Amazon Goes Wild! (On My Credit Card, for MP3 & Kindle items)

By , April 25, 2012

Check your credit card statements for any improper charges by Amazon!

I just found a series of unexpected small transactions from Amazon on my credit card.

It turns out that when I used their Android “Amazon MP3” app to explore their MP3 offerings, and downloaded some free items, they included non-free items in the search-results list, and charged me without authorization. No checkout, no confirmation.

I confirmed that “One-Click” remains disabled; there’s no visible change anywhere in Amazon’s system. But it’s not just MP3 items — on the same day, I was charged for several Kindle items, even though I believed I had only ordered free items.

On the phone (1-206-262-2992), the customer service agent claimed that even if One-Click is disabled in a customer’s account, “One-Click is always on for digital items.”

That’s not true, of course, since when I’ve accidentally clicked on non-free Kindle items I’ve always been asked for confirmation — until this week. Somehow, when I used the Amazon MP3 app on my Android tablet, Amazon changed a setting in the way the Kindle app works.

Amazon claims that I accepted their changed “One-Click” terms when I installed the Amazon MP3 app, but of course I didn’t, since the app was pre-installed on my Android tablet (for which I assume Amazon paid Acer a fee).

This is unethical and deceptive. Most important, it’s really bad for Amazon’s customer relationships.

Check your credit card (or debit card) statements! If you find unauthorized charges, and if you want Amazon to reverse the transactions, you’re in for an unpleasant experience. First, you need to figure out which orders are involved, and if you’ve ordered multiple “free” items, you’ll manually need to click on every single transaction to find any that weren’t actually free. This makes it very difficult to submit an online request for support. Second, if you call Amazon’s customer service department (1-206-262-2992), you’ll find that you need to speak to at least two agents (I had to speak with three: a front-line agent, then a Kindle agent, then an MP3 agent).

Delete your credit card from your Amazon account! I’ve deleted my credit-card info from my Amazon account, so hopefully this won’t happen again, even if I accidentally click on an item that isn’t actually free.

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