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Old 02-19-2012, 12:51 PM   #1
jrw93
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I'm scared, frustrated, don't know who to go to anymore

Recently, I had recieved a e-mail from an Amazon "Account Specialist" that my account was closed because it was linked to an account that was previously closed for "abuse of policy."

When I recieved that e-mail, I was terrified. I have never had an account that was closed for "abuse of policy" before, and I didn't even know where to begin. Here is a copy of the e-mail I recieved.

Hello,

We've found your account is directly related to another account which has been previously closed for abuse of our policies. As such, your Amazon.com account has been closed and any open orders have been canceled.

You can review our Conditions of Use here:

www.amazon.com/conditionsofuse

Any attempt to open a new account will result in the same action.

Going forward, any questions must be directed to cis@amazon.com.

Best regards,

Account Specialist
Amazon.com


My first gut reaction was to contact amazon customer support. Upon calling them, I learned that my account was COMPLETELY shut out by anyone working there, and can only be accessed by these "account specialists" that do not have a direct phone line. Apparently, they only work via e-mail and only give out 1 response per 24 hours. I have e-mailed the specialists many times, only to get a generic cut and paste answer like the one you see above.

I am at a loss for words right now. I have been an loyal amazon customer since 2009, and have also been a loyal amazon seller. I have purchased thousands of dollars worth of products from them, as well as sold thousands of dollars of products on Amazon. I have also utilized their "trade-in" program many, many times.

I had also tried to open a new account on Amazon.com, but that account was banned within a few hours. My other account was also inaccessible by me. I am COMPLETELY locked out and in the dark right now. Before my amazon account was closed, I had to return a product due to it arriving in a different condition as described, and I cannot even log-on to check the status of that return! I don't even know if the return will be processed at all!

I also have a large kindle library as WELL as a large amazon app-store library, NONE of it can be accessed by me. This is upsetting because I no longer have access to my kindle library at ALL. I cannot redownload any books I have purchased.

I'm sorry for the long post and rant.. I'm just at the end of my wits here.

Last edited by jrw93; 02-22-2012 at 12:35 AM.
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Old 02-19-2012, 02:24 PM   #2
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**Update

After the 3rd e-mail from the amazon "account specialist," I finally learned I do not have access to any of my digital content even though I had paid for it myself. I asked if I could download files of the books that I had purchased, but to no avail. It looks like it's really true that even if you purchased the item, it's not really yours.

I also asked regarding some of my amazon mp3s, apps, and videos I had purchased from their stores. The account specialist told me that none of that content is accessible anymore. Brilliant.
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Old 02-19-2012, 03:08 PM   #3
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Instead of emailing, you really need to speak to someone on the phone. All you'll get via email are canned responses.

You need to find out what this "abuse of policy" is referring to. Amazon will kill an account most often if there are a significant number of returns on the account, particularly for digital items or high-priced items. It is certainly in the realm of possibility that someone hacked into your account and did something else that is against their terms of service.

The one odd item for me in your missive is that you have "other active accounts." I wonder if this is the root cause of your problem.

I always, always stress to people that it is important to have multiple backups of all of their digital data. Never rely on any third party to keep your data safe for you.

Good luck with getting your account straightened out. Again, talk to an actual human being at Amazon.

U.S. and Canada: 1-866-216-1072
Spanish Support: 866-749-7538
International: 1-206-266-2992
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Old 02-19-2012, 03:12 PM   #4
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Hi Pidgeon,

Thanks for your quick response!

However, I have contacted amazon customer support multiple times. They are also "locked out" of my account, and do not have the ability to access my account. Nobody except these "account specialists" can access my account, not even the supervisors of the supervisors in regular amazon/kindle support.

Only the "account specialists" can unlift the ban, but they do not have a direct phone line. They only do things over e-mail, and are VERY slow at responding. They only respond once per 24 hours which is extremely frustrating.
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Old 02-19-2012, 03:17 PM   #5
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I have went ahead and checked through all my past accounts, and every single one was closed on my OWN request. The normal process for closing an account is for you to e-mail or call amazon's CS, have them sent you a confirmation e-mail that you want to close your account (with a link in the email), click it and then confirm it yourself.

But in my case, the account specialist seems to have thought that one of them was closed forcibly by Amazon themselves, which is not the case for me. I've only had 2 accounts previously, but both were closed by myself and not amazon. I don't understand where this "abuse of policy" is coming from.
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Old 02-19-2012, 03:17 PM   #6
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Did you carefully read the Conditions of Use policy that they sent you? Did you go over that with a fine tooth comb and ask yourself what they could see as being a violation of that policy? Have you returned too many items? Is having multiple accounts a violation? I don't know.

