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Old 04-07-2009, 08:26 AM   #46
HarryT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilac_jive View Post
My only issue is that the email to him clearly states to not contact amazon anymore.
No, if you re-read it (post #16 in the thread), it says that their customer service department will no longer speak to him, but that he can e-mail "cis@amazon.com".

I always think personally that it's best to go through a company's own internal "processes" before getting third parties involved. If you can achieve a satisfactory outcome that way, it saves hassle for everybody.
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Old 04-07-2009, 08:26 AM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian View Post
Hi Bob-

No, I meant I received a defective unit, then exchanged it - except in each case, the replacement was defective as well (same problem or a different one).

After one, or in a single case, two replacements with problems, I came to the conclusion that there was nothing to do but return it and live without.
So you were too picky or lied about things being defective because I bet Amazon did not feel the items you returned were defective and felt you were going overboard like so many do with return policies.
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Old 04-07-2009, 08:49 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
No, if you re-read it (post #16 in the thread), it says that their customer service department will no longer speak to him, but that he can e-mail "cis@amazon.com".

I always think personally that it's best to go through a company's own internal "processes" before getting third parties involved. If you can achieve a satisfactory outcome that way, it saves hassle for everybody.
Oh, missed that. Then I agree with you.
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Old 04-07-2009, 09:00 AM   #49
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Contacting the provided email has not worked for others who received the same form letter. They receive a few further form letters before their emails are no longer answered. This guy posted his emails to Amazon along with the pat responses he received from them:

Introduction

A lot of people think that Amazon.com has great return policy. I thought so too. In fact, I've seen advice on some discussion boards that people should buy expensive products--like high-end computer monitors or digital cameras--from Amazon.com so that they can easily return them if they don't like them. How misleading! I was a loyal Amazon.com customer for 5+ years, had an Amazon Prime account and an Amazon Visa card, and have recommended Amazon.com to all my friends.

Well, this all changed a month ago. Amazon closed my account in a very rude way without any warning. In my efforts to resolve this issue I discovered that Amazon.com has built an impenetrable fortress around their account management personnel. There is no way to contact them! None of the emails I received were signed by a person, there were no phone numbers I could dial, and my account was closed in such way that even customer service people could not tell me what is going on.

I have never had such bad customer experience! Amazon.com obviously no longer cares about their customers simply because they have many. The issue turned out to be related to returns and refunds but I still don't understand what their account closing policy is. Yes, I have returned a number of items that had problems or did not perform as well as expected. The most expensive one was a Nikon D80 digital camera that had dead pixels on the sensor. I suspect there are people that abuse the return/refund system, but I don't do that. All my purchases were made in good faith that I'll keep the product and all my returns were for a concrete reason.

The rest of this page documents my email exchange with Amazon.com.

First email from Amazon.com: August 27, 2008

Hello from Amazon.com.

A careful review of your account indicates you've experienced an
extraordinary number of incidents with your orders and corresponding
shipments.

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. I am very sorry for any disappointment
this may cause.

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.

If you require additional assistance, or have any concerns, feel free
to contact us directly at account-appeals@amazon.com.

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


Regards,

Account Specialist
Amazon.com
http://www.amazon.com
==========================

Reply to Amazon.com: August 28, 2008

You've got to be kidding me!

I never expected such a bad customer relations experience from Amazon!
To me Amazon has always been a site that I respected and preferred for
online purchases. What exactly is meant by "incidents" in your email? Is
it returns? Customer support calls? I have returned some items in the
past that I didn't like -- and this is the normal practice in the US --
but have never abused the system.

I don't believe returns can be a valid explanation as I have ordered
almost nothing in the past 3 months and, correspondingly, had not done
any returns that could have triggered your action towards closing my
account.

Hence, I disagree with your unilateral decision and demand that my
account is restored. What's more, I believe I have a certain amount of
Amazon gift certificate dollars already applied to my account. Closing
my account will make me lose them, which is just plain unfair.

Once again, I believe this message was sent in error. Please restore my
account.

Regards,
-- Georgi

Second email from Amazon.com: August 30, 2008

Thank you for sharing your thoughts regarding the cancellation of your
Amazon.com customer account.

The closure of your account had to do with the frequency and amounts
of refunds being issued on your account for a variety of reasons.

I understand your viewpoint, and I regret that you are so disappointed
by our company's decision. I wish things could have worked out
differently.

