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This is so weird, so off-the-wall, so inherently suspicious that I don't know whether it's a troll or the real deal. It just boggles my mind that Amazon would act this way, so I'm not sure if I can even buy into this customer's story. If there is any merit to it, it sounds like a giant error of some sort.

Edit: I don't want to automatically doubt or discount the customer's side though. I really don't know WHAT to make of this, honestly. It's so bizarre.

Ian Klein (Amazon board) said:
Hi all-

I have been a loyal Amazon.com customer for many years, but today, I received an email stating that I have been banned from the site and my account has been closed, because I apparently have an extraordinary rate of requesting refunds due to a variety of factors.

This is patently not true: I have only returned items that were defective, in complete accordance with their policies. I was not trying to game the system, I was not trying to get things for free - I just wanted products that worked properly, and if they didn't, they went back.

There was no warning; in fact, when I asked a question about the lightness of my Kindle's e-ink, a cs rep said "no problem, I'll send you a new one" -- and even after I told him "don't bother if it's going to be the same, mine is OK" -- he sent a new one anyway.

I have certainly kept thousands of dollars worth of items purchased from Amazon and planned to be a lifelong customer.

The ban from the main site is bad (and inexplicable) enough, but...

I have now discovered that I cannot manage my Kindle2 account (I can't log into Amazon) or purchase any new content.

In effect, I now have a $359 brick, not covered under any warranty, not able to be used the way it was meant to be, not able to be returned (not that I even want to, I just want to keep reading!)

I called customer service several times today; the supervisors there explained that I cannot use the Kindle store but "I can get content onto the machine different ways."

I have emailed the proper address, but I'm not hopeful of a positive solution.

I know you all don't know me from Adam, but I'm a good guy and didn't deserve this at all -- and no, I'm not going to bash Amazon here -- instead, I'm just going to tell y'all I'm going to make every call and write every (professional) email I can to get this situation resolved.

But please let this be a lesson to all of us - when you buy a Kindle, you are really buying a service-

-and that service can be turned off at a whim.

Not cool at all.

Amazon, do you have any people who monitor these forums? As I've stated, I'm a loyal customer and would like to believe this is an error or some inadvertent mistake.

Will you make it right? Please help.

-Ian
http://www.amazon.com/tag/kindle/forum/ref=cm_cd_ef_tft_tp?_encoding=UTF8&cdForum=Fx1D7SY3BVSESG&cdThread=Tx3A2WIX5ULRD7H&displayType=tagsDetail
 

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Wow......I'm hoping thats a troll 'cuz otherwise Amazon has some serious explaining to do........or at the VERY least return the guys Kindle for a FULL refund.
 

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I think he may being telling the truth.  If you visit his profile...he has been a long time customer...and well his purchases are electronics.  This is horrible...maybe he is leaving something out.  Amazon has sent me a broken T.V. they corrected the problem with a instant refund...yikes, hope it doesn't do the same thing to me.  I've returned melted candy too....hmmmm...now I'm concerned.  Lol!!!
 

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I don't know. I tend not to trust him, but that's because hanging out on the Amazon boards exposes you to a lot of people who feel picked on and who only dropped their Kindle from a height of 4 inches and... So, it could be just me being cynical.  :(
 

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Although he says he only returned items for cause, here is one of his reviews granted, it's from 7 years ago, but...who knows how many other items he returned):

Rio Riot MP3 player (note: this retailed at $350--Betsy)

3.0 out of 5 stars Great sound, but battery problems, May 11, 2002
Although the Rio Riot is quite a piece of equipment, I'm returning it today.

Pros: EXCELLENT sound, best I've ever heard. Great interface. Amazing capacity. Decent radio. Nice carrying case.

Cons: A bit big, but who cares? Very slow transfers (slower than normal USB transfers.) Songs aren't synced to desktop computer.

Deal-breaker: The battery. They recommend you drain it completely before fully charging, which sounds like old tech. Battery life can be 10 hours, but frequently, is far less, even after full drain/recharge. Sometimes, battery reads empty even when fully charged. Also, you can't change the battery or buy a spare... not good if you want to take it with you for more than 10 hours at a time!

Sorry, folks... I don't think this is ready for prime-time just yet.
 

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Smells funny to me.

I mean, even if he did get banned, it's not as if he couldn't log in a different account and re-register his Kindle to that one. If both my wife and I can have separate Amazon accounts, then he can surely make another one for himself. If the IP is a problem he can visit via proxy. If the snail mail address is the problem, he can get a PO Box. If the credit card is a problem, he can get a prepaid card in any Rite-Aid, Walgreens, or Wal-Mart (among others).

All I'm saying is that "banned" doesn't mean "can't get books for your Kindle from Amazon." -- It just means "can't get books for your Kindle from Amazon with your old account"

If he did get banned, I have to wonder how many items he has returned to earn such a punishment. Whether or not he keeps "thousands of dollars" worth, if he's sending back half (or more!) of the things he purchases, then I can understand Amazon's actions.

