mTurk suspension affecting entire Amazon account?

xqyzt

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Or maybe the other way around?

I'll try to make this as coherent as possible and list out some details about my problem.

I received an email from a requester I work with outside of mTurk who pay through mTurk bonuses that they were unable to pay me because Amazon wasn't working. I was mildly annoyed, but didn't think much of it until I logged in and kept getting a message about an invalid password. I was like, okay, whatever, I'll just reset it, but that doesn't work. Nothing works. I'm a bit SOL when I realize I'm still logged into the Amazon App and can contact customer service that way. So I do and they tell me that my account is on hold due to a billing discrepancy and I have to wait 24 hours for an account specialist to get in touch with me because everything is hidden from typical customer service view.

In the past few months, I have been doing less and less turking. I got a gig through mTurk for work outside mTurk that pays through bonuses in mTurk. So my weekly pay is growing, but the number of hits I complete is really just a handful at this point. I don't know that this has anything to do with anything, but I feel like its worth mentioning.

As a bit of a "test" I ordered something small from the Amazon App to see what would happen. Keep in mind, up to this point I have not received any kind of notification from Amazon that my account was suspended/on hold, anything. The order appeared to go through just fine, but then I received the below email.

Log in or register now. to view Spoiler content!

I complied and sent them the information they needed and have not yet heard back.

My Amazon account has a particular credit card attached to it for billing. I have never had a problem with this card through Amazon in something like 5+ years. I've never had problem with my Amazon account in 10+ years. I contacted the CS for this card and was told I had a declined transaction for gas because of an address mismatch. I must have inadvertently entered the wrong zip when getting gas, so I told them it was a legit charge, and they swear up and down there shouldn't be any issues with the card.

My initial thought is that this card was flagged because of the declined transaction (which happened at a gas station, had nothing to do with Amazon) and my whole account got effed? But then I get this email this morning from mTurk:

Log in or register now. to view Spoiler content!

And I'm like, huh? I didn't know my mTurk account was suspended? I didn't make any mTurk inquiries, either. I don't know. I don't really know what to do except wait it out and try to work with them, but it's pretty much destroyed my life. I can't access anything on my Fire Stick, I can't turk (obviously) and I can't access anything on my Kindle.

What I'm really trying to figure out is if this is a chicken/egg thing. Did my mTurk account get suspended and cause my regular Amazon stuff to get blocked? Or did my regular Amazon account get blocked only to have it affect mTurk? Who do I go to for resolution? Has this sort of thing happened to anyone else? Can mTurk suspend you for not working as many hits? How does this look for me as a worker to future requesters (assuming this gets resolved)?

TL;DR: Amazon account "on hold" seemingly due to billing discrepancy. Everything affected. Or is mTurk account suspended and everything affected?
 
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scrmcasey

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jan

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Or maybe the other way around?

I'll try to make this as coherent as possible and list out some details about my problem.

I received an email from a requester I work with outside of mTurk who pay through mTurk bonuses that they were unable to pay me because Amazon wasn't working. I was mildly annoyed, but didn't think much of it until I logged in and kept getting a message about an invalid password. I was like, okay, whatever, I'll just reset it, but that doesn't work. Nothing works. I'm a bit SOL when I realize I'm still logged into the Amazon App and can contact customer service that way. So I do and they tell me that my account is on hold due to a billing discrepancy and I have to wait 24 hours for an account specialist to get in touch with me because everything is hidden from typical customer service view.

In the past few months, I have been doing less and less turking. I got a gig through mTurk for work outside mTurk that pays through bonuses in mTurk. So my weekly pay is growing, but the number of hits I complete is really just a handful at this point. I don't know that this has anything to do with anything, but I feel like its worth mentioning.

As a bit of a "test" I ordered something small from the Amazon App to see what would happen. Keep in mind, up to this point I have not received any kind of notification from Amazon that my account was suspended/on hold, anything. The order appeared to go through just fine, but then I received the below email.

Log in or register now. to view Spoiler content!

I complied and sent them the information they needed and have not yet heard back.

