I wanted to take a moment and present a situation I have found myself in in hopes of educating other members on certain Amazon practices.
I have had an Amazon account since before I started college in 2003. I used it primarily for textbooks and media back then. A few years ago I started getting back into video games and was impressed with what Amazon brought to the table from a consumer stand point. 2009 was the first year I signed up for a fully paid Prime Membership and I have had one ever since.
Two years ago I added my kid brother and my mother to my Amazon.com prime account. A month ago my girlfriend created an account for the sole reason of buying diapers and toys for her sister's newborn (her nephew).
My brother and my mother use their accounts; they are NOT shill accounts that I created for resale (i.e. large quantity purchases) and only 5 purchases have been made on my girlfriends account---with each order being diapers or children's toys.
I purchased a lot of stuff on Amazon. A LOT. Some of it I resell, some of it I collect, some of it I use. I use it less now then I did before with other retailers become more competitive (Best Buy, Target, Newegg, etc.)
I have purchased some things for myself on my brother's account and a few things on my mother's account but I rarely use hers. I would say if you broke down my purchase history into a percentage 80% of what I buy is on my account; 15% on my brothers; 5% on my mothers.
For example: During Black Friday or one the rare chance that Amazon actually has the cheapest price for something I will buy it on my account. If it is limited to one per account and I want more then one I'll buy it on my brother's and/or mother's account as well. I've also done this for preorders as you can only get the Amazon credit/bonus once per account.
I have never had a problem doing this and it has been a regular practice for the past 3-4 years. In fact I had previously contacted Amazon customer support and asked about this and was told that as long as the other accounts belong to real people and are used by those people (meaning all the orders aren't just placed by me and shipped to my address) then they won't be closed.
Today all four accounts were closed.
I got this e-mail:
We want as many customers as possible to be able to enjoy the items we sell, and so for some popular items we've limited the quantity that may be purchased from our store.
We have put these limits in place for several reasons and to ensure a fair experience for all of our customers, we must enforce them.
We've noticed that you have recently exceeded that limit with your orders on multiple accounts.
Effective immediately, your Amazon.com account is closed, and you will no longer be able to shop in our store.
All other accounts related to yours have also been closed. If you were to open a new account, it would also be closed. We will not accept the return of any additional orders placed under a new account, and we won't issue further refunds for those orders. We appreciate your cooperation.
If you are a Kindle customer, you can continue to access Kindle content in the Manage Your Kindle section of your account (www.amazon.com/manageyourkindle). To access other digital content, visit the Your Account page and click View Your Digital Orders (www.amazon.com/youraccount).
We appreciate your cooperation.
Going forward, any questions must be directed to email@example.com. Please do not contact Amazon's Customer Service department, as they will no longer be able to assist you.
I would agree that I, along with many CAG's aren't exactly "profitable customers". I only buy on Amazon when it is the cheapest or an exclusive item. I don't return items and I don't ask for credits under any circumstances. I don't e-mail them and bitch when my prime shipments don't arrive on release day or in two days.
The only customer service issues I have had in the last 6 months both happened recently; the first was an order of two units of the Mafia II CE for PS3 from GoHastings (3rd party seller) and they were shipped in a bubble mailer and were damaged. I opened an AZ claim mostly because I'm sick of GoHastings shipping items like that and was given a refund.
The second issue occured when I bought RE Revelations (3DS) from Amazon directly and got an opened envelope with no game or no invoice. I contacted CSR letting them know of the situation and told them I was going to contact UPS to see if the item was on their truck. Instead they said they'd just send me a replacement at no cost.
Today when Amazon PM'd the Best Buy game deals I ordered x2 Paper Mario: Sticker Star and x2 Pokemon White. One of each on my account and one of each on my brother's account.
A few hours later my brother received that e-mail and forwarded it to me. I then tried to login to all four account and was not successful (i.e. all four accounts were blacklisted).
I have done some basic research and it appears that when Amazon makes decisions like this they are absolutely final and it is nearly impossible to get any type of response that isn't a generic form letter stating such.
I'm not trying to rail on Amazon. I can understand their decision, especially if their algorithm has decided I'm not a profitable customer.
However I'm a little disappointed that I was never contacted about this, and was led to believe that what I was doing was not an issue or violation.
Furthermore I had many things preordered, open orders, and credit attached to my account and at this time I have no way to access any of it. I also can't find a way to use my Amazon instant video account or access any of the content I had previously purchased.
I have never been banned from any online retailer except a fluke banning from Gamestop.com on only my second purchase ever.
However Amazon has no physical locations so I have no way to use my credit and from what I've read they don't offer refund on used portions of prime memberships or on content that can no longer be accessed.
I of course plan on appealing but I don't expect them to reinstate my account. It is disappointing because they are a great retailer and I wish they had alerted me that my account was about to be flagged as I would have stopped making purchases on both accounts and now my mother and brother and girlfriend are also in the same boat.
I will provide updates as I receive them but I would urge any CAG reading this to be very very careful if you use more then one account to place items, even if it is done on a very limited basis or you may end up in the same situation.
Edited by GBAstar, 16 February 2013 - 02:32 AM.