We don't know the whole story and frankly, from my experience with Amazon, I can't picture them doing this without some serious provocation. Cutting off future sales is a harsh response no retailer will take unless they determine that they're spending more money supporting RMA returns than they're getting in legitimate, permanent purchases.

Personally, I think it sounds like he's a con artist or nitpicker, and he abused the system. Now he's trying to seem like he was just minding his own business and Amazon nailed him for no reason; However, we don't know Amazon's side of the story, so any speculation would be pointless.

And of course, even if he can't use Amazon, he could use the USB cable and get books from other sources, or he could sell the Kindle and pick up an alternative e-reader that isn't as dependent on Amazon's system. He's not exactly stuck.
 

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I agree, judging from his profile he is legit but this just sounds so wacky and the kind of thing a "Kindle Hater" might just dream up.
Most suspicious is his comment about "your buying a service" this just wreaks of those naysayers that worry about "what if" Amazon suddenly went out of business or started cutting off customers... hmmm :/

If it is true, I think it is a very extreme action on Amazon's part and there must be more to the story. Assuming for the moment it is true and he is not leaving out some key info. He claims one  CS person he spoke too said he had "returned everything he had ever bought", he clearly has not and that is pretty easy to prove. I would go to the top of the CS food chain and have my list of purchases and a dollar figure at the ready. If this failed, I would call my local new's Consumer reporter. Those guys would love something like this.
 

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Nix Cadavre said:
Smells funny to me.

I mean, even if he did get banned, it's not as if he couldn't log in a different account and re-register his Kindle to that one.
But if he can not even log on to "Manage his Kindle" he can not "de-register" it, so he is not able to register it. Which also means he can not even sell it.

That is, assuming it is all true...
 

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It will be interesting to see how this plays out.  I've heard of other companies cutting off people who complained a lot (cell phone companies in particular).  And with Amazon's return policy, a customer could end up costing Amazon a bit of money if he or she returns a lot of items.  

Betsy
 

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I've returned very few things and usually it worked out well. The only frustrating experience is that they sent me a wrong book, I went through the procedure to return it, and they sent me another copy of the wrong book. As I recall, I tried again and asked that they please <insert specific description of book, price, ISBN> Guess what I got back. This was at the start of finding out my mom was sick and so I gave up fiddling with it. People have always been courteous though.
 

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i think he seems to be truthful, and honestly even if he ordered and returned stuff everyday if it is within their return policy and guidelines then that is the case. If for some reason his returns were not proper then they should speak up at the time of the actual return not wait and let it build up and completely terminate his account.
 

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As has been noted there are two sides of the story and we only see a brief version of his.  I love Ian's comment that "I'm a nice person and don't deserve any of this". Um....yeah, right.  Even in a misunderstanding both parties have some responsibility for the conflict.

After decades of dealing with the public I know that most people are reasonable, even delightful.  But a few people are never happy, can not be pleased and often walk around with a persecution complex because they can never see outside of the narrow focus of their own needs and desires.  I truly believe that not all customers are worth keeping.  After awhile repeated attempts to please a perpetually unhappy customer can cost more than the profit you might be able to make from them....and then it's a good time to cut the cord and let them go. 

Some people try to use retailers as a modified 'rent to own' venture that costs them very little but costs the retailer a lot over time.  You know the people - buy a product and use it for awhile and then invent a pretext to return it and get something else.  The Amazon return policy isn't all that strict and I would rather see them cut loose a customer that may be abusing the policy than see them restrict the policy for everyone else in order to deal with a few abusers.

Amazon is not the only retailer in the universe.  In fact, if I had to return multiple items to the same retailer I'd stop purchasing from them!

But then I *hate* doing returns, it seems like a waste of my time no matter how 'easy' they make it....I'm kind of lazy about things like that  ::)
 

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I've heard of instances where a company will no longer let a customer do returns due to an abuse of the return policy, but I've never heard of one that won't let the customer purchase from them at all. Doesn't mean it doesn't happen, but that would seem a bit extreme.
 

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I've never had any problem with Amazon and there CS has always been great. I would like to hear their side of the story. If they took such drastic measures I think there must be more to it.
 

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I agree that it does sound a bit drastic. I've returned/exchanged a cell phone that was clearly not new...haven't had a problem and CS was very accommodating.
 

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Since this is the first I have ever heard of anything like this, Amazon gets the benefit of the doubt with me until I either get much better verification of his story, or this starts happening to other people.

Steve
 

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Ut oh, there are several people that tell others to buy the Kindle and try it for  30 days and if they don't like it they can return it. If the above is true, that may not be such a good idea anymore.

Melissa
 

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By Mr. Klein's own admission, he has returned several "big ticket" items, TVs and cameras.  The MP3 player noted below was $350 retail, though he may have paid less for it.  If he's sent those items back in opened boxes, as he presumably has, Amazon can't sell them as new and they're taking a hit with every return.  Just from what he has said, I can understand Amazon taking a firm stance, especially in this economic environment.  It does surprise and disappoint me, if true, that there was no warning.

He has responded on the A Boards to some of the comments in a way that doesn't seem too troll like...I'd love to hear a response from Amazon....

Betsy
 
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