Automating customer support might be good for cutting costs, but sometimes it leads to really unpleasant results for actual clients. One of the Amazon app developers has shared a story of their account being suspended after making an occasional purchase.
The original story was shared by an anonymous developer on Reddit over the weekend. The team has been developing apps for the Amazon store for more than six years while also making occasional purchases with the developer account for personal purposes.
Amazon had no problems with it until January 7. That’s when the devs received an email from the company’s customer service, saying that their account was temporarily placed on hold after detecting “unusual payment activity.”
The developer had 72 hours to confirm that they were the “authorized owner of the payment method used in the recent transaction.” However, after providing the billing information, they received a no-reply email, saying that the account was still on hold.
The reason? Amazon needed the information related to the developer’s wife’s credit card. So after providing a credit card statement for their wife’s card, they received another email, demanding the developer’s actual credit card this time.
Here is what happened next. “I provided the billing statement they asked,” the post reads. “And you guessed it. They asked for the wife’s [credit card] again!”
After that, the developer provided the information related to both credit cards, asking Amazon to be more clear about what it actually demands. Unfortunately, it also led to no results.
The developer had to eventually provide a copy of their photo ID only to receive the following letter: “After a review of your details, we have determined it is necessary to close your Amazon.com account.”
So the team now has no access to the account or the developer portal while Amazon is still selling their apps.
In the comments, some users suggested that contacting Amazon on Twitter might actually help as the company sometimes solves issues on social media out of fear for its public image. “Usually companies have actual social media managers and no customer service,” one user wrote. “Putting a company on blast on Twitter tends to make things happen.”
Another user said that Amazon “has automated their customer support to such an extent that it’s pretty common to get into loops like this.” And it looks like a pretty common issue for a lot of people who face these automated answers via email.
There was also a lawyer in the comments that advised to sue Amazon for copyright infringement if the developer is “100% confident that Amazon has sold at least one copy of your app since the final email.”
Although the original post received a lot of upvotes and attention from the Reddit community, the issue still remains unsolved.