wow, that is scary! I'm glad you addressed the returns, though, Livia. I had wondered about them. Since we buy more than books from Amazon--like most of our gifts and stuff around the house--having our account closed would be terrible. Glad you're feeling better. Take care.

Jacquie Rogers said...

I'm wondering if this is a one-strike-you're out deal or whether there's a warning prior to having your account closed forever. But there does have to be some way to control abuse of returns, especially with ebooks. I also returned one ebook--same reason, Livia, I accidently clicked the one-click buy button. I've never returned a book for any other reason, and would never return a book just because it wasn't to my taste.

Livia J (Washburn) Reasoner said...

From everything I've read online, it's a no warning deal. Who knows how many items you have to return to get this. It's not really explained on Amazon.

Jessica Sideways said...

Yeah, I got one of those letters while I was waiting for the doctor to come in for my appointment. What I lost was not just my Kindle books (true, I was starting to build up a pretty sizable library) but also my copious number of MP3s. I got an e-mail with the exact same wording as the one you quoted.

It's not about returns, as it was only rare in a blue moon when I would need to return something to Amazon. It also makes no sense as I was one of their most loyal customers and defenders, having been a customer for years.

Livia J (Washburn) Reasoner said...

Jessica, did they give you any clue why? That would be very upsetting. I use Amazon and my kindle a lot. I've heard that it's very hard to get a response back from Amazon about this.

Jessica Sideways said...

No, they didn't. I am trying to figure out what the hell went on and no one at Amazon is willing to talk to me. I am thinking that this has taken forever and I am thinking of making this a saga and going all Simon Jones on their ass.

Kirsty said...

So, as someone who actually works for the company, if you get banned, you are going to more than deserve it. I have seen people who come across as being an abuser, and had account specialist tell me that it wasn't really abuse in their eyes yet. As far as Kindle content goes, you basically have to return everything that you've bought over a long period of time, and let's be honest....If you are doing this, you are a thief. Amazon might be a large company, but you are hurting authors, publishers, and the employees of the company by doing this. Also, if you are constantly having "issues" and asking for extra funds beyond the amount of your refund for an order, this is also abuse. If you do this over a long period, you will get caught.

Livia J (Washburn) Reasoner said...

Kirsty,

That's good to know. This was something I've really been wondering about. Thank you for your time.

Anonymous said...

I know a girl this happened to. She would buy a Kindle book, read it, and then return it for a refund. She used the Kindle store like a library. She thought if she read a book and didn't like it, she should get her money back (she returned a few she did like, ass well, just because she really didn't have the money to buy it). Life doesn't work that way, and she got banned. She tried to set up another account, but because it was attached to the same bank account as the first one, it got bounced too. It served her right. You shouldn't be allowed to read and return.

Anonymous said...

I have same issue. They closed my account for rest of life just for returning. Do their policy mention anywhere regarding number of limit return per year? They sucks..

Tboneator64 said...

I do recall reading something on Amazon pertaining to this. While an initial warning would in my opinion be helpful, repeatedly returning ebooks just because they've been read (As opposed to some technical glitch associated with them!) would certainly warrant such a ban! In cases of defective product from merchants, I generally adhere (When Practical!) to a three strike rule. If the three strikes occur within a ridiculously short time frame (IE. Six months, or 3 out of 6 orders, if longer!) without anything remotely resembling a reasonable explanation, I shop elsewhere. These things do after all, work both ways!

Wulfdane said...

Amazon.com is not a rental shop, people cannot buy e-books or shoes for example and return them after they are done reading/using them.

We all know people will abuse a return system, it can be very costly to a business.

Returns should only be done for legitimate reasons like defective items or product misrepresentation.

I've asked Amazon and there is no set limit on the number or returns. Amazon looks at the number of returns, what was returned, amount of the returns, reasons for returns, etc, etc..

I have returned a few things over the years, but only when an order was defective or had missing items and when an exchange was not possible.

Jeremiah Snow said...

It happened to me, and it was due to Amazon Large Item Department's repeated offer to keep replacing a broken TV when I asked for a refund instead. I wanted the TV so I took them up on the same large item exchange three times, and they then banned me for life for making excessive returns.

Anonymous said...

For that Kristy Girl,

Glad someone from the company show and make a "statement".

To be quite frankly, I do understand that there are abusers, but really treating every single case like everybody is the same is what pisses me off... how many of those cases (excluding digital content) are amazon poor packing skills damaging expensive items??? it happened to me every now and then.

There is no limit on their policy that limits the amount of returns... but using an automatic dumbbot to flag and ban people is ridiculous... but more ridiculous is that they don't give you opportunity to prove your case...

But I guess MR. Brazos is swimming in a pile of money that he could care less about losing 2 or 3 users...

We are always thinking about hurting big corporations and what happen when them are hurting us, by sending defective or damaged items, or when they lie to us about their "flexible easy returns system"

I think they should improve how they handle the abusers and legit cases.

Anonymous said...

When i want to get o my account i get this (There was an error with your E-Mail/Password combination. Please try again.) i m wondering if this means that im banned , because all the e-mail an the pass are correct 100% sure of it
and im wondering if the orders are cancelled ,somebody to help please ?