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Amazon.com : The Complete and Utter Failure of Seller Customer Service


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#1 DrMunkee

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 01:51 PM

NOTE: Yes, this is a rant, I apologize, but since this is my first bad experience with Amazon customer service, I need to let off some steam.

Being a broke college student, selling textbooks is a great way to earn a little extra cash. Trying to get the maximum value is key, so I figured I would try to sell on Amazon, since I pretty much shop there exclusively.

So after spending an hour listing 10+ textbooks and selling a couple, I receive an e-mail saying that my account has been flat out banned for "being associated with other closed amazon seller accounts". Obviously, this confused the hell out of me. This is the first time that I had sold anything on Amazon, and this account has been opened for over 5 years, including being a prime member for 1+.

After doing some research, I realized that some people had a similar experience when someone had others use their amazon accounts on their computer. Now, I have had a ton of people use this computer, from family members to friends. After much research, it turns out my roommate has had some bad seller feedback in the past. Also, she has a credit card on my account (as do about five other people thanks to the prime). So, understandable. They think this is her. I'll just explain my experience and they will reverse it. Right?

Wrong. Appeal was denied. No reason given. They also told me any other accounts created would be shut down. What confused me even more is that my name is on the seller profile, and all funds made go straight to MY bank account. This is a major disappointment, seeing as I use(d) amazon for almost everything. Now, my account name that I use for almost anything business related (a bit more official than "DrMunkee") has a permanent black mark on it because someone's DVD came loose during shipping (that I didn't even sell them).

I'm at a loss of words. Typically, when something bad happens and someone rants, there is always kind-of a reason, no matter how innocent the person tries to appear. Even I'm guilty of trying to appear innocent sometimes when maybe I haven't been. But this is the first time I can say that I did absolutely nothing wrong and am being punished for it. For a place I always bragged for being near perfect, this is a major disappointment, and will make me thing twice before giving them all my business again.

I guess screwing over the little guy is OK if it means being overly protective of your big empire. That's business, I suppose.

Edited by DrMunkee, 05 January 2012 - 02:19 PM.

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#2 thelonepig

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 02:13 PM

It's unfortunate, but technically you did violate the TOS for Amazon Prime. Sharing is relegated to family members in the same household.

#3 camoor

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 02:20 PM

It's unfortunate, but technically you did violate the TOS for Amazon Prime. Sharing is relegated to family members in the same household.



Yeah it always floors me when people take advantage of a program (like gamesharing or prime) and then get surprised that their actions get lumped in with the actions of their accomplices.

#4 DrMunkee

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 02:20 PM

It's unfortunate, but technically you did violate the TOS for Amazon Prime. Sharing is relegated to family members in the same household.


Understood. You are right. But a flat out ban? It's there right, I guess. A warning would have been nice, though, seeing I have ALWAYS had great and understanding customer service.

Still fuming.

Yeah it always floors me when people take advantage of a program (like gamesharing or prime) and then get surprised that their actions get lumped in with the actions of their accomplices.


I would hardly consider what I am doing "taking advantage of". The people with cards on my account are my mom, my step dad, my sister, me, and my roommate/open-relationship girlfriend (who I see as family anyways, since I live with her, and all of my addresses are still the same). Even people seem to be getting banned just for SHARING a computer with an account that has negative feedback associated.

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#5 camoor

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 02:22 PM

Understood. You are right. But a flat out ban? It's there right, I guess. A warning would have been nice, though, seeing I have ALWAYS had great and understanding customer service.

Still fuming.


Well then fume away, just don't expect any sympathy here.

#6 thelonepig

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 02:42 PM

Understood. You are right. But a flat out ban? It's there right, I guess. A warning would have been nice, though, seeing I have ALWAYS had great and understanding customer service.


I do see your point. If not a warning, perhaps just a disabling of the seller portion of your account. I'm interested in what Amazon's appeal process entails. Do they actually look at the merits of the appeal or do they figure how much you spend and use that to determine their risk of keeping you?

I'd say it's worth a quick phone call if it's worth the time to potentially have the situation reversed.

