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B.C. couple unexpectedly locked out of Amazon Photos account after alleged violation 

Click to play video: 'Consumer Matters: B.C. couple cut off from Amazon photos' Consumer Matters: B.C. couple cut off from Amazon photos
For many of us, family photos and important life events are often stored in a cloud storage service. But what happens if you are suddenly cutoff from accessing those precious memories? That's exactly what happened to a couple who had hundreds of images stored with Amazon Photos. Anne Drewa brings us a Consumer Matters report. – May 4, 2022

A B.C. couple has cancelled their Amazon Prime membership after they were unexpectedly locked out of their Amazon Photos account. Jerry and Gina Parhar say they were told by the tech giant they allegedly violated the company’s terms of use. “Basically, I didn’t know what we were being accused of,” said Jerry. “Nobody would tell us.”

The couple stored thousands of precious family photos in Amazon Photos, which offers a cloud storage platform for Amazon Prime members.

Back in January, Gina said she attempted to download pictures from the cloud. However, the next day she was locked out of the couple’s account and unable to access their photos. “I was dumbfounded. I just started crying because I thought how could this happen,” she said.

The couple contacted Amazon and later received an email from Amazon stating: “Your Amazon Drive account has been permanently suspended. No further actions can be taken at this time. Your account was locked because content in the account violates our terms of use, which require that you use our service in a lawful manner.” – Amazon.ca

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The Parhars were also denied access to all of their photos. “I felt like they were stolen from us,” Gina said.

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Consumer Matters investigated and reached out to Amazon about the Parhar’s case and received the following statement:

“After further review, we’ve reinstated this Amazon Photos account and informed the customer.” – Amazon Spokesperson.

Jerry eventually received an email from Amazon apologizing for the inconvenience and stating the account had been locked in error.

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Host of GetConnected Radio Mike Agerbo said cloud services are generally robust.

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When storing personal photos Agerbo suggests several options. “Have them on your home computer. I would also have an external hard drive backup in your home that automatically backs up the photos all the time,” said Agerbo. He adds, “Have at least one or two cloud services as well to make sure they are protected.”

Still, while the Parhars are relieved to have their photos back, they have since taken their business elsewhere.

“The bottom line is the big companies don’t really care about us. It just made us feel terrible to the point we will never use Amazon again,” Gina said.

If you have a story idea for Anne Drewa contact Consumer Matters at consumermatters@globalnews.ca

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