Shopping Discussion

Amazon.ca Currency Converter WARNING - Selected CAD but charged USD

  • Last Updated:
  • Feb 25th, 2019 2:50 pm
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Amazon.ca Currency Converter WARNING - Selected CAD but charged USD

This is a warning to all Amazon.ca (CANADA) customers to check your credit card statements.

Amazon.ca has introduced this "Currency Converter" feature that provides you the option to be charged in USD, when shopping on Amazon.ca (CANADA).
Most RFDers will see this as yet another scheme for Amazon to make more money in currency conversion, when credit cards will offer a cheaper conversion.

For my most recent order, I am 100% certain I selected the CAD option, but it still showed up as USD on my Rogers MasterCard online banking.
All items purchased were 'Ships from and sold by Amazon.ca'.
E-mail confirmation shows CAD and then USD in brackets. Images:

Image

Image

Note: The new garbage Rogers MC website no longer directly shows Forex in the normal account Transaction History listing. You have to look in the rewards points listing.

As you can see in the following image, I am getting the FOREX bonuses from Rogers MC, obviously from the FOREX charge:
Image

I phoned Amazon and reached 'Leadership Team' support and spent over 45 minutes on the call - Amazon Leadership Team is adamant their software shows I was charged in CAD. Now they are telling me to call Rogers MC to ask why it is USD.
Obviously what will happen is the bank will say Amazon.ca charged in USD, and I have to contact Amazon to resolve it.
I am going to contact Rogers MC and then contact Amazon again to see what comes of this. I am not optimistic.

This is a matter of less than $2, but I am absolutely infuriated about this because it's probably worth millions of dollars to Amazon.

This is clearly garbage.

Everyone, please check your credit card statement and if you saw this, please complain LOUDLY to Amazon.

***

Update 2019-FEB-14:
- I called Rogers Bank and confirmed that Amazon initiated the charges in USD and they came from Washington. It was Amazon who billed in USD. (This should be absolutely zero surprise.)
- I phoned Amazon again and went to their supervisor, who then confirmed all of this with her supervisor. They claim they checked everything and saw of evidence of be being billed in USD, and all of their information shows I was billed in CAD. They refused to take a scan or photo of my credit card statement. (Not surprised here either.)

Next steps, I'll consider jeff@amazon.com. And I'll consider something like CBC MarketPlace.

I probably won't go as far as a chargeback since this is only for under $2, and I don't want to get my amazon account blocked over a relatively small amount and then lose all my Kindle books, etc.


***

Update 2019-FEB-18:

I have filed the BBB complaint. We shall see what comes of this.

Also, I have thought of a few possible causes for this Forex issue:
1. My Kindle Store setting is USA, not Canada. (This is because of more frequent deals on the American kindle store.)
2. I did change the shipping options between 'ship when everything is ready' and 'ship as soon as possible' 2 times. Maybe this broke something in their software.

***

Update 2019-FEB-20:

Received response to BBB complaint. Appears to be from some Amazon India drone who didn't even read the complaint.
Now they are claiming that I *did* use the Amazon Currency Converter to request USD, and therefore can't get a refund.
This response totally contradicts everything their leadership team told me.
I'm going to apply Occam's Razor here and assume that the person who responded was just an idiot, and I have to slog through first tier drones before I reach anyone competent.
I rejected their resolution. Fortunately the 'rejection' interface allows you to send an attachment, so I made up an image clearly showing my credit card and the Amazon invoic side by side, with relevant parts highlighted.
I'll keep updating here.

Also see the full text of Amazon's response in Post #36.

***

Update 2019-FEB-24:

SUCCESS!! Amazon refunded me for the Forex billing error!
I suspect it was my document, showing Amazon's bill and my credit card online billing info side-by-side, with highlighting, which finally got the message through.
There was apparently no way for me to send this document directly to amazon as they refused to look at my CC billing. It's a good thing the BBB provides this facility.
I was refunded US $1.77 so I am happy with the outcome.
Last edited by Jucius Maximus on Feb 24th, 2019 9:36 am, edited 10 times in total.
What if there were no hypothetical questions?
Thread Summary
tl;dr
On Amazon.ca, I picked CAD. Rogers MC shows USD billing, and I paid extra for Forex. Amazon support claims everything was billed CAD.
Rogers MC agrees Amazon billed in USD. Amazon.ca refuses to fix anything or even look at my Rogers MC bill.
I filed a BBB complaint and eventually amazon refunded me, apparently because I made up an image showing amazon's bill and my credit card online billing side-by-side.
40 replies
Sr. Member
Jul 13, 2016
797 posts
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Just google "chargeback for DCC 2014-2016", you'll find a very lenghty thread on a different forum (that we are not allowed to mention by name here on RFD) which will help you handle it with your bank. :)
Last edited by emilio911 on Feb 14th, 2019 10:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Jul 24, 2009
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Send the Amazon invoice to Mastercard first and see what they say before taking any further action.
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Aug 22, 2006
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I don't see this as an option on .ca

It is there for .com though
Member
Mar 8, 2013
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Toronto
The "AMZN Mktp" in the transaction description suggests that it was a Amazon marketplace sale. You mentioned the items were "Ships from and sold by Amazon.ca." Does the order invoice in your account at Amazon.ca say "Sold by: Amazon.com.ca, Inc."?

I have USD and CAD credit cards linked to my Amazon.ca account, but I don't get the option for currency conversion. Though, it might be item specific.

Can you link to the item?

I noticed some 3rd party items on the .ca website are fulfilled by the .com site.

