Update: Amazon Blocking Me

Due to some other circumstances I made a little progress in Amazon’s almost 2-years now block of my buyers account. A little more than 2 years ago as an add-on to my Norton Anti-virus package I opted into Lifelock, an in particular a feature which would prevent any bank accounts being opened in my name. Why not, right? Well, a few months ago, I went to open a bank account and even I was unable to be verified – something now necessary to open a bank account thanks to the effects of The Patriot Act – because Chex Systems had this security hold in place, the very one I placed on my own account. I had to contact Chex Systems and get the hold removed to open the bank account. It occurred to me that perhaps Amazon was also trying to verify me and, since this block was in place, it couldn’t. Excitedly, I called Amazon for the umpteenth time, spoke to their customer service rep and explained the situation. The rep could see the dozens of calls and attempts I have made to reactivate my account. They were sympathetic and wrote something to the security team, and – as they always do – told me I would definitely hear something within 24 hours. And, as usual, I didn’t. So I called again and went through the same song and dance, but THIS time I got an email response with a little bit more detail. I took this as progress. Now, in this email, they told me what my crime was, what it was that caused them to block my account, and with it all my access to thousands of family photos, hundreds of Audible audiobooks, and any other ancillary Amazon services. Here’s what they said:


Thank you for contacting us regarding your account.

Your account is temporarily on hold. During this time, you won’t be able to access your account, use any Prime benefits or gift card balance, or place orders. To regain access to your account, you will need to confirm details related to your payment method.

We took this action because either the Amazon gift card or the Amazon gift card balance that you are using is in violation of our “Terms and Conditions”.

If you believe that we took this action in error and you want to regain access to your account, please sign in to your Amazon account and follow the on-screen instructions to upload the gift card purchase receipts. You can also upload other documentation proving the gift card ownership, such as the image of the physical gift card or an email or SMS from the sender.

When uploading a document to verify ownership of a payment method, be sure that the name, address, payment type, and relevant transaction information are clearly visible.

To learn more about our “Terms and Conditions”, please visit our Help page

So, I took a look at that link and found that among their terms and conditions for gift card use is one that says you can’t use a gift card to buy something that you plan to resell. That’s weird. I am a retailer. Buying to resell is common for me, even if I might buy from Amazon.

But anyway, I don’t remember doing that. In fact I don’t recall ever using an Amazon gift card, but I may have given one or two to employees – I think probably did. But if I ever bought gift cards, I certainly don’t have copies of or receipts for them. This would have been 2 years ago, maybe more. Do you keep copies of Amazon gift cards you’ve bought, or used? Does anyone?

So, I called Amazon, again. I explained this connundrum, and was promised the reflexive 24 hour response, and, nothing.

Back to square one.