Furious customers say they've been mysteriously locked out of their Amazon accounts - and they have no idea why
- Amazon Prime members are taking to social media to complain that their accounts have been mysteriously closed over the last week.
- Hundreds of angry customers complain that they have not been provided with reasons why their accounts were closed, with some going as far as to threaten a class action lawsuit against Amazon.
- "I have worked for Amazon for over a year in multiple departments and I have never seen anything like this," one person told Business Insider.
Hundreds of Amazon customers say that the company has closed their accounts with no explanation.
Tina White, a frequent Amazon shopper from Massachusetts, said that since Thursday she has talked to Amazon representatives "every single day for hours every single day.""They told lie after lie every single day," White told Business Insider.
White realized her Amazon account had been shuttered last Thursday evening, when she went to check on a package that was set to be delivered the next day. When she tried to sign in, she received a message that there was no account associated with her name.The only explanation White has been able to receive is that she violated "Amazon policy" or "review policy," though she says the company was unable to point to specific violations. "Customer trust is one of Amazon's top priorities," an Amazon spokesperson told Business Insider. "To protect that trust, we take a number of actions, including closing accounts that have violated our policies. If a customer has a question about their account, we recommend they contact Customer Service so we can investigate and take appropriate action."
However, some users feel like Amazon still has not done enough.
The rise of a social media movement
Hundreds of other people reported similar stories on social media, starting last Thursday.
"Day 4 of being locked out," wrote another. "I have a Prime Membership, 4 Fire TVs, a Kindle, a monthly STEM subscription and a Subscribe and Save order. Every rep I speak with says something different about why it's happening and they all act like I'm the only one with a problem.""My wife's account has been closed and no one will tell us why," wrote a third. "We have been good customers, very few returns over the many years we have been members."
Facebook groups sprung up to discuss the closures, the largest of which has more than 2,700 members. A smaller group pledges to file a class action lawsuit against Amazon.
Dozens report they've talked to customer service representatives, who say their accounts have been closed for violating Amazon's Terms of Service, without further explanation as to how they broke the company's policies. Others spoke with representatives who said they weren't sure what was happening.
'I have never seen anything like this'
Based on conversations with other workers, she said she believed the issue to be "widespread." However, lacking a clear explanation, she says most customer service representatives are simply confused.Furthering confusion is the fact that many people are reporting an incomplete account closure. While customers almost unanimously say they were alerted upon login that their account does not exist, others say they've managed to log in through alternative sub-accounts, such as Audible or Kindle Music.
Some people in private Facebook groups admitted to violating policies through activities such as leaving good reviews in exchange for a reward, such as gift cards. Some said that they may have committed acts, such as reviewing products that they received for free or at a discount, that they did not realize were not allowed. And, others say they have no recollection of violating the company's policies.
According to one Prime member who had her account canceled on Tuesday, who asked to be referred to as Ashley R., an Amazon representative said "review fraud" could be a factor in her closure."They said it's an algorithm that tries to detect review fraud that may have closed the account," Ashley R. told Business Insider.
Amazon appears to be dealing with the closures on a case-by-case basis. As of Thursday, an increasing number of users report that they can once again access their accounts and place digital orders, though not physical orders to be delivered.
White, who provided screenshots that indicated she had been able to partially re-access her account but still unable to place orders as of Thursday morning, has been determined to make reopen her account. However, that doesn't mean she is going to return to her previous shopping behavior, which involved multiple orders a week."I have lost all faith in them," she said.
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