Exclusive: Amazon Offering Gift Cards to Data Breach Victims

Just over a week ago, Amazon sent enigmatic emails to a number of customers informing them that their names and email addresses had been "inadvertently disclosed" due to a "technical error." The company was unwilling to provide the details of where, and how, the account information was exposed.

Since then, many Amazon users have complained to the company -- and it seems that some, while not receiving any information, are receiving money.

Amazon user Paul Gagnon told Tom's Guide that "after calling Amazon customer service to ask them how my information was disclosed to (no answer to that of course), and after asking to be bumped up to a supervisor, I was offered $100 (with no strings attached) as an apology."

Credit: Paul Gagnon

(Image credit: Paul Gagnon)

We haven't heard of any other Amazon customers receiving anywhere near the amount that Gagnon received. However, some users have received gift cards in smaller quantities in response to complaints.

MORE: How to Set Up Two-Factor Authentication on Amazon

Another user provided a transcript of an online chat with Amazon's customer service from Nov. 21, in which the Amazon representative states: "Please allow me to issue an Amazon Promo Certificate of $5 eligible on All items Sold and Shipped by Amazon as a token of apology for the inconvenience this has caused to you." The user had emailed Amazon several questions inquiring about the nature and volume of the data breach, and whether their password should be changed.

We reached out to Amazon, and the compaany declined to comment for this story.

Several Reddit users have also told similar stories. Reddit user preferredfault reports receiving $10 credited to his account "immediately" after calling the company to complain. Reddit user Grand81 also claims to have received $5.

There doesn't seem to be much rhyme or reason to who and who is not receiving gift cards. Dozens of users on Amazon's seller forums claim to have contacted customer service with complaints of similar content and severity, and received little to no response. In fact, Twitter user Charles Kane claims that customer-service representatives he called told him they'd been instructed not to offer compensation.

That said, if you’re a user who was impacted by this breach, you may want to inquire, and share your experience in the comments here.

Monica Chin is a writer at The Verge, covering computers. Previously, she was a staff writer for Tom's Guide, where she wrote about everything from artificial intelligence to social media and the internet of things to. She had a particular focus on smart home, reviewing multiple devices. In her downtime, you can usually find her at poetry slams, attempting to exercise, or yelling at people on Twitter.

  • rmyworld86
    Is a true fact I was personally affected by the hacking of eBay and Amazon apparently I have purchased something from a unauthorized account and it cost the whole big ruckus they got into my system and all of my information and I've been on the phone for hours on end trying to take care of this because Google stepped in and close down my account and reopened it under something else and now I have all my money and all my personal information on this other account with everybody and no one is willing to offer me anything and I had money already in the accounts they're not even offering to give me that back because they don't know how I was on the phone for 7 hours 5 different customer service reps and I find to I had to go to bed it was 4 in the morning I've been dealing with it all day I would call back tomorrow and I'm still not anywhere further with any of them I wish I would been offered something at least we're sorry this happened I even made a comment to the customer service lady at eBay I said something is suspicious here and I asked you to put a note on my account within 12 hours I was hacked my account took control of my phone everything and I sent emails to all the prices and get no response no acknowledgement that what this is personally caused the damage is caused to me and yet they're giving money to somebody else unfair