Hundreds of Amazon customers have taken to social media to voice frustrations about their accounts being mysteriously deactivated, with no reason given by the online retailer. For the past week, customers have reported that when attempting to log in to their Amazon accounts, a message pops up stating that an account associated with their email address doesn’t exist. It appears both Prime and non-Prime members have been affected.
Upon contacting Amazon, customers have been given different explanations as to why their accounts have been deactivated. Some claim customer service representatives couldn’t give them a clear answer, while others were told they had violated Amazon’s terms of service without being told exactly how they had done so.
“Customer trust is one of Amazon’s top priorities,” an Amazon representative told Ars, in response to our questions. “To protect that trust, we take a number of actions, including closing accounts that have violated our policies. If a customer has a question about their account, we recommend they contact customer service so we can investigate and take appropriate action.”
A private Facebook group for affected customers now has nearly 3,000 members. According to a report by Business Insider, some customers in that Facebook group have admitted to violating Amazon’s reviews policy by leaving positive reviews for products that they received for free or in exchange for a reward like a gift card.
However, that doesn’t account for all affected customers, many of which claim to still be in the dark about why their accounts have been deactivated and how they may have violated the company’s terms of service. Customers set up another private Facebook group in which there are threats of a class-action lawsuit against Amazon; the group currently has over 700 members.
The #AmazonClosed hashtag on Twitter continues to be bombarded with angry customers who claim Amazon has neglected them the answers they want. But according to a CNBC report, Amazon says this issue has been “prompted by a social media campaign driven by bad actors” while stressing that account closures are prompted by a violation of its community guidelines.
This situation comes on the heels of President Trump attacking Amazon, citing the online retailer’s power in the wake of brick-and-mortar retailers going out of business. President Trump has also falsely claimed that The Washington Post, the newspaper owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, acts as a “lobbyist” for Amazon.