Amazon, the e-commerce juggernaut that's earned its founder and CEO Jeff Bezos the title of wealthiest person in history, maintains the right to ban you from using its services if you return too many items. Revealed in a Wall Street Journal report, Amazon's customer ban policy has mostly floated under the radar until two customers interviewed by the paper complained of receiving emails notifying them of their accounts being deactivated.
One customer named Nir Nissim says he was banned for returning too many items and that he received no warning that his copious returns were causing Amazon problems. The other customer, Paul Fidalgo, called the unexpected exclusion from the site "dizzying and disorienting."
The paper reports that customers have been able to restore their accounts in many instances, but not without contacting Amazon customer service and disputing the bans. In a statement, Amazon clarified its position on deactivating customer accounts without warning:
“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,” Amazon said. “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.”
While Amazon was kind of opaque about the customer behavior that can earn bans, a former Amazon employee told the WSJ that offensive actions include "requesting too many refunds, sending back the wrong items or violating other rules, such as receiving compensation for writing reviews.”
Amazon does have a massive customer base, beleaguered warehouses, and customer service teams asked to find missing dogs, so it's not entirely surprising the company might institute harsh penalties for serial offenders.