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.

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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.