Too many returns lands some Amazon customers on banned list

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Amazon Banning Customers with Too Many Returns

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Amazon is now following the lead of traditional retailers.

The online shopping giant is banning customers who return too many purchases, The Wall Street Journal reported.

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And in some cases, the company didn’t tell its customers why they were banned.

Nir Nissim told The Wall Street Journal that his account was closed earlier this year, claiming that he violated the conditions of use agreement. The email advised Nissim that he would not be permitted to open a new account or use another one to order with Amazon.

Nissim said he returned one item this year, a computer drive, and four last year. He also said he had a $450 gift card that became worthless. After contacting Amazon, even Chief Executive Jeff Bezos, he was eventually reinstated. He was told by an Amazon employee on behalf of Bezos, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Shira Golan was another customer who unexpectedly lost access after she was told she “reported an unusual number of problems.” Golan said she spends thousands of dollars a year with the retailer and that she has asked for refunds on clothing and shoes when they were damaged or wrong.

Amazon wouldn’t release how many customers have been banned because of having too many returns. But bans are not new for the retailer. In 2015, Paul Fidalgo was banned for returning smartphones over a short period of time. During the ban, Fidalgo not only couldn’t shop on the site, he also was not able to purchase any new content for his Kindle e-reader. Fidalgo though could read past content he had downloaded.

"It was dizzying and disorienting," Fidalgo told The Wall Street Journal. "You don't realize how intertwined a company is with your daily routine, until it's shut off."

Fidalgo was allowed back on Amazon after he received credits and asked the company how he could redeem them.

CNBC reached out to Amazon on how it picks accounts for closure after The Wall Street Journal report.

The company said:

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. 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. If a customer believes we've made an error, we encourage them to contact us directly so we can review their account and take appropriate action.

FILE PHOTO:  Amazon fulfillment center.
FILE PHOTO: Amazon fulfillment center.

Credit: Dan Kitwood

Credit: Dan Kitwood