An Unfortunate Amazon Support Experience

What you are about to read is an unfortunate Amazon Support experience my wife and I had last night.

Now, let me give you a bit of context before you read.

  1. I really do love Amazon.  They are a great company and have created an unbelievable and valuable service.
  2. I’ve been an Amazon Prime member since it’s inception. It saves me a TON of money, and there are some great benefits to it.  If you are not currently an Amazon Prime member, and you don’t mind paying the annual membership fee, you REALLY should be a member.  What you get in return is one hell of an amazing deal.
  3. I’ve been a professional software developer for over 25 years.  During this time, I’ve had to play many support roles such as (but not limited to) a) Being that first person you talk to when I worked for small companies and we did both development and support of our products. b) Being “hopefully” that LAST person you talk to who’s only goal is to ensure that your problem is 100% resolved to your satisfaction.
  4. My current role is Senior Escalation Engineer supporting Microsoft SharePoint On-Premises which could be considered tier 4 or 5… basically the last guy you should ever have to talk to.  I do mostly development of support tools; coaching other engineers; being a leader within the product I support and develop against; and the voice of reason between the customer and the company.  Usually when something gets to me… It’s bad… I mean REALLY bad… I mean your entire company and infrastructure is down HARD, and no one else knows what is going on and they call us in to do surgical analysis of the processes and procedures to find the root cause of the issue. Your CIOs and CEOs are screaming over the phone because of the problem, and my job is to speak calmly; direct; and provide resolution to your problem.  I have many stories I could tell that are both horrific and entertaining.  The following story you are about to read …. is NOT a fun story.

So enough with that.

Bottom line here, is that with Amazon Prime, you can add Family Members to your plan so they can also share your benefits.  One of those benefits is the Twitch Prime benefit, which allows you to connect your Amazon Prime member account to your Twitch Account to gain Twitch Prime benefits.

My wife is a big gamer, and I convinced her months ago to take advantage of this service.  I mean it’s free right? She’s a member of my Amazon Prime benefit.  It even says so when you look at my account and hers.

She Connected her Amazon Prime account to her Twitch Account.  A month later she noticed a charge for $14.06 on her account from Amazon.  We thought it was a charge for connecting Twitch.

She cancelled… we reviewed the settings, and tried again.  She continued to be charged.  We got busy, but finally decided last night we HAVE to get this taken care of because for some reason she couldn’t even use ANY prime benefits anymore, such as 2 day free shipping, etc.  Basically, it’s like she didn’t have Prime anymore…. even though when I looked at my account I could see her listed.

OK I’ve babbled enough again… it’s just this has been EXTREMELY frustrating and continues to be EXTREMELY frustrating….. Here you go. (Note, Support Engineer names replaced for obvious privacy reasons).

//  BEGIN Chat Transcript

Me: I had utilized my Twitch Prime benefit with Twitch , via connecting my account… However my banking account kept getting charged 14.06 every month from Amazon. I tried disconnecting the benefit and re-connecting again, but I kept getting charged.
Can you help me understand why I was getting charged every month for something I was supposed to be getting for free with my Prime benefits?
You are now connected to Support Person #1 from Amazon.com
Support Person #1: Hello, my name is Support Person #1. I’m here to help you today.
Thank you for being a Prime member.
Me: ok
Can you explain why I was getting charged 14.06 every month when I connected my Amazon account to Twitch?
Support Person #1: Kayla, May I know your current location?
Me: why?
Support Person #1: I would like to tell you that you’ve subscribed to “Prime Paid Monthly” which is why you are getting charge $14.06 every month.
Me: No
Support Person #1: I have checked and found the same.
Me: I am a family member of an Amazon Prime user who has shared his benefits with me. It shows on his page that this is a benefit
Support Person #1: Okay.
When were you charged for it the last time >?
Me: 9/22, and 8/24 for so on for many months
Support Person #1: Okay.
Let me check on that, allow me a moment please.
Me: So are you saying, that even though my husband was sharing his Prime Benefits with me, which is what he is able to do… I was still be charged a monthly Amazon Prime charge?
Support Person #1: No you won’t be charged in that case. But from my end I have found upon checking that the charge of $14.06 as per 09/22 is for Prime Paid Monthly.
Me: right, I was charged for the last 9 months for Amazon Prime Paid
Monthly when I should have then.
should NOT have
it started when I did the Twitch Prime benefit
which was part of the shared benefits
Support Person #1: Okay.
I don understand that you shouldn’t have been charged. I’m checking on that please stay connected.
Me: Under here:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer…(See full link)
Twitch Prime: Twitch Prime is a set of Amazon Prime benefits created for gamers. Prime and Prime Student members can share the on-Twitch benefits of Twitch Prime. Members can link up to four Twitch accounts to enjoy exclusive chat icons. Twitch Prime also includes access to free games, in-game loot, and a free channel subscription for the first user under the shared account who accesses each benefit. To link up to four Twitch accounts with your Amazon Prime or Prime Student account, visit Twitch Prime.
So it lists Twitch Prime as being a shared benefit for the household
for which I am a member of
Support Person #1: A special team will need to address your issue. Please hold on while I transfer your chat to the special team.

