If you are an Amazon shopper in the United States, you must be very happy with their service and generous return policy, especially when you buy items shipped and sold by Amazon. Basically, we can return items without explanation as long as they were purchased within 30 days. They even pay for return shipping if your received item is defective or doesn’t match the description.
However, it doesn’t mean that you can abuse the system and use it as a try-out/rental service. The Seattle-based company has tightened the policy and over the last few years, a lot of Amazon accounts have been suspended when users request refunds excessively and there is no way to appeal the decision. So, what is the return limit and how to avoid being banned by Amazon?
What’s the return limit? When will Amazon ban your account?
Amazon is collecting data of all your transactions and they will stop doing business with you when they lose money. Till now, no one knows the exact return limit. In my case, I shop a lot on Amazon in the last 5 years, I sign up for Prime membership, and spend around $1200 per month on the site. I buy almost everything on the site, from cheap products like groceries, books, toilet paper to expensive laptops and 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:
“We’re writing to apologize for the number of issues you’ve experienced with your shipments. Your correspondences with us indicate you’ve required refunds on a majority of orders for a number of reasons.”
They also said that I had an unusually high rate of problems and they will evaluate each account on a case-by-case basis and might close my account if necessary. Fortunately, this is just a warning and Amazon want to work with me to avoid the worst case. They recommended to comply with Amazon policies or both of Amazon buying and selling accounts will be banned.
I tried to access my order history on the website but it failed to log in or redirected me to the digital content library. Fortunately, I managed to check my orders in the Amazon app on my phone. In the last 6 months, I ordered 104 items and returned 18 items, so the rate of return is approximately 17% of the total number of purchased items. Besides, the total value of returned items is just over 10% of total purchases.
On the Returns Center page, Amazon mentions that they send full refund for new, unopened items sold and fulfilled by Amazon within 30 days. Many of the items I returned were no longer in brand new condition, so this might be another reason they decided to penalize my account.
I sent Amazon an email to appeal the decision but they decided not to restore my account and said the decision is final. This is quite surprising because sometimes they sent me the wrong item; For instance, I ordered a snow pant and received an apron.
- Amazon Associates Banned my Affiliate Account multiple times, What I did wrong?
- No More Refund for Price Change on Amazon
Update 1: My wife returned a bicycle purchased in her account. Just a few days later, Amazon decided to cancel both of the accounts for not meeting the terms of Conditions of Use agreement. They said I cannot open a new account or use another account to order on the site. All open orders were canceled, I just could access digital content purchased in the account. I had over $100 in my gift card balance and Amazon agreed to send me the refund, I received a check in my mailbox after 1 week.
Update 2: Since my Amazon.com customer account is banned, all other services including Amazon Seller and Amazon Associates accounts were also closed. After contacting the customer service and explaining how I was a valuable member, they investigated and sent me another email welcoming me back to the program. Afterwards, I’ve used the new account for shopping and making money online for a while and haven’t got any problem so far.
“I’m very sorry that I’ve had to close your Associates account with Associate ID because we’ve been told the attached Amazon.com account will be closed within 24 hours. If you should ever wish to reconsider, we’d certainly welcome you back to the program with a different email address. You can apply for a new Associates account anytime. Your unpaid balance due to you will be paid out 60 days following the end of this month. You’ll continue to receive monthly payment reports and occasional announcements regarding tools, and features for up to 60 days after the end of this month. We look forward to seeing you again.“
How to Avoid Being Suspended
When you receive the warning email, you should immediately check your Amazon account to find out unusual account activities. If you return too many items lately, you should have good reasons and don’t forget to take some pictures if the products are defective or different from what you ordered. Then you should reply to [email protected] and explain what went wrong with your orders.
In case you are abusing the system and returning items without legit reasons, you should stop immediately and also send them an email saying you will be more careful buying products in the future. Try to keep the return rate lower than 10%. Some banned users reported that Amazon also terminated their accounts after the return rate overcame 10%, so it is best to keep the rate as low as possible.
After sending them an email, I received a polite response from Amazon and seemingly my account will be alright.
Thanks for writing to us and we are sorry for any misunderstandings with the email you received.
We’re concerned about the activity on your account and want to do all that we can to avoid the inconvenience you experience having to make frequent and possibly avoidable returns of the items you purchase from Amazon.com and with any delivery issues with your orders.
We contacted you so we could better understand the activity on your account and learn how to improve your shopping experience.
