Rey had a really great idea for a Kickstarter project. We don’t know what it is: he didn’t tell us. The world may never have the chance to know what his amazing idea was, because he didn’t even get to the point of setting up his page and posting a slick video. Instead, Amazon stood in his way. Amazon? Why Amazon? Well, you have to accept Amazon Payments to use Kickstarter. Amazon needed information that Rey had already provided long ago and was still valid. In fact, they had just sent him some money. They asked him for it again anyway, and then things got ridiculous and confusing. Rey writes:
I had an idea that called for the services of Kickstarter to finance. I went through the process of registering and qualifying with Kicksrtarter, and then had to set up a bank account to collect the payments. That meant Amazon, whom Kickstarter requires be your banker.
For years I’ve had a seller’s account at Amazon because I occasionally sell rare and costly old books. They had recently transferred $300 to my local bank, so I knew everything was in good order with my account.
But evidently it wasn’t. I got a note from Amazon saying they could not complete the Kickstarter account because I needed to tie my local bank account to my Amazon account. Which it already was! and to show they knew it was, they made two small change deposits to it which I had to acknowledge. Now all was fine to go, right?.
No. I got another email from Amazon saying I needed to fill out an IRS form for them. Seemed simple, so I accessed the form and completed it.
The next day I got a repeat email from Amazon that I could not complete the process because a birth date was missing from the IRS form. The form they had given me had no place for a birth date. Must have been an old form?
The email said I had to add the birth date, and led me to a link to do it. I clicked on the link. I was denied access. Why? A drop down box explained I was locked out of my form because my birth date was missing, and would be unable to fix it until I fixed it. Got that?
I called Amazon support and described the problem. The man who took the call was the most helpful person I talked to in the 28 years I’ve been calling support teams, beginning with Compuserve.
He looked at the pages in question, said he saw the problem, and would have someone take care of it so I could access the form and fix it. I thanked him for his astuteness, his phone manner, and his enunciation, rare qualities nowadays.
The next day I got an email from Amazon saying they closed my account. It gave instructions how to re-open it. That involved their depositing small change in my back account and my acknowledging it, etc.
Do these people still expect me to trust them with money?
Not just money, but bank account numbers! We don’t have contact information for anyone inside Amazon Payments, but maybe this mystical depositing of a few cents in the account will do the trick and convince Amazon and Kickstarter that Rey is for real.