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Beware: Amazon.com account closed due to exceeding purchase limits


#1 GBAstar   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   9696 Posts   Joined 8.6 Years Ago  

Posted 16 February 2013 - 01:17 AM

Hello CAG Community,

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:

Hello,

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 qla@amazon.com. Please do not contact Amazon's Customer Service department, as they will no longer be able to assist you.

Best regards,

Account Specialist.
Amazon.com



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.


#2 Hemi   One with the never-ending backlog. CAGiversary!   2945 Posts   Joined 6.6 Years Ago  

Posted 16 February 2013 - 01:26 AM

You just got slidecaged

#3 GBAstar   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   9696 Posts   Joined 8.6 Years Ago  

Posted 16 February 2013 - 01:33 AM

You just got slidecaged


I knew that response would come!

I'm not trying to rail on Amazon; they had been very good to me up to this point. In the past year or so I had moved a lot of my purchase to other companies like Best Buy and Newegg.

The biggest loss is the piece of mind I get from having a preorder locked in through Amazon as they rarely every cancel.

It just boggles my mind that they don't have some sort of warning system in place. I mean my account wasn't banned for being a PITA customer and demanding refunds or credit for damaged items or late shipments it was for buying too many things.....

As a consumer I've learned a lot about how companies operate. To my knowledge best buy has absolutely no system in place to limit purchase quantities. They may limit items to one per order but you can place multiple orders and item will ship.

Newegg has a very sophisticated system in place and they will cancel orders (not blacklist your account) if you buy more then the stated quantity limit in 48 hours period.

But again just wanted to let people know this is a real thing.

#4 skiizim   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   10080 Posts   Joined 10.7 Years Ago  

Posted 16 February 2013 - 01:34 AM

You just got slidecaged


haha...

That really sucks they did that to you but I don't think you will miss much other than convenience. My PRIME expired 2 days ago and I'm in no hurry to start it up again.

The bad part about this is that there are numerous users who really take advantage of their accounts, I didn't realize how big this was until someone mentioned a DVD Trade-In Glitch on Amazon and went to SlickDeals to read all the huppla and boy did my jaw drop!

#5 pitfallharry219  

pitfallharry219

Posted 16 February 2013 - 01:34 AM

I knew who it was before I even clicked on the thread.

#6 GBAstar   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   9696 Posts   Joined 8.6 Years Ago  

Posted 16 February 2013 - 01:37 AM

haha...

That really sucks they did that to you but I don't think you will miss much other than convenience. My PRIME expired 2 days ago and I'm in no hurry to start it up again.

The bad part about this is that there are numerous users who really take advantage of their accounts, I didn't realize how big this was until someone mentioned a DVD Trade-In Glitch on Amazon and went to SlickDeals to read all the huppla and boy did my jaw drop!



I know the trade in glitch you're talking about and I sat that out because I did value my account. Pretty much the only orders I made in 2012 were preorders of collector's editions or games that came with credit.

In the past month outside of the orders I placed today I have made very few orders, if I had to guess I'd say it was one of the least active 30 days periods of purchasing I've had in the last 3-4 years.

#7 Vinny   Bang, bang... pew... CAGiversary!   22665 Posts   Joined 14.9 Years Ago  

Posted 16 February 2013 - 01:42 AM

Didn't you have the some similar issue with another retailer recently?

I'm not entirely sure, but I was told that many retailers use some third party company to track people's purchases as a way of weeding out "unfavorable" customers, like people who return too many items, report lost packages, make heavy use of promos/coupons or are credited for things. I'm not calling you out, but just saying that businesses probably don't like losing money even if people do it legitimately.

Obviously, I don't know the details or if it's even true, but there might be something more to this given your situations.

#8 Squarehard   Nyaa~ CAGiversary!   20828 Posts   Joined 11.5 Years Ago  

Posted 16 February 2013 - 01:43 AM

When you actually buy it on your brothers and mothers account for the same item do they all ship to the same shipping address?

#9 GBAstar   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   9696 Posts   Joined 8.6 Years Ago  

Posted 16 February 2013 - 01:44 AM

Didn't you have the some similar issue with another retailer recently?