Thank you again for taking the time to share your comments with us.
Please know that we respect your opinions and value your feedback.

Best regards,

Account Specialist
Amazon.com Customer Service
==============================
Check your order and more: http://www.amazon.com/your-account

Calling customer support: September 1 -- September 14, 2008

I tried emailing Amazon.com another two or three times but received no reply. Then I started calling customer support. Interestingly, customer support was not able to access my account and hence could not tell me what was really going on or how to handle the situation. They promised me two times that within a couple of days somebody will get in touch with me but nobody ever called.

The third time I called I insisted to talk to a manager and after some time I got to talk to one. He also couldn't access my account but promised that he will personally see that the issue is forwarded to an account specialist. A few days later I got the next email.

Third email from Amazon.com: September 19, 2008

Hello again from Amazon.com.

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

We remain unable to serve you as a customer. I'm sorry, but we will
not reopen your closed Amazon.com accounts. This decision is final.

I am happy to answer any order related questions regarding your closed
accounts. Keep in mind our decision regarding this matter will not
change.

Please don't hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or
concerns, and thank you for contacting us.

Best regards,

Account Specialist
Amazon.com Customer Service
==============================
Check your order and more: http://www.amazon.com/your-account

My response to Amazon.com: September 19, 2008

OK, a few concrete questions:

- You mention that the decision was made in accordance with your
policies. Where are those policies? Your return policy does not define
maximum number of returns or anything like that. You seem to trick
your customers into believing that you have great flexible return
policy, which turns out not to be true.

- I had some gift certificate balance in my account. How do I get that refunded?

- Also, I was subscribed for Amazon Prime membership. I'd like to have
the unused portion of that membership reimbursed as well.

Thanks.
-- Georgi

Final email from Amazon.com: September 25, 2008

Hello again from Amazon.com.

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

We remain unable to serve you as a customer. I'm sorry, but we will
not reopen your closed Amazon.com accounts. This decision is final.
There will be no further compensation.

Our decision regarding this matter will not change.

Thank you for contacting us.

Regards,

Account Specialist
Executive Customer Relations
Amazon.com
http://www.amazon.com
==========================

Yes, there are others...

A friend pointed me to a site that lists complaints from people that were blacklisted by Amazon.com in a similar way:
http://www.complaintsboard.com/compl...om-c93533.html

Well, that's all. I hope someone finds this information useful.
September 29, 2008.


http://www.beloev.net/amazon.html
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Old 04-07-2009, 09:04 AM   #50
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Have a look here
http://forums.slickdeals.net/showthr...ghlight=amazon
-------------- quote -----------------
In rare circumstances, Amazon can reopen a closed account but they threaten to re-close the account if any additional "concession requests" are made.
-------------End of quote-------------

It looks you might have a chance ...
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Old 04-07-2009, 09:15 AM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian View Post
Hi Bob-

No, I meant I received a defective unit, then exchanged it - except in each case, the replacement was defective as well (same problem or a different one).

-Ian
I guess I'm going to have to start treading lightly with them myself. I've done this same thing: I ordered a Senseo coffee maker, and instead of packaging it, they shipped it in the retail box, which arrived severely beat up. I didn't even bother opening it, contacted them, and requested a replacement. The "replacement" was shipped the same way! I sent back the second one for a refund, and drove down to Target to buy one off the shelf.

Now, it appears that I'm living under the shadow of being declared an abusive customer. Yikes!
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Old 04-07-2009, 09:24 AM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kacir View Post
Have a look here
http://forums.slickdeals.net/showthr...ghlight=amazon
-------------- quote -----------------
In rare circumstances, Amazon can reopen a closed account but they threaten to re-close the account if any additional "concession requests" are made.
-------------End of quote-------------

It looks you might have a chance ...
Agreed. Especially since, in the e-mail thread which Demaetas quotes, the customer goes in making "demands", which is rarely (IMHO) a good way of achieving a positive outcome. Being polite achieves a lot more.
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Old 04-07-2009, 09:29 AM   #53
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Being polite achieves a lot more.
cough, cough - splutter
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Old 04-07-2009, 09:30 AM   #54
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Agreed. Especially since, in the e-mail thread which Demaetas quotes, the customer goes in making "demands", which is rarely (IMHO) a good way of achieving a positive outcome. Being polite achieves a lot more.
Yes, I agree. However, I do think Amazon should refund any account balance due to gift certificates.

I guess the only recourse here is to sell the kindle.

