Amazon Is Reportedly Banning Customers For Frequent Returns

Amazon’s flexible return policy might not be as hassle and risk-free as it seems.

Amazon.com Fulfillment Center in LA
Jonathan Weiss / Shutterstock

Amazon’s flexible return policy might not be as hassle and risk-free as it seems.

Amazon – it is the e-commerce giant a person would have to live under a rock not to know about. Rival to Walmart, Amazon is one of the largest companies on the planet. Amazon offers a little of everything including online shopping, fresh grocery delivery, pantry (dry and canned food) delivery, video and TV streaming, music streaming, e-books, electronics (such as tablets), and everything in between.

Most Amazon customers agree one of the many perks of choosing to shop with Amazon is their extremely lenient and flexible return policy. For a customer who finds themselves unhappy with an item they purchased and received, they almost always have the option of returning it without much hassle. If the return is the result of Amazon (or a third-party merchant’s) mistake, the customer can return the item – for free – for a full refund. If there isn’t really anyone to blame or the customer wants to return the product for some unknown reason – the most the customer has to do is pay the return shipping.

There’s a very short list of items Amazon won’t accept returns on and typically the company doesn’t ask many questions regarding the purpose of the refund.

According to a recent report by Wall Street Journal, however, Amazon customers may want to get a little less trigger happy about pushing that return for a refund button. One too many returns and an Amazon customer runs the risk of finding themselves banned from shopping from Amazon with their customer account closed.

When Amazon shuts down a customer account and the customer happens to be a Prime member, the customer abruptly loses all of their Prime membership benefits and Amazon services in general. This includes – but is not limited to – any video or music content they have purchased and downloaded.

According to Wall Street Journal, dozens of Amazon customers recently took to various social media platforms to lodge complaints about accounts being closed. Most revealed they had received an email from the e-commerce giant explaining that their account had been disabled because of “an abundance of returns.” After reaching out to Amazon following the deactivation, it has been reported that many customers were able to get their accounts restored.

People are still finding this news a little hard to swallow as Amazon takes great pride in being a customer-centered company. So, some are finding it a little challenging to understand the reasoning for being suddenly disconnected from all Amazon-related services because you decided to return a few items you didn’t want.

Amazon told the Wall Street Journal the decision to deactivate a customer account is never a decision that is made lightly. The e-commerce giant, however, feels the decision is sometimes necessary when a customer attempts to abuse the system.

“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.”

The bigger consensus behind the customer stories about closed accounts, however, appears to be the fact that Amazon often disables a customer account suddenly without any type of warning. Amazon has also attempted to make it clear that returning too many items isn’t the only reason customer accounts get banned.

“Behaviors including requesting too many refunds, sending back the wrong items or violating other rules, such as receiving compensation for writing reviews.”