#7 DrMunkee

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 03:03 PM

D

I do see your point. If not a warning, perhaps just a disabling of the seller portion of your account. I'm interested in what Amazon's appeal process entails. Do they actually look at the merits of the appeal or do they figure how much you spend and use that to determine their risk of keeping you?

I'd say it's worth a quick phone call if it's worth the time to potentially have the situation reversed.


Yeah. A little bit of better communication would have helped soften the blow. The appeal email literally just said "we have decided to keep your ban. Have a nice day"

What you said was 100x more helpful

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#8 camoor

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 03:09 PM

D

Yeah. A little bit of better communication would have helped soften the bloe. The appeal email literally just said "we have decided to keep your ban. Have a nice day"


Did it literally say that? Have a nice day? That's hilarious :lol:

#9 DrMunkee

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 03:16 PM

Did it literally say that? Have a nice day? That's hilarious :lol:


Haha. Yes, there was a bunch of stuff In between about 90 days to retrieve funds and stuff. But yes, amazon. I will have a nice day.

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#10 camoor

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 04:30 PM

Haha. Yes, there was a bunch of stuff In between about 90 days to retrieve funds and stuff. But yes, amazon. I will have a nice day.


Haha well I agree with you there, after a company closes out your account they shouldn't say "have a nice day". It's the gg of the business world.

#11 DrMunkee

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 04:42 PM

Yeah. The more I think about it, the more I think I'm just angry at how it was handled. Ok. You closed my account because (I can only assume) I had someone elses credit card info on my account. It says I can't do that unless we practically share a last name in the fine print. Fine. I don't agree, but I understand and it is very much your right to do so. Maybe an e-mail saying "take the info off the account and never do it again because you order at least a couple items a week" would have been preferable, but that is wishful thinking. I submitted another appeal, more to see if they send me the same general reply or if they actually take the time to look and explain. I'll probably end up calling.

All this because I wanted to sell a few textbooks for beer money.

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#12 mguiddy

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 05:10 PM

In my experience Amazon Seller Support is total ass.

I had an issue with an A to z decision and it took over a year before I got a straight answer out of them. Granted, I never called them, only emailed, but should I really have to call to get a simple answer out of them?

Customer Support... they're pretty good, but Seller Support is a whole different monster.

#13 blitz6speed

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 05:39 PM

It sounds like they used you to make an example out of, and it worked out just fine in amazons favor.

#14 Vinny

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 06:50 PM

Understood. You are right. But a flat out ban? It's there right, I guess. A warning would have been nice, though, seeing I have ALWAYS had great and understanding customer service.


Are you sure you're a college student? Because there is a mistake in what you wrote. I understand that you're mad at Amazon because you feel they're in the wrong, but you did violate their ToS and it's no reason to make one of the most common and credibility destroying mistakes in writing.;)

In all seriousness, Amazon's CS for sellers is about the complete opposite as their CS for buyers but I can't say I disagree with what they did. Your roommate had a bad rep and then you let her add her card to your Prime account, against Amazon's ToS? It sounds to make like they had every reason to ban you.

Plus, this really makes me question how much of the story you're actually telling us here:

Even I'm guilty of trying to appear innocent sometimes when maybe I haven't been. But this is the first time I can say that I did absolutely nothing wrong and am being punished for it.


Sounds like karma to me. Sorry, I'm sure you probably think I'm being an ass but I'm just being honest here... what goes around, comes around.

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#15 DrMunkee

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 07:36 PM

Are you sure you're a college student? Because there is a mistake in what you wrote. I understand that you're mad at Amazon because you feel they're in the wrong, but you did violate their ToS and it's no reason to make one of the most common and credibility destroying mistakes in writing.;)

In all seriousness, Amazon's CS for sellers is about the complete opposite as their CS for buyers but I can't say I disagree with what they did. Your roommate had a bad rep and then you let her add her card to your Prime account, against Amazon's ToS? It sounds to make like they had every reason to ban you.

