Dylan Tack is hit with an extra $359 for an impact wrench he orders from Amazon.com. Can this accidental billing be repaired?
Question: Amazon charged my debit card $359 twice for an impact wrench I ordered recently. The company’s customer service agents couldn’t resolve the issue, and they instructed me to dispute the double-charge with my bank.
Several months later, Visa resolved the dispute in my favor. From my perspective, we’re square — I got charged twice, and then Visa refunded me once.
However, Amazon is insisting I still owe them and put a hold on my account. I’ve tried talking with supervisors on the phone, I’ve e-mailed them documentation, and contacted @AmazonHelp on Twitter.
Inspired by your site, I also sent an email to Dave Clark, the senior vice president of customer service. After many calls and emails, I’m totally stuck. Can you help me? — Dylan Tack, Portland, Ore.
Answer: Amazon shouldn’t have charged you twice, obviously. And if it did, Amazon should have apologized and immediately reversed the erroneous charges.
What happened to you is something Franz Kafka might have come up with — a bizarre tale with pretzel-like corporate logic that defies any common sense — but in this case, it would be true.
You showed me the paper trail between you and Amazon. The company did, indeed, place a hold on your account after a chargeback by your credit card. Although there’s no written evidence that Amazon told you to dispute the erroneous charge, it hardly matters. Point is, you disputed a charge and your Amazon account was frozen. Meanwhile, you only had one wrench.
A closer review of your emails suggests that some, if not all, of the responses from Amazon were form emails and probably automatically generated. That suggests no one, at least no human being, was aware of the problem. You were just being bounced between machines. Odd behavior for a business that claims to be “Earth’s Most Customer-Centric Company.”
I’m surprised Amazon didn’t respond when you emailed an executive. We list executive email addresses for Amazon on our consumer advocacy site. When a dispute gets to that level, I know Amazon pays attention — I’ve seen emails between executives that show such concerns are taken seriously.
I contacted Amazon on your behalf, and it reinstated your account.