Bob Conner, like much of the rest of the world, is happy to do business with Amazon, but Amazon, the world’s largest retailer, doesn’t need to charge its customers twice to make gobs of money.
So Conner, 57, was frustrated when he realized that Amazon had been charging him twice for Amazon Prime, which provides streaming video, discounts on merchandise and shipping, and other perks to subscribers. Worse, when he complained, the company was only willing to provide him with a partial refund.
Conner discovered the nine months of overcharges, totaling more than $100, in April. He said Amazon had started charging him for a second Prime account he didn’t actually have but that the company thought he was using for his business.
Conner sells a product on Amazon called Pumpkin Teeth — plastic teeth that families can insert into their jack-o’-lanterns if they don’t have the artistic skills, small-motor control or patience to carve their own. Or if they just want some really scary-looking pumpkins.
The business is run out of his home, though, so he has no need for an additional, business-use Prime account. His personal Amazon Prime account and the Amazon account he uses to sell Pumpkin Teeth are also linked to two different credit cards and two different email addresses.
“I was refunded (for) five to six months’ worth from the personal Amazon account, but that is all she could do since it was attached to my business account,” Conner said in an Aug. 25 email to SOS describing Amazon’s position. “I stated that they should still be able to refund me since the charges went to my personal account.”
SOS relayed Conner’s concerns to Amazon on Aug. 27 through a couple of company PR email addresses it found online, and a couple of days later heard back from Katie Loughnane of Amazon corporate communications. After a few days of phone tag, Loughnane told SOS that someone from higher up Amazon’s customer service food chain would be contacting Conner to discuss the situation.
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SOS heard nothing from either party until Oct. 7, when it called Conner and discovered that Amazon had indeed refunded him for the remaining four months’ worth of double charging, for a total of $52.34. He said the company called him shortly after SOS and Loughnane spoke, sent them a copy of his bank statement, and the credits appeared on his bank statement a couple of days later.
Loughnane declined to go into detail about Conner’s account, but confirmed that he was now satisfied.
Sears customer comes out ahead
Gloria Accardo reported Oct. 5 that she’d received another check from Sears — this one for $58.57 — to make up for the lint screen and refund the bankrupt retailer couldn’t manage to provide until SOS stepped in.
Once it did, Accardo got the lint screen she’d ordered and a refund of what she paid for it more than three months before.
In fact, the latest check plus an earlier one for $25 means Accardo, for reasons that remain unclear, came out ahead on the deal by $20.56.
[Editor's note: This story has been changed to correct a misspelling of the word "bank."]