Amazon.com, Inc. digs a deeper hole for themselves

Below, in reverse chronological order (most recent to oldest; start at the bottom of this post and scroll up if you wish to read in chronological order):

9/30/2015: My rejection of Amazon.com, Inc.’s second BBB response; also carbon copied two other agencies
9/29/2015: Amazon.com’s second response to my BBB complaint
9/28/2015: My rejection of Amazon.com, Inc.’s first BBB response
9/28/2015: Amazon.com, Inc.’s first response to my BBB complaint
9/24/2015: See this blog post for my initial BBB complaint (scroll down)
9/22/2015 and earlier: See this blog post for prior email exchanges with Amazon.com, Inc. and the Washington Attorney General’s office

September 30, 2015

Better Business Bureau of Alaska, Oregon, and Western Washington, case #: 10830673
Washington Attorney General’s office file #: 471704
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services reference #: 1509-37467 / MLH

Hello,

Amazon.com, Inc. has stated, in response to my complaint regarding their theft of my Amazon.com gift card balance of $451.20 and termination of my Amazon.com customer account, that their actions are justified based on their Conditions of Use stating that “Amazon reserves the right to refuse service, terminate accounts, remove or edit content, or cancel orders in its sole discretion.”

This is quite an amazing response. It is in blatant violation of the CARD act, Chapter 19.240 of the Revised Code of Washington, and Florida Statute 501.95, which do not allow an expiration date on gift card funds.

Since Amazon.com’s legal department will not answer calls from me, I left a voicemail for them on 9/22/2015. I also sent them a fax at 206-266-7010 on 9/24/2015. They have ignored me.

It is my belief that Amazon.com, Inc. is only digging a deeper hole for themselves; they are allowing me to compile a rather large paper trail indicating that they deliberately mislead, ignore communication, and have repeatedly presented a position that is completely untenable, in reply to my complaints to the Washington Attorney General’s office and Better Business Bureau.

Amazon.com, Inc. should not take this matter so lightly. Their actions may have dire consequences in the long run.

I ask the Better Business Bureau of Alaska, Oregon, and Western Washington, the Washington Attorney General’s office, and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to consider my remarks and the below reply received from Amazon on 9/29/2015. Please also note that we are dealing with merchant gift cards which have special protections under the law. These are NOT promotional gift cards, rewards credits, or coupons that have been seized. Gift cards are of a different class. Unless Amazon.com, Inc. is in bankruptcy, they are legally obliged to honor my gift card balance of $451.20, or offer a refund.

Sincerely,
Richard Thripp

________________________________________
From: Amazon.com
Sent: Tuesday, September 29, 2015 4:37 AM
To: Richard Thripp
Subject: Your Amazon.com Inquiry – BBB Complaint ID: 10830673

Hello Richard,

I’m writing in response to a complaint filed on your behalf by the Better Business Bureau BBB – I’ve provided the BBB with a copy of this message.

I understand that you want us to provide the exact information justifying our decision.

As noted in our Conditions of Use, in the section, “Your Account”: “Amazon reserves the right to refuse service, terminate accounts, remove or edit content, or cancel orders in its sole discretion.”

You may review our full Conditions of Use by selecting the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/?nodeId=508088

Due to the proprietary nature of our business, we’re unable to discuss with you, and the decision to close your account is a final one.

I realize you’re upset, and I regret we’ve been unable to address your concerns to your satisfaction. However, we’ll not be able to offer any additional insight or action on these matters, and any further inquiries on this matter will not receive a response.

We appreciate your understanding.

==========================

Information received: 9/28/2015

==========================

Consumer Information

Richard Thripp
[Address]
[Phone Number]

==========================

Complaint filed against:
NAME: Amazon.com
BBB MEMBER: YES

==========================

Latest correspondence: I am rejecting this response because:

This response is identical to the response that Amazon.com, Inc. provided to the Washington Attorney General’s office.

It is NOT acceptable, because Amazon.com, Inc. has no legal basis to steal my gift card balance of $451.20.

Furthermore, Amazon.com, Inc. has declined to provide further information justifying their decision.

Many of the gift cards that I had applied to my account were purchased by me, and it would be possible for me to provide bank statements and compile a comprehensive list of gift card codes and sources, with several hours of work. This process is made much harder based on the fact that Amazon has terminated my account and willfully removed all access to my gift card redemption history and all other account-related information, in an effort to obstruct my ability to construct my case. However, Amazon retains all information and records for their benefit.

Recently, I tried calling into Amazon’s corporate office (no one there will help my, anyway) on a recorded line. Once announcing I was on a recorded line, I was informed their policy is to reject all such calls. However, they record every call and announce as such. This is hypocritical and is one of many examples of Amazon’s attempts to create an uneven playing field for their benefit.

Please request a satisfactory response from Amazon.com, Inc. on my behalf. I am willing to take this to small claims court, though I would prefer to avoid the hassle if Amazon.com, Inc. will just be reasonable about this.

====================================================

Best regards,

Suresh P.
http://www.amazon.com
=============================

Amazon’s initial response to my 9/24/2015 BBB complaint, received 9/28/2015 (note it is basically identical to their response to my prior complaint with the WA Attorney General)

Dear Richard Thripp :

This message is in regard to your complaint submitted on 9/24/2015 4:44:15 PM against Amazon.com. Your complaint was assigned ID 10830673.

BBB has received a message from the business regarding your complaint. Please review this information below and provide BBB with a written rebuttal. All responses with be copied to the business for their review.

Please provide your response within 7 calendar days so as to avoid closure of the complaint as assumed resolved.

Sincerely,

Megan Holstine
Dispute Resolution Consultant

MESSAGE FROM BUSINESS:

Hello Richard,

I’m Suresh of Amazon.com. I’m writing in response to a complaint filed on your behalf by the Better Business Bureau BBB – I’ve provided the BBB with a copy of this message.

I’m sorry for any inconvenience caused by the closing of your Amazon.com account.

I’ve reviewed the account and our previous communications with you, and can confirm the decision was a valid one.

Please note this isn’t a decision we can reconsider, and we won’t be able to issue a refund for the gift card balance.

Regarding textbook rental: You can use the following address to return your Amazon.com Textbook Rental.

Amazon Textbook Rental Returns
1085 Aviation Blvd
Hebron, KY 41048

You must return your rental prior to the scheduled due date in order to avoid any additional charges. You can return the rental using the carrier of your choice. Since you’re not using a pre-paid mailing label provided by Amazon, you’ll be responsible for any return shipping fees.

I realize you’re upset, and I regret we’ve been unable to address your concerns to your satisfaction. However, we’ll not be able to offer any additional insight or action on these matters, and any further inquiries on this matter will not receive a response.

We appreciate your understanding.

Regards,
Suresh P.
Amazon.com
http://www.amazon.com

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