Your account remains open and available for your use. If you have any concerns regarding your orders, please contact our customer service and they will help you accordingly.
We appreciate your understanding, and hope to see you again soon.
Many people assumed that online shopping is similar to in-store shopping, which means you could try on items and return in case you are not satisfied. Amazon makes it easy and free to make the returns; You can either mail them back or drop off at Whole Foods, Kohl’s or a UPS Store. However, their system analyzes your purchase history and will mark your account as “Concession Abuse”. They will stop accepting returns for all of your future orders and if you somehow keep abusing the policy, your account will be permanently suspended.
When initiating a return, you will be asked for the reason such as defective or broken item, exchange for a different size or color, etc. Make sure to answer the question honestly because Amazon will actually examine the return to check its condition. Your account might be flagged if they find out there is nothing wrong with the item.
Besides, you might be in trouble if you order a lot of clothes on Amazon to try on and only keep a few. When shopping for clothes, you should find item eligible for Prime Wardrobe. It is free for Prime members and allows you to try up to 8 items at a time; Then you can keep what fit you and return all others without any penalization.
Another tip is avoiding ordering large items like bicycles or furniture from Amazon. They arrive damaged very often and when Amazon accepts the free return, they probably has a loss for this transaction. When this happens repetitively, obviously they wouldn’t want to continue doing business with you.
Last but not least, if you buy an item from a 3rd-party seller (shipped by Amazon) and have an issue with it, try to contact and resolve with the seller first instead of returning it to Amazon. In many cases, the seller might even send you a full refund without item return. This would help you avoid a strike in your account.
In a recent statement, Amazon mentioned that they are forced to close accounts when they detect extreme abuse but it only happens after they carefully review the account and work with the customer over an extended period of time. In early 2023, Amazon started flagging frequently returned items to encourage customers to check out more details and customer reviews before placing the order. Businesses offer product returns and exchanges to enhance the shopping experience for customers, but these services can prove to be financially burdensome. This is because costs associated with product returns include shipping, inventory processing, and other miscellaneous expenses. The return labels can negatively impact sales, prompting sellers to modify their listings or products to be more accurate. While retailers factor in returns when pricing their products, current economic conditions, such as corporate cutbacks, have resulted in higher return rates, necessitating tighter policies.
Have you got any issue with your Amazon account? Share with us in a comment below.
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Got banned because my neighbor stole a few packages. i had a police report and video
amazon still banned me i even told them a plan of action. how i was going to move and get a po box and use the amazon locker. they dont care. my digital purchases are gone gift card balance is gone of 50 dollars. no refund no access to my books
Can you show me or teach me how write to get them reconsider?
I ordered Sony WF-1000XM4 and returned it because of fitting problem.
After I recieved the credit bill, Amazon send me a mail that the received not the original earplugs, they will trow away them and ask me to send the origionals.
I can’t prove that I send the originals earplugs…………..
Bye bye Money
Bye bye Amazon
Christopher Shivers says
Actually, you have one more course of action. Call your credit or debit card company and tell them about the situation and ask for a chargeback. That’s too much money to be thrown away
How do I find out my orders, returns and cancellations? Do they count for orders placed out of haste then cancelled moments later?
Beth Everett says
What about items with free trials like pillows. They give a 100 day free trial on most and I have recently bought several and returned them. This gives me pause.
Hi. My account is on hold, and I need a email to contact them. Can someone help me with this? Thanks
Just create a different account with a different email.
EXACTLY lol It’s that easy.
Maria Haynes says
you should reply to [email protected] and explain what went wrong with your orders.
I will stop using Amazon, period. Sent back a irobot (over $1000)in original packaging and didn’t even open it. they didn’t issue refund. called and was told it wasn’t returned completely. how was it possible? it wasn’t even opened. then I asked them to ship back to me if they didn’t want to issue refund. guess what they said, the item was thrown away because it’s their policy! really, you’d throw away an item that’s more than $1000. just filed dispute with my credit card company
Eric H says
No you won’t.
Really? Like Amazon is the only online seller to choose from? I’m waiting for my credit card company to give me a refund after Amazon ripped me off for $236
Even if get my money back I will not spend a dime with them, because they’ll just find another way to cheat me again. All of the stories on this page are proof of that.
Amazon doesn’t even have the lowest prices on most of their merchandise. it’s just easy and fast.
Their returns go to the warehouses to be resold or their pallet stores to be sold as bulk truckload back to wholesalers.