Plus, this really makes me question how much of the story you're actually telling us here:


Sounds like karma to me. Sorry, I'm sure you probably think I'm being an ass but I'm just being honest here... what goes around, comes around.


It really is what I said. Do some research on the subject and you will see that people have been banned simply for sharing their computer with someone. Yes, I am in the wrong. I added my girlfriends card to my account. She is not family. I get it. ToS. But for gods sake, tell me that.

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#16 Vinny

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 08:09 PM

It really is what I said. Do some research on the subject and you will see that people have been banned simply for sharing their computer with someone. Yes, I am in the wrong. I added my girlfriends card to my account. She is not family. I get it. ToS. But for gods sake, tell me that.


I'm not saying Amazon is always right... I've heard of many CAGs getting dicked over selling on Amazon. I'm just saying that I don't see any reason why you should rant/complain about it because I feel they did nothing wrong in your particular situation as described in the OP.

And even if Amazon is banning people for "sharing" computers, what are they supposed to do? Send someone to their homes to monitor computer use 24/7?

You're making it sound like Amazon is this big, evil corporation out to get people over some technicality. The thing is, they're not. They make money when you sell things (Did you see their commissions? Easily over 15%!). They don't want to lose you as a sellers/customer. But when you (or in this case, your GF) screw people over, you make Amazon look bad. To have a few bad sales is one thing but the fact that she was banned tells Amazon she was a repeat offender and likely to try again under different premises.

This is no different than when B&M stores ban or restrain an entire group just because one person was bothering others, shoplifting, etc... everyone is going to say "I didn't do it, he/she did" regardless of whether or not they were actually innocent. And most trouble makers are repeat offenders. I can only say this because my family ran a small retail business for roughly 14 years and the few years I worked, I got an understand of why businesses sometimes do the things they do.

Again, sorry if I'm not providing the sympathy you wanted or expected but I don't think you really thought through the events that led up to your particular situation.

My advice would be for you to take this as a learning experience and go sell books on half.com, which is basically the same as selling on Amazon.

I'll stop now.

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#17 kodave

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 08:27 PM

Please provide links for people being banned for "sharing their computer" with someone. If having the same IP number is all it takes, people who log in from public libraries or Starbucks would be fucked, would they not?

Chances are those people were banned for having the wrong address / CC #/ etc. associated with their account, rather than the act of sharing a computer with someone.


#18 lilchao44

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 12:23 AM

I got banned because someone didn't know how to turn on their PS3 and assumed I sold them a broken one and demanded a refund. Before I could respond, they filed a claim and I got banned from selling. Called them up to tell them what happened, and they basically said "Oh, too bad."

#19 wasabi5858

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 01:37 AM

I don't see why all the confusion...

Your friend's account was banned and yours also for "being associated with other closed amazon seller accounts"

because the two accounts and others associated with it shared various details, amazon can not tell the difference if a transaction is done by one or the other... you could easily be doing business on her behalf or she simply logging in with your account.


Instead of putting their customers into situations where they could possibly be dealing with bad seller/buyer/or just problematic customers, they through some matrix had determined that they rather deal with a pissed off YOU who is associated with an identified bad account than dealing with x numbers of their other good standing customers who may possibly be a victim of whatever issue your GF was having and become angry at Amazon for not taking the proper steps to protect them from bad sellers.

Tough... but I am with amazon on this one.

Edited by wasabi5858, 06 January 2012 - 08:55 AM.


#20 schultzed

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 02:00 AM

I don't see why all the confusion...


Wasabi has nailed this one.

The problem is that a banned seller is going to try anything they can to get around the ban . . . and associated accounts would be a start.

#21 donkeydrop

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 03:34 AM

You scammed Amazon out of a minimum of several hundred dollars, maybe much more if this was going on for years. And now you are asking them to believe that everything will be OK because when you sell things the money goes to your bank account, and you would never, ever, let some bad person use your account .... whoops

#22 jer7583

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 08:43 AM

Amazon has the right and the responsibility to protect themselves with these policies.

However, their "scorched earth" style policies with regard to banning of accounts and accounts associated with those accounts is just awful.

