Open Letter – Lost In Amazon Account Hell

OK, Amazon — after consuming nearly two weeks of my time, here’s a open letter that maybe someone will notice about how screwed up your account system is.

See, I’ve bought things on both Amazon in the US and Amazon.co.uk in the UK. Made sense since I’m an American who until recently lived in the UK — I had stuff I needed to buy and send to people regularly in both countries. And it was nice — same email address worked in both places.

I also sold things on the UK side through the incredibly awesome Marketplace system. All that stuff I didn’t or couldn’t ship in my recent move from the UK to the US? List it on Amazon, no fuss, no problems and plenty of my well loved items found a new home.

Now I’m in the US. Got a few things I want to dispose of. Tried to sell. Oops, no can do — I can’t have a UK and a US seller account, it seems. So I message for help, and my descent into hell begins.

On July 29, I wrote:

I’ve moved to the US. Can you switch this account to be based out of the US, so I can sell on Amazon.com.

Amazon wrote back:

Unfortunately, you need to close your account with us and create a new account with Amazon.com, providing a U.S phone number, a U.S bank account and a U.S address.

Before you can close your account, you will need to complete the steps bellow to ensure your Seller Account is not active:

  1. Cancel your listings
  2. Disburse any remaining funds in your Payments Account
  3. Cancel your Pro Merchant Subscription (if applicable)

Once this is complete, we would be happy to assist you with your account closure request. When you write back, please include the e-mail address associated with the account you’d like closed, and the name on the account, so that we can verify your identity.

To request account closure, please go to the URL below:

That sounded easy enough. I went to the form listed and sent this message:

Please close my Amazon.co.uk merchant account, as I’ve moved to the US and wish to open a new one to run through Amazon.com. I was told the best way to do this was to send feedback through this form.

And got back:

Before authorising us to close your account, please read the following information carefully. Please note that further action will be required in order to close your account.

Once your account is closed, it is no longer accessible by you or anyone else.

Closing your account means that you will no longer have access to the following:

  • your customer account for making purchases from Amazon.co.uk
  • your Amazon.co.uk Marketplace account
  • your accounts at Amazon.com, Amazon.de, Amazon.fr, Amazon.co.jp
    or Amazon.ca
  • your Wish List, or About You page
  • your Amazon.co.uk Associates account

You would need to start a new account if you wish to order more items from us, rent DVDs, or take advantage of any other features on our website which require a password.

However, you may close your Marketplace account and still retain your Amazon.co.uk retail account if you want to continue purchasing from Amazon.co.uk.

If you simply want a credit or debit card removed from the list of payment options on the order form, you also have the option to remove this via Your Account. Simply click on “Edit or delete a credit card”, and our system will prompt you for further information on making this change. This way, you will not have to open a new account to continue ordering from us.

If you still want us to close your Amazon.co.uk account, please let us know using the link below. Please send your request from the e-mail address associated with the account you would like to close and include the name on the account, together with some information about your last order (one or two titles that you purchased or rented would suffice), so that we can verify that it is your account

Scary and crazy. To summarize the above, I originally asked to just close my Amazon UK seller account. Amazon came back saying I’d have to close EVERYTHING. Then in the same message, where I’ve bolded, they also say I can just close my Marketplace account, which is what I wanted in the first place. So I tried again:

Let me try this again. I have a marketplace account on Amazon UK. I now live in the US. I would like to have a marketplace account here. I can’t, because Amazon said I have to use my other account.

I got in touch and was told I need to close that marketplace account. I requested this. I got back a scary email saying that if I closed my AMAZON account, I’d lose the ability to buy in the UK, the US, etc. Then is asked me about just closing my MARKETPLACE account.

Yes, that’s what I wanted in the first place. So to be very clear, please….

Close my AMAZON UK MARKETPLACE ACCOUNT

Alternatively, migrate it to an Amazon US marketplace account, if possible (be nice to have my old feedback). If not possible, no worries.

DO NOT CLOSE MY AMAZON RETAIL ACCOUNT.

And Amazon came back with this:

Thank you for contacting Amazon.co.uk Marketplace.

Please note that we can only close your account in full, which means your selling account will be closed as well as your buying account as this is all on one account.

However, you can use your Amazon.com account to purchase items on Amazon.co.uk as well as Amazon.com if you wish to do so.

Before we can close your account, you will need to complete the steps bellow to ensure your Seller Account is not active:

  1. Cancel your listings
  2. Disburse any remaining funds in your Payments Account
  3. Cancel your Pro Merchant Subscription (if applicable)

Once this is complete, we would be happy to assist you with your account closure request. When you write back, please include the e-mail address associated with the account you’d like closed, and the name on the account, so that we can verify your identity.=

That sounds good. I mean, they’ve ignored my earlier emails that already said I’ve closed all the stuff they want. They could have just acted upon my request. But still, clearly I can close the Amazon.co.uk side of things and still keep Amazon.com going. So I wrote back:

I have a seller account that has me locked into the UK. I now live in the US. I want to sell in the US. Apparently I have to have you manually close my account to do this. Please close that account. Yes, I have canceled any listings and disbursed funds. Shut it down.

