I'm outraged! Amazon banned me forever because of too many returns

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by PDE, Aug 27, 2008.

  1. PDE macrumors 68020

    Nov 16, 2005
    I just got an email from amazon.com telling me that I am no longer welcome to use their site and that my account has been closed with immediate effect. The reason, they say, is that I've had too many problems with shipments. I confess that over the past few years I've returned far too many apple computers than is normal, but most of the time I've first been to Apple who've told me that I can either have it fixed or return it to amazon and recommended the latter.

    I've also bought tons and tons of expensive stuff from them over the years without any issue at all, including cameras, lenses, telephones, computers and books.

    I'm really really outraged because I also have lots of amazon credit that I got by using my amazon.com credit card AND all my receipts are on my account so that I have no way of proving purchases anymore. I can't even log on!

    Needed to vent. I really can't believe that they would penalise me for using their return policy. If they can't handle that people return defective products, they shouldn't have that policy. A lot of stores don't.

    Any advice? I don't want to lose my receipts because it'll be hard to get warranty service if I need it. And, of course, I don't want to lose my credit that I have accumulated through my amazon card.

  2. r.j.s Moderator emeritus


    Mar 7, 2007
    Businesses reserve the right to refuse service ... try calling their customer service, there may be more to this than you think.
  3. t0mat0 macrumors 603


    Aug 29, 2006
    Prepare a case, get information, then go through the procedure they have. Be polite, slowly escalate it to higher people.
    It might pay to make a written list of the returns, the problems, and also the Apple meeting you had where someone mentioned returns rather than repair - each return cost Amazon, rather than just Apple it would seem.
    How many are we talking here, and what for? It might seem that you were scamming them
  4. PDE thread starter macrumors 68020

    Nov 16, 2005
    I've written to them, but they told me I cannot contact customer service because they will not help me. Maybe the letter will do something.

    What makes me most mad is that I didn't get any kind of warning, nor any chance to use my credit, nor a chance to download my receipts. That's just not right.

    As for how many returns: quite a few over the course of the past 2 1/2 years, but I've also kept quite a few (I've bought for me, friends and family) and I've bought other very expensive items that I've kept (such as nikon D300 a few months ago and the MBP I'm using now). The only items I've been returning are Apple laptops - because of lots of different issues (screens primarily, but also other issues).

    I wish I could make a list of the returns, but I don't have the documentation and I don't remember exactly. I always rely on having my receipts on their site.
  5. PDE thread starter macrumors 68020

    Nov 16, 2005
    Luckily I did take pictures of the defective displays. I've sent them to amazon and hopefully they'll change their minds when they see them. I'm really upset about this as I buy so much for them and would hate to not be able to do that anymore.
  6. thejas macrumors newbie

    Aug 29, 2008
    I thought you might be interested in this conversation thread at another site. Amazon seems to have made a huge sweep in the last couple days. No one can quite figure out the trigger on who they axed and why. It seems quite varied. Anyway, if you watch it you might be able to see if anyone gets a resolution from it in the next few days.

    Hope it helps!

  7. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    Businesses are smart to fire any customer deemed too time consuming or expensive compared to their revenue.

    Might be bad luck that led to your getting axed, but from their point of view they might not be able to satisfy you like you deserve in the future and your luck may improve with another retailer.
  8. benzslrpee macrumors 6502


    Jan 1, 2007
    exactly how much stuff were you buying and then returning? i mean, if you return all the stuff you buy from them then they don't really make any money do they? seems like a logical move.
  9. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    Being disallowed from using the Amazon store seems reasonable enough, but restricting access to one's credit card seems like an exceptional step and some kind of conflict of interest... so another venue of attack may also be to contact Visa or MC or whomever has their logo on the Amazon CC.

    However, I can't say I have a lot of sympathy for the core issue of not being allowed to buy from Amazon, since you say you've returned multiple expensive items for things that, honestly, were not in the realm of manufacturing defects (in the sense that, at that time, all the MBP's had the same screen issues)....
  10. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    San Jose (CA)
    You abused their good service by acting as a bad customer so they no longer want you business. I'm happy with Amazon's great service and I usually do exchanges not returns.

    Basically they have 2 choices:
    1) Make their policy more stringent and lose paying customers who do little or no returns.
    2) Keep current policy and ban customers who abuse the service.

