Having Your Credit Card Stolen = Accidentally Free MP3 Downloads From Amazon?

Amazon.com apparently has a glitch whereby if you have 1-click ordering set up to buy MP3 downloads, and you forget that you canceled your credit card because it had been stolen by a random French person, you’ll end up with a bunch of “free music.” And, if you’re an honest person like Jeff Somogyi, when you try to contact Amazon to pay for the music, they’ll chuckle at you.

From The Somogyi Perspective:

However, a week ago, I decided to purchase an MP3 album from Amazon’s MP3 store. (Rage Against the Machine’s “Evil Empire”, if you MUST know.) I’d totally forgotten about 2 things, by this point:

1 – That my old, canceled card was linked to my Amazon account.

2 – That I’d turned on “1-Click” purchasing for MP3 albums.

So, I clicked purchase and the album immediately started downloading. It was at this point that I had the thought cross my mind: “Did I update my credit card info?”

Well, no, I didn’t. Before the album finished downloading, I was trying to change the method of payment. Turns out, for a digital purchase, you can’t do such a thing. So, I waited and wondered was was going to come of this…

An angry letter from Jeff Bezos, perhaps?

Well, I DID receive a letter – via e-mail – telling me that they could not successfully charge my card, and that my purchases would be canceled.

Now, I’d already downloaded the album. So, I opened up my music folder, and – even though I knew there was no way they could do this – expected the music to be missing… or at least unable to play. I was wrong on both accounts. I still had the music, and it still played.

Well, it was never my intent to dupe the giant corporation, nor steal from them, so I wanted to put this right. I’d bought the album – I wanted to pay for it.

So I went to Amazon and found their “contact us” page and used their nifty “Call me back” feature. In a couple of seconds my phone rang. The hiss of static on the line let me know that my case was important enough for someone in India to make a long-distance call to set things right.

I explained the situation, and I was met with silence. After a pause, I resumed my case, pleading, “I didn’t MEAN to steal. I just want to pay for what I bought.”

Another moment of stunned silence followed. Right now, I could only imagine what the operator on the other end of the line was thinking. (Probably the same thing a cop thinks when a criminal turns himself in… that being, “WHY?!”… Well, either that, or he was scrolling through all of the computer-based answers to find the correct response to “Fraudulent purchasers is calling to make good on payment – which is probably buried way deep in the page, as it’s not often used.)

Finally, the operator chuckles a bit and says, “Well, thank you for your honesty… ummm… but digital download transactions are charged at the point of purchase. We CAN’T charge you again. What you can do, is re-purchase the album, if you REALLY want to be charged for the purchase.”

Well, that’s very kind of them. Don’t you think?

Amazon Doesn’t Want My Money [The Somogyi Perspective] (Thanks, James!)

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