Amazon Closed Account With $1,000 Balance

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Feb 7, 2017
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My scenario is similar to others in that have posted on this forum.

The Amazon gift cards were purchased from Office Depot, not a third party reseller. I have the store receipt and the physical gift cards in hand. There is nothing fraudulent about the gift cards I linked to my account.

In my situation the payment card Amazon requires to use a gift card balance was mine, has my name on it, and was entered correctly with the correct billing address (which is an international address as I am not a US resident).

I have 6 times provided Amazon, per their automated requests, the billing statement for the payment card. I have also in my replies confirmed my name, address and telephone number. Despite these correspondences on my part I get a "canned" response each time from Amazon asking for the same information.

I have called Amazon customer service twice. I am advised only an Account Specialist can assist, and that one will call me within 24 hours. Nevertheless, I have not received any calls. I have though received an email from an Account Specialist advising me that my account is closed. There is no mention of the return of my gift card balance or acknowledgement of my gift card balance.

Any tips on who I may directly contact or how I may satisfactorily resolve this issue would be gratefully received.
 

johnbaker

Verified Member
Oct 2, 2014
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#2
@JAA Silly questions... did your account have the most up to date contact info? Second, when did you purchase the gift card? You might be able to chargeback the purchase.
 
Likes: jsn55
Feb 7, 2017
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#3
@johnbaker yes my Amazon account had the most up to date information, and the matching info as on my linked payment card. The gift cards were purchased just over a week ago, so presumably well within the period for a chargeback to be initiated. I am however apprehensive about doing a chargeback to Office Depot, knowing that this is actually Amazon's issue and not Office Depot's.
 
Feb 9, 2016
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#4
@JAA Am I right in understanding that, to date, amazon has not given you a reason as to why your account has been closed? If they have given you a reason, please share, and/or share the email they sent you.

Had you ever had unintentional invalid/fraulent gift card activity on the account in the past?
 

johnbaker

Verified Member
Oct 2, 2014
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#5
@JAA How can you be sure its not an Office Depot issue? If they reported them stolen or didn't register them, you'd have the same issue as now. You also didn't receive what you purchased. If think Amazon will listen to OD faster than you.

With only a week since the purchase, I wouldn't go there yet.
 
Likes: Neil Maley
Feb 7, 2017
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#6
@sas80 I got the following reason for account closure an hour ago. I have never had another Amazon account, so absolutely never had another account that was closed. These are also the first gift cards I have ever linked to my account, so there should be no unintentional issues with gift cards linked in the past.

Greetings from Amazon.com.

This message is to inform you that we have closed your Amazon.com account.

We have taken this action because we found this account to be related to previously closed accounts. In addition, all open orders have been cancelled.

We are unable to discuss other accounts with you but please contact us should you have any other questions; we'd be glad to assist you.


Sincerely,

Account Specialist
Amazon.com
http://www.amazon.com
=========================

@johnbaker I really find it hard to believe this is a fraudulent/unregistered gift card issue, but I am happy to be proven wrong if that leads to a resolution. I will wait for another response from Amazon before doing a chargeback. But that looks like it is my best option, and thankfully it should be available.
 
Feb 9, 2016
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@JAA do you have a selling account as well as a separate/individual normal consumer purchasing account?

Have you sold an item from your personal account?
Have you purchased an item from your seller account?

Did you have another account that was closed?
 
Likes: jsn55
Feb 9, 2016
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#9
@sas80
Greetings from Amazon.com.
This message is to inform you that we have closed your Amazon.com account.
We have taken this action because we found this account to be related to previously closed accounts. In addition, all open orders have been cancelled.
We are unable to discuss other accounts with you but please contact us should you have any other questions; we'd be glad to assist you.
Sincerely,
Account Specialist
Amazon.com
http://www.amazon.com
=========================

@johnbaker I really find it hard to believe this is a fraudulent/unregistered gift card issue, but I am happy to be proven wrong if that leads to a resolution. I will wait for another response from Amazon before doing a chargeback. But that looks like it is my best option, and thankfully it should be available.
That's why it was closed.
 
Feb 7, 2017
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#10
@sas80 sure that is the reason that they have given for closure, but as I really have never had another Amazon account before it doesn't make sense. In any case, it is not a reason for forfeiture of a significant Amazon balance, which their action is effectively causing.

Ultimately, if Amazon want to exercise a unilateral right to close an account for some alleged reason that isn't true that is their prerogative. However, in doing so keeping a customers funds is not within their rights. That is what I am trying to resolve.
 

Dwayne Coward

Administrator
Staff Member
Director
Apr 13, 2016
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#11
JAA,

It is apparent you are caught up their fraud prevention system. I recommend you use the contacts we provide for Amazon to plead you case with the company executives. If that doesn't work, you may need to look at legal options, such as filing a case in small claims court.

