Amazon Banning Shoppers Who Return Items Too Often

Discussion in '[H]ard|OCP Front Page News' started by Megalith, May 27, 2018.

  1. Megalith

    Megalith 24-bit/48kHz Staff Member

    Aug 20, 2006
    The Wall Street Journal has sparked another round of stories regarding Amazon customers who have been banned for making too many returns. It isn’t clear what the exact metric is, though some say that an account will be flagged if the return rate exceeds 10%.

    Amazon's return policy doesn't tell customers that returning too many items can get them kicked out, but its conditions of use say the company reserves the right to terminate accounts at its discretion. "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," an Amazon representative said.
  2. Uvaman2

    Uvaman2 2[H]4U

    Jan 4, 2016
    Sometimes im too lazy to return crap i propably should... They must love me.
    Nobu and haste. like this.
  3. RPGWiZaRD

    RPGWiZaRD Gawd

    Jan 24, 2009
    Right, time to buy some low-cost crap to offset the return rate. :D
  4. GSDragoon

    GSDragoon [H]Lite

    Feb 24, 2004
    Amazon (not 3rd parties) send me the seed/returned items that should be new way more than 10% of the time. Once I got a used item that was even shipped from a return center. It's like they don't even try to hide it either. I assume they feel they can get away with it because most people don't notice or say anything.
  5. Crackinjahcs

    Crackinjahcs Limp Gawd

    Jan 31, 2018
    Yes, I've received returned/repack items several times also. (And they were listed as new when ordering, not refurb/returned.)
  6. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics I don't get it

    Jan 14, 2007
    Great, who are the fuckers who return shit to Amazon all the time not because there's something wrong with the item, but just because they changed their mind, or really didn't like it when it showed up? You are the same bastards that screwed crap over for us at CostCo too with your returning a computer every year just to get a newer version (ok this group of people on this board probably don't buy their computers at CostCo, but you get my point)
    Powerage likes this.
  7. Ocellaris

    Ocellaris Ginger @le, an alcoholic's best friend.

    Jan 1, 2008
    How you return the item is also important. A lot of people return used items after they changed their mind, however they pick the options to get a full refund + free return shipping and mark it as “defective”. Instead you should be eating the cost of paying return shipping.

    The person who wrote the article returned a bicycle. I’m willing to bet they cost Amazon a bunch of money by having Amazon pay return shipping...
  8. MMitch

    MMitch Limp Gawd

    Nov 29, 2016
    I returned an optic for a microscope and mentioned I wasn't satisfied with the performance of it while I ordered another that fits more my needs.. I simply mentioned that and they paid for the shipping. Not sure why you're saying they don't when you decide to not keep it ? (Or is that because of Prime?)
    Also I only returned 3 items over hundreds so I'm not scared and those were additional buys because of said microscope had wrong focal distance mentioned in description...

    Anyway, very satisfied with the service they provide and this policy seems fair (although a 10% rule might be wrong, it's possible the higher cost items...)
  9. DF-1

    DF-1 2[H]4U

    Jun 17, 2011
    people are saying its much much lower than 10%.
  10. ccityinstaller

    ccityinstaller 2[H]4U

    Feb 23, 2007
    Amazon is going to hate me.. I have returned like 8 items over 4 orders in a 2 weeks period since they managed to fuck the order up so bad. It is too much to type everything, but they double charged (but sent one) on a PSU, and I got an EK 1080 GPU block instead of the VEGA block I ordered. It has been a mess. Add up the fact that 3 of the shipments were supposed to be 2 day via PRIME (and shows as 2 days on my invoice) yet all 3 got split and pushed back to 3-4 days which is a major issue since I live in an apartment complex while building a new house.

    The worst was a TT VIEW 71 tempered glass case I bought after sending a TT Core 9 that had broken parts etc back. Both sides of the case looked like someone ran a razor blade down the sides...8" marks but only about 1-1.5" of the glass actually got scratched. They ended up giving me a 50% refund and I was tired of dealing with them so I just kept it.
  11. macksomerville

    macksomerville [H]ard|Gawd

    May 18, 2000
    I went for years with no issues, seemingly have a lot of issues as of late, with order fulfillment
    Tactlesss likes this.
  12. Ocellaris

    Ocellaris Ginger @le, an alcoholic's best friend.

