Amazon done wrong

We sell on Amazon, and for that I'll apologise at the start, but it does provide some convenience to some customers and mostly works.

A few weeks ago we got an email saying we have to upload dome documents or they will close the account, and several ongoing reminders. Oh shit...

The problem is that the staff, including me, have a login to the seller account and can do 99% of things on it, as needed, but we could not do this as it had to be the main seller account. OK, so log in to that. Easy.

Except it wants to SMS a number to one of two numbers. Both were set up (and so worked at the time), but are 01344 (i.e. landline) numbers, and between when set up and now Amazon have obviously fucked up their SMS stuff and cannot SMS either.

The interworking of SMS really is a shit show and needs OFCOM to actually do its job and ensure it works properly.

But they also for calling them with a code - yay - except that also does not work - no clue why. Both numbers valid for SMS and calls, and they do neither.

So I tried the "remove 2FA" and sent pictures of passport, or something. My accounts manager did the same several times. No joy.

Every single chat was just crazy, and got to being daily. I mean I am tempted to publish them - they are so mad. One of them insisted I wait 24 hours after trying before contacting them - I said I had done that - he asked why I did not contact them after waiting 24 hours - and I explained I did - this is me contacting them!! The chats were like that. I don't like to judge people as "stupid", honest, people are only sensible in the areas they know, and that applies to all of us. But really, these chats were "special".

Just to be clear - the only reason I could "chat" at all is I had a working amazon account from which to chat. If not I would be screwed.

I have my case handled and referred to these, all of which did not reply at all!

  • Internal escalation team
  • Account recovery team
  • External escalation team

I finally got someone that insisted that another "remove 2FA" should work, and I tried it, and, well, it did. But the instructions were clear - once done I could log in with just a password.

This was a lie. I logged in, and it said "Enter verification code. For your security, we've sent the code to your phone ***-***-**23" which basically means 2FA, so not removed, but also a number I don't know. Not either of the two numbers before.

Many more chats. No way to progress this. Doing the "remove 2FA" again stalled as it needs the code sent to *23 to get as far as uploading a driving licence even. I kept on, emailed in again, and finally it changed.

Now I have option for OTP by email or by SMS to *23, yay, but then it again does "Enter verification code. For your security, we've sent the code to your phone ***-***-**23" as well. So email and SMS now! (yes, when I got SMS working it wanted email too, so yes, both now needed!).

Had there not been an actual mobile *23 I really think we would be screwed. They have zero way to sort this from what I can see. Removing 2FA is "still do 2FA using a *main* mobile number" which you cannot change until you log in!

Turns out, after some research, checking staff lists, and pestering someone on leave and at a party (really, thank you Mike), I found someone that had a number ending in 23, and they were indeed what was on Amazon. So they let me know the code. Yes, that is being fixed, they should not have been on the main login, really. History from when first set up.

So finally I am in - it took a couple of attempts, but now the 2FA is sorted.


So back to step 1. What is it they need.

Well this...

Yep, it is a sort of Farage test I think!

Obviously I click Agree and submit.

And, well, predictable...

So, err...

So another chat, and really, I am at a loss on this chat...

Ok, long winded, but basically no clue why this was an issue "not understandable" somehow, and actually, no, there is no way to upload a screenshot.

Eventually got an email and replied with a screenshot. It is a "don't reply to this" email address, FFS.


  1. It was not understandable because they farmed their customer support out of the UK. The person you're dealing with there clearly doesn't really speak english.

  2. The whole 'politically exposed persons' thing is getting out of hand. How does someone being politically exposed in any way affect their Amazon account?

    1. Also note the wording: "associated/related with someone who is or was".

      So if ANY member of your extended family has EVER been an MP or a manager of a state-owned enterprise, you are permanently forbidden from selling on Amazon.

      What problem are they even trying to solve with this policy? Are they worried that some MP's second cousin is going to start trying to flog stolen House of Commons stationery or something?

    2. Indeed, that seems odd. Though, to be fair, they don't say you can't sell - they just ask "agree/disagree". I did not test to see the consequences of "disagree", but you may be right.

  3. I can sort of understand (even if it is wrong and should work!) issues with SMS to a “geographic” 01344 number… we tried to register a 07 number from Twilio to forward MFA codes to email… text it, tested it fine, could Lloyds Bank manage to send MFA codes to it for a debit card our finance team used to cloud services… no!

  4. I've had this with Amazon. I had 2FA enabled to my 3G/GSM dumb phone and that worked fine when they emailed numbers like most other places do. Then with no warning Amazon switch to sending very long urls to SMS as 2FA, which I can't use on my dumb phone and are too long to manually type into my iPad (which is what I use for internet access on the go). Turning off 2FA for my account took several days of repeated attempts, and even after that I still sometimes get texted simple codes to my mobile if I do something like switch accounts to use my mum's or I login from my work PC. I complained and was told by Amazon "those aren't 2FA"? What? Of course they're 2FA, they're a second factor for logging in. Amazon clearly have some "special" definition of 2FA.

  5. Yep, that text chat you show is pretty much an exact copy of every text chat I have. A total and utter waste of time with muppets who are useless and don't care.

  6. Stop selling on Amazon & just bake whatever you are able to into the A&A website. I don't believe that Amazon is worth it going forward unless you have analytics, which I obviously don't have access, to suggest otherwise.

    1. We have on A&A site, but sell way more on Amazon, sadly. Mostly their logistics are good.


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