Monday, 29 February 2016

How To Cope With Being Banned From Amazon

It was late afternoon on Sunday 28th February 2016. I was looking through Amazon for a lamp for my bedroom. I was trying to decide between a number of lamps and because I hate returning things, it took me longer than it should have for me to decide upon the white one instead of the silver one. I added the lamp to my basket along with some light bulbs. They were cheap so I figured if they turned out to be crap that it wouldn't really create such a big dent in my wallet that I wouldn't be able to pop down to my local Tesco's to grab some more. I headed to the checkout when suddenly, it was saying that my email or password were incorrect. Weird. So I thought I'd go back to it later on during the day.

Around half an hour later, my brother came into my room and asked what my password was. I was studying so I told him to ask me later. Around 8pm, I logged into my hotmail account and saw that Amazon closed my account. Thinking it was a measure to prevent hacking, I opened the email calmly. I read through the email and instantly started freaking out. I had returned so many items that I was now banned. Forever.

Now I'll provide some context. My brother likes to build up and repair computers and last year, he needed to order something on my account. The thing arrived but it had already been opened before being packaged by Amazon so he sent it back. And then they sent another one. And we had the same problem that it wasn't being packaged properly. My brother contacted Amazon customer advisers who said to send it back. So he did. And we continued to have this problem. The thing was also the wrong colour. He ordered black. Amazon sent brown. So for two months (estimate) we sent the thing back. Eventually, we got a refund and ordered another thing. Except, we continued having problems. The thing was advertised by Amazon as having another thing included in the thing. But the another thing wasn't included when the thing arrived. So Amazon said we should send it back and they would send a replacement. We did that and got the replacement. Same problem again so my brother gave up with returning things to Amazon.

And then in November, I got an email saying that we had returned too many things and that I should be aware that my account could be closed. Up until this point, I had returned 3 things from Amazon over a nearly 5 year period and had ordered over £1000 worth of products. I was happy with everything so far from Amazon and this recent blip in their service didn't faze me the slightest. But that email threw me off. I was so busy working and studying for my Medical School entrance exam that I spent a whole day completely shell-shocked.

And then I decided to not return anything. And we didn't hear any complaints for 3 months so I assumed all was well.

Until my brother a week ago decided he wanted to return some slippers that were too big for him despite being advertised as his size.

I wasn't aware of this because my GAMSAT exam is less than 3 weeks away and that's all I can think about. I had warned my brother not to use my account to return anything but as always, he decided not to listen to me. Two collections for the Amazon parcel passed as one had not turned up and the other came before we were told he would come and therefore, he arranged to have it sent back again, making another return request.

And then came the email telling me I was banned.

My first emotion was one of feeling really pissed off. I've let my brother use my account a lot because I try to be kind since he's been going through a rough time but his problem with his things last year meant my account looked really bad and now because of his actions I've been banned. And now he's worried about how it's going to affect him. I've gotten no apology from him but I have a feeling it's somewhat out of his emotional capacity as a human being. I then grabbed all his chocolates and ate them. Immature yes but now I have to pay full price for the stuff I used to get for a pretty good price on Amazon. And I lost my Amazon Prime and Amazon are refusing to acknowledge my emails about this so I feel they won't refund me what I paid for Prime which I'm pretty sure borders on the realms of illegality.

Now I'm left to find somewhere else to do my online shopping. Amazon was amazing. I was able to get such a wide variety of things from there. I never had to do so much searching. Looking around my bedroom, half the stuff I have came from Amazon so I feel sad knowing that I'll never be able to go on Amazon again because under my account so many returns had to be made for only a few items.

And that's what pisses me off the most. Most of the stuff I buy, I keep. Actually I've only returned 1 item in my 5 years of being on Amazon. Once from my sister. The others, my brother who refused to get his own account because mine had Prime.

I've signed up to a number of online sites to order stuff from but all the stuff I buy costs ridiculous amounts on these sites. No way am I paying nearly £2 for a single pair of ear plugs when on Amazon I could get 20 pairs for £5. No way am I paying £20 for 12 pens that only cost me £13 on Amazon. And I would be stupid to buy some hair blow drying product that was over half it's retail price on Amaozn. And a lot of these sites charge for delivery unless you spend stupid amounts on a single order although considering their prices, it wouldn't be too hard to get to the minimum spend.

So it's not worth me using other sites when I have to pay so much for delivery. Especially when I try to remind myself I live in the town centre and less than a 5 minute walk away from 2 shopping malls. But when I'm busy trying to get into medical school and get another job while studying for entrance exams, I don't really have the time to fumble around a single shop for 20 minutes looking for something specific.

Now I'm destined to spend the rest of my life banned from the internet version of a lost and found box.

I guess there is one advantage to being banned from Amazon. I now get to justify spending more time every day looking for stuff I need online. Just another reason for me to never leave my bedroom.

Thanks for reading.

Kamille