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Amazon’s current, limited-time sale on the Kindle (normally $79, currently $59), Kindle Paperwhite (normally $99, currently $79), Fire HD7 (normally $139, currently $99) and Fire HD Kids’ Edition (normally $149, currently $124). Advertisers make it possible for Digital Media Mom to bring you great content each day for free, so thanks for your support.
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How Did You Get This Number?
I recently bought some Visage Instant Lift wrinkle serum on Amazon, and it was one of those “fulfilled by Amazon” deals where the seller is an outside company but Amazon handles the order processing.
I’ve been very happy with the serum (and despite the incident that follows will most likely order it again), but about a week after it arrived I started getting calls from the seller at home, on the same phone number I have listed with Amazon. I wrote the first call off as random telemarketing, but noticed a reference to my “recent order” in the second voicemail (that I’m sure was a re-order/upsell opener) a couple days later, so when third call came through I decided to pick up the phone and talk to the caller. I asked how she got my name and number, and she could only say, “It’s here on my screen.” Since I’ve never had any direct contact with this seller, I knew Amazon must’ve shared my phone number. And I wasn’t happy about it.
Turns Out Amazon Includes Your Phone Number With The Shipping Address When You Order Something From An Outside Seller
A call to Amazon’s customer service initially seemed to be going nowhere, as the customer service rep assured me over and over again that Amazon does not share its customers’ personal or financial details with anyone, but after a couple more minutes of digging and going around and around on it, the customer service rep finally confirmed that my phone number is included on the form with shipping information that’s shared with the outside vendor when I place an order that’s ‘fulfilled by Amazon’.
The rep had no problem removing my phone number from that form. He went on to say that it’s against Amazon’s policies for outside vendors to use customers’ phone numbers for anything other than dealing with shipping issues or delays, and that Amazon would be in touch with the vendor to reinforce this policy.
In all the many years I’ve been an Amazon customer this is the first time I’ve had an outside seller use my phone number in this way, so I believe there’s nothing nefarious or underhanded going on: as the customer service rep said, Amazon provides customer phone numbers as a courtesy, to enable outside sellers to keep in touch with buyers only if there’s a shipping or order fulfillment problem.
Still, following this incident I no longer trust Amazon’s outside sellers NOT to use my number for marketing purposes, nor do I trust them NOT to share it with other telemarketers, so I’m glad Amazon provides an easy out. Note that I don’t believe this specific seller has shared my details with anyone else, because I haven’t noticed any uptick in junk phone or junk mail since my order, but that doesn’t mean some other outside seller wouldn’t do it.
Contact Amazon Customer Service, Ask To Have Your Phone Number Removed From Shipping Information That Goes To Outside Sellers
As I said, the Amazon rep did not hesitate to remove my phone number from the shipping details form, and you can request the same thing on your own Amazon account. Just go to Amazon, login, scroll to the very bottom of the home page or Your Orders page and click on the Help link. On the main Help page, mouse over the Need More Help? link and click the Contact Us link to the right (locations accurate as of this writing, on 5/6/15):
Fill out the ‘what is this regarding’ form however you like, click the Call Me Now button and ask the rep that answers to remove your phone number from the shipping information form that’s shared with outside sellers.
Yay! No more outside seller junk phone!
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Whether you’re in the market for an e-reader or tablet for yourself, or have Mom, Dad, a grad or other gift recipient in mind, it’s your lucky day because Amazon’s offering some great discounts on a couple of each. The Kindle is currently $59 (normally $79), the Kindle Paperwhite is currently $79 (normally $99), the Fire HD7 is currently $99 (normally $139) and the Fire HD Kids’ Edition is currently $124 (normally $149). Amazon’s not saying how long these discounts will last, so be sure to take advantage of them right away!
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Fire Tech Tip of the Week: Easily Move Photos From Your Fire To Your Computer: Just Email Or Share Them!
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