Please come back to let us know how your case is finally resolved. That will help us to advise others in the future.
 
Feb 9, 2016
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Now....if we pick apart that phrase "linked to an invalid account'.......

Quite literally, there could be a computer algorithm that has rules in place where the system scrutinizes the account activity against what Amazon deems an 'invalid account' and ultimately ends up deciding that your account meets the criteria pf what Amazon considers an invalid account, and that is why the account is 'linked to an invalid account' and auto closed

The offending 'invalid account' is not yours, and not associated with you, it is the account (accounts) that Amazon uses to determine the criteria of consumers they want to deal with and/or consumers they suspect are committing fraud, or will commit fraud.
 
Likes: mmb

Carrie Livingston

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Jan 6, 2015
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#14
This could also be about your mailing or delivery address. The address (a room mate or previous occupant) could be connected to a problem or fraudulent account. And that could be how you are related to a closed Amazon account.
@JAA we have seen this happen before that a roommate used his friends account to order something and the friends account was comprised so it ended up shutting his account as well (if I'm remembering correctly).
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#15
JAA, I am not much of an Amazon fan because I'm not comfortable giving my money to a business with no customer service if they unilaterally declare their customer a bad guy.

I would write to Amazon as Dwayne suggests, but I wouldn't give them a whole lot of time and energy. They've had plenty of opportunity to deal with your problem and they're not doing much at all.

I'd document the situation, and if nobody from Amazon will step forward to assist you, dispute the charge. If Office Depot is selling these gift cards, they'll have to take their lumps if their mutual customer is being cheated.

Retail companies are going insane with automation so they can fire more people and save more money. It won't stop until we rebel and refuse to deal with a non-entity. I just signed up for a new mailorder Rx service through my health insurance. A robot started calling my office. I emailed the company that I didn't take calls from robots and if they wanted to communicate with me, they should have a human call me or send an email. Well, they sent an email that was obviously composed by a monkey. They get one more chance to communicate and keep my business, just one. There are many, many sources of Rx services available to me and I do not have to accept this kind of slip-shod operation.
 
Feb 9, 2016
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#16
@JAA after what I read today you have ONE CHANCE to catch the attention of the person on the other end of that amazon email.
At this point I am quite certain that they are closing accounts based on algorithmic criteria. What this means is that a human being is not pulling the trigger on closing your account, a computer is, and then Amazon expects you to email in to justify why your account should not be closed. it seems like they do this a lot, which leads me to believe that there is an overwhelming number of appeals coming in every day. this is why I say you have one shot with an email appeal to make an impression, should you not choose to simply sue.

Good luck!.
 
Likes: jsn55
Feb 9, 2016
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#18
I think Google and I figured it out.

There is a fraudulent gift card being sold over and over again. let's call that Gift Card B.

Gift Card B has been used before, at least one time, on Amazon Account Y (not your account)

Amazon Account Y gets marked as an invalid account as it has had fraudulent Gift Card activity, because of the attempt to use Gift Card B.

You purchase Gift Card B and use it on your Amazon Account X.

Because you redeemed the same fraudulent Gift Card B, your Amazon Account X is now linked to fraudulent Amazon Account Y. Therefore your Amazon Account X is deemed as linked to an invalid account, and closed.

#Boom
 
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Likes: krisseye
#19
Do you still have the cards purchased at Office Depot in your possession? If so, were all of the ID numbers exposed by scratching off the coating? Was the coating uniform or did anything seem odd?

One of the most frequent scams these days is to go to a legitimate retailer, expose code numbers and then cover them with another coating. The codes are then used and an unsuspecting buyer is stuck with worthless cards.
 
Aug 28, 2015
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#20
1. Do the billing and shipping address match on your Amazon acct? Do these addresses match your card billing address?

2. Another way to get Amazon's attention in addition to writing the contacts; after your call with the 1st agent, did you receive an emailed survey re: your experience. If so, go ahead and write how terrible it was and that they didn't solve the issue, nor put you in touch with someone who could. You will likely receive a call from a Sup after that.

3. I would go ahead and alert your card issuer. Don't worry about a chargeback. Just explain the problem, that the gift cards you purchased were dishonered and led to account closure. You provided the card info, etc. The issuer will investigate. If it is something simple like an address mismatch, then it will get sorted and hopefully Amazon will agree to honor the cards.

A billing inquiry does not necessarily result in a chargeback but an investigation that will confirm some crucial info and likely identify the problem. I would do this immediately as you spent 1k on nothing. Don't worry about who's fault it is as you have no clue. Your bank will figure it out. That's what it is supposed to do.