If you have an Amazon account, with multiple payment methods on there – especially other people’s or your work’s bank cards, you need to think about removing them before your friends and family get a nasty surprise.
Let me explain. A few weeks ago, was sat in my living room with my boyfriend one evening. I was sat watching Naked Attraction (don’t watch judge me!) on the TV, eating ice-cream, while he was checking out his bank statement on his phone.
Who spent the money? A Sherlock Holmes type of mystery
Anyway, he turns to me and says ‘Did you spend £80 on my card?’. Excuuussseeee me?!
We keep our finances pretty separate as we’re not married, no kids and honestly, haven’t seen any reason to so far – so was a bit offended by the accusation.
‘Errrr no! Where was the £80 spent?’
He said explained the payment was taken from Amazon.
I hadn’t bought anything from Amazon for that amount, and get this – he doesn’t have an Amazon account and never has. Yet £80 went out.
I shop at Amazon quite a bit (check out Amazon’s cheap sellers from China). It all goes on my debit card – which is the card Amazon made me choose was my ‘default card’.
I pay for Amazon Prime which is £79, and so worth the money if you like the next day delivery function and the TV shows/films.
I logged into my account, so see if I had spent £80 recently on Amazon, and yep – I had ‘renewed’ Prime.
So long story short, my boyfriend, years and years ago added his bank card to my Amazon account to buy something once, and it’s just been sat there, gathering digital dust for years.
Amazon just picked HIS card to renew my subscription because when I originally signed up to Prime about three years ago, I used a bank card that I have cancelled since.
So instead of using my default bank card (a thing Amazon makes you choose), with my name on it, which I use weekly, it’s system picked a ‘random’ card – which belonged to someone else
Luckily, my boyfriend spotted it, and I was able to cancel easily.
Sure, not the end of the world, but could have got me in a lot of trouble, as my work’s credit card is on there from when I bought some office Christmas party supplies last year.
I would probably be dragged in front of HR if it looked like I had been shopping on Amazon on the card.
This happens a lot and is embarrassing
So of course, I went to Twitter to shout about how unhappy I am (come follow me there – I have my entertaining moments) and found this has happened to a lot of people.
“They did the same thing to me – my bank card had expired and they used my Mum’s.. which was one of the cards on my account. I called and they said ‘ read the small print”.
‘They once took the money from my aunties account because she ordered something on my account once using her card, I didn’t realise until she’d rang amazon, it so inconvenient and embarrassing and honestly I’m still p*ssed about it.’
‘They did that with me original card expired so just charged another of my card no email etc when contacted them they said I could cancel.’
What if the person who they took the money from, couldn’t afford it? What if it meant bills couldn’t come out? This could harm friends and family.
I know there are going to be some of you who don’t understand why I was so annoyed. I had signed up to a rolling contract years ago, and when they couldn’t use the cancelled card, they just picked another one. Simple.
In fact, when I whinged at Amazon about it, they pointed out that they said they could charge any card they liked that was linked to your account.
Well, sure. It’s in the T&Cs, and I’m sure you’re all like me and spend hours reading online contracts before buying things (ahem).
But you could also argue that maybe Amazon should use its head, and use bank cards that are linked to the person buying the thing, rather than someone else.
How to delete old bank cards from your Amazon account
So if you want to check and delete bank cards you no longer use, or belong to someone else – here’s what you do:
Sign in to your Amazon account, and go to the top right of the screen to where it says ‘Accounts & Lists’.
Click on that and then ‘Your Account’. You’ll see six boxes – you want ‘Payment Options’.
There you’ll find a big list of all the bank cards attached to your account. You can delete the ones that you wouldn’t want to use there.
Whether you think it’s cheeky or neglectful of Amazon or not – it’s worth you checking your Amazon account to see if there are bank cards on there from people who wouldn’t appreciate (or be able to deal with) money leaving their account without their ‘authority’.
It could save an embarrassing conversation or an HR disciplinary!