by Allen Williams
I was in the market for some new R-12 hoses to refurbish an older AC gauge set
when I happened on an advertisement from Amazon featuring all three replacement
hoses for about $17+ bucks. It seemed
like a good deal except for the long delay in shipping the goods but I wasn’t
in any hurry so I thought I’d sign up.
I quickly discovered that Amazon.com doesn’t allow ‘guest purchases’ as does
EBAY, its ‘members only’ at Amazon and your order is conditional upon
membership acceptance. I received the
following confirmation memo Jan 16, sent to me at our sites email address.
Hello Allen Williams,
Thank you for shopping with us. You ordered "Atoplee
3pcs (2500~500)PSI...". We’ll send a confirmation when your item
Details Order #105-5734003-9497812
Monday, February 6 -
Tuesday, February 28
This was the
typical automated response however, the next day I received a follow-up email
which I expected to be an actual ship date but instead my ‘account’ was frozen!
Subject: Re: Your Amazon.com order cannot be shipped
On 1/16/ 12:24 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
There was a problem processing your order. You will not be
able to access your account or place orders with us until we confirm your
You can help us resolve this issue by replying to this
message with the billing name, address, and phone number registered to
your card. Please reply from the email address registered to your Amazon.com
If needed, update your information with the card issuer.
For your security, we restrict access to your billing details
to a team of account specialists. Our Customer Service team cannot access these
details or provide you with more information on this issue. They can only
verify that we sent this request.
We ask that you not open new accounts as any order you place
may be delayed.
This makes no sense unless the real purpose of being an Amazon member is
to open all of your transactions to government phishers. All the
personal 'verification' needed was to PING the card in amount of $1.00
to confirm its validity otherwise the card would be rejected outright.
What Amazon is really saying here is that we don't trust you to be who
you claim to be without outside confirmation. That's not membership,
But what disturbs me most is the Huff Post Blog reporting a $600 million dollar deal Amazon struck with the CIA for cloud services
which likely means the CIA has access to all purchases made by Amazon customers. The Blog further reports: ”.. a signer in Cincinnati wrote: "If Amazon chooses to sell out their customers to the CIA, I will never visit their site again. Betrayal shouldn't be the price of convenience.”
This certainly goes a long way towards explaining why Amazon would be
so interested in ‘confirming’ mine and others customer information.
On Jan 17th, I
called the company and spoke to a representative who was to ‘look into the
problem.’ I told them what had happened
and the lady I spoke with indicated that I had to respond with the email
address that I opened the account with.
Well, duh.. I DID that and they acknowledged it by responding to the
ORIGINAL email address that I opened the account with!!. (Actually, I responded with both my email
addresses and still received the same mind numbing response.)
So, now we know what
they’re saying here is NOT the real issue.
Note that I DIDN’T GIVE permission by FAX or in my telephone
conversation with the AMAZON rep to verify anything with my card issuer for ANY
REASON. They simply took it upon
themselves to contact the bank anyway.
That’s uncalled for as Amazon already had the information and
acknowledged it with their reply but here’s their moronic response.
We encountered an issue with your account, and have removed your access to this account because
the card issuer has refused to confirm your name and billing address for your Visa ending in 56.
You will not be able to access your account or place orders with us until we verify your information.
To resolve this issue, please allow the card issuer to grant our request, or send the information
below to our secure fax line:
-- A copy of your statement for the payment card used, including the billing address
-- The last two digits of the payment card
-- Your name, phone number, and email address
You can find our fax number on the Amazon.com Help page:
We will convert your fax to a secure electronic image. To protect your information,
we restrict access to your billing details to a team of account specialists.
Our Customer Service team can confirm that we sent this email, but they cannot view
your fax or share more information about this issue.
You can expect a response from us within 24 hours of sending your fax.
If you would like us to confirm your information with the card issuer, reply to this email
after you have arranged for them to grant our request.
In the meantime, please do not open new accounts because any new order that you place may be
delayed. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused.
Yes, secure like YAHOO and FACEBOOK which had millions of their ‘secure’ customer records
hacked. And might they also be passing my business information along to the NSA or FBI as
BEST BUY technical people are currently doing for the FBI?
The customer rep never addressed my reply or indicated why my bank had to confirm my identity.
A few days later I got another email asking why I discontinued my account. Interestingly enough,
Amazon’s BEZOS owns the Washington Post and since I have been a written critic of that
intellectual rag, the Amazon episode begins to make a bit more sense.
And of course, we all
know the ‘journalistic integrity’ of WAPO as in After the WaPost’s Latest Shot, It’s Time to Call ‘Fake News’ By Its
Real Name ‘Weaponized Journalism’ My
observation to the WAPO editor on instructions from Jeff Bezos for their news
coverage is that company policy (written
or otherwise) dictates news coverage just
as it would with any other firm subsidiary.
Don’t think for a moment that WAPO isn’t looking out for the Amazon
Amazon’s request for my credit card statement is clearly ‘over the top’ and BS pure and simple.
If you can't believe I who I say I am; we can not have any meaningful business relationship. I've
purchased many things online from EBAY and other suppliers and have never experienced such a request.
There is another possibility, the company is advertising the sale of an item they don't have and won't
have available unless a sufficient number of people express interest before they order from their
China supplier. In that case you might want a verifiable customer base to motivate the Chinese.
If you’re an Amazon
customer get prepared for more invasive scrutiny of your account information,
and if you’re not, don’t JOIN!.