Amazon's Gift Card Theft

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Sep 28, 2017
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I've been doing some reading, and it looks like this is a pattern with Amazon, but here goes...


Amazon canceled my account on Sunday evening after I spent 5 hours and almost $600 shopping for items for my new home. When Amazon canceled my account, they canceled my $600 worth of orders from that day (with the exception of one item, which was $176).


I had made those orders with Amazon gift cards and Amazon refuses to refund the gift card balance "because the account is closed." Seriously – they closed my account without my consent and now “because the account is closed” they are not refunding my balance.


Additionally, Amazon is not telling me why they closed my account, other than:


“We have closed this account because our records show that we closed another account of yours for not meeting the terms of our Conditions of Use agreement and we are unable to provide information about additional accounts or resources we have used to identify the link between accounts.”


I want to be very clear here – Until they closed my account this Sunday, I have NEVER had an account canceled by Amazon for “not meeting the conditions of use,” or for any other reason. Because of this, I wrote back to Amazon customer service, as well as Jeff Bezos. This is part of what I got back from whoever mans Jeff Bezos’ email:


“As your account is closed, your unused gift card balance is no longer available.


Due to the proprietary nature of our business, we're unable to discuss other accounts with you, and the decision to close your account is a final one.”


The response from Customer Service is much of the same, just a slightly varied template. Amazon’s phone support isn’t any better. Apparently they do not have any information on this, as it is part of a different department.


I continued to write and call and still wasn’t given any additional information “due to the proprietary nature of our business.” I’ve done absolutely nothing wrong, yet Amazon has stolen my money from me, and won’t even tell me what I’ve done to be cheated out of almost $500 of my hard earned money.


About my account:

  • No one else has access to it
  • It is my credit card and contact info connected to it
  • I do not use cryptocurrency to purchase anything Amazon related.
  • When I buy gift cards, I do it through Chase's MileagePlusX app, which gives me extra miles for purchasing gift cards from their partners (the one exception to this is a gift card that I bought directly from Amazon, because they offered me a $10 bonus if I topped up at least $100. This was 3 hours before they canceled my account and took my money).
  • I've only had 2 problems with Amazon prior to this Sunday. One was when a package was supposed to be delivered and the delivery driver and I kept missing one another and the package was ultimately sent back to the seller. When I missed the 3rd delivery, I called Amazon to ask if I could go to the delivery center to pick up the package. They said no, it was already being shipped back so I'd have to reorder it. The other time was when I ordered from Amazon Now. There was a $25 minimum order for delivery. The item I needed was $21, so I just bought something random to meet the minimum. I get a text from Amazon saying the $21 item was out of stock, but they'd still be delivering the $4 item. I called and canceled the order.

That's it. Alice Powers is the attorney being CC'd on the emails from CIS and whoever is running Bezos' email account. She's never tried to contact me, the only reason I know who she is is because I ran a Boolean of "apowers@amazon.com" on Google, her name popped up, I found her on LinkedIn, googled her firm, saw they rep Amazon. I called and left her a voicemail today. Nothing.


I've emailed 20 journalists who cover consumer issues explaining the situation and asking them to investigate this (and CC'd CIS, Alice and Bezos on those emails). I'm hoping one of the journalists will pick up the story and it will catch the attention of an attorney who sees a class action.


I know I need to contact the Attorney General in my state (California). Is it worthwhile to contact the AGs in other states as well? Are there any other things I should do?


Thanks,
Ashley
 
Feb 9, 2016
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#2
When they do this to accounts, they suspect fraud of some sort.

When we see these stories posted here, there is always something particular, or interesting, about the manner in which the gift card balance came to exist.

However, you are in the clear as far as I can see. Since you recently purchased this card directly from Amazon, and you used a credit card to do this, and Amazon has refused to release the funds, your solution is to call your credit card company, explain the situation and get a charge back going. Then Amazon will have to either pony up an actual explanation to justify their theft, or you will get your money back.
 
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