My Amazon account has a particular credit card attached to it for billing. I have never had a problem with this card through Amazon in something like 5+ years. I've never had problem with my Amazon account in 10+ years. I contacted the CS for this card and was told I had a declined transaction for gas because of an address mismatch. I must have inadvertently entered the wrong zip when getting gas, so I told them it was a legit charge, and they swear up and down there shouldn't be any issues with the card.

My initial thought is that this card was flagged because of the declined transaction (which happened at a gas station, had nothing to do with Amazon) and my whole account got effed? But then I get this email this morning from mTurk:

Log in or register now. to view Spoiler content!

And I'm like, huh? I didn't know my mTurk account was suspended? I didn't make any mTurk inquiries, either. I don't know. I don't really know what to do except wait it out and try to work with them, but it's pretty much destroyed my life. I can't access anything on my Fire Stick, I can't turk (obviously) and I can't access anything on my Kindle.

What I'm really trying to figure out is if this is a chicken/egg thing. Did my mTurk account get suspended and cause my regular Amazon stuff to get blocked? Or did my regular Amazon account get blocked only to have it affect mTurk? Who do I go to for resolution? Has this sort of thing happened to anyone else? Can mTurk suspend you for not working as many hits? How does this look for me as a worker to future requesters (assuming this gets resolved)?

TL;DR: Amazon account "on hold" seemingly due to billing discrepancy. Everything affected. Or is mTurk account suspended and everything affected?
I think the fact that they were paying you through mturk is a violation of TOS - for the requester. And you being part of it, could get you caught up in the suspension.
 
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In the past few months, I have been doing less and less turking. I got a gig through mTurk for work outside mTurk that pays through bonuses in mTurk. So my weekly pay is growing, but the number of hits I complete is really just a handful at this point. I don't know that this has anything to do with anything, but I feel like its worth mentioning.
How much personally identifying information does the employer for this gig have on you? Like have they asked for anything like your real name, email address, phone, or home address? Has this requester asked you to install any extensions or software on your computer, or anything along those lines? Just hope they weren't scamming/hacking you under the guise of offering off-site work

My Amazon account has a particular credit card attached to it for billing. I have never had a problem with this card through Amazon in something like 5+ years. I've never had problem with my Amazon account in 10+ years. I contacted the CS for this card and was told I had a declined transaction for gas because of an address mismatch. I must have inadvertently entered the wrong zip when getting gas, so I told them it was a legit charge, and they swear up and down there shouldn't be any issues with the card.
How exactly is this card connected to your Amazon account? Based on what you're saying, is it just the card that you use most when purchasing on Amazon? Or was is this some sort of Amazon issued card?... Even if it is issued by Amazon, such cards are ultimately issued through an actual bank as for as I'm aware. Was it the bank's customer service you were speaking to?

My initial thought is that this card was flagged because of the declined transaction (which happened at a gas station, had nothing to do with Amazon) and my whole account got effed?
If this credit card is issued by a regular bank, this is the most concerning issue to in my opinion. Have you run a credit-check on yourself or checked your credit reports?
 
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xqyzt

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How much personally identifying information does the employer for this gig have on you? Like have they asked for anything like your real name, email address, phone, or home address? Has this requester asked you to install any extensions or software on your computer, or anything along those lines? Just hope they weren't scamming/hacking you under the guise of offering off-site work
Hmm, this could be a potential issue. But it would be an issue for the requester and not for me? Is it against TOS to find workers through mTurk to work on projects outside mTurk? I'm not familiar with requester TOS. Hell I can't even say I'm familiar with the beyond basics of worker TOS. As far as the work itself goes, it is a requester with a strong enough reputation and I have not had any complaints so far with how things are run so I feel okay with things on that front.

How exactly is this card connected to your Amazon account? Based on what you're saying, is it just the card that you use most when purchasing on Amazon? Or was is this some sort of Amazon issued card?... Even if it is issued by Amazon, such cards are ultimately issued through an actual bank as for as I'm aware. Was it the bank's customer service you were speaking to?
It's just a card I have saved to my Amazon account as default payment. I don't even know that it has anything to do with this problem at all. I contacted the card issuer customer service and they were the ones who told me about the declined payment and confirm everything else was fine. Amazon has started this whole shebang off by telling me there was a billing discrepancy, which, I'm told, could just be an address or phone number difference between what the card issuer has on file and what Amazon has.