Good man, please update us what the CC company did.
Hello what’s the update? Did your credit card company Cancel the payment ? Also was it a hassle to call them and have it done?
I returned an item they told me was the wrong item. I also was told it was thrown away. So they had no proof of anything and I had nothing else to return. Called my cc company and got my money back. Screw amazon.
I’m so glad you got your money back.
I’m waiting on my CC company currently, as I returned $236 worth of bras on the Prime Before You Buy in perfect condition with tags attached. 4 months later they say that the bras were damaged and I am being charged for them. I said, well send them back and I’ll repair them. They said they don’t have them anymore. How about some pictures of the said damage? They sad they have no proof and it’s their word against mine.
$236 is a lot of money to me as I live on Social Security. How are they allowed to conduct business like this? These are not isolated cases,and they just keep getting away with it. I couldn’t care less if they ban me. My life will go on without Amazon just fine. I’ll just have to wait longer for my items to arrive.
Unhappy customer says
I’ve ordered from Amazon for years without issue. This last month however I’ve had 2 orders say delivered, but to be no where in site. Not on my porch, at a neighbors house, or in my mailbox, but they say delivered. The first order even included a picture of the porch they delivered it on, and it definitely wasn’t mine. The second non delivery didn’t even include a photo.
On the first order, I asked for a replacement for both items. The first item shipped, and, was again, “delivered”, but not to my residence. So I’m just out money on that order. The second order I had made around the same time, I just asked for a refund when it was, again, delivered to the wrong address. I’m assuming on the second order, as they never attached a photo of where they “delivered” it.
My only two issues with Amazon over the years. I immediately get a letter about having a high amount of returns. I’ve only returned/refunded 2 orders, and they were within the same month. One with proof (their delivery photo) that it’s the wrong house. Yet I’m already having to worry about my account being cancelled.
I’m just going to take my business elsewhere. At least for awhile, I’m still so annoyed honestly. Cancel Prime, eat the financial loss, and stop stressing over whatever happened with the Amazon delivery to my house. I just wish they would have focused instead on why a loyal customer suddenly had 2 orders in one month delivered to wrong addresses.
I’ve had the same thing happen to me and I reached out to my credit card company and did a charge back to which Amazon disputed. Amazon lied stated I never reached out to them after I did filed a police report was denied a refund and told to bad. I never received my items or my money back. I spoke with a representative who explained it that delivered was hit by mistake and yet they still denied my claim . I believe as consumers this should become a class action lawsuit against Amazon to stop this foolishness.
Your comment is from last year, but I’d happily join a class action suit. I didn’t order from Amazon for over a decade and I can easily do that again.
After almost 10 years as a Prime member Amazon banned me originally because I “consistently returned the wrong item.” After providing proof that all returns received refunds and no proof of any incorrect items, I was consistently told that I returned wrong items, including one that wasn’t returned yet. I assumed my account was hacked and in speaking to a rep was told to open a new account to just use my Alexa devices. Apparently this was more incorrect information. I googled and learned the customer support often closes accounts without notice and for no real reason. I learned that I have to appeal and use Bezo’s email to escalate. Tried that and accidently got sent to India Amazon -much more helpful and received a real reply vs a canned one that said it was actually due to too many returns (in 2022 9 out of 141 orders). Why do they not tell you that Prime does not mean you can do multiple returns? I thought that was what I paid for but if they warned me I would have stopped. Now I am out the $139 Prime fee that was just paid in January 2022 -they said they will not return a portion of it because I violated their policies (the secret ones). Disappointing that they have zero regard for long term customers who have never had issues before. I no longer want to support them but do want people to know who they are and would like my Prime money back!
Have you tried disputing the charges with your bank? Take screenshots of your call log from contacting Amazon and any emails you have and attach it or mention it in your claim section
Maureen Arnow says
I have had 3 items marked delivered which I didn’t receive. It is very upsetting to me because I checked the shipping address each time and lately I included descriptions of my front door area. This last time I received a warning from Amazon. I’m afraid I’m going to have to stop ordering from Amazon and cancel my subscibe and save orders even though they have arrived. I feel the delivery agents should be investigated since the next day orders tend to be the ones delivered to the wrong house.
I’m planning to file a claim through FTC. My order was misplaced by USPS and I had a few returns and they closed my account when I paid for the one year prime membership. No refund what so ever and I had $200 still in my gift card balance.
