Lost in Amazon Customer Service

Martin C. W. Walker
3 min readMar 20


Dear Amazon — Could you please fix your returns process and return the £25 you illegally charged to my wife’s credit card? But first a question.

How should reputable retailed handle a problem like the following?

· Customer orders a £25 carbon monoxide detector.

· Customer received package. The packaging is for the right model but inside is a cheaper model, cost £20.

· Customer contacts retailer

The correct response is to say, please return the incorrect goods and we will give you a full refund so you can buy the correct item.

This is what you initially did — Well done

Then 3 weeks later Amazon sent an email saying she had returned the wrong item. The email said they would return what she had been sent and re-charge her £25.

She had returned the item Amazon had incorrectly sent in the first place and this what acknowledged by Amazon. You were asking the impossible.

She emailed back, she appealed against the bizarre Amazon quasi-judicial process that told she was guilty. She called customer service twice, who said they could not help directly but if she sent email the details of what had happened (again) they were sure it would be sorted out. It did not help.

The worst of many communications was the following email sent by Amazon.

We closely examined your account, any related accounts, and your order history to ensure that any decision regarding your account was made according to our policies.

If you have no further feedback regarding your shopping experience, we can close this conversation and you can continue to shop as usual on Amazon.co.uk.

We will have to re-charge you for the item if you do not return the correct item to us.

This decision is final. We will likely not respond to further emails about this issue.

My wife has been an Amazon customer for 22 years. She has made hundreds of purchases, spent thousands of pounds and previously only returned one item because it was broken. She followed Amazon’s exact instructions to return the erroneous item and you treat her like a criminal.

Do you really think a regular customer of over 20 years standing is going to create an elaborate plot to defraud you of £5? i.e. the difference between the price of the model she ordered (but never received) and the model you sent her.

What is even worse is that Amazon is now acting in a criminal manner. She now has no carbon monoxide detector but you have illegally charged money from her credit card.

Could please return her money and apologise?

The following of your processes also require fixing.

1. Examination of account for fraudulent returns — I do not know if you have a person doing this or an algorithm but it is clearly broken.

2. If the wrong item has been delivered by Amazon but in the right packaging you clearly have no way of processing the return. Someone seems to have just checked whether the item has been returned without checking that the reason for the return was the wrong item being sent

3. You process is sending contradictory automated emails and not carrying out the activities you state in writing you have done