    Jan 1, 2008
    You had a legitamite return for return, it’s all good. There are people who return quite a few items AND they always return those items on Amazon’s dime. They are the issue.

    Overall not many people get banned from Amazon. Those that do generally have patterns of behavior over long periods of time.
  13. U-238

    U-238 Limp Gawd

    Aug 14, 2008

    This. If Amazon fucks up your order and you request a return on one or more items they won't care because that's on them. If you ordered something and aren't satisfied with it and request a return and say that you aren't satisfied and they offer or provide the return shipping for you that's fine as well because they're offering it.

    The issue here is the people who order things to "try them out", send it back and lie about it being defective then purchase another item to test out and return that item as well and on and on. It's the people who are abusing the system that are being banned and why shouldn't they be? They're costing Amazon money by lying which is as good as theft. Those with banned accounts should be happy that's all that's happening to them as Amazon could have legal grounds to pursue fraud charges on some of the heavy offenders.
    Archaea likes this.
  14. oblox

    oblox Gawd

    Nov 27, 2013
    I sent back every 1080ti I ordered from them when they arrived without packaging (literally consisted of a mailing label affixed to the factory box). I used to never have problems with Amazon but in the last 6 months or so, there have been quite a few returns from defective items, sloppy packaging, or clearly used items that were sent after being advertised as brand new.
  15. RPGWiZaRD

    RPGWiZaRD Gawd

    Jan 24, 2009
    Rather than get banned, why not simply let the abusers pay whatever fees it costs amazon in loss?

    I don't return a lot of products but there are some products like for me headphones that I'm extremely picky about the sound and I basically keep going back n forth for a half year before possibly finally got the courage to click the item to the cart after having read all reviews and measurements and whatever I can find to try and translate all that to my personal tastes. Even doing so it's not a garantuee I will like the headphone and I live in a small town in Finland and there's no places that really has a lot of headphones to try nearby and usually the shops that do also do not carry the models I'm interested in. I have only returned 2 headphones on amazon but I'd happily pay slightly bit if I would end up returning too much (due to the reason explained before). I'd rather pay some fees than becoming banned.

    Another product that is very relevant around here too is monitors especially due to the sloppy quality control and poor pixel or defect warranties that has plagued LCD monitors forever. If I'd end up returning too many monitors I'd also happily pay slight bit, it's still worth doing it to me but it's all down to keeping the fee reasonable.

    In Finland it's possible for etailers to ask for a small refund if the item has trails of being used or damaged which I also consider reasonable. I'm like treating all new products I buy with the outmost respect and usually keep any plastic covers etc intact until I'm sure it's a keeper.
    smoothmove likes this.
  16. Nunu

    Nunu Limp Gawd

    Jun 5, 2017
    Bad new policy. If i pay in full and have 30 days to return, better believe I will if for whatever reason if the item does not work for me. Bought a tab s3, screen was moving whenever you pressed on it. Sent that shit howling back. I try and stay away from amazon as much as possible, deals are not great if you pay taxes on all items, and now you have to worry about not being able to return.
    jlbenedict likes this.
  17. Ocellaris

    Ocellaris Ginger @le, an alcoholic's best friend.

    Jan 1, 2008
    This isn’t a new policy, just someone who has a blog and got banned under existing policies.
  18. DPI

    DPI Nitpick Police

    Apr 20, 2013
    People are clueless then, getting banned isn't a flat function of percentage returned. Amazon keeps lots of metrics, and there are a bunch that get factored.

    The "buy with no intention of keeping" serial returners using amazon as a free rental system are who are on trial here, not "I got a broken coffee machine so is Amazon saying I can't return things?"

    Specifically, the guy buying a $4000 SLR camera, using it 4 weeks and returning it on day 29, saving him $500+ in rental fees from a camera shop

    The guy buying GPUs, mining on them 29 days and returning them, then re-buying and resetting the clock.

    The "try but never buy" people that always lie and claim defective because they don't want to pay a penny for return shipping.

    I was buying a sleeping bag to go camping, and girl at work tells me straight face "Amazon rentals, dude! Just buy it and return it when you get back. That's what my husband and I always do". Facepalm. I think this mentality is more prevalent than people realize, and Amazon has fostered this behavior with their policies..

