Shopping Discussion

Amazon.ca stole $800 from me. What can I do?

  • Last Updated:
  • Aug 20th, 2020 4:43 am
[OP]
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Apr 28, 2020
26 posts
29 upvotes

Amazon.ca stole $800 from me. What can I do?

I bought $800 of gift cards at a circle k because I needed to buy parts for my computer. I go home, add the balance to my account, buy the parts I need, then 10 seconds later I get an email saying my account has been closed and order cancelled. I have sent Amazon support clear copies of every recipet but they keep sending the same copy pasted message that I should be more careful where I buy them. And to make sure it's from a reputable seller. So apparently circle k and one of the richest families in Canada with a monopoly on every other industry in Atlantic Canada is not reputable enough. The store won't do anything for me ether. What can I do here?

Edit: sorry for not replying. I was working all day until just now. To answer some of the questions I saw coming up a lot. I purchased the gift cards with a debit card. I contacted my bank and they told me they don't offer any protection for debit cards. So no charge back option. I did it because I don't own a credit card. If I had a credit card I would have just used it. I was buying a video card and my computer broke about a week ago. And I needed more than the $250 limit on those vanilla prepaid visa/master cards cards. I never really use Amazon so I wasn't aware I could buy gift cards through their site. If I did I would have taken the $6-$10 hit and just bought 3 of those $250 vanilla mastercard so I could charge back. I foolishly never considered that the stores nor Amazon would not honour the cards. They are literally in every gas station front and center when you walk into them. So I assumed they would be a reputable location. But apparently amazon doesn't think so. And I was always under the assumption that as long as you kept the recipets the store would be on your side for returns.


UPDATE May 6th 2020: So support has stopped responding to my messages completely. The Jeff email did nothing. Got no response. Got word from circle k that there was no issue on their end and that they won't help me. It's on amazon. Tried social media and they just told me to contact the same support channels that did nothing to help. Tried reaching out to news outlets and was told they weren't interested in my issue.

So now I'm faced with the legal system. I'm in the process of researching how to sue them in small claims court. Unfortunately with everything going on in the world, the site says the legal system is shut down for everything but serious cases like murder etc. With no time table on when it will reopen. My hope is I can at least file the papers with the expectation of a later court date. In the off chance amazon reaches out to settle rather than wait. As from what I have seen or read they prefer to settle whenever they get taken to small claims court. Will probably be a loooooooong time before I have anything new to add to this. But I have it book marked so I will updated it when I have something new. If anyone can point me to helpful resources for understanding the small claims system in Canada besides the provinces site it would be appreciated. YouTube has a few videos that helped, but not much. It's mostly American lawyers.

Thank you to everyone who has helped me with their knowledge so far. I'm beyond frustrated and sad about this whole thing. I was trying to buy parts to fix my computer and now I'm out my money and my computer is still broken. A couple days ago was the roughest time so far, because if this had not have happened I would have received my parts that day and be back to using my computer. Now it will be months(Years?) before I get any resolution. And I could lose and get nothing . Time will tell...

Update June 11th 2020 : Only update I have right now, is that I have gotten a response through my BBB complaint and they unlocked the account and gave me back access to it. Still no return of my money or an apology. They seem to take about a week to reply each time through them. So atm I'm trying to put the last bit of my small claims paperwork together to submit it. And if I have not gotten the return by then I will file it. Just can't seem to find any information on if there's special rules or something I need to do for sueing an American company since I'm based in New Brunswick Canada. It doesn't seem like there is. It's nearly impossible to find help on the subject. Everyone keeps pointing to the pdf on the provincial website. While useful, it leaves many questions.
Last edited by NicholasT281 on Jun 11th, 2020 3:44 pm, edited 4 times in total.
140 replies
Deal Guru
Feb 9, 2006
11650 posts
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Brampton
Charge back on the CC and say it was a fraudulent charge.
Deal Expert
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Feb 24, 2003
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How did you pay for the Amazon cards?

Any particular reason you wouldn't buy off Amazon directly with a credit card?

Did Amazon steal it or did the Circle K employee? Something doesn't sound right.
Last edited by audit13 on Apr 29th, 2020 11:00 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Dec 3, 2004
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A quick search online revealed this:

-----------------------------------------

Amazon is stricter than ever with pretty much everything (including their workers' bathroom time). If you use Amazon gift cards the wrong way, you could end up with your account closed. While An Amazon account may not mean much to you, there are bad news: Amazon will keep steal your AGC balance and NOT refund you in any way, shape or form. Your money is gone.

There are some rules that you need to follow to stay safe. It does not matter if you bought the gift card from a store or received it from a friend or whatever.

Risk factors when using AGC:

Gift cards purchased from a third party retailer
Gift cards purchased online from any source other than Amazon
Total value in excess of $300 which are used to purchase electronics
Using multiple gift cards to purchase high-dollar items such as computers or phones
Transactions by non-US residents, including Africa, Asia, and Europe
Gift cards which were purchased more than 12 months previously
Gift cards where you do not have the original purchase receipt
Buying gift cards in order to sell them for cash
Using a debit card to send purchases to a different mailing address than your own registered account
Using an Amazon gift card to purchase another gift card.

