WHAT CAN WE DO! (Few tips & ideas for those whose account was closed as well)
Here is a little cheat list for those who read this and have the same problem with Amazon:
- For starters I would sign petition (and ask all your friends/customers if you can):
- File BBB complaint: (www.bbb.org/western-washington/business-reviews/internet-selling-services/amazoncom-in-seattle-wa-7039385)
- Contact your representative and file a complaint: (whoismyrepresentative.com)
- File complaint against Amazon with the Washington state attorney general’s office:
- Start a blog about everything that happen with full details, and well written.
Amazon has closed our seller account for our business of 5 years with 8 employees and with 99% of Lifetime 38169 ratings.
On 12/5/2012 1:37 PM we got an email from email@example.com titled “Notice: Your Amazon.com Seller Account”
“Hello from Amazon.
We are writing to let you know that we have removed your selling privileges, canceled your listings, and placed a temporary hold on any funds in your seller account.
We took this action because our records indicate that this account is related to another selling account that was closed by Amazon. Once selling privileges have been removed, sellers are not allowed to establish new accounts.
Due to the proprietary nature of our business, we do not provide detailed information on how we determine that accounts are related.
We encourage you to take appropriate steps to resolve any pending orders. Note that any amounts paid as a result of A-to-z Guarantee claims and chargebacks may be deducted from your seller account.
After 90 days, any remaining funds will be available per your settlement schedule. Once the hold has been removed, balance and settlement information will be available in the “Payments” section of your seller account. If you have questions about these funds, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
While we appreciate your interest in selling on Amazon.com, the closure of this account is a permanent action.
Seller Performance Team
We were very surprises and shocked since our business has near perfect records by Amazon standards and we never had another account:
Name: Quick_N_Easy Marketplace (www.amazon.com/shops/quick_n_easy) on Amazon since January of 2008 (4.9 stars or 99% over the past 12 months (14883 ratings) and 99% of Lifetime 38169 ratings.) Order Defect Rate: Short Term: 0.27% (25/9,370), Long Term: 0.26% (57/21,988)
We were given one time option to appeal, which we did:
********************Letter Of Appeal 12/7/2012 ********************
Suspended for related account
To Whom It May Concern,
On 12/5/2012 @ 1:37 PM we received an email informing us that our selling privileges have been removed because your “records indicate that this account is related to another selling account that was closed by Amazon.”
We categorically deny the accusation that we have ever had another seller account with Amazon.
We have been selling books and media on Amazon since January of 2008. Since then we have sold over 300,000 items to almost 300,000 happy customers generating over $540,000.00 in Amazon fees and $23,994.00 in Pro Merchant Subscription fees. Our ratings are nearly perfect and comparable only to 1% of top Amazon sellers. (4.9 stars or 99% over the past 12 months (14883 ratings) and 99% of Lifetime 38169 ratings.)
We have eight full time and four part time employees who all have families that depend on our business, not to forget our multiple partners and suppliers. We have spent five hard years building this business from the ground up with a single goal in mind; to provide only excellent service to our customers. We have major investments in our infrastructure, and so far we have been very proud of our success. By no means are we rich, but this business has been helping our employees pay their bills and purchase basic necessities.
Our business and employees have always paid Federal and State Income Taxes. We also play an integral role in our local community.
Needless to say, our family, friends, and partners are extremely outraged and very hurt by our account closure.
Upon further research we found out that we are not the only business to be shut down for the same vague and convenient excuse: “Due to the proprietary nature of our business, we do not provide detailed information on how we determine that accounts are related.”
We were shocked to uncover the vast scope of account terminations, and the damage and public outcry these closures have created. Our research results range from informative and inspiring to downright shady and illegal. Terminations of small business accounts by Amazon has:
1. Inspired numerous articles in various news outlets, such as “Amazon sellers complain of tied-up payments, account shutdowns” by Seattle Times business reporter Amy Martinez: 206-464-2923, email@example.com (www.seattletimes.com/html/businesstechnology/2019705292_amazonseller18.html)
2. Inspired a grassroots campaign to start Congressional investigation & a Class-Action Lawsuit against Amazon.com on http://www.change.org that so far has collected over 400 signatures and is growing exponentially. (www.change.org/petitions/amazon-crushes-small-business-marketplace-sellers)
3. Flooded the Washington state Attorney General’s Office with more than 370 complaints against Amazon for abruptly suspending or closing accounts providing no real explanation or chance to appeal.
4. Energized bloggers like Aaron Kavlie, who had his seller account permanently closed by Amazon only to have Amazon suddenly re-open his account as a result of a blog post hitting the front page of Hacker News. (aaron.kavlie.net/2011/12/web/amazon-com-just-closed-my-seller-account-no-warning-no-details/)
5. Generated over 3,910 complaints with Better Business Bureau in the last 3 years, over 580 complain on Consumer Affairs, and over 250 complaints with $73,640 in claimed losses on pissedconsumer.com, many of which are directly related to unfairly closed accounts. (www.bbb.org/western-washington/business-reviews/internet-selling-services/amazoncom-in-seattle-wa-7039385, www.consumeraffairs.com/online/amazon.html, amazon.pissedconsumer.com, www.ripoffreport.com)
6. Motivates countless daily complaints of account closures on Old Seller Soap Box (now unfortunately defunct and deleted) and on the new Seller Forum.
