Amazon Closes Customer Accounts for Making Too Many Returns

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Amazon boxes in Collin's arms

Make a lot of returns? You may want to reconsider.

Returning a dead Christmas Tree in January for a full refund may work at some retailers 😳, but not for Amazon. In fact, some are alleging the company now closes accounts based on customers making too many returns.

Then again, serial returners are also given the stink eye at stores like Home Depot, Best Buy, CVS, Victoria’s Secret and other retailers mentioned here. That’s because many of these companies use a third-party firm called The Retail Equation which keeps a database of customers’ returns and flags potentially problematic shoppers. These customers who are flagged often have their accounts closed or are barred from making future returns. Yikes!

closed sign

In fact, according to this Business Insider article, it appears Amazon has randomly closed many customer accounts this week without warning – and it could be because these customers made too many returns. But what does Amazon say about making too many returns? Well, they don’t say anything specifically.

Amazon’s official return policy states:

Items shipped from, including Amazon Warehouse, can be returned within 30 days of receipt of shipment in most cases. Some products have different policies or requirements associated with them.

This house runs on Amazon Prime mat | Amazon closes customer accounts for too many returns

So why are some customers having their accounts closed and others aren’t? This Amazon shopper who received a warning email from Amazon said…

“I have shopped a lot on Amazon in the last 5 years and spend around $1,200/month on the site. I buy almost everything, from cheap products like groceries, books, toilet paper to expensive laptops & electronics. That means I also return more when they don’t meet my expectation. In the last 2 months, I returned 2-3 items each month and the value of refunded items was higher than the value of what I kept. That’s the reason why I received a warning from Amazon.”

What if you get a warning email from Amazon?

According to this same customer above, if you receive a warning email from Amazon, you should immediately check your Amazon account for any unusual account activities.

If you’ve returned too many items lately, be prepared with good reasons for returning them – and don’t forget to take pictures of the products that are defective or different from what you ordered. Then you should reply to and explain what went wrong with your orders.

Have you had an account closed from making too many returns?

Join The Discussion

Comments 100

  1. Mod Mom

    I love my local retailers! And I love Amazon! They each have things to offer me as a shopper. It would be nice if people were more considerate and not abuse the system.

  2. 50ShadesofLipstick

    Good for Amazon…stricter return policies curb fraudulent behavior and prevent the rest of us honest people from paying more for products. If you aren’t doing anything shady, then this obviously doesn’t apply to you so I see no reason for concern. Clearly they’re not going to come after people who have only done a few returns here and there.

    • Kay

      The worry for me is they will take shortcuts to find the abusers and innocent people will be shut down. This has happened at other stores. They base their decision on who is abusing returns on algorithms instead of using judgement. I’ve heard lots of stories of legitimate buyers being flagged by the software and banned. Sure, the software does stop abusers, but becuase it doesn’t have human judgement, innocent buyers are caught in the net. I hope amazon try’s to avoid this and have a process for people to defend their returns and prove innocence if flagged.

      • 50ShadesofLipstick

        And I am sure that Amazon will take all of that into consideration, being the largest web retailer and priding itself on customer service. There’s a threshold that has to be met before someone’s account is closed- so the amount of innocent customers that are going to be flagged for no reason isn’t going to be a significant portion of the actual amount that are flagged for abusing the refund policy. A person that feels that their account was closed in error can always contact customer service and try to resolve it. Lots of companies do this nowadays b/c unfortunately humans are dishonest and greedy as hell.

    • momof4spoiled1s

      Don’t count on it. I was one of their honest, innocent victims and they don’t care what your explanation is. Trust me.

      • 50ShadesofLipstick

        If that is true, then it is unfortunate. But again, you don’t represent the people that Amazon is actually going after. I would keep going up the chain until I spoke to someone higher up if I were you. Companies should be able to crack down on people that abuse their return policy but that doesn’t mean that they won’t ever make a mistake.

  3. momof4spoiled1s

    A couple of years ago Amazon closed my account because of too many returns but they weren’t even returns. My local post office lost my subscribe and save orders twice. On the first loss amazon just reshipped and everything was okay. On the second S&S order the Amazon rep credited out each individual item and then rebilled so it looked like I had returned all the stuff. I argued with them and told them I had proof it wasn’t my fault but they weren’t listening. At the time I had just transferred a reward to my amazon account and amazon kept it and wouldn’t give me my money. I read they have done this to other people. Amazon just keeps any money they have on their accounts. That has to be wrong.

  4. Sara Meyers

    They have to crack down. Almost everything I buy is an Amazon warehouse deal. Amazon warehouse deals only exsist from buyers buying items and then returning them and based on the number of warehouse deals I get…..this happens quite a lot…..and with items that are in perfect condition and working order. Unfortunately the overall intelligence level of the average person is dwindling at an alarming rate and they don’t even seem to comprehend that what they are doing is wrong. More often than not, there is nothing wrong with the returned items…..I know because I buy them up…..and it is user error or just plain abuse of the system. They then bad mouth and leave bad reviews of these wonderful items….because they try to figuratively put a square in the circle whole…..and rant and rave and cause problems when there are none. And given the number of completely retarded and idiotic reviews I have read, of high quality functioning items….Amazon let’s this happen far more than they even should.

  5. Edwards

    This is the sole fault of fraud. People making returns for ridiculous reasons. I’ve bought some stuff from Amazon Warehouse deals and they were fine save for some minor issues. But there’s always people who will game the system.

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