It is not often that I use the Geekanoids website as a sounding board to air my own frustration. However, I experienced such a shocking series of events over the past few months, that I felt obliged to share it with you.
Over the course of many years, I have personally shopped with Amazon UK. Ordering many personal items and gifts for friends and family. They always proved to have a great selection of products and very competitive pricing. This is still true to this day. During 2009 I experienced a few problems with orders. Without going into two much detail, one item did not perform as described, another came through with missing components and then later developed a fault and another was delivered damaged. At the time this did not bother me. Amazon UK have great customer service, so each time I contacted them with the confidence that they would sort the problem out. To their credit, they did. The customer service representatives were always polite, apologetic, and sorted out the return of said items.
What was not made clear to me was that the readily offered helpfulness and returns, meant that my account was flagged. Someone in their Executive Customer Relations Department was watching me! To my surprise I received an email saying that my account was under review. The email read... "there is a highly irregular amount of refunds created on your account. As a responsible business, we are unable to allow this situation to persist. If the situation does not improve we will have no option but to reconsider our business relationship. We will continue to monitor the orders on a regular basis." I chose to ignore this email, as I was never returning items if there was not a genuine problem with the item. Three months passed and I had continued to order from the company more gifts and items, which all came through as expected and stayed in my possession.
To my surprise I then received another email at the beginning of November. This email contained a shorter introduction, but the same harsh statement as the previous one. I did not deem the second email was at all justified, so responded asking why my account was still under review. The response that I received yesterday was not what I expected. Without running the email here quote for quote, it basically informed me that my account was now closed. I am no longer welcome as a Amazon UK customer. They also strongly advise me against trying to open another account.
Distance Selling Regulations... I am no expert, but the email also said that if I did order from them in the future, they would accept no returns and issue no future refunds. Take note Trading Standards and Watchdog... I am sure you would have something to say about the stance Amazon have taken in this statement, "If you were to open a new account, the same will result and it will also be closed. In the event that you attempt to do so, we will not accept the return of any additional orders, nor will we issue further refunds in connection with any future orders."
So, it seems that by exercising my legal rights to return damaged and faulty goods, Amazon no longer value me as a customer, despite me filling their coffers with many pounds over the years. I did contact them via telephone, but it seems that (according to their customer services) they do not have ANY telephone number for their UK head office. I also attempted to contact their press office, but the phone just rang and rang. Even after all this, I still contacted the Executive Custom Relations to ask if they would reconsider their decision, to which they said NO! It should also be noted that I gave them the opportunity to respond to this article, prior to publication, which they duly declined.
Disclaimer: This is my own personal experience. It in no way indicates how any company would treat their customers as a general rule.