17% is a CRAZY high return rate. I would cancel you if I was Amazon. My rate Is 4% and I started to worry…
Colin Senior says
How do you find out your return rate please?
Tom Sellers says
As mentioned above, my experience seems to support the view it is large ticket items that cause the red flag. In my case it was 2 larger items: a high end Panasonic microwave bought in the spring of 2022, and a high end $700.00 inverter bought in the summer, both for my van. The microwave worked for about 20 seconds, then would not work again. In that case, I asked for, and received, a replacement. Then my old inverter would not support it on full power, so I decided to buy a new higher capacity and industrial rated one. When I tried it with the microwave on full power of 1200W of draw, it would give a low voltage alarm due to batteries. So I replaced the battery bank. Then when I tried again, I did not know that a water heater and the microwave were on the same circuit, and the inverter stopped due to 1900 watts being drawn. According to the manual it was protected from this, but it would not restart. I removed the cover, and found a row of 8 40 amp blade fuses, and all were blown. I was thinking I could just replace them myself, until I found they were not in sockets, but flow soldered directly to the circuit board. I decided that this did not represent a fault that was user replaceable, so, feeling that I bought a $700.00 unit in the expectation that I was paying for better circuit protection (as claimed in the description) I returned the unit in original packaging with all accessories and manual, with the note, “does not power on”. I assume when they got it back they found the blown fuses and put the fault down to me. I did not want another of the same inverter because the fuses were not user replaceable, so, not seeing any benefit from paying an extra $500.00 for an ‘Industrial’ rating, after spending hours watching Youtube reviews,I decided to get a refund and purchase a 1500W Chinese unit from Ali instead for about $250.00.
Because the Amazon system seems to be driven by algorithms, and I am not banned, I am not going to increase my frustration by pleading my case. I did respond to their original email only to get yet anoter canned response withal. My take-away lesson is to avoid buying large ticket items (EG items >$100), especially electronics. For example my last order was for 10 gallon grow bags for planting tomatoes, and there is not much that can go wrong with those unless the handles rip off.
Christa M. Emrick says
How do you write to Amazon’s customer service? I got an email for excessive returns and I had one return in the last three months. I am about to return another item………….wrote to seller and no response.
Interested in what to write them as well. Any help is much appreciated. I have about $500 in my gift card balance and account was suspended for too many returns. the e-mail states I can only buy digital purchases. Thanks.
Im not banned bur feel like I am.. I dropped two returns at ups and possibly mixed up the labels. it took weeks to get it resolved but now every order I get is damaged. Last thing I ordered was the amazon basic heater. Had a dent and paint chip but the worst part is when I turned it off it wouldn’t shut off .
Thanks for all the posts everyone. I decided Amazon wasn’t worth it based on your experiences. I’ll not order much anymore from Amazon. Walmart delivers and that seems like a safer deal. Amazon seems to have a policy that only scammers return items?
its just just horrible company. they try extortion intimidation and all kind of fraude but don’t buy it. they don’t care nothing you are a loyal very expensive customer. I received an intimidation fraudulent mail to pay listen well..2 euros 😅 for some order they claim of 6 yrs ago ..yes 6 yrs!! that order doesn’t even exist in the system. they gave it to debt collection claiming also they sent me several reminders ( never happened) . 6 yrs of reminders I should be in jail by now 😅 horrible company I will definitely close myself my account
I recently decided to purchase my Christmas gifts from Amazon as I live in a small town and have no way to get to the city for shopping, first I received an order that was a gift set and I only received a opened package only containing a chapstick, second my account balance was getting smaller each day after speaking with customer service they just locked my account and refused to send me the rest of the gifts I had purchased before speaking with customer service and putting a hold on the items that were already shipped ensuring that they will not be delivered to me. I’ve submitted the documents requested along with a letter asking why I am having so much trouble getting my account unlocked as I have only had 1 return in the 3 years I’ve dealt with Amazon and after 2 weeks I have still not received any response from them nor have they sent my refund of my account balance without any explanation as to why this is all happening. I have no way of purchasing gifts for a second time leaving me in a position of having to try to explain why my children are not able to celebrate Christmas this year as it is too late to apply for help and I won’t get the gifts I’ve purchased and paid for exceeding $400.00 not including my balance of $250.00.
