Amazon Bans Woman For Life

NBC Bay Area Responds

Can Amazon ban you? For life?

It seems the answer is: yes.

Jenn, who doesn’t want us to use her last name, is proof. She says Amazon closed her Prime account without warning.

"I was shocked," she said. "I said, 'What do you mean I am banned from Amazon? How is that even possible?'"

Too many returns, that's how.

Jenn says Amazon blindsided her with an email that reads: "We have closed this account because you have consistently returned a large number of your orders."

Jenn admits she returned merchandise weekly.

"I did send a lot of stuff back," she said. "I’m not going to argue about that, I did."

But she had no idea what the limit was. Amazon told her it sent her a notice 30 days before the lifetime ban. Jenn says it never arrived.

"The email was apparently a warning that I never saw," she said.

We had never heard of Amazon banning anyone. We couldn't find the policy on its website. So, we wondered: How many returns will get you banned?

A spokesperson would not say.

"Our practice is to work directly with the customer to handle any issues with their account," she said.

Amazon wouldn't confirm Jenn had been banned. But we're confident she was. Because a few days after we inquired about Jenn’s case, Amazon reversed course.

"I did get an email back from them saying, after reviewing my account, it has now been reinstated," she said.

Jenn is 50/50 on returning to Amazon. She’s asking Amazon to make its return policy clearer so customers can adjust their buying – and returning – habits accordingly.

"I understand they were probably losing money on some of my returns, I get it," she said. "Just tell me."

Retailers have billions of reasons to get tough on returns. The National Retail Federation estimates return fraud and abuse cost stores anywhere from $10 billion to $17 billion a year.

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