A Customer Service Associate will be with you in a moment.
You are now connected to Support Person #2 from Amazon.com
Me: Hello Support Person #2, I assume you are reading the current chat transcript
Support Person #2: Hello, my name is Support Person #2. Please give me a moment to review the previous correspondence.
Me: You bet
Support Person #2: Hope your having a great Tuesday though Kayla 🙂
And its nice to meet you
Me: Thanks
A Customer Service Associate will be with you in a moment.
You are now connected to Support Person #3 from Amazon.com

<wth? Did they read the chat log and go “I dunno” and punt?>

Me: Hello Support Person #3, did I get transferred to someone else?
Support Person #3: Hello, my name is Support Person #3. Please give me a moment to review the previous correspondence.
Yes Kayla you have been transferred I am so sorry for the inconvenience. If have a moment I can look over the account and see what I can find.
I assure that if I can’t get your problem solved I will get you someone who can.
Me: ok thanks
Is there something I can help clarify? Basically, I’ve been charged the Amazon Monthly Prime Membership for 9 months, when I should have gotten it since I was a family member on my husbands account should not have gotten charged that is
Support Person #3: Kayla I am not finding anything has of now but I am digging in here to find out why you being charged.
Me: ok
Support Person #3: Kayla I was not able to find anything on why you are still being charged for Prime when you are on Shared Prime benefits.
I have found that correct department that would be better able to assist you with this problem and get it resolved. Hold for me one moment while I transfer you.
A Customer Service Associate will be with you in a moment.
You are now connected to Support Person #4 from Amazon.com
Support Person #4: Hello, my name is Support Person #4. Please give me a moment to review the previous correspondence.
Me: Ok, thank you but this is the 3rd time I’ve been transfered

Support Person #4: Thank you for waiting.
I do see that you’re referring to $14.06 charge on your account for
every month.
Me: that is correct, I was incorrectly charged $14.06 for 9 months for an Amazon Prime MOnthly when I should have just received the benefits because I am a family member on my husbands prime account based on your documentation, I should not have been  charged from the help page:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer…(See full link)
Twitch Prime: Twitch Prime is a set of Amazon Prime benefits created for gamers. Prime and Prime Student members can share the on-Twitch benefits of Twitch Prime. Members can link up to four Twitch accounts to enjoy exclusive chat icons. Twitch Prime also includes access to free games, in-game loot, and a free channel subscription for the first user under the shared account who accesses each benefit. To link up to four Twitch accounts with your Amazon Prime or Prime Student account,
visit Twitch Prime.
Support Person #4: Kayla I do see that you’ve not been charged for any amount of $14.06 on your account because of Twitch prime.
Me: I am getting charged $14.06 from Amazon Prime per month ever since I linked my Amazon Prime to Twitch why do you say “that you’ve not been charged”
the previous support person already validated that I was
Support Person #4: Further, I do see that you’ve been charged on Sunday, September 23, 2018 $14.06 for Prime monthly subscription.
Also I do see that it was already cancelled.
Me: that’s what I’ve bee3n saying

