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TexLaw
TexLaw, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4430
Experience:  Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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I was an Amazon seller based in Tennessee. This January Amazon

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I was an Amazon seller based in Tennessee. This January Amazon told me:
"We are writing to let you know that we have removed your selling privileges, canceled your listings, and placed a temporary hold on any funds in your Amazon.com seller account. Any new selling accounts you open will be closed. … After 90 days, the hold will be removed and any remaining funds will be available per your settlement schedule. In addition, balance and settlement information will be available in the Payments section of your seller account."

And 90+ days later (in April) they replied my inquiry and told me:
"We will not be transferring funds to you because we believe that you may have been using our site to engage in fraudulent activity. If we determine that a seller account has been used to engage in fraud or other illegal activity, we may permanently withhold remittances and payments."

They won't explain further about my "fraudulent activity" and simply told me:
"We regret we are unable to provide further information on this situation. Further correspondence regarding the closure of your selling account may not be answered."

So my $20,000+ pending fund becomes the E-Commerce giant's revenue? Is Amazon violating any US law and can anyone tell me how I can get my money back? Thanks!
Hi,

Thank you for your question.

Your relationship with Amazon is one which is controlled by the contract you have with it, and by the common laws of Washington State (pursuant to the Participation Agreement).

Whether Amazon is violating any laws is entirely dependent on whether there is any truth to their claim that you have been using the site for fraudulent activity. Under their Participation Agreement, which you agree to when you use Amazon to sell products, Amazon is allowed to keep your money if it determines that it is likely that it will have to refund your customers.

Assuming that there is no evidence that you have committed fraud, then you could sue Amazon for breach of contract and conversion. However, you would have to bring this suit in state or federal court in King County, Washington (Seattle). This is due to the clause in the Participation Agreement which states that all suits must be brought in that court.

So your options on how to get your money back are really limited to suing them in court in Washington State.

Please let me know if you have any further questions. Please also kindly consider rating my answer positively so that I am compensated by the website for my work on your question. Rating positively does not cause an additional charge and does not prevent us from further discussing your questions.

Best Regards,
ZDN
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Hi ZDN,



Thank you so much for your prompt answer!


 


I've never been involved in any lawsuit before. So I have one more question, could you let me know the exact steps to "sue Amazon in state or federal court in King County, Washington (Seattle)"?


 


Thanks again!


 


Alan

Alan,

This is very similar to asking "can you tell me the exact steps for arthroscopic knee surgery". It takes years to master and is highly complicated.

However, essentially, you must

1. Read through the Washington State Rules of Civil Procedure: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?Cite=4

2. File a complaint in the King County state district court for breach of contract, negligence, and conversion. There are forms for this type of claim on various pay for form websites.

3. Obtain a citation from the clerk.

4. Serve the citation on Amazon's agent for service of process, whose address can be located by contacting the Washington Secretary of State's office.

5. Conduct discovery by sending requests for production, interrogatories, requests for admissions and holding depositions.

6. Respond to Motions for Summary Judgment by drafting Responses which file along with it summary judgment evidence which supports your claim, and is viable under the Washington Rules of Evidence

7. Prepare your pretrial submissions pursuant to the rules

8. Go to trial.

These are the basic steps. Unfortunately, its very complicated and should be handled by hiring a lawyer.

-ZDN
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Cool. Your answer is beyond my expectation. One last set of questions, may I hire you (ZDN) and what my cost is? If I cannot, where is the reliable source I can hire a lawyer for this specific lawsuit with Amazon? Thank you! - Alan

Thank you for the complement. I'm honored by your request.

Unfortunately, JustAnswer prohibits us from taking on customers as actual clients. Further, I am not located in Seattle, which is where you would want you want your attorney to be based.

We are also prohibited by the website from directly referring you to an attorney.

As you can see in the following article, Amazon is being sued for withholding payments (albeit not for the same reason as they are stating they are withholding yours). http://www.ecommercebytes.com/cab/abn/y13/m03/i19/s02

The law firm handling that lawsuit for the Plaintiff is:

TERRELL MARSHALL DAUDT &WILLIE PLLC
936 North 34th Street, Suite 400
Seattle, WashingtonNNN-NN-NNNN
TEL.(NNN) NNN-NNNN FAX(NNN) NNN-NNNN

Please let me know if you have any further questions. Please also kindly consider rating my answer positively so that I am compensated by the website for my work on your question. Rating positively does not cause an additional charge and does not prevent us from further discussing your questions.

Best Regards,
ZDN


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