US site: https://www.amazon.com/SYONER-Shockproo ... 0765Z2TG7/
Image

CA site: https://www.amazon.ca/SYONER-Shockproof ... 0765Z2TG7/
Image
Deal Addict
Dec 7, 2011
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Whitehorse
I understand that a transaction can still trigger foreign exchange fees, even if there is no exchange, just because the charge comes from abroad. Could that be the case here?
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sokolov wrote: I understand that a transaction can still trigger foreign exchange fees, even if there is no exchange, just because the charge comes from abroad. Could that be the case here?
Is that a thing? I've never had a transaction from abroad incur forex fees if it was charged in CAD.
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death_hawk wrote: I don't see this as an option on .ca

It is there for .com though
You can see a screenshot of the amazon.ca currency converter here:
https://forums.redflagdeals.com/thumbs- ... #p30536778

This is exactly what I saw in the mobile app when I was checking out.
Callister wrote: The "AMZN Mktp" in the transaction description suggests that it was a Amazon marketplace sale. You mentioned the items were "Ships from and sold by Amazon.ca." Does the order invoice in your account at Amazon.ca say "Sold by: Amazon.com.ca, Inc."?

I have USD and CAD credit cards linked to my Amazon.ca account, but I don't get the option for currency conversion. Though, it might be item specific.

Can you link to the item?
I was also confused by the "AMZN Mktp" wording even though the items are indeed listed as "Sold by: Amazon.com.ca, Inc." in my order summary.

Anyway, here is what I ordered:
Body Wash - ASIN B00BOVOCBW
Acne Cream - ASIN B00PQNVQ22

Edit: Removed links and added ASIN instead. I think RFD clickthroughs are driving up the price of my favourite acne cream. :facepalm:

The main thing to remember here is that Amazon CS is adamant that their computer systems show I was charged in CAD.
Last edited by Jucius Maximus on Mar 8th, 2019 8:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
What if there were no hypothetical questions?
Deal Expert
Jan 7, 2002
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Jucius Maximus wrote: I am 100% certain I selected the CAD option, but it still showed up as USD on my Rogers MasterCard online banking.
Jucius Maximus wrote: The main thing to remember here is that Amazon CS is adamant that their computer systems show I was charged in CAD.
At least for the time being I would suggest that every time someone gets the FX option they take a screenshot to keep as evidence should they be charged in a different currency than they selected. This is the only way to establish conclusively that Amazon isn't honouring the FX option you select. Then if necessary either open a dispute with Amazon or do a chargeback with the CC company.
veni, vidi, Visa
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bylo wrote: At least for the time being I would suggest that every time someone gets the FX option they take a screenshot to keep as evidence should they be charged in a different currency than they selected. This is the only way to establish conclusively that Amazon isn't honouring the FX option you select. Then if necessary either open a dispute with Amazon or do a chargeback with the CC company.
The strangest part of all of this is that Amazon doesn't believe they charged USD. They agree that it should be CAD. So I don't think this 'proof' would change their mind. Thinking Face

Regardless, we should still screenshot the currency converter page just in case the bank wants it.
What if there were no hypothetical questions?
Deal Expert
Jan 7, 2002
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Jucius Maximus wrote: The strangest part of all of this is that Amazon doesn't believe they charged USD. They agree that it should be CAD. So I don't think this 'proof' would change their mind. Thinking Face
That's why I suggested what I suggested. If numerous people report this to Amazon and/or do chargebacks(*) and have screenshots to prove it then front line Amazon drones won't be able to dismiss it as a user error. We didn't all become idiots overnight.

Also if they don't fix this ASAP those screenshots will become useful for use on Twitter, reporting to the media (e.g. CBC), etc.
Regardless, we should still screenshot the currency converter page just in case the bank wants it.
(*) Be careful with chargebacks. Amazon is known to shut down accounts who they deem are abusing their business. Don't do a chargeback until you've had at least one unsuccessful interaction on this issue directly with Amazon.
veni, vidi, Visa
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Mar 8, 2013
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Toronto
It does appear to be a serious billing glitch with Amazon.ca. The emailed invoice has USD in parenthesis, indicating the specific currency being billed. The Amazon CSR should at least be able to see that invoice on their end, user intention or not. The CSR telling you to contact your CC issuer seems like they're falling back to a boilerplate response to an undocumented glitch they have no idea how to handle.
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emilio911 wrote: Just google "chargeback for DCC", you'll find a very lenghty thread on a different forum (that we are not allowed to mention by name here on RFD) which will help you handle it with your bank. :)
What's RFD got against the Philadelphia Flyers Forum? Face Screaming In Fear
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Oct 22, 2016
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Comox Valley
Thanks for detailed information, I will keep an eye on mine.
[OP]
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sokolov wrote: I understand that a transaction can still trigger foreign exchange fees, even if there is no exchange, just because the charge comes from abroad. Could that be the case here?
Unlikely. Items were shipped from within Canada, by Canada Post. They're going to a FlexDelivery location.
What if there were no hypothetical questions?
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Aug 22, 2006
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Jucius Maximus wrote: You can see a screenshot of the amazon.ca currency converter here:

This is exactly what I saw in the mobile app when I was checking out.
That looks like the desktop version of Amazon.
I just checked the app myself and it looks nothing like that, nor does it have a mention of currency conversion.
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death_hawk wrote:
That looks like the desktop version of Amazon.
I just checked the app myself and it looks nothing like that, nor does it have a mention of currency conversion.
I just re-created the same order again in the app, and I got the Currency Converter again. This is all in the app.

Hilariously, the acne cream has jumped from $4.99 to $18.25, maybe due to attention from this thread! Astonished Face
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What if there were no hypothetical questions?
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
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I wonder if it's a staggered rollout.

Neither desktop nor app has it for me.

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