To add to the list, I would say having a new account with no history is also huge risk factor to trigger their stupid system, as well as redeeming a lot of gift cards (no matter low value or high value) in a short period of time.

I'm not saying you will 100% get banned. There are many people that don't get banned, but there are also many that do. It will probably only get worse.


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Deal Addict
Aug 3, 2008
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audit13 wrote: The assumption is that the Amazon cards were bought with a credit card.

Personally, I would not go out of my way to buy gift cards with a credit card, possibly get mugged for $800 in cards after I leave the store, and then add these gift cards to my Amazon account when I could have used my credit card directly on the Amazon site. I think direct purchases on my Amazon account with my own credit card are better protected from fraud.
Yep, something doesn't add up. GC were probably bought with cash.
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audit13 wrote: The assumption is that the Amazon cards were bought with a credit card.

Personally, I would not go out of my way to buy gift cards with a credit card, possibly get mugged for $800 in cards after I leave the store, and then add these gift cards to my Amazon account when I could have used my credit card directly on the Amazon site. I think direct purchases on my Amazon account with my own credit card are better protected from fraud.
I highly doubt the gift cards were purchased with a credit card. They were likely purchased with cash because you cannot use cash on amazon. The OP is probably paid under the table and doesn't want to report his income. Most local computer stores are probably closed and so he wanted to order computer parts on amazon. He could pay with a credit card (if he had one), but how would he put money onto the credit card? Deposit his illcit under the table cash into a bank account might raise eyebrows. So the best way to essentially "launder" the money is to buy gift cards at Circle K, with cash, and use those cards to them buy amazon items.
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Oct 8, 2006
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Why would you do that though... We have amazon cash now... Go to one of the places and deposit your $800 directly into your amazon account...
plus a little bonus of $5 - $25 if you have never used it on your account before...

Not sure what bonuses you get from circle K...

Even credit card you can do it online... but doesn't make any sense... unless there is some kind of promotion at circle K...
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Jan 15, 2006
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One hit wonder!!!
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killoverme wrote: Why would you do that though... We have amazon cash now... Go to one of the places and deposit your $800 directly into your amazon account...
plus a little bonus of $5 - $25 if you have never used it on your account before...

Not sure what bonuses you get from circle K...

Even credit card you can do it online... but doesn't make any sense... unless there is some kind of promotion at circle K...
And this is why gift cards are so sketchy. Honestly, it seems like the only people who use gift cards these days are phone scammers who scam old people into going to Target and buying them. Notice how these scammers always want iTunes gift cards instead of Amazon though? Because Amazon is tough on scammers.

The reason why amazon flagged this transaction is simple: It thinks that there could be a chance of is fradulent. The OP likely used the gift cards right after he bought them which is indicative of a scam too, using gift cards immediately after activation (who would do that?). What amazon thinks is they might have used a stolen credit card to buy the cards and use them quickly. Then once the actual cardholder finds out about it, they will do a chargeback. Amazon has already shipped the electronics and now they are out $800.

It doesn't even need to be a stolen card. You could just fraud them yourself if you wanted. Go buy $800 gift cards in your own credit card, make a new fake amazon account and get the items shipped to a locker. Go pick them up. Then call your CC company and file a chargeback claiming you have no idea what the charges are. People commit this type of fraud all the time.

My question is: Why not just get rid of gift cards entirely??? Do gift cards really make up that much of Amazon's profit that it is worth such a huge headache?
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adamtheman wrote: My question is: Why not just get rid of gift cards entirely??? Do gift cards really make up that much of Amazon's profit that it is worth such a huge headache?
Amazon has a $2.8 billion liability (2018) in gift cards that have been sold and have yet to be redeemed. That is one heck of an interest-free loan, and much of this may never be redeemed. Gift cards are a cash cow and aren't going away any time soon.
Sr. Member
Jan 17, 2013
655 posts
252 upvotes
NicholasT281 wrote: I bought $800 of gift cards at a circle k because I needed to buy parts for my computer. I go home, add the balance to my account, buy the parts I need, then 10 seconds later I get an email saying my account has been closed and order cancelled. I have sent Amazon support clear copies of every recipet but they keep sending the same copy pasted message that I should be more careful where I buy them. And to make sure it's from a reputable seller. So apparently circle k and one of the richest families in Canada with a monopoly on every other industry in Atlantic Canada is not reputable enough. The store won't do anything for me ether. What can I do here?
"Amazon.ca stole $800 from me" - the question is really who owns at the gift card value at the time before the sale is made. Is it Amazon or the retailer, in this case Circle K? If the retailer collects the money from you and sends the money to Amazon, then both the retailer and Amazon "stole" from you, since they both have part of your money, with the retailer retaining a portion of your money as fee/commission to Amazon.
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Oct 8, 2006
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Re-read the post and was wondering if you ask what the problem was with the cards?

Why was the account closed? If it's fraud... it would likely have to be a credit cards (e.g. stolen credit card). And a charge back would be easy.

If you were able to 'deposit' the money, then the gift cards did work...

Only thing I can think of is they used a stolen credit card to purchase your gift cards and took the cash for themselves....

Lack of information in how you purchased and what the actual problem is gives room to a lot of speculation.

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