A AL says
I have been selling on Amazon for over 15 years. The truth is that most buyers abuse the return policy. Here are few examples of the abuse:
1. Switch item scams.
2. Choosing the wrong reason of return in order to receive full refund.
3. Item not received claims. Most INR claims were for items worth more than $250
4. Missing parts claims in order to justify returning an item or the buyer needs the part. I see from time to time water bottles with missing caps in the local stores! This must be the works of human devils.
The moral values of most people are very low and this is a sign of a disaster coming. Unfortunately, Amazon unintentionally helped to spread return fraud because of their easy to return policy.
I had a similar issue and closed my amazon account because of it:
I had a lot of problems with my account (prime services not working, being charged for items that ended up being out of stock, etc.) last Summer. I’ve had Amazon for over 12 years and never had these issues. So, they fixed the problems and then gave me $300 in rewards points/reimbursement for the months of issues…only they weren’t supposed to do give me that much. So I go on a little shopping spree with this money, only to be told it was erroneous (3 MONTHS LATER, MIND YOU) and they’re gonna charge me for those items. I say I’ll just return them then because I didn’t want to buy them if it wasn’t free.
Now, two months later, they’re saying I’m abusing the returns and they may ban my account. I am returning $300 worth of stuff, which may be a lot, but that’s because of THEIR mistake! Even though I returned the items, I’m being charged for them because some were “never received by the warehouse”, others “received the “wrong item” in the return” even though I have receipts of returning them and pictures of the items I sent back. I decided to cancel my prime subscriptions and just not use amazon again. They’re making billions every year but are going to scam me out of $300? Seriously? I had to call everyday this week and they’re not helping. I can see why their stock prices are tanking.
You’re better off. They get worse and worse each time. I’m thinking of canceling too as I’ve started ordering more things off different sites. It’s just not worth the hassle of dealing with them.
I consistently receive used items in which I paid full price for new. I’m so tired of having to return used items. It never used to be this bad in the past but I’m consistently getting used shoes, jewelry, clothes and it’s just unacceptable when you’re paying full price for new items. And they are so guilty of sending used hygiene items so I never buy hygiene items from them. I just ordered a “new” band for my Apple Watch and the item was clearly stretched and used by someone else. It was warped in the case because someone had stretched it so much. How is that on me? I don’t even bother contacting their customer service because they outsource and you don’t get anywhere. The last time I did that the lady cancelled a return I already had in process and I didn’t see my refund for 3 months! Plus they deducted a restocking fee. It’s really crazy.
Oleg Kret says
I am from Ukraine and had opened my Amazon account 10 years ago before decided bought on amazon.
So in february 2023I bought on Amazon near 23 items near 500 USD.
And… i got amazon ban. Your account have been closed for misuse.
I wrote a lot on Amazon and every time i recieved letter that my refund from Amazon.de was extraordinary. Amazon.de wrote me that Yes, i never bought there and I got ban only from Amazon.com.
So i think it very strange. But their final decision was close my account forever.
I was an Amazon Flex contract delivery driver for a while several years ago when I was in a tough spot. I can tell you that as contract drivers, I and other drivers were not treated well. One Amazon warehouse worker would refer to us as “you guys” and made generalizations about how we performed our work. This same worker gave me two stops about 20 miles from the warehouse, with only about 30 minutes left in my shift. The problem with this is that I am responsible for the late arrivals and I don’t get paid past my end time. I worked about an extra 30 minutes for free and wasn’t compensated for this. I brought this up to “driver support” and they refused to remove the late deliveries from my account and refused to pay me for the extra 30 minutes.
Amazon has also been investigated and/or fined for various violations; examples are:
-In 2002, Amazon settled with the SEC over allegations of securities law violations
-In 2020, the SEC fined an Amazon Finance Manager and their family with insider trading
-In 2021, Amazon was fined $887 million for violating data processing rules by the EU
-In 2021, Amazon was fined nearly $62 million for withholding Amazon Flex driver tips; I received a settlement for this after the fact
I have also been a loyal Amazon customer for nearly 20 years, with many of those years being a Prime customer.
As of late, this is what I have experienced as a customer:
-Items that are used
-Late delivered items
-Items that are not properly packaged
-Overseas customer service agents (CSAs) who do not understand me and I cannot understand them
-CSAs who promise one thing, only to not follow through with it
-Items that they claim have been delivered to my secured residence, only to find that they have not
It’s not worth the aggravation and I will be closing my account once this month of Prime is over! I refuse to continue to support this shady company, especially after reading all of the above reviews.