7. Was a catalyst for a wave of shady, pseudo-legal, one page websites all over the internet offering e-versions of “solutions” to “Beat Amazon Suspension” from $17.00 to $37.00 (www.amazonsuspended.net, beatamazonsuspension.com, etc.) and countless YouTube videos on the same subject. These ploys were designed to steal money from people in distress over their account closures.
8. Allows people like Trey King, who states, “just in 2012 I’ve helped close to 100 suspended amazon sellers get back on amazon” offer services of boosting sellers ratings by “selling $5 per feedback” Trey King: facebook: http://www.facebook.com/trey.w.king, phone: 4014001340, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, skype: mrworth401
We sincerely hope that our account was closed in error and will be reinstated.
Quick_N_Easy Marketplace Owners and Employees.
On 12/8/2012 2:39 AM We got a response from Amazon:
“Hello from Amazon.com.
Thank you for writing. We have considered your request for reinstatement. Upon careful consideration, we have decided your account will remain blocked.
Any remaining funds may be reserved for up to 90 days from the date your account was blocked. After 90 days, the funds will be disbursed, provided we do not receive charge-backs or A-to-z Guarantee claims against your sales. If you have further questions about your disbursement, please email email@example.com.
While we appreciate your interest, please understand that the closure of an account is a permanent action. Any subsequent accounts that are opened will be closed as well. Thank you for your understanding with our decision.
Seller Performance Team
On 12/11/12 email was send to the following (none have bounced back):
To: firstname.lastname@example.org Cc: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, Subject: Account closure appeal is denied. Plan of action.
To Whom It May Concern, This letter is to inform you that we find the sudden closure of our seller account, without warning, details, nor legitimate proof of its relationship to another Amazon account, unacceptable. Your generic automated response to our letter of appeal (attached below) is an insult to our business and our employees. We have no choice, but to fight your decision that our "account will remain blocked." Our motivations for appeal are simple, but powerful: to assure that our eight full-time employees may continue to provide for their families, to honor five years of hard work building our business from the ground up, and to protect the investments of our business infrastructure We will utilize all available resources to fight this unfair account closure. We have begun launching a massive social network campaign, contacting every possible media outlet interested in running this story. We plan to locate, inform and unite all other sellers affected by account closures and launch crowd-fundraising campaign to assure that we can afford to hire an attorney with a status and reputation comparable to Amazon's legal team. While we understand Amazon's "proprietary nature of business" policy, we demand detailed information and admissible evidence on how Amazon determined that our seller account is related to any other seller account; otherwise, we have no choice but to file a lawsuit to protect our business and the livelihood of our employees. We will seek legal compensation for every day of lost sales during our account closure as well as punitive damages for distress, time, and resources spent. Regards, Quick_N_Easy Marketplace (www.amazon.com/gp/aag/main?&seller=A2SUF7Y73WB371) (4.9 stars or 99% over the past 12 months (14883 ratings) and 99% of Lifetime 38169 ratings.) Order Defect Rate: Short Term: 0.27% (25/9,370), Long Term: 0.26% (57/21,988)
Well, on 12/12/2012 7:55 PM we got a response from firstname.lastname@example.org:
Hello from Amazon.com.
Thank you for your email regarding your selling account.
Jeff Bezos received your correspondence and asked that I respond on his behalf.
We are unable to provide detailed information on how we link related accounts.
However, we have thoroughly reviewed our records and confirmed that we have significant evidence that your account is related to another previously blocked account.
You are welcome to contact our Legal team directly at:
P.O. Box 81226
Seattle, WA 98108-1226
We regret we are unable to provide further information on this situation. Further correspondence regarding the closure of your selling account may not be answered.
The closure of this account is a permanent action. Any subsequent accounts that are opened will be closed as well.
Seller Performance Team
Another generic reply email from Amazon, which contains a lie. “Jeff Bezos received your correspondence and asked that I respond on his behalf.” Right!!! I’m 100% sure that never happen. Well I guess our next move will be to file complaints wherever we can, and spread info about this to anyone who will listen:
HOW THEY “KNOW” THAT ACCOUNTS ARE RELATED
Since it is Amazon’s “rule” that “Due to the proprietary nature of our business, we do not provide detailed information on how we determine that accounts are related.” we have to try to figure it out ourselves:
- Sharing an IP address with an account that is related to another selling account that was closed by Amazon. Such as your roommate had one, or your ex-husband, or any body at McDonals, Starbucks or any other public places.
- Amazon records your MAC address (is a unique identifier assigned to network interfaces for communications on the physical network segment.). Such as you buy used computer on ebay that was used to operate selling account that was closed by Amazon.
- May be it could be your new phone number, or address you moved to that were connected with selling account that was closed by Amazon.
- May be when your account has enough money that when frozen for 90 day would generate generous interest for Amazon.
- May be you have become too much of a competition to Amazon itself or some of the sellers that have close Amazon connections or may even work at Amazon.
- May be they just do it for fun and randomly by throwing an e-dart into their database e-board