    Was only a matter of time until chickens came home to roost.
    Last edited: May 27, 2018
    deton8, Archaea, gigaxtreme1 and 4 others like this.
  19. DocNo

    DocNo Gawd

    Apr 23, 2012
    Bah - Amazon's supply chain management, especially for electronics, has been utterly non-existent for the last several years. I very rarely order anything electronic or electrical from them. I ordered one item that had been recently discontinued, but showed back up on Amazon. There had been a defective run of the item years before and in the Q&A for the currently active item on Amazon someone asked if these were the newer, safer item or the original recalled ones being sold off and the seller stated they were the legit ones. I went ahead ordered it, and it was indeed the recalled units that were not safe and should have been destroyed.

    I'm not surprised with the experiences others have expressed here in the thread. Often I find or will match Amazon and if I do need to return I can do it at Walmart with no fuss.

    Other stores too - finally most brick and mortar stores have figured out their physical storefronts are a huge advantage and are doing a lot better job integrating them with their web sites where I can buy and pick up in store within an hour or so, return in store for no hassles/dealing with shipping, etc. Pure online sites like Amazon are not nearly as interesting to me, especially if I can find stuff locally for similar or slightly higher pricing.

    Anyway, screw Amazon. They did push other retailers to up their game for that I'm grateful, but lately their quality control over where they source stuff from has been utter crap.
    clockdogg and GSDragoon like this.
  20. Flogger23m

    Flogger23m [H]ardForum Junkie

    Jun 19, 2009
    I've returned a lot from Amazon, but all of my items were damaged or had some issue. They send me a notice a few years back saying they may close my account. The last item I bought was a CPU cooler that was dented and very dusty. Clearly it was a used/returned unit. I returned it in around 15 days (Amazon insisted I contact manufacture first), and Amazon claimed it was not their problem as it was outside of their return window. I suppose for some items or my account the return window is not 30 days.

    Customer service is all over the place, but I suppose having some chat support is great and most other companies are similar.
    Last edited: May 27, 2018
  21. SJetski71

    SJetski71 [H]ardForum Junkie

    Sep 6, 2002
    I call them professional customers ;) and that's not a compliment.

    They're on eBay too, messing things up for small time sellers.
    clockdogg and Flogger23m like this.
  22. Sycraft

    Sycraft [H]ardness Supreme

    Nov 9, 2006
    Ya Amazon is big on metrics and they are using way more than just how often you return things. I've returned a number of things, including some big ticket items, and have no problems with my account because I'm honest. When I return something because I didn't like it, which I've done, I choose that reason and eat the return shipping. When I return something because it was defective I basically always have them send me another one since I wanted the item, it was just broken.

    I'm quite sure they are smart enough to look at overall purchasing habits, as well as look at things like the price and type of items returned. If you buy lots of cheap shit and keep it, but mysteriously return everything expensive after 25 days, ya they might ax your account even if you don't return a lot of stuff because it is clear what you are doing. You'll find physical retailers will do the same, if you can find any with as generous a return policy. If it becomes clear you are using them as a rental service (like you "buy" two bigscreen TVs around the superbowl and then decide they need to be returned shortly afterwards) they'll start charging restocking, or just outright ban you. That is why a lot of store s just charge restocking period: You return something that isn't broke, they want 10-20% for their trouble and so you don't do it just to "rent" shit.
  23. WarriorX

    WarriorX [H]ard|Gawd

    Nov 18, 2006
    25 purchases for 2018, two returns. I have zero to worry about because I spend the extra time to research and verify what I buy is what I want. I have purchased the wrong thing before and pay the shipping but do what I can to avoid that. People that abuse the system should be banned. It really is not hard and it is a conscious choice...
  24. 5150Joker

    5150Joker 2[H]4U

    Aug 1, 2005
    I've been warned a few times over the years but never banned. What pissed me off a few years ago is when I bought a GTX 980 and returned it for a Titan (which cost more) and they sent the warning e-mail.
  25. OregonLAN

    OregonLAN 2[H]4U

    Mar 20, 2001
    Our company does about $3k - $6k worth of business with Amazon each month. I would probably estimate our return rate at 2% or less overall, but there are months it's probably closer to 20% - 40%.
  26. SecretStash

    SecretStash Limp Gawd

    May 27, 2017
    Had some friends who would "buy" a console at Walmart for the weekend, then return it. It was planned that way.
  27. James Robinson

    James Robinson Limp Gawd

    Dec 4, 2016
    Ok.. need to clarify WHY this is happening.