If this credit card is issued by a regular bank, this is the most concerning issue to in my opinion. Have you run a credit-check on yourself or checked your credit reports?
I have not run a credit check. Nothing really seems amiss, but should I?
 

xqyzt

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I'm so sorry you're going through all this :( I don't have any personal experience with account suspensions for mturk or the shopping portion. Just don't give up emailing them. I think continuing to contact them is the key in getting answers. I don't know if you've gone through this thread yet, but it has some information compiled from other turkers.

https://www.mturkcrowd.com/threads/...ions-and-general-speculation.1778/post-477050
Thank you! I was looking for this thread this morning :)
 

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Or maybe the other way around?

I'll try to make this as coherent as possible and list out some details about my problem.

I received an email from a requester I work with outside of mTurk who pay through mTurk bonuses that they were unable to pay me because Amazon wasn't working. I was mildly annoyed, but didn't think much of it until I logged in and kept getting a message about an invalid password. I was like, okay, whatever, I'll just reset it, but that doesn't work. Nothing works. I'm a bit SOL when I realize I'm still logged into the Amazon App and can contact customer service that way. So I do and they tell me that my account is on hold due to a billing discrepancy and I have to wait 24 hours for an account specialist to get in touch with me because everything is hidden from typical customer service view.

In the past few months, I have been doing less and less turking. I got a gig through mTurk for work outside mTurk that pays through bonuses in mTurk. So my weekly pay is growing, but the number of hits I complete is really just a handful at this point. I don't know that this has anything to do with anything, but I feel like its worth mentioning.

As a bit of a "test" I ordered something small from the Amazon App to see what would happen. Keep in mind, up to this point I have not received any kind of notification from Amazon that my account was suspended/on hold, anything. The order appeared to go through just fine, but then I received the below email.

Log in or register now. to view Spoiler content!

I complied and sent them the information they needed and have not yet heard back.

My Amazon account has a particular credit card attached to it for billing. I have never had a problem with this card through Amazon in something like 5+ years. I've never had problem with my Amazon account in 10+ years. I contacted the CS for this card and was told I had a declined transaction for gas because of an address mismatch. I must have inadvertently entered the wrong zip when getting gas, so I told them it was a legit charge, and they swear up and down there shouldn't be any issues with the card.

My initial thought is that this card was flagged because of the declined transaction (which happened at a gas station, had nothing to do with Amazon) and my whole account got effed? But then I get this email this morning from mTurk:

Log in or register now. to view Spoiler content!

And I'm like, huh? I didn't know my mTurk account was suspended? I didn't make any mTurk inquiries, either. I don't know. I don't really know what to do except wait it out and try to work with them, but it's pretty much destroyed my life. I can't access anything on my Fire Stick, I can't turk (obviously) and I can't access anything on my Kindle.

What I'm really trying to figure out is if this is a chicken/egg thing. Did my mTurk account get suspended and cause my regular Amazon stuff to get blocked? Or did my regular Amazon account get blocked only to have it affect mTurk? Who do I go to for resolution? Has this sort of thing happened to anyone else? Can mTurk suspend you for not working as many hits? How does this look for me as a worker to future requesters (assuming this gets resolved)?

TL;DR: Amazon account "on hold" seemingly due to billing discrepancy. Everything affected. Or is mTurk account suspended and everything affected?
Yes, if you get your main Amazon account closed or suspended, it will affect your MTurk account. Amazon, MTurk, Amazon Payments, etc; they're all tied to your main Amazon account.

But like what Jan said above, both you and the requester were violating MTurk's Participation Agreement. Amazon doesn't want workers being paid on MTurk for work done off-site. My requester account was erroneously flagged for that a few years ago and it got both me and the worker that did my HIT suspended.

However, the one thing that makes me suspicious is your password situation. Whether there's a billing discrepancy with your account or you've been suspended from MTurk, or whatever, that won't affect your password or your ability to reset it. It almost sounds like your account might have been compromised in some way. Since it seems they already have someone looking into, I would say just be patient for now. Their account reviews can sometimes take a few days before they come back with a response. If you don't hear back towards the end of the week, maybe try contacting them again. When I was suspended, once they sent me an email saying they weren't going to do anything, I had to email every day for a couple weeks to get my account back.
 