You'd have to read it and answer those questions yourself. If Amazon support is saying the only way is via email & 1 response per 24 hour period that sounds pretty definitive and bad. They are clearly of the impression that you've violated their terms of use in which case, yes, they can shut you down. You don't have a lot of recourse in that situation.
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Old 02-19-2012, 03:22 PM   #7
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Hi Shopaholic,

Thanks for your response!

Yes, I did read the ToS and Amazon does indeed have the right to refuse service to anybody. However, nowhere in the ToS does it say Amazon refuses to allow redownload of already purchased digital content (Including Kindle, Amazon Appstore).

Having multiple accounts is not a violation of Amazon's own policy.

Amazon's "account specialist" only communicates through e-mail and do not have a direct phone line. They only respond to e-mails, but once every 24 hours. Regular Amazon Customer support is great, but these "specialists" are definitely not.
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Old 02-19-2012, 03:45 PM   #8
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I did a quick Google search on the topic. It seems like Amazon regularly shuts down accounts with too many returns, Abuse of Policy. Sounds like that's the issue here. Whether it was you or as said in their email, one connected to you, they still shut you down because:

"We've found your account is directly related to another account which has been previously closed for abuse of our policies. As such, your Amazon.com account has been closed and any open orders have been canceled."

Sounds like you're out of luck here. I also don't think there's anything anyone here can do for you. You have to deal with Amazon if you want the account re-instated. Sorry.
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Old 02-19-2012, 03:57 PM   #9
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Hi Shopaholic,

I ended up getting one more e-mail from one of these "account specialists," and it seemed that my account is closed for good. Here is the the e-mail that I received:

Hello,

We closely examined your account, your order history, and your related accounts to ensure that any decision regarding your account was made according to our policies.

We will not reopen your closed Amazon.com accounts.

Going forward, any questions must be directed to cis@amazon.com. Keep in mind that our decision regarding this matter will not change.

Thanks for your understanding.

Best regards,

Account Specialist
Amazon.com


This is upsetting, because I never returned a large amount of items. Hell, that wasn't even a reason the account specialist told me about.

Oh well. At least this can be a warning that Amazon has a right to take all of your digital content away without any solid reason. My Kindle can at least be used as a doorstep..
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Old 02-19-2012, 04:31 PM   #10
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I don't know if it is worth it to you, but you might consider getting an attorney.
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Old 02-19-2012, 04:41 PM   #11
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I can't comment on whether the account should have been closed or not, since I don't know the story. Still, the part about purchases you've paid for being unaccessible is pretty terrible. The idea of products being not purchased but "licenced" is one that's becoming more common, but there's little awareness about it, I think. There are also many cases of people being cut off from services and assets without warning, explanation, or recourse, the logic of which I can understand (there is a lot of fraud out there, and closing accounts automatically is the cheapest way to deal with it) but which has also screwed over a lot of innocent people. Personally, in this case I would probably try to write to The Consumerist, if only to raise awareness.
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Old 02-19-2012, 04:51 PM   #12
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Sorry to hear about your situation. Sometimes I wonder about Amazon. I had a run in with them recently which resulted in them losing a Prime customer. Amazon is now at the bottom of my shopping list. Instead of ordering something and having it on my doorstep two days later, I'll now wait for my weekend shopping trips to local box stores.
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Old 02-19-2012, 04:53 PM   #13
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We don't know the details of your account history, but you say that you've had (and closed) multiple accounts, and that you've been a Seller on Amazon as well. The problem may be the Seller account. Is that one of the accounts you closed? That's the direction I'd be looking in.
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Old 02-19-2012, 04:57 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CWatkinsNash View Post
We don't know the details of your account history, but you say that you've had (and closed) multiple accounts, and that you've been a Seller on Amazon as well. The problem may be the Seller account. Is that one of the accounts you closed? That's the direction I'd be looking in.
If you read the email sent it said the account was closed because of another account closed that had abused their policy. There is much more to the story here. Why was the first account closed? What did they do to have that happen. Amazon found out they were linked to same person so they took action.
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Old 02-19-2012, 05:02 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blossom View Post
If you read the email sent it said the account was closed because of another account closed that had abused their policy. There is much more to the story here. Why was the first account closed? What did they do to have that happen. Amazon found out they were linked to same person so they took action.
Exactly. When Amazon takes down an account, they take down all related accounts. That's SOP for them. Which is why I'm looking towards the seller account.

I'm also interested in why someone would open and close Amazon accounts and open new ones, if the OP doesn't mind filling in the blanks there. I'm not assuming that there isn't a good reason, it just seems unusual so I'm curious.
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