Amazon and the disappearing gift card

Amazon consumed my gift card even though I canceled the order. What's with that?

I was given a small gift card and attempted to use it on Amazon.com today.  I selected several items, entered the gift card code and attempted to check out.  Something happened that was different from other times I've ordered from Amazon, the system asked me for a credit card and shipping address.  Since I often order from Amazon, this seemed very strange.

My first thought is that I had somehow been tricked and was connected to a bogus site trying to get my credit card information. After poking around a bit, I figured out that I had accidentally logged into my author account rather than my personal account. So, I immediately cancelled the order.

I then logged into Amazon using my personal account, selected the same items and tried to apply the gift card. I was told that the card had already been applied.  Since I had canceled the other order, I wondered how that could happen.

So, I contacted Amazon technical support. The online chat agent was pleasant and polite. I was told, however, that even though I hadn't purchased anything, that money had been applied to that account.  In other words, Amazon took the money even though nothing was ordered.

I expect that I'll eventually get the gift card funds back, but this whole procedure is improper. Accounts should be charged until after a purchase is made, not before.

Has something like this happened to you? Bad Amazon, drop that gift card and give it back to me.