YES! Because I shouldn’t be charged
I am a family member on my husbands amazon prime account.
I should NOT have been charged
for the past 9 months
why was I getting charged?
and what can be done to credit this error on amazons side
Support Person #4: Okay, let me check your related account as well because I couldn’t find any charge of $14.06 on your account.
Me: But you just said “Further, I do see that you’ve been charged on Sunday, September 23, 2018 $14.06 for Prime monthly subscription.” how can you now say ” I couldn’t find any charge of $14.06 on your account.”
that is a contradiction
Support Person #4: I’d like to inform you that, in past you’ve been charged for Prime however, it was already cancelled with full refund.
Now, there is no recent charges of $14.06 on your account.
Me: I have not gotten a refund
Nor a refund for the past 9 months
Support Person #4: A member of our specialist team will be the perfect person to help you with this. Let me connect you to a member of our
specialist team. It will only take a moment.
A Customer Service Associate will be with you in a moment.
You are now connected to Support Person #5 from Amazon.com
Support Person #5: Hello, my name is Support Person #5. Please give me a moment to review the previous correspondence.
Me: I cancelled because I didn’t want to be charged anymore. So we need to figure out “WHY” I was being charged in the first place when I was not supposed to, because I would like to use the benefits I “Should” be received
this is the 4th time this has happened
Support Person #5: Could you please confirm why you have been charged?
Me: I can’t confirm I want you to confirm? I am a Amazon Prime family member. I should not have been charged for the last 9 months.
I don’t know why I’m being charged.
I should not have been
that’s the whole reason for thsi
Support Person #5: Okay, could you please help me with the amount that was charged?
Me: It’s all in the chat transcript, but I’l;l repeat. $14.06 each month
for the past 9 months
Support Person #5: Thank you, Kayla.
Please allow me a moment.
Upon checking the details I see that the $14.06 charge is for prime
membership, Kayla.
Me: Why though
I shouldn’t be getting charged.
As this has all be said to the others
Support Person #5: Upon checking I see that you have signed up from a desktop browser for prime membership, Kayla. Which is the reason you have been charged.
Me: I’ve never signed up for it because I’ve been a Prime Member on my husbands account.
All I’ve ever done is link my Twitch and Amazon account. That shouldn’t
be any issue since it’s included.
Support Person #5: Let me connect you to a member of the team that will best be able to help you with this. It will only take a moment.
A Customer Service Associate will be with you in a moment.

You are now connected to Support Person #1 from Amazon.com

<wth? Did this seriously just happen? Did we seriously just get transferred back to the first person we chatted with??????? Why yes… we did>
Me: Support Person #1.
This needs to be escalated immediately.
Support Person #1: Hello Kayla, my name is Support Person #1. Please give me a moment to review the previous correspondence.
Me: I’ve just been transferred 5 times and now am back to you.
You don’t need to review, we’ve already spoke.
Escalate this now, please.
Support Person #1: This shouldn’t have happened, Kayla.
Me: What shouldn’t have happened?
If I’m being transferred to specialists, why did they bring me back to the first person of all this? I’ve been trying to talk about this for an hour now.
Hello?

<Hear’s the HAL 9000 in my head saying “I’m sorry Kayla, this conversation can serve no purpose anymore” >

 

Support Person #1: I am really sorry on their behalf, but the Prime Paid Monthly charges is handled by separate department, I can only check on this for you. I need to transfer this chat to the concerned team with strong notes, be assured they will assist you.
A Customer Service Associate will be with you in a moment.
You are now connected to Support Person #6 from Amazon.com
Me: Why am I back to you
Support Person #6: Hello, my name is Support Person #6. Please give me a moment to review the previous correspondence.
Me: I know who you are

Support Person #6: A member of our specialist team will be the perfect person to help you with this. Let me connect you to a member of our specialist team. It will only take a moment.
A Customer Service Associate will be with you in a moment.