I'm not entirely sure, but I was told that many retailers use some third party company to track people's purchases as a way of weeding out "unfavorable" customers.


The only websites I've ever been blacklisted from were Gamestop.com and Amazon.

I had my Target Red Card closed due to spending too much at Target.

#10 GBAstar   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   9696 Posts   Joined 8.6 Years Ago  

Posted 16 February 2013 - 01:46 AM

When you actually buy it on your brothers and mothers account for the same item do they all ship to the same shipping address?


Most of the time.

My brother is in college and he will actually have a lot of his items shipped to my house as he doesn't really have a reliable way of getting packages.

My parents live close by; most of the orders made on her account are books (she is a teacher) and those get shipped to her school. I really only place orders on her account if it is a preorder and I'm trying to get another bonus/credit.

I have logged into all accounts from this computer so I was thinking above and beyond billing/shipping addresses and CC information they may track ISP addresses.

#11 R3DH3R0   15 Years and Counting CAGiversary!   2845 Posts   Joined 15.7 Years Ago  

Posted 16 February 2013 - 01:58 AM

Amazon closed my account 3 years ago. They said they were going to close all accounts associated with mine, but luckily the others weren't closed. I made too many returns. A lot of CEs I bought came beat to shit in a one month period, probably had 60% exchanges because of shitty packaging. Got an email, same as yours except my reason was excessive returns.

Emailed them, corporate, they didnt care or reopen that account. Only reason I cared for that account was because I still had stuff I didn't return and didnt want to get charged for it.....

#12 Squarehard   Nyaa~ CAGiversary!   20828 Posts   Joined 11.5 Years Ago  

Posted 16 February 2013 - 02:05 AM

Amazon closed my account 3 years ago. They said they were going to close all accounts associated with mine, but luckily the others weren't closed. I made too many returns. A lot of CEs I bought came beat to shit in a one month period, probably had 60% exchanges because of shitty packaging. Got an email, same as yours except my reason was excessive returns.

Emailed them, corporate, they didnt care or reopen that account. Only reason I cared for that account was because I still had stuff I didn't return and didnt want to get charged for it.....

I guess you must have done a lot of returns since you still had some waiting even as your account was getting closed.

#13 GBAstar   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   9696 Posts   Joined 8.6 Years Ago  

Posted 16 February 2013 - 02:08 AM

Amazon closed my account 3 years ago. They said they were going to close all accounts associated with mine, but luckily the others weren't closed. I made too many returns. A lot of CEs I bought came beat to shit in a one month period, probably had 60% exchanges because of shitty packaging. Got an email, same as yours except my reason was excessive returns.

Emailed them, corporate, they didnt care or reopen that account. Only reason I cared for that account was because I still had stuff I didn't return and didnt want to get charged for it.....


I have orders from Amazon.com, Amazon.uk and Amazon.fr that have already shipped and I've yet to receive them.

According to that e-mail it looks like they won't honor returns on those items so I'm not sure what I can do if I run into any problems (damaged items, items not received, etc.).

I am not saying Amazon doesn't have the right to cancel my account, I'm not saying what I was doing was right but I know there are many others on here that have done similar things so hopefully lesson learned

#14 wugenius   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   1034 Posts   Joined 13.5 Years Ago  

Posted 16 February 2013 - 02:10 AM

Damn I didn't know amazon did that.

#15 edson13   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   1478 Posts   Joined 13.9 Years Ago  

Posted 16 February 2013 - 02:19 AM

Hello CAG Community,


Whats a lot of orders if you dont mind me asking?
With the recent lack of quality control at AWD Ive returned 4 items to them in the last two months. I just got another item thats defective and I hate feeling like I cant/shouldnt return it, even though its entirely their fault. I have 28 orders of probably 40 items during the same period, at times it make me feel too valuable to lose, but if you ordered just as much as me, Id feel a lot less valuable.

#16 supersizerice   Rick my barrs CAGiversary!   1169 Posts   Joined 12.4 Years Ago  

supersizerice

Posted 16 February 2013 - 02:24 AM

If you don't mind OP, could you give us an estimate of how many orders you placed last year?

