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Amazon and Waitrose ban customer for repeated complaints and returning too much

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A woman has been banned by Amazon and Waitrose for excessively complaining.

Nanette Herbert told The Guardian she has been banned by a number of retailers including Amazon and Waitrose for making complaints and asking for refunds.

Businesses often have systems in place to show them when a particular customer has been requesting what might be seen as an "uneven" variety of refunds and can block them from making purchases in the future.

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Customers will also be barred from making too many complaints if the retailer believes they’re abusing the method.

Amazon told Herbert, who lives in London, it was closing her account a final month, saying she had “consistently requested refunds for a large number of orders”.

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She says the ban, which has now been lifted, brought "many different problems.

She said: "They said I had returned too many things, which isn’t true at all.

“I’ve kept most of what I ordered … and I’ve ordered a lot of stuff. It doesn’t say anywhere in their terms and conditions they ban you if you return a certain number of items.”

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Waitrose also blocked Herbert’s online account in December final 12 months after she made repeated complaints regarding the high quality of the meals delivered, after “strenuous efforts to satisfy” her complaints.

She added: “They were delivering out-of-date things.

“They expect me to pay full price, and if I make a complaint about it, they ban me. I’m blamed for their mistakes.”

In response, Amazon said returning purchases on Amazon.co.uk “is easy and free on millions of items”, and that clients can return most within 30 days.

A spokesperson said: “We never take these decisions lightly, and if a customer believes we’ve made an error, we encourage them to contact us directly so we can review their account.”

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Waitrose said its companions (workers) “are trained to be as discerning as our customers, and will choose to produce with the longest date codes available”.

“We want all our customers to be delighted when shopping with us and, while we achieve this in the vast majority of cases, we are sorry when any customer is disappointed.

“Despite our strenuous efforts to satisfy Miss Herbert, we weren’t able to meet her needs online and felt it would be better for her to select her own food in our shops.”

Retailers can refuse to sell to a customer, so no laws were broken in banning problematic customers.

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Lisa Webb, a client regulation skilled at Which?, says: “Retailers may be within their rights to ban customers who consistently return items, or complain. However, they should only do this with a good reason.

“There is an environmental cost of sending items back, so shoppers should bear this in mind when making their next purchase and try to buy sustainably.”

Even if a firm decides to ban somebody from making additional purchases, it should honor refund requests in case the items are broken, doesn’t arrive, or just isn’t as described.

Source: The Guardian

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