Sciency McScienceface

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It's just a card I have saved to my Amazon account as default payment. I don't even know that it has anything to do with this problem at all. I contacted the card issuer customer service and they were the ones who told me about the declined payment and confirm everything else was fine.

I have not run a credit check. Nothing really seems amiss, but should I?
Considering the password issue and the fact that your non-Amazon-related credit card was declined for a non-Amazon-related purchase... I would start to become concerned about someone hacking or compromising your accounts.

Since the bank cannot tell you why the transaction was declined, double-check your account activity and look for anything unusual, and try the card again at a physical location such as a grocery store (shouldn't be declined if there's nothing wrong with it). Also, sometimes the front-line bank or credit card customer service people don't have all of the information, and need to check with a more specialized in a fraud department in order to get more accurate information about what the issue is.

At this point, I am a little concerned that you might have a global credit hold, on account of someone attempting identity theft... like opening new credit cards in your name or attempting to conduct fraudulent activity via your Amazon account.

Frankly, I think you may be dealing with two separate problems (that coincidentally are happening at the same time): Violation of MTurk TOS leading to account suspension, and someone trying to compromise some of your accounts. I hope I'm wrong, but I'd personally start checking into all of this if I were in your shoes.
 

xqyzt

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But like what Jan said above, both you and the requester were violating MTurk's Participation Agreement. Amazon doesn't want workers being paid on MTurk for work done off-site. My requester account was erroneously flagged for that a few years ago and it got both me and the worker that did my HIT suspended.
Can someone help point me in a the direction of where this is in the TOS? I just don't see it reading through this morning, but I may have missed it. I want to bring it to the requesters attention as well.

NVM: "(iii) you may not have Workers perform Tasks through venues other than the Site (unless expressly permitted by us in a policy posted on the Site); " This would be it, correct?
 
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jan

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Can someone help point me in a the direction of where this is in the TOS? I just don't see it reading through this morning, but I may have missed it. I want to bring it to the requesters attention as well.
They are 'cheating' amazon out of money. If they posted a hit for you for 10.00 (for instance), they pay a part of that to amazon. If they just bonus you, they avoid some of those amazon fees. It's sort of a scam.

eta: they should just paypal you

eta again - I wonder if not controlling the work has something to do with their blanching at this. If there is a hit involved, they can tell what the work was - or that there was work. If there is no work, but a $ exchange.........IDK. Someone more knowledgeable than I will have to chime in.
 
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jan

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Oh, here is the TOS:

Performing or requesting HITs through venues other than the MTurk website unless permitted via MTurk templates or applications that we may make available to you
 
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Amazon switched from the "suspended for violation blah blah" message shown upon logging into your dashboard 2 years ago, and now your suspension message is "incorrect password". It's quite terribly inefficient, since they don't exactly send you an email once you get suspended (this goes for back in the day as well, but you got a huge banner message saying you were suspended upon logging in which is a bit more to the point). I had to quit giving out contact emails to people in that thread because they were getting spammed by desperate workers, but I am able to hook you up if need be.
 

xqyzt

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Amazon switched from the "suspended for violation blah blah" message shown upon logging into your dashboard 2 years ago, and now your suspension message is "incorrect password". It's quite terribly inefficient, since they don't exactly send you an email once you get suspended (this goes for back in the day as well, but you got a huge banner message saying you were suspended upon logging in which is a bit more to the point). I had to quit giving out contact emails to people in that thread because they were getting spammed by desperate workers, but I am able to hook you up if need be.
Right, it's somehow comforting to know this all boils down to my account being suspended and not my having a stroke or something. It is really annoying that it affects everything Amazon related and not just mTurk; I had no idea that's how it worked. But whatever oh well. I did deserve it because I was clearly violating TOS. Doesn't matter that I was blissfully ignorant. It will all work out one way or another, I really appreciate everyone's feedback and help figuring this out.
 
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You should check in with that requester and see if they have any issues. If they weren't suspended it's unlikely that's the reason you were suspended.