    There are a HORRENDOUS number of people who use Amazon as a revolving closet. They buy clothing and outfits and have it overnighted via Prime for a weekend. The garments and items get the living SHIT used out of them, and the beginning of the week it all gets returned. Most of this ends up @ SDF9/Zappos, where they fail to do even the most cursory inspections. Clothing comes back with make-up, sweat/B.O., blood, human hair, pubic hair, animal hair, dirt,.. it all gets thrown in a 'prep' bag and gets transshipped to another Amazon FC where it gets listed virtually as perfectly fine and some poor slob buys it only to receive a trainwreck item.

    The experience is disgusting and wide spread. All those skanky hootchie mammas lookin to party on Amazons dime are finally getting shut down.

    Also goes for assholes who buy a big screen TV for the weekend sporting event only to return it the next week.
  28. kirbyrj

    kirbyrj Why oh why didn't I take the BLUE pill?

    Feb 1, 2005
    I don't have a problem with shutting down frequent returners as long as they shut down the shady sellers that send you misrepresented items that then need to be returned.
  29. DoubleTap

    DoubleTap [H]ard|Gawd

    Dec 16, 2010
    I have a good number of movies, TV shows, Music, Books and Audio books I've bought from Amazon.

    I buy a lot and return very little, but I don't like the idea that they could decide I'm a bad customer and then cut me off and I'd lose access to all the digital content I've "bought" over the years.
  30. Quimby2016

    Quimby2016 n00bie

    Jul 26, 2016
    I rarely have issues with fulfilled by Amazonorders and only return things that don't work right which happens more often with 5rd parties
  31. nutzo

    nutzo [H]ardness Supreme

    Feb 15, 2004
    Many years ago I works at Radio Shack, and they had the same problem due to a generous return policy.
    People would buy speakers/amps for their weekend party and then return them.

    As for Amazon, I've had more returns the past year than I had the previous 10 years.
    I ordered a couple 250GB Intel server SSD's, instead I got a couple old 30GB SSD's inside the reglued 250GB boxes. Obviously returned product that someone switched out.
    Also returned a Cell phone as the vendor sent the wrong model (AT&T instead on T-Mobile)

    I have found some great deals buying returned stuff on Amazon Warehouse deals.
    Most have looked/worked like new even though the box was damaged.
    One cell phone I bought still had the original plastic shipping protector on the screen.
  32. Kdawg

    Kdawg Gawd

    Aug 12, 2017
    i doubt they would ding you for returning a used item.
  33. Nenu

    Nenu [H]ardened

    Apr 28, 2007
    If they believe it was new when they shipped it, how are they to know you arent the scammer.
    Who knows where the fault lies.
  34. legcramp

    legcramp [H]ardForum Junkie

    Aug 16, 2004
    Thought this was super old news.
  35. _l_

    _l_ I Am A Cock

    Nov 27, 2016
    I think everything I buy, regardless what it is, ought to be returnable for as long as I own it :cool:
  36. Dalexx

    Dalexx Limp Gawd

    Mar 22, 2014
    I imagine internally they probably have a way of guessing. Probably something like 20 of the last 30 returns all came from one warehouse, during a certain shift, and can probably determine which worker(s) shipped out what items. With as automated as their systems are, I am curious how some of the mistakes are made, since one video showed that products spend less than 2 mins in a workers hands.
  37. Archaea

    Archaea [H]ardForum Junkie

    Oct 19, 2004
    Ban them and then lower my subscription price with the savings
    James Robinson likes this.
  38. DeathFromBelow

    DeathFromBelow [H]ardness Supreme

    Jul 15, 2005
    Anyone who's ever worked retail knows what kind of people they're dealing with here.
  39. HiryuuX

    HiryuuX Limp Gawd

    Jul 16, 2017
    Not surprised, a ton of people abuse PC hardware exchanges too. All those stories of fake/removed Ryzen processors or graphics cards in the past two years.

    Not to mention the Silicon Lottery folks that buy a ton of CPUs and return the ones that don't OC as well.
  40. deton8

    deton8 Limp Gawd

    Sep 27, 2007
    People like this used to kill Future Shop when I worked there. Once a product was returned it had to be sold "open box" with a discount which basically killed what little profit margin was there for computer components and many electronics.

    Can't really blame Amazon for not putting up with these shenanigans.