E-Commerce

Amazon sticks to its guns on account closures

Wilde Beuger Solmecke recently explained why Amazon’s aggressive tactic of closing customer accounts without warning is unlawful. One person contacted Amazon using the arguments we suggested and asked for his account to be re-activated. The reply he received is striking.

Amazon sticks to its guns on account closures © ferkelraggae-Fotolia

Amazon sticks to its guns on account closures © ferkelraggae-Fotolia

Amazon account closures: final and irreversible

After having his Amazon account blocked without warning, one aggrieved customer wrote to the company demanding for it to be reactivated. He used the arguments suggested by IT law expert Christian Solmecke in a previous article and threatened to instruct a solicitor if his wishes were not fulfilled.

Amazon replied by email to the man’s request stating that the account closure was “final” and “irreversible”. In addition Amazon asked the man to refrain from opening a new customer account.

The company’s approach is made all the more striking given that the man had ordered over 200 items over the period of a year and returned less than half of them. He therefore made a reasonable contribution to Amazon’s revenue.

Disproportional

In light of the fact that a customer account is required in order to access and use additional services such as Amazon Cloud or the Kindle, it is concerning that the account closures are labelled as “irreversible”. This would mean that consumers are denied access to important data stored in Amazon Cloud and that the investment in a Kindle is a lost investment.

It can only be assumed that the company will work out a solution as to how customers can, at the very least, use Amazon’s related services. A temporary solution allowing short term access to retrieve saved data could be considered the minimum necessary.

It remains to be seen how long Amazon will maintain its disproportional approach.

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Christian Solmecke is a partner at the law firm WILDE BEUGER SOLMECKE. He is the author of numerous legal publications in the area of internet and IT law. He is also an associate lecturer for social media law at the Cologne University of Applied Sciences.

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