On 24th December 2016, I found I could no longer log into my Amazon account. As a very frequent Kindle books and apps customer I found this ban very disturbing. I could not post book reviews, purchase anything, play games that needed a connection to my app store nor rent films from Amazon prime.
When I kept getting the error message that my password was incorrect I rang Amazon customer service and was told a block had been placed on my account. The customer service representative couldn’t tell me why and I was told Amazon would contact me within 24 hours to resolve the issue.
To cut a long and tedious story short the customer service representatives on the front line could not help me to “unblock” my account and after being told for the third time someone from accounts would ring me and getting no contact from the illusive Amazon accounts department, I decided to make a formal representation, in the shape of a signed for letter to their head of sales, Mark Burton.
By the time I could escalate my complaint to Mark Burton it was 16th January 2017 and I had been cold turkey from Amazon for a gruelling 22 days. During this period of untethered anguish and confusion I reflected on the mindless dependency I had to the online Goliath. The majority of the books I have read are on Kindle and were at the time inaccessible. It was quite alarming to see how much I used my Amazon account and how the absence of it was affecting me.
Despite the fact I used resolver.co.uk to log the complaint (which Amazon representatives told me they wouldn’t respond to, but were unresponsive when I explained I cannot get into my account to contact them through their own contact help pages) and used the contact form without signing into my account as well as writing to them by post, I have had no contact with from Amazon since 4th January 2017.
I have now escalated my complaint to Christopher North, Managing Director, and have no further steps I can think of to ask again for the privilege of being able to shop online with Amazon. A part of me is grateful to be cut off (I’m really saving money) but a big part of me feels violated and duped. I paid to renew my Prime Membership in November 2016 and am unable to use the facility of next or same day delivery, purchased Fire TV in early December and am still heavily dependent on my Kindle Fire HD tablet, which is now not anchored to the Amazon app store.
Despite having no information about why my account is blocked, I did discover on 26th January 2017 that I suddenly had access to parts of my account, so was able to post reviews again and manage my Kindle books and apps. I had fallen out of the Top 1000 reviewers ranking and I am still unable to purchase anything from Amazon through my account. I do wish I had never been tempted to buy an Amazon tablet or Fire TV. I have rediscovered other places to buy physical books, so not everything is held to ransom by Amazon on a whim.
I remain incensed but reflective about Amazon’s treatment of me, a loyal customer since they first started, who hasn’t changed phone number or address since 2002. It is their loss at the end of the day as I discover life beyond Amazon, however their claims of being a customer centric company and recent award for customer service is totally at odds with my personal experience and I’m seriously considering not linking my reviews to their books on my blog.