    Best advice is you can ask them to provide you a copy of easy receipt you've made—only thing they might need to offer.
  11. PDE thread starter macrumors 68020

    Nov 16, 2005
    I didn't abuse their return policy. I used it when I received defective items. In the past three months, I've made purchased for over $5500. I don't do exchanges because they take time - I just return and order a new item. Here are just a few of the screens I've received on MBPs and returned....tell me if you think they're illegitimate returns. ( I removed the pictures for now until I resolve the issues with amazon - but one display started inverting, another had a huge dark shadow up the middle, one had the beams of light at the bottom, another had yellowing at the bottom...etc etc)

    I can't believe you'd defend that they ban somebody who has just followed their policies. After all, amazon has a 15% restocking fee if you misrepresent the condition of the return - if they don't charge that, I have to assume they agree with my assessment. BS is all I can say.

    I've bought TONS of stuff that I haven't returned and lots of it was expensive too. Mostly I've returned MBPs with crappy displays since I refused to pay a high price and get subpar quality. The display I have now on my MBP is very good, but Apple replaced my display several times before I got this one. So there are good displays, but only occasionally it seems. So: I return defective computers but keep most things I buy. They could have warned me first, before cutting off access to my account.
  12. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    San Jose (CA)
    I didn't say I support their decision. I just said they assess that you were not a worthy customer anymore.

    If there was a form for it, I'd vouch for you!
  13. PDE thread starter macrumors 68020

    Nov 16, 2005
    You;re making a lot of assumptions without knowing anything about the situation.
  14. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    San Jose (CA)
    I'm sorry then.
  15. benzslrpee macrumors 6502


    Jan 1, 2007
    to answer your the question in your original post: financial services always keep records.

    i don't see why Amazon can't email you a list of your receipts but if they won't then call the 1800 number on the back of your Visa and ask them for your transaction history. you can get it going back to at least 10 years but it'll be up to you to find dollar amounts of when, where and what you bought.

    you next question was regarding credits that were applied to your Visa. i'm kind of confused by your terminology here...a "credit" in banking circles is generally understood as a deposit/refunding money. since it's a Visa i'm going to assume you couldn't deposit money into it, but if you return an item, whatever you were charged must have been credited back onto the card...cause it's a return and all.

    if you meant "credit" as some sort of rewards type incentive, then i'm sorry because you'll never get those back. those cease to exist once you're no longer a customer. they are not considered a legally tangible form of currency so arguing for it is a moot point...kind of how people can't make AT&T give back their accrued rollover minutes if they lose it.
  16. PDE thread starter macrumors 68020

    Nov 16, 2005
    I still have my amazon.com credit card which is issued by Chase, and of course I can still access my purchase history on the Chase site. What I don't have anymore are the receipts for all the items I've purchased on amazon, as those are stored in my account which I no longer can access. Without the receipts, I cannot file claims in the future through VISA performance guarantee services (extended warranty) since they require both the credit card statement AND the receipt with itemisation of the purchased. This service is the main reason I keep using this particular VISA card.

    Sorry for not being clear. My credit card through amazon/chase gives me points. For each $2500 spent, I get a $25 'gift certificate' which I enter into my amazon account and which is then applied toward any purchase I make through amazon. It's one of the reasons I have the CC in the first place since I buy a lot of stuff from amazon. With the sudden closure of my account, I just lost several hundred dollars. As I'm still a customer of Chase through my amazon.com CC, I am still accruing points, but they're no longer redeemable since amazon has closed my account.

    Hope that clarifies and thanks for trying to answer...

    Thanks! It does make me a little more optimistic that others are experiencing the same situation. I'd hope that Amazon will see that regardless of what they think they're accomplishing with this, it's not the right way to go about doing it. Closure of accounts is pretty serious and should at least be prefaced by some kind of warning or chance for the customer to explain (if needed). Also, by closing accounts, customers no longer have access to the evidence that would prove their 'innocence' (the tone of their letter made it sound like customers had acted illegally somehow). Not fair and not right. We'll see how this develops...

    sorry mods for the extra posts....
  17. johnny gringo macrumors newbie

    Sep 2, 2008
    Man, that's ridiculous. I think Verizon or some other cell phone provider did this recently: "fired" a bunch of their most-complaining customers. It's their right to do so but that doesn't make it right. But don't give up hope, there's always a home for you at http://www.theybannedme.com :p
  18. clevin macrumors G3


