One of the most useful aspects of online shopping is the ease of returning items that you’re not entirely happy with. 

However, one online retailer is seemingly penalising its customers for returning purchased products too frequently by terminating their accounts. 

Amazon states in its return policy that the majority of items can be returned in exchange for a full refund within 30 days of delivery as long as they’re still in a new condition.

While this may seem like an easy enough guideline to comply with, several Amazon customers in the US have shared their dismay over having their accounts closed without warning as a result of making returns to the site.

In March this year, 20-year-old Nir Nissim received a notification that his account had been shut down, only to be informed a week or two later that his return activity was to blame. 

He had only sent one item back this year and four the year before, he explained to The Wall Street Journal.

Mr Nissim’s account was eventually restored following his complaint. However, according to former Amazon employees, it’s fairly common for customers to have their accounts closed if they’re causing an annoyance. 

“If your behaviour is consistently outside the norm, you’re not really the kind of customer they want,” said James Thomsons, former senior manager at Amazon.

According to Chris McCabe, former policy enforcement investigator at the company, this can occur if “you’re creating a lot of headaches for Amazon.”

Amazon customer Claire Bochner recently tweeted about her experience of returning items to the site, sharing an email that she’d been sent that referenced the fact that she’d made “multiple returns” from her account over the past year.

She explained that she’d only returned seven items out of 50 purchases, questioning why Amazon felt the need to send her an email regarding her shopping behaviour.

In 2015, Nathan Peterson’s account was terminated despite having only returned 43 products out of 550 over the course of five years.

When contacted for a comment by The Independent, a spokesperson for Amazon US explained that the company takes action if a customer misuses the site in any way.

“We want everyone to be able to use Amazon, but there are rare occasions where someone abuses our service over an extended period of time,” they stated.

“We never take these decisions lightly, but with over 300 million customers around the world, we take action when appropriate to protect the experience for all our customers.”

If any customer is of the opinion that they’ve been unfairly castigated, then Amazon recommends reaching out to them directly in order to look into the issue further.

Some of the reasons why an individual’s Amazon account may be flagged include if they’re seen to be regularly returning the majority of their purchases, sending items back that look used or if it’s been discovered that they’ve been paid to leave reviews for products on the site.

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