Metavalent Stigmergy

How New Default Consensus Realities Instantiate

Assassinated by Amazon

Amazon has assassinated my account and still refuses to give me any reason.

About six weeks ago, I finally set up the affiliate features in my long standing Amazon account. I’ve had the Amazon account for several years and lots of history has accrued there. Not only my purchase history, but wish lists that I used to keep track of books that I’d like to read in the future, or recommend to friends. It took quite awhile to set up that list and I rely on it because I just don’t have the ability to keep 20 to 50 books in memory at any given time. It also took several hours to get the affiliate feature set up, not to mention the credit card information, billing and shipping addresses, etc. In short, it would likely take me 5 to 10 hours to even begin creating a similar account and it would never be the same list that I was looking forward to reading over the next couple of years. Also, my email address is my login ID, so if I had to set up a new account, I would have to get another email address, just for that purpose.

Nevertheless, this is exactly what Amazon is insisting that I do; all with NO EXPLANATION or proof that anything has ever been done wrong or gone wrong with my account. One day, about five weeks ago, I went to add a book to my list, only to be met by a screen that says, “your email and password do not match any on record.” So I clicked to get password help, which resulted in, “no password help available for THIS account, please create an entirely new account.”

No reason, no explaination, no options.

An initial email sent to Amazon resulted in a vague response about, “we think your account has been phished.” Well, that’s nice, but WHY DIDN’T YOU EVER TELL ME, then? If it was phished, then all my credit cards are compromised and I need to cancel them immediately. It would be nice to be notified in such a case. However, the odds of such a thing happening are VERY SLIM because I have worked in I.T. for nearly two decades and I never click on anythying even remotely phishy looking .. and I KNOW what to look for.

So there is something fishy about the Amazon phish story. I have since written several emails to Amazon support, but because they assassinated my account, they are apparently treating me as if I am not customer and they are not responding; despite the fact that I have used this account for several years.

Today, I decided to start blogging this experience and I will keep you posted on the entire process, from this point forward. Here is the message that I sent to Amazon today:

1/2/2006 i would like my amazon account restored/repaired/reinstated or whatever in the world happened, let's please fix it. amazon seems to have simply taken or deleted my account without ever supplying any reasonable explanation. i put a lot of work into setting up the affiliate program, wish lists, etc., and it's just not a reasonable option to ask me to rebuild all of that. what happened? why has my account been blacklisted or killed or whatever?

I’m super pissed off about this and would be happy to just ditch Amazon permanently in favor of Barnes and Noble and others, if it were not for the fact that my email address has obviously been added to some permanent Amazon Black List. I won’t ever be able to use my univeral email address to access that site, ever again. I’m sure that such lists eventually find themselves in the hands of others and I simply don’t want my email address on any such list.

I suppose any commercial enterprise has the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason, but it just stikes me as very disturbing the way that this has all gone down. Especially if you had been a loyal customer for years, how would you feel if all of a a sudden Sears, or Target, or Walmart, came up to you and said, “sorry, but you can never shop at our store ever again,” and when asked why, they responded with something like , “because we think you might not be you.” To which you responded, “here is my driver license, social security card, and credit cards, will that prove it?” Nope, sorry sir, you’ve just been targeted for random retail assassination, there is nothing you can do, you are dead to us.

Written on January 2, 2006