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Old 05-09-2009, 01:40 AM   #1
SpiderMatt
Grand Arbiter
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Posts: 447
Karma: 1574837
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Arizona
Device: iPod Touch, Amazon Kindle, Motorola Droid
Bad Amazon Customer Service; Not for Lack of Trying

I recently had my Amazon account closed without my consent because my account was hacked an an unauthorized purchase was made on it (someone in Turkey ordered a $120 watch + $40 S/H--it was pretty random and the purchase wasn't even made on my credit card). When I responded by telling Amazon I noticed the purchase and changed my password and that I wanted to keep my account, they said, "We appreciate your support of our decision to close your existing account..." I did not support this decision. Apparently Amazon has generic answers they use no matter what the responding email said. It wasn't a generic email, though, because it did address a couple of my questions.

The response said none of my account information could be transferred to a new account so I lost all my purchase history and thus the only recommendations Amazon can make will be based on the browsing history I have to build back up again (which is less accurate since I browse a lot of things and purchase few). More importantly, though, Amazon reinforced their old position of not being able to transfer Kindle books between accounts even though in this case the account holder is the same person. Thankfully, Amazon did reimburse me for all my Kindle books in the form of an Amazon certificate. I will definitely be keeping my DeDRMed Kindle books for my inconvenience.

I then had the issue of registering my Kindle under a new account. The instructions I received involved connecting to whispernet. I had to explain that I'm a service member based in Japan and that I couldn't connect to the wireless network. Amazon's next response did not address my issue at all. Customer service completely ignored my request for help in registering my Kindle with a new account. As you can imagine, that really irked me. I did some searching on my own and found that I could register a Kindle on the "Manage My Kindle" page. So I went there, entered my serial number, and I got a response saying my Kindle was registered under another account. So not only did Amazon cancel my account against my will but they also neglected to deregister my Kindles (I assume my original Kindle was still registered, as well), which is something Amazon should probably consider important since I couldn't purchase ebooks otherwise.

In my final email to Amazon addressing this issue, I asked them to deregister my Kindle from my old account so that I could register it under my new account. They did it. I finally got something I requested. Dealing with Amazon customer service is like pulling teeth and I have no idea why it has to be so difficult. If anyone is interested, I put up my full correspondence here. I didn't want to clutter my post with it.

Why am I telling you all this? I thought it would be important to some of you to know how Amazon deals with issues like fraud and, of course, everyone should be aware of the frustrations of dealing with Amazon's customer service. As I mentioned in the title, it does appear like Amazon is trying (they did reimburse me for my Kindle books almost immediately) but it does not seem like they care. Appearing to care might be the hardest part of customer service but I would argue that it is also the most important part. Ignoring a consumer's questions in email correspondence should be unacceptable. I don't know why it happened but I don't really need to press the issue because I eventually got what I needed days later. The time involved here is probably the most frustrating part. It took four days to resolve everything because I had to do everything through email. Due to the only free time I had being in the evening, Amazon's Kindle service was closed in the states when I had time to call.

This has all left a bad taste in my mouth for Amazon's service. If it weren't for their prices, I wouldn't even bother with them anymore. I'm now probably going to be looking at other ebook stores more often, though. I don't think Amazon is evil like so many out there. I don't take issue with Amazon's aggressive action to dominate the ebook market (it's a business, after all) but if they can't offer up decent customer service, it's going to hurt them in the end. That concludes my rant for today. I hope you found this informational.
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