German customers of Amazon who return their products a little too often will have their accounts shut down. Amazon has already confirmed they are using this drastic measure, but states that normal customers have no need to worry.
Accounts closed without warning
It was a German blog that reported the news that Amazon is shutting down accounts of ‘notorious returners’, without warning in advance. Amazon currently refuses to specify their policy on returns: customers have no way to know when they are in danger of losing their accounts. According to German laws, Amazon has the right to shut down accounts, but it also has to warn people before it happens.
Amazon has responded in German media by saying it only shuts down accounts in exceptional cases. Before that happens, there will always have been a thorough investigation into the matter. Amazon also asks customers that lose their accounts not to make a new one.
For some customers the loss of their accounts can have far-reaching consequences: they could lose their access to cloud services and the database for Kindle. According to legal experts it is very likely that customers who fight their ban in court, will be successful.
In Germany online shops are obliged to pay for the return costs when a customer decides to send something back to sender. That will soon change, due to a new European guideline that will soon come into effect. A research at a university in Germany has shown that more than 75% of German online shops will charge customers for returns, as soon as the new guideline has been made official.