You are now connected to Support Person #7 from Amazon.com
Support Person #7: Hello, my name is Support Person #7. Please give me a moment to review the previous correspondence.
Me: ok
What department are you a part of?
Support Person #7: Let me connect you to a member of our Retail team. It will only take a moment.
A Customer Service Associate will be with you in a moment.
You are now connected to Support Person #8 from Amazon.com
Support Person #8: Hello, my name is Support Person #8. Please give me a moment to review the previous correspondence.
Me: ok
Support Person #8: Thank you for patience Kayla.
I’m sorry that you are being charged for prime membership. May I know the date of charge and amount of charge?
Me: Is that not all in the previous chat?
14.06 a month for the past 9 months.
Support Person #8: Thank you Kayla.
As I can check previous charge for prime membership was on Sunday, September 23, 2018 and it started from Monday, January 22, 2018.
Me: Also 9/22
I’m sorry
Support Person #8: Do you want these charges to be refunded as you are on Prime Household?
Me: You’re right
Support Person #8: Thank you for confirmation Kayla.
Me: I do want the money back, yes.
I also want to know why I was being charged?
I do want the refund for the past 9 months
Support Person #8: I’m sorry Kayla, Prime Paid Monthly Subscription was activated on your account using Desktop Browser on Monday, January 22, 2018.
If is possible that you accidentally activated it. No problem. As an exception I can request a refund for these charges.
Would it be good for you?
Me: I didn’t sign up for that. The only thing I’ve done is link my Amazon and Twitch.
And yes, please. A refund would be excellent.
Support Person #8: I have forwarded your refund request.
Me: Okay, when should I hear back about this?
Support Person #8: It will be credited to your original payment method in 3-5 business days.
Me: It definitely will be?
14.06 times 9 months?
Just trying to be clear since I’ve been transferred 9 times.
Support Person #8: Yes I have forwarded refund request for 9 months.
Is there anything else I can assist you with today?
Me: Okay. Now, how do I utilize my existing prime benefit since I am a prime family member to connect my Twitch account without being sign up to Prime again?
Cause that’s all I did, but then was getting charged.
Support Person #8: May I know do you want to activate Twitch in your shared prime membership?
Me: Yes, I want to use the Twitch Prime benefit
Support Person #8: I am transferring you concern to out specialist team. they will help you with this.
A Customer Service Associate will be with you in a moment.
You are now connected to Support Person #9 from Amazon.com
Support Person #9: Hello, my name is Support Person #9. Please give me a moment to review the previous correspondence.
Hi:)
Me: hello
Support Person #9: I’ve checked and see that you have enabled Twitch successfully.
Me: I have?
I haven’t done anything.
Support Person #9: Can you please try to access Twitch prime now.
Me: I did go look.
Seems that I am. I just wanted to make sure I wasn’t going to be charged again for it.
Support Person #9: No worries, You won’t be charged .
Me: Okay, thank you very much.
Support Person #9: You’re very welcome. Is there anything else I can help
you with today?
Me: Will I receive an email about my refund request? I want to make sure that is in process before I disconnect with you, please.
Support Person #9: ?Refunds apply to the payment method used for the original order, and typically complete within a 3-5 business days.?
Once our chat end, I’ll send confirmation email for prime cancellation.
Me: I understand that, but do I have a confirmation email of some sort?
Wait
Support Person #9: Sure, Kayla. Once our chat end, I’ll send confirmation
email for prime cancellation.
Me: Oh, okay.
Thank you very much.
Support Person #9: You’re very welcome.
Are we all set now?
Me: Yep. Thank you.
Support Person #9: You’re very welcome.
Thank you for contacting Amazon. Please click on the “End Chat” to close this window.
We look forward to seeing you again soon. When you’re ready, please click
the end chat link. Have a great day!

// END Chat Transcript

 

We later got an email confirmation from Support Person #9 that a refund of $14.06 was in process.  There you have it, a request for the 9 months we were charged, but only the one month being refunded.

Mind you, when I see behaviors like this myself, I try to work with the persons involved and coach a bit so that hopefully our customers will not have a similar experience, but this is an example of just a flat out horrible experience.  I have NEVER seen it this bad.

I mean seriously, we thought our issue was getting escalated up the chain, but to realize all that was happening is it just getting punted back into a queue over and over and over and over and over?

We wasted two hours of our life with this.

 

[Update: We worked with the Amazon Social Media team.  They are working the issue through and have validated and see that there are 9 refunds being processed.  So good for you Amazon.]

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