#17 R3DH3R0   15 Years and Counting CAGiversary!   2845 Posts   Joined 15.7 Years Ago  

Posted 16 February 2013 - 02:25 AM

I guess you must have done a lot of returns since you still had some waiting even as your account was getting closed.


Well I usually waited till a few days before they were due to return them. Procrastination, not a good thing.

I have 2 other accounts. 1 is in good standing. The other I had a prime trial, bought 4 things last month before the prime trial ended. Didnt want an xbox controller I bought, returned it. Got an email saying I returned too much stuff and it was a warning saying if I returned anymore on that account they would close it. WTF I only returned 1 thing!

#18 247   . CAGiversary!   1519 Posts   Joined 8.6 Years Ago  

Posted 16 February 2013 - 02:26 AM

So you can't make a new account? Maybe have it shipped to a PO box?

#19 GBAstar   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   9696 Posts   Joined 8.6 Years Ago  

Posted 16 February 2013 - 02:28 AM

Whats a lot of orders if you dont mind me asking?
With the recent lack of quality control at AWD Ive returned 4 items to them in the last two months. I just got another item thats defective and I hate feeling like I cant/shouldnt return it, even though its entirely their fault. I have 28 orders of probably 40 items during the same period, at times it make me feel too valuable to lose, but if you ordered just as much as me, Id feel a lot less valuable.


I'd say I ordered a lot more then that. I don't return much and part of the reason I didn't was because I didn't want my account to get blacklisted (jokes on me).

I can't pull up my order history because my account is frozen but I'd say I did at least 30 orders a month between games and movies.

The only odd thing I did was file an AZ claim against GoHastings amazon store and I basically laid into their shipping practice in the claim description.

I think that is the only AZ claim I've ever opened since I've had an Amazon account but I was kind of a dick but I've had horrible horrible experiences with GoHastings on all three major sites (their .com, eBay store and amazon.com).

#20 edson13   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   1478 Posts   Joined 13.9 Years Ago  

Posted 16 February 2013 - 02:29 AM

So you can't make a new account? Maybe have it shipped to a PO box?


they generally IP ban as well. If you have a friend log-in to their account on your computer, they get banned as well from what Ive heard.

#21 GBAstar   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   9696 Posts   Joined 8.6 Years Ago  

Posted 16 February 2013 - 02:30 AM

So you can't make a new account? Maybe have it shipped to a PO box?


I'm fairly certain that if I or anyone that had an account under my Prime Membership creates a new account that it'll get banned just by cross referencing billing/shipping information and or IP addresses.

I have seen a few websites that show how to create "Stealth" or "phantom" accounts but I haven't really pursued that option yet.

#22 Jodou   Infamous CAGiversary!   14258 Posts   Joined 10.5 Years Ago  

Posted 16 February 2013 - 02:31 AM

I don't e-mail them and bitch when my prime shipments don't arrive on release day or in two days.

Seeing this pisses me off because I don't care what company it is: if you pay a premium for a service and it is unfulfilled on their end, then they're responsible. The amount of fear-mongering that goes on at CAG about shit like this is ridiculous and speculative. I think consumers need to realize that no matter how good a company is to them, you can always walk away and do business elsewhere. Having an account closed because Amazon didn't value your business is their prerogative and if it was truly in error, then that's their loss -- not yours.

#23 edson13   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   1478 Posts   Joined 13.9 Years Ago  

Posted 16 February 2013 - 02:36 AM

I'd say I ordered a lot more then that. I don't return much and part of the reason I didn't was because I didn't want my account to get blacklisted (jokes on me).

I can't pull up my order history because my account is frozen but I'd say I did at least 30 orders a month between games and movies.

The only odd thing I did was file an AZ claim against GoHastings amazon store and I basically laid into their shipping practice in the claim description.

I think that is the only AZ claim I've ever opened since I've had an Amazon account but I was kind of a dick but I've had horrible horrible experiences with GoHastings on all three major sites (their .com, eBay store and amazon.com).


thanks, that makes me feel a bit more uneasy about returns. Looking at my 2012 I have an even 300 orders, so probably 400 or so items. Like you mentioned, I wish they gave a warning. I got banned when I was a teenager for abusing those Blu-ray coupon codes they used to have, and it was ~5 years before I was able to create a new account and order again.