Plus there is the sham of an appeal process which just spits out an insulting form letter.

Amazon is great for a lot of things but I do think some of their policies need revision or at least a warning system. They do seem to prefer banning over correcting problems, though.

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#23 schuerm26

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 12:32 PM

Anyone supporting Amazon in this situation has obviously not dealt with them when problems arise as a seller. Trust me, there are s--t buyers, and Amazon doesn't seem to recognize this.

#24 schuerm26

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 12:34 PM

In my experience Amazon Seller Support is total ass.

I had an issue with an A to z decision and it took over a year before I got a straight answer out of them. Granted, I never called them, only emailed, but should I really have to call to get a simple answer out of them?

Customer Support... they're pretty good, but Seller Support is a whole different monster.


There is no point in calling. There is nobody to talk to. You get the initial support people but there is literally nobody to talk to about the "account reviews" or problems that happen.

#25 schuerm26

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 12:37 PM

I got banned because someone didn't know how to turn on their PS3 and assumed I sold them a broken one and demanded a refund. Before I could respond, they filed a claim and I got banned from selling. Called them up to tell them what happened, and they basically said "Oh, too bad."


More to this story than you are telling. You don't get banned for 1 a-z claim. I guess possibly if it was your first sale or something, but still not likely.

#26 schuerm26

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 12:40 PM

You scammed Amazon out of a minimum of several hundred dollars, maybe much more if this was going on for years. And now you are asking them to believe that everything will be OK because when you sell things the money goes to your bank account, and you would never, ever, let some bad person use your account .... whoops


Maybe I am missing something but where did you get this info from?

#27 mguiddy

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 06:26 PM

There is no point in calling. There is nobody to talk to. You get the initial support people but there is literally nobody to talk to about the "account reviews" or problems that happen.

Good to know...
Just mentioned it because when people complain about Amazon Support (probably specifically Buyer Support) not being helpful, seems a lot of people will mention calling is a lot more effective.

#28 Friend of Sonic

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 01:16 AM

Anyone supporting Amazon in this situation has obviously not dealt with them when problems arise as a seller. Trust me, there are s--t buyers, and Amazon doesn't seem to recognize this.

Yep. There are buyers fucking them over and they ignore it.
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#29 smallsharkbigbite

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 01:49 AM

You have to remember that Amazon's margin is around 3%. Which means that if they have to float the bill for one bad sale, they have to sell 30 of those items to get back to even. Thus, the scorched earth policy. It's well known that Amazon will ban your account if they find out a banned user is using your account. Thus, I can't say I feel too badly for you. If anything, be mad at your potential wife for not telling you she had a banned account.

The scorched policy is tough, but fair. They give rock bottom prices to the consumers. Could they give you a second, third, fourth chance? I'm sure they could. But as others alluded, that would require them to raise their prices on their own goods because instead of an automated email they would have to have a bigger customer service staff, better IT tracking software for customer complaints, and more manager oversight to rule on the process. It's just not worth it to them. And they are going gangbusters as noted by their Christmas sales. So as sad as it may be that you won't be able to buy items from them, they'll make it up.

Yes, Amazon leans heavily towards the customer. But other bad sellers get on the site. I stopped buying "new" items from the marketplace unless the price was good enough for a used item because I've gotten clearly used items from that before. And these are sellers with 95+%. It's also really impossible to prove the seller was correct which is why they go in the buyer's favor. I mean, I could find a picture on the internet of anything in perfect condition, and send it to them. Same thing with the buyer, they could find a picture of an item broken into 1,000 pieces. There is just no way to prove who is actually telling the truth other than if the buyer says they didn't receive anything and you had delivery confirmation. But even then, they could say you send them a pen, and there is no real way to prove you sent them a game.

Edited by smallsharkbigbite, 17 January 2012 - 01:59 AM.


#30 kodave

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 04:19 AM

But even then, they could say you send them a pen, and there is no real way to prove you sent them a game.


Video tape yourself packing the item into the box at the post office then handing it off to the post office.