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Amazon is banning customers who make too many returns

Old 05-22-18, 09:43 PM
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Amazon is banning customers who make too many returns

Amazon is banning customers who make too many returns

Amazon is reportedly blacklisting customers who abuse the site’s lenient return policy.

“We want everyone to be able to use Amazon, but there are rare occasions where someone abuses our service over an extended period of time,” a spokesperson for the tech giant said in a statement to The Daily News Tuesday.

“We never take these decisions lightly, but with over 300 million customers around the world, we take action when appropriate to protect the experience for all our customers,” the statement continued.

The statement didn’t make clear what the violations were or what kind of action the company has taken, but some customers claim they’ve been booted from the site just for making returns on damaged or missing items.

Nir Nissim, 20, said he was notified in March that he no longer had access to his Amazon account because he had violated a conditions of use agreement, according to The Wall Street Journal.

“You cannot open a new account of use another account to place orders on our site,” Amazon wrote to him, according to the report.

Nissim said he hounded the company until a customer service agent said he’d been banned because of his return activity.

Nissim told The Wall Street Journal that he had returned just five items over two years.

He was ultimately allowed to become an Amazon customer again, according to the report.

An Amazon spokesperson told The News that customers who believe they’ve been wrongfully cut off from using the site should contact Amazon directly.

Amazon did not reveal how many customers it had banned over their return activity.

Former Amazon employees say the company shuts down accounts when users request too many refunds or violate other rules that create a burden for the company, according to the Journal.

Customer Claire Bochner said Amazon called her out on making “multiple returns” over a year-long period.

Bochner slammed the company on Twitter for not paying closer attention to her “return reasons,” which she claimed were well-documented.

She said she returned about seven of the 50 things she ordered from Amazon in a year, and requested a replacement for an item she never received.

"I do research, read reviews, but a few times the item was not what it said, or it broke within 30 days-that shouldn't get a letter!" she said.

Bochner suggested in a tweet Tuesday that Amazon focus on cutting down on its packaging, instead of hounding regular shoppers.

“Maybe Amazon could be the green leader for online shopping instead of nitpicking someone who does a few returns...padded envelopes still are landfill issues,” she wrote.

Source
This seems now to be making headlines.

I've made a dozen returns but majority are defective products during shipping. Rarely I return something back to Amazon for having buyer's remorse.
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Old 05-22-18, 10:51 PM
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Re: Amazon is banning customers who make too many returns

I was thinking we had discussed this before.

Found this nickdawgy thread in 2012 which might have been what I was thinking about:

https://forum.dvdtalk.com/other-talk...hammer-me.html
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Old 05-23-18, 01:01 AM
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Re: Amazon is banning customers who make too many returns

Yeah, I remember the discussion too. It's nothing new, but maybe they're becoming more sensitive about it. I'd be curious if there's more to the people that were banned then the quantity of returns.
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Old 05-23-18, 02:14 AM
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Re: Amazon is banning customers who make too many returns

This is why I'll never join Prime.

I would use Amazon for more purchases to get the most outnof my membership, which would lead to me returning more items because Amazon either shipped them damaged, or because they got beaten up in transit. Amazon has the absolute shittiest packaging I've ever seen. Drop a $100 blu-ray set into a giant box with no protection, and let it get crushed and tossed around by UPS, USPS, or Fedex.

I've had that happen on more than one occasion, and once I had to return a $150 MSRP blu-ray set twice because the first two they sent me were fucked up, and it took a third try to get an undamaged one.

Ditto books. $75-100 book gets sent in a giant box. Arrives with all of the corners crushed and the binding split.
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Old 05-23-18, 08:37 AM
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Re: Amazon is banning customers who make too many returns

Amazon packaging does stink. Long gone are the days when they shrink-wrapped the smaller items (DVDs/CDs/Books) to a sheet of cardboard then put them in a proper sized box with air packets to fill up the space.

I haven't had any issue with multiple returns to Amazon. I just had to return a large Canon AIO with fax because the fax wouldn't pick up incoming calls.
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Old 05-23-18, 08:45 AM
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Re: Amazon is banning customers who make too many returns

I would imagine (and hope) that banning people for too many returns would exclude any returns due to damage or wrong item sent.
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Old 05-23-18, 09:34 AM
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Re: Amazon is banning customers who make too many returns

Whenever I see these stories, it's always one-sided from the perspective of the wronged party. I'm sure there's more to the story than just "too many returns".
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Old 05-23-18, 09:40 AM
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Re: Amazon is banning customers who make too many returns

I'm withholding comment until I see what zyzzle has to say about this.
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Old 05-23-18, 03:11 PM
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Re: Amazon is banning customers who make too many returns

Do you really have to wait to know what he is going to say?