    Aug 6, 2006
    I think all the advise have been given are good. and We can't judge the situation fairly just listening to your complain, You really should contact amazon in some way and explain your situation. Keep complaining here won't take you anywhere.
  19. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    San Jose (CA)
    I did get banned from Verizon wireless for abusing the data network. :rolleyes:
  20. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    And that folks should sum it all up.
    Coming here to complain about Amazon is as productive as coming here to complain about AT&T. Nothing settles business like a good old fashioned phone call.
  21. aristobrat macrumors G4

    Oct 14, 2005
    I hope that you're able to get your credit and receipt issue with Amazon taken care of.

    Where does this put you with future Apple notebook purchases?

    Is there another retailer that will allow you to buy and return as frequently as you did with Amazon (but without penalty)?
  22. Ninja Guidan macrumors regular

    Sep 30, 2005
    Hey...just for s---- and giggles, what is your "return to keep ratio?"
  23. PDE thread starter macrumors 68020

    Nov 16, 2005
    Honestly, not counting laptops in the past two years, my return rate is exceedingly low. Probably around 2-3%. My laptop return rate over the past few years has been very high because of horrid quality control from Apple, especially with regard to displays. Having said that, I always keep one MBP eventually, but often it has been after at least one exchange/return. For example, this summer I bought two macbook pros, one of which was exchanged for a new because of an inverted display (bad cable perhaps - Apple genius recommended that I return it given that it was almost brand new). The exchanged one I kept. So, all in all, Amazon sent me three macbook pros, and I returned one. They got $4,000 from me and probably returned the other one to Apple and maybe lost the return shipping they reimbursed me. Since April I've also bought a watch ($200) and a $1700 camera body, both of which I've kept.

    I have only once or twice returned items without either asking for an exchange (because of a defect) or immediately ordering a replacement and waiting for a refund for the first item. I know what I want when I order and don't usually change my mind. Only when I get an item that really is low quality or obviously defective do I return it.

    I normally would call, but the letter I got explicitly told me that I should not call customer service as they will not help me. They gave me, and others who received the same letter, only one option to contact them and that was by email. I sent a letter and quite a few photos of defective displays I've received on macbook pros, but there has been no reply. So, don't assume I'm just twiddling around here bitching about my experience. I've done all I can do at this point and will pursue this further on Thursday if I haven't heard back from them by filing a complaint with the BBB and with Chase.

    Absolutely agreed. Regrettably, Amazon didn't feel the need to provide me with that privilege despite having been a loyal customer since their inception. They chose to treat me like a criminal with a nasty, uncompromising email.
  24. Keebler macrumors 68030

    Jun 20, 2005
    call them up without giving your name or use a fake name and explain politely that you would like a copy of your receipt history. Tell them, 'look, i don't want to do business, but i need my receipts in case i have a warranty issue'.

    if that fails, you live in the US right? tell them you'll sue their a$$ for not allowing you to see your receipts. that might make them move a bit.

    Although, i do wonder if they sent printed receipts with their products? I normally receive invoice/receipt copies with product I purchase over the web. I will admit I've never purchased anything through Amazon so maybe they're different?

    Oh, and I can't believe no one else has mentioned this - I'm sure you know the deal, but the next time you buy a display or another computer.....buy it in person. Don't deal over the web. You need to see it live and buy the one you're satisfied with b/c it would eliminate you sending items back.

    Good luck,
  25. PDE thread starter macrumors 68020

    Nov 16, 2005
    I ordered from amazon because they didn't charge tax, had lower prices and good rebates and didn't charge for shipping. For a macbook pro, for example, that meant a savings of often $300+ compared with Apple. Kind of significant. And, of course, because I knew that if there were a problem, they'd exchange it without fuss. But, you're right, shopping locally makes it easier, though you can't inspect before you pay there either.

    They did send shipping slips with itemisation, but I was so confident that the receipts were safe in my account with amazon that I threw them away. How could anybody predict this?

    Anyway, thanks for the good wishes. I can't sue because it's just not worth it and threatening to sue when I'm not committed to would just be a waste of time. If they don't reinstate me, however, I will close my CC with them, file complaints with the BBB and CHase, and share my experience on the internet. What else is there to do?


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