BTW: I don't buy everything from Amazon.

Deciding that you don't like something or that it doesn't work the way you wanted it to or expected it to doesn't make it defective. If you really want the item, while it is annoying you really should let Amazon resolve the issue with a replacement or repair. This is the risk you take when buying from Amazon to get such a good price. Many times I make the decision to get something locally even if it costs a bit more for this reason. Dealing face to face with people does present and advantage at times.

@ricky You might want to look at newegg for electronics and pc parts. They have been very good and everything I read about them states they have good return policy. Although, they don't accept returns on many items unless it is defective and they will exchange it.

BOb
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Old 04-07-2009, 10:00 AM   #55
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What is that old saying? "You can get more with a kind word and a gun than you can with just a kind word"?
Seriously, the only way to deal with "customer service representatives" of a company that decides - out of the blue - to ban your account is to either go through organizations like Consumerist, or to hire a lawyer, and to foist the cost for that on them.
Considering how they're not even willing to tell them for what "infraction" they decide to ban you, referring rather to "for a variety of reasons", I wouldn't be very inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt.

Last edited by zerospinboson; 04-07-2009 at 10:02 AM.
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Old 04-07-2009, 10:16 AM   #56
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I don't really feel that bad for people that get their account closed. I know for a fact there is a certain type of customer who is trigger-happy about returning stuff. They feel it is their God-given right to return anything and everything they buy. Target has had to substantially change their return policy because of abuse by customers. These people raise the cost of stuff at Amazon and other discount stores for the rest of us. Amazon is just protecting their viability by removing their worst customers, and let there be no doubt if you are returning stuff you ARE among their worst customers (because most customers don't return anything).

I would suggest you shop at Nordstroms. They will happily take any and every return you have for any reason (of course it is built into the purchase price). That is the store for you return-happy people.

Last edited by sfernald; 04-07-2009 at 10:20 AM.
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Old 04-07-2009, 10:23 AM   #57
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Best bet is to file a complaint with your state's attorney general and to include all supporting documentation.
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Old 04-07-2009, 10:27 AM   #58
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Note to self: Make no purchase of electronics from Amazon.com. At all... Ever again... you are banned from my bank account.
Amazon's actions just make me feel further justified in my refusing to buy from it and for my refusing to buy a Kindle.

BTW, what happened to Ian with the Kindle might be a good basis for a class action lawsuit against Amazon regarding DRM. Might want to contact the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) about this.
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Old 04-07-2009, 11:01 AM   #59
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I think a lot of these responses may be going overboard.

Almost any store (online or off) will do this after a certain amount of time/expense. And having spent some time in retail, I'm okay with that - there are people who abuse the system, it does cost a company to return an item, and a company is only going to lose so much money to a customer.

The problem is not the majority of the people these sorts of policies effect who really do have it coming, it's the people like our poster who get caught up in the system.
So to my mind, here are the real problems here:
  1. Not allowing you to have a real discussion about it (and thus having human vetting of the policies, and not just letting a computer spit out the name), or warning.
  2. No transparency regarding the actuality of this process.
  3. The issues of gift cards and Kindle issues

Still, this is trickier than just "stupid Amazon!" If you ban someone and they deserve to be banned, then they got what they have coming. They did things wrong as it relates to the company and run that risk - and if they didn't consider that Amazon may invoke that EULA - that's their problem. You're dealing with a private business, and they can choose not to serve you if they feel you're taking advantage of them or costing them money. I've banned people from entire chains before - and they deserved it. But I, as an individual, made that decision - not a computer algorithm.

And yes - always use honey. If you become a jerk - you're not going to get anywhere in this. They already accept they will get nothing from you, so you have no leverage. If you mention a lawyer, they will shut up and not talk to you further - you will have to actually get a lawyer - and good luck with that working.

The trick is if they don't deserve to be banned.

So, as I said... go through official channels. Use your email receipts to figure out what happened if you can't get to your account screen. Try to get a hold of their execs, and if that doesn't work - then head straight to the Consumerist. Public humiliation is just about the only way to go forward on this if the above don't work. Though it wouldn't hurt to talk to your state attorney.
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Old 04-07-2009, 11:03 AM   #60
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Don't think for a second, those of you so inclined, that Sony couldn't turn the spigot off as well. if you are purchasing DRM books this is always a risk you have. That is the great evil of DRM.

So don't get too smug. Sony could decide not to do further business with you as well. As could anyone else.
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