This is nothing new. Amazon has been banning people that return too much shit for years now.
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Old 05-23-18, 03:30 PM
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Re: Amazon is banning customers who make too many returns

Originally Posted by Groucho View Post
Whenever I see these stories, it's always one-sided from the perspective of the wronged party. I'm sure there's more to the story than just "too many returns".
Exactly. I bet Amazon's policy is not as arbitrary as the number of returns compared to purchases.

At my company, we often will ban people from having accounts with us. We have certain criteria and good reason before we ban someone but we don't share what that criteria is with our clients because if we did, they'd figure out how to work around it. I wouldn't be surprised if Amazon was the same way.
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Old 05-23-18, 04:03 PM
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Re: Amazon is banning customers who make too many returns

Amazon is in the business of selling stuff. I'm guessing they don't ban customers arbitrarily.
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Old 05-23-18, 04:12 PM
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Re: Amazon is banning customers who make too many returns

Good. I know entirely too many people who take advantage of this.
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Old 05-23-18, 04:13 PM
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Re: Amazon is banning customers who make too many returns

I'm sure it's some algorithm that takes into account how often you return and for what reason. Even if a reason seems legitimate, if you, say, constantly order comic omnibus's then return them because it's dented during shipping, over and over again, they're not going to blame their poor shipping practices, they're going to see that you're costing them a lot of money shipping heavy books that they don't make much profit on.

That said, I think it's really dumb that they won't do price adjustments with X days of a sale. I realize they change their prices rapidly, but they even suggest returning the item and just ordering again, which may deter some people because of the hassle but also costs amazon more money and brings the customer closer to the trigger point.
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Old 05-23-18, 05:59 PM
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Re: Amazon is banning customers who make too many returns

Unbelievable. I don't return that often but their packaging practices absolutely suck, so every now and then I do return damaged item(s). I ordered about 5 CDs a few weeks ago and they were all stuffed in ONE bubble envelope with lots of room to slide around, so naturally every single case was cracked in a few spots. I didn't return or exchange any of them since the cracks in the cases didn't effect their functionality this time (and I happened to have some extra cases this time), but I have exchanged for that reason before.

If I'm paying for something that's not packaged well, you can bet I'm going to exchange it to get one that wasn't mangled during shipping. Customers shouldn't be punished because Amazon doesn't know how to package items. Of course it's a different story for those who actually abuse the system.
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Old 05-23-18, 06:42 PM
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Re: Amazon is banning customers who make too many returns

Originally Posted by Hokeyboy View Post
Good. I know entirely too many people who take advantage of this.
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Old 05-24-18, 06:42 AM
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Re: Amazon is banning customers who make too many returns

Originally Posted by rjh_54 View Post
If I'm paying for something that's not packaged well, you can bet I'm going to exchange it to get one that wasn't mangled during shipping. Customers shouldn't be punished because Amazon doesn't know how to package items. Of course it's a different story for those who actually abuse the system.
But, we don't know how Amazon's "return banning algorithm" works. Is each case reviewed by a real person before someone is (very possibly) erroneously given the ban hammer by a machine? Is Amazon acting legally in banning a customer who has unused Amazon gift cards, Prime membership, etc while Amazon absconds with those funds, thereby enriching itself?

I'm not ordering much from Amazon these days, obviously, so I'm actually fairly indifferent to this "news" (which has indeed been going around for 10 - 15 years). All I can speculate on is that Amazon's sole reason for existence is to make a profit, and customer satisfaction comes very far down the line to that No. 1 priority.
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Old 05-24-18, 07:01 AM
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Re: Amazon is banning customers who make too many returns

Yikes five returns over two years warranted the guy in the article getting banned? To me that doesn’t seem like an excessive amount of returns really. I rarely have returned things but there have been a few times for sure. I’m curious what they consider excessive. I usually only do so if items don’t work, for items that arrive damaged I’ll usually ask for an exchange.

Amazon’s packaging has definitely been getting worse too. I really don’t care for their new white and blue Amazon branded mailers. They not only usually seem to arrive looking like they’ve been drug through a dirt pit (something that rarely happened to me prior to these mailers) but they also have minimal padding and don’t seem to protect the items very well. They used to deliver in their boxes more frequently which seemed quite a bit more protective of the enclosed items.

Last edited by Mike86; 05-24-18 at 07:12 AM.
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Old 05-24-18, 07:17 AM
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Re: Amazon is banning customers who make too many returns

Originally Posted by Groucho View Post
Whenever I see these stories, it's always one-sided from the perspective of the wronged party. I'm sure there's more to the story than just "too many returns".
This. People like to downplay their side to make the big bad corporation look bad... And Amazon IS a big bad corporation for the most part... But i wouldn't be surprised that there's more going on.
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Old 05-24-18, 04:36 PM
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Re: Amazon is banning customers who make too many returns

We've done more than 5 in two years easy and we're still active.