#24 GBAstar   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   9696 Posts   Joined 8.6 Years Ago  

Posted 16 February 2013 - 02:38 AM

Seeing this pisses me off because I don't care what company it is: if you pay a premium for a service and it is unfulfilled on their end, then they're responsible. The amount of fear-mongering that goes on at CAG about shit like this is ridiculous and speculative. I think consumers need to realize that no matter how good a company is to them, you can always walk away and do business elsewhere. Having an account closed because Amazon didn't value your business is their prerogative and if it was truly in error, then that's their loss -- not yours.


Well not only did I pay the "premium" for Prime (I considered it worth every penny) I had my subscription cancelled early and according to the information I've read I won't get a refund for the remainder of the membership.

If I complained every time an item was late or arrived damage I would have had my account closed a long time ago.

I've taken a loss reselling things from Amazon that were slightly damaged because I didn't want to open a claim with customer service.

#25 GBAstar   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   9696 Posts   Joined 8.6 Years Ago  

Posted 16 February 2013 - 02:42 AM

thanks, that makes me feel a bit more uneasy about returns. Looking at my 2012 I have an even 300 orders, so probably 400 or so items. Like you mentioned, I wish they gave a warning. I got banned when I was a teenager for abusing those Blu-ray coupon codes they used to have, and it was ~5 years before I was able to create a new account and order again.


I'm not going to put all my information out there but I would say between the three accounts I purchased more then that in 2012.

Another thing that may have caught their attention was that I am good at making sure I place preorders for CE's as soon as they go up for preorder on Amazon. This is for games, movies, guides, etc.

I then wait to see what the demand is for that item and if it looks like their is little to no resale value or I could wait and pick it up for my collection cheaper elsewhere I cancel the order. In the past few weeks I've cancelled a few orders for Aliens: CM CE and the Hyrule Historia guide (standard edition) as long as some other stuff I can't remember off the top of my head.

#26 pitfallharry219  

pitfallharry219

Posted 16 February 2013 - 02:45 AM

You're a reseller. They labeled you as that, which is why they closed your account. The same thing happened with your Target card. Stop playing the victim.

#27 needler420   car title is lost CAGiversary!   2476 Posts   Joined 8.8 Years Ago  

Posted 16 February 2013 - 02:45 AM

This is why I never do too many returns or trade in too many items of the same or purchase too many of the same items.

You took it too far and peeved amazon. I never assumed you were reselling. It's sad to see this happen to you after you offer the community all these contests.

Same thing can happen in stores too. If you just go and purchase so many items of the same you're raising a red flag and sooner or later it's going to come back.

#28 GBAstar   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   9696 Posts   Joined 8.6 Years Ago  

Posted 16 February 2013 - 02:46 AM

You're a reseller. They labeled you as that, which is why they closed your account. The same thing happened with your Target card. Stop playing the victim.


And that's what I'm doing (playing the victim) :roll:....


And how do you define a reseller?

#29 YoshiFan1   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   9943 Posts   Joined 15.6 Years Ago  

Posted 16 February 2013 - 02:52 AM

It sounds like its not so much being a reseller but the ordering of the specific items that had quantity limits.

I'm very hesitant to complain to Amazon about anything since of all these stories about bannings even though this wasn't for too many complaints. The only time I usually complain is if its a major problem like I received expired food or it says the item is an 8 pack and I only got 1 of it (food items).

You are right Best Buy has nothing in place to limit quantities by placing multiple orders but I have heard of people getting banned for going around the limit by placing many orders for the same item.

#30 Squarehard   Nyaa~ CAGiversary!   20828 Posts   Joined 11.5 Years Ago  

Posted 16 February 2013 - 02:57 AM

I think there is also a difference between people who just return things, and people who actually call up and complain to Amazon every time they return something. I know people who return things on a weekly basis, and have not incurred the wrath of Amazon banning them, but they never complain to Amazon about it, and just click the return button and happily sends it back. I can imagine each time you call into CS they have to open a case file for you, and if you have like 100 files opened on you it could probably tip them off you're not really what they would consider profitable anymore and ban you. All just speculation of course since it's like unraveling an enigma trying to figure out what Amazon's actual reasons for banning a person may be.