I’m somewhat confused from past emails if closing my merchant account means you have to also close my Amazon.co.uk account. If that’s the case, fine — please close that account for buying as well. Shut it down.

I’m further confused if all this means you have to close my Amazon.com account. If you have to do that, I think Amazon is way insane at this point. But fine, you can — IF YOU NEED TO — close that as well, and I’ll start afresh.

My last line was dangerous — I said sure, if you have to, close everything. I was pretty sure they wouldn’t have to, and I was pretty tired at this point, so I figured I’d risk it. Almost done, right? Nope. Amazon came back:

Thank you for contacting Amazon.co.uk Marketplace.

You can discontinue selling on the Amazon.co.uk web site at any time. To do so, you will just need to take a few simple actions on your account.

First, close any open Amazon.co.uk Marketplace listings through your Seller Account. Under Manage Your Inventory, click “View your current inventory”. On the next page, you’ll have an option to close the listing. If you have multiple listings to close, you can check the boxes in the “Close Listing” column and click the “Save Changes” button to close the listings in bulk.

Finally, disburse any remaining funds from your Amazon Payments account to your bank account. Please follow the steps below:

[SNIP]

Once your sales listings end, and all remaining sales are finalized, your account will become inactive. We do not charge seller fees on inactive accounts. If you decide to sell again in the future, you will still be able to use your account and retain your nickname and buyer feedback.

If you want us to close your account completely, we ask that you first write back with your post code and the last five digits of your payment card so that we can verify your details.

Sigh. I’ve done most of this already, but they keep parroting the same information back to me. So I try again:

I’m seriously going to lose my mind if Amazon can’t get this situation resolved. It’s been a week now. I’m resending EXACTLY what I sent last time. Please actually read and act on what I’ve said.

I have a seller account that has me locked into the UK. I now live in the US. I want to sell in the US. Apparently I have to have you manually close my account to do this. Please close that account. Yes, I have canceled any listings and disbursed funds. Shut it down.

(NOTE: I have ended all listings and disbursed all funds as originally told to do a week ago, and which I’m continued to be told to do. But I need the account actually deleted by Amazon. Otherwise, I cannot open a new one for the US market).

I’m somewhat confused from past emails if closing my merchant account means you have to also close my Amazon.co.uk account. If that’s the case, fine — please close that account for buying as well. Shut it down.

I’m further confused if all this means you have to close my Amazon.com account. If you have to do that, I think Amazon is way insane at this point. But fine, you can — IF YOU NEED TO — close that as well, and I’ll start afresh.

I forgot to send my postcode and last five digits, but that didn’t seem to matter. Amazon wrote back:

Thank you for writing back to Amazon.co.uk Marketplace, following your account closure request.

As you requested, I can now confirm that your account has been closed. It is therefore no longer
accessible by you or anyone else.

As it turned out, my marketplace account wasn’t fully closed. I could see I still had it, but all listings and feedback info was removed, all zeroed out. And then oddly, I couldn’t log back into it or Amazon itself. As it turned out, Amazon really did close my entire account, even though in its response to me, it said it was just my merchant account that was closed.

By now it’s August 5. I resorted to calling Amazon in the US, and they got my personal buying account restored. And since my merchant account in the UK was supposedly closed, I tried again to open a US merchant account. No luck. So I emailed Amazon:

I’m trying to enable a seller account …. I get “Error this web page is not currently functioning” message when I try to enable myself for payments. Might be related to the fact that previously I had a seller account of out the UK which was recently closed.

And Amazon responded:

We are currently doing some updates to our systems and databases which may prevent you from being able to register for a Seller Account. We apologize for the inconvenience this causes.

So I waited until today and tried again — and discovered that I still couldn’t open a US account because apparently I still have a UK one.

Sigh.

I called Amazon again. Note that both times, both phone reps were very nice. But in the end, they couldn’t help. The last rep said she could have the account team check on the situation but suggested I just open a new Amazon account under a new email address. A pain. I considered waiting to let the account team look as she said could be done. What did she think would happen if they did? “They’ll probably tell you to open an account under a new email address.”

Fine. Done.


Comments

  1. says

    Wow Danny. That is so bad, it’s humorous. How is it that companies get to this point so easily and so commonly??
    I often wonder if it is the same customer service rep I keep having to deal with at different companies..I mean come on, they can’t all be that clueless can they?