It's got to be some other issue that's not being discussed.
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Old 05-24-18, 06:30 PM
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Re: Amazon is banning customers who make too many returns

Originally Posted by milo bloom View Post

It's got to be some other issue that's not being discussed.
Well, it would certainly help clarify the issue if Amazon took one of these cases, and *fully* disclosed the reason for banning. As in, give a list of "what the customer did wrong" to warrant the ban. That way, we would see Amazon's side and the wronged customer's side.

Why do they hide in not divulging any details? Do they just have some "devil customers" like Best Buy, and are they indiscriminately banning people for different reasons, with no real rhyme or reason?

Do some just get a "free pass," as in some flag is trigged by a machine to be more lenient if that person is a big buyer (say, in excess of $10k per year) and still has many returns?
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Old 05-24-18, 06:35 PM
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Re: Amazon is banning customers who make too many returns

Originally Posted by zyzzle View Post
Well, it would certainly help clarify the issue if Amazon took one of these cases, and *fully* disclosed the reason for banning. As in, give a list of "what the customer did wrong" to warrant the ban. That way, we would see Amazon's side and the wronged customer's side.

Why do they hide in not divulging any details? Do they just have some "devil customers" like Best Buy, and are they indiscriminately banning people for different reasons, with no real rhyme or reason?

Do some just get a "free pass," as in some flag is trigged by a machine to be more lenient if that person is a big buyer (say, in excess of $10k per year) and still has many returns?
The ones who get a pass are the ones paying for four Prime accounts.
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Old 05-24-18, 10:25 PM
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Re: Amazon is banning customers who make too many returns

Originally Posted by zyzzle View Post
Well, it would certainly help clarify the issue if Amazon took one of these cases, and *fully* disclosed the reason for banning. As in, give a list of "what the customer did wrong" to warrant the ban. That way, we would see Amazon's side and the wronged customer's side.

Why do they hide in not divulging any details? Do they just have some "devil customers" like Best Buy, and are they indiscriminately banning people for different reasons, with no real rhyme or reason?

Do some just get a "free pass," as in some flag is trigged by a machine to be more lenient if that person is a big buyer (say, in excess of $10k per year) and still has many returns?
I'm pretty sure it's because they don't want people gaming the system.
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Old 05-24-18, 11:21 PM
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Re: Amazon is banning customers who make too many returns

Originally Posted by davidh777 View Post
The ones who get a pass are the ones paying for four Prime accounts.
Actually, from what I've heard, if you're banned they don't refund or pro-rate your Prime account, and they also won't refund any kind of gift card balance you have.

I'm not sure what happens to your Kindle, digital music/video library, or ability to stream, or if it's just a ban on buying stuff through the mail. But if they don't refund gift cards, it sounds like you're totally shut out.
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Old 05-24-18, 11:52 PM
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Re: Amazon is banning customers who make too many returns

Originally Posted by Josh-da-man View Post
Actually, from what I've heard, if you're banned they don't refund or pro-rate your Prime account, and they also won't refund any kind of gift card balance you have.
But, is that legal? How the fuck can they get away with that? Oh yes, it's because they're Amazon and nobody would actually dare take them to court, and if they did, Amazon's lawyers would outspend them by orders of magnitude and they'd be broke from the long arm of lawyer hell.

So, Amazon could say to someone who'd just renewed their $119 per year Prime membership and had $1000 in Amazon giftcard credit, "We're banning you. You lose all your credits, Prime membership, and access to our site forever. We'll be tracking you to ensure you never can use our site again. Have a nice day!" And Amazon would suddenly, magically find itself $1119 richer...

That doesn't sound right, but I guess for Amazon it's fair game?
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Old 05-25-18, 12:58 AM
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Re: Amazon is banning customers who make too many returns

Originally Posted by rjh_54 View Post
Unbelievable. I don't return that often but their packaging practices absolutely suck, so every now and then I do return damaged item(s). I ordered about 5 CDs a few weeks ago and they were all stuffed in ONE bubble envelope with lots of room to slide around, so naturally every single case was cracked in a few spots. I didn't return or exchange any of them since the cracks in the cases didn't effect their functionality this time (and I happened to have some extra cases this time), but I have exchanged for that reason before.

If I'm paying for something that's not packaged well, you can bet I'm going to exchange it to get one that wasn't mangled during shipping. Customers shouldn't be punished because Amazon doesn't know how to package items. Of course it's a different story for those who actually abuse the system.
Amazon is absolutely terrible at shipping CDs. It's like their workers have never handled a CD before. Their bubble mailers are just asking for the CD case to develop cracks. Other times, they will now just throw a few CDs together in an unpadded box and let them play CD derby inside.

They do much the same thing with Blu-rays and DVDs, but the softer plastic cases tend to absorb more damage than the harder CD cases.

I'm pretty sure some of these stories in the news are more or less planted by Amazon's viral marketing team. It's to scare off regular customers from claiming too many returns. I pretty much just accept damaged goods from them without returning anything these days.
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