Amazon situation resolved…

…sort of. To recap, suddenly one day my massive Amazon history of purchases, product votes, wish list, etc. disappeared, leaving only my most recent transaction. Freaked, I dropped customer support an email. They reported that I had two accounts with the same email address! I was a little dumbfounded—after all, email address is basically the user ID for Amazon, as far as the end user is concerned. But I could verify what the support person said—I could search for my old wish list and see its contents. What happened? And how could I fix it?

I finally realized today that I just had to log into my new empty account and change the email address, log out, then log back in with the old email address. Worked like a charm—all my wish list and averything were still there.

I’m guessing two things about Amazon’s back-end system:

  1. Amazon’s system has an internal user ID that’s separate from the user’s email address. Very sensible—as long as it makes sure that more than one account isn’t created with the same email address.
  2. Amazon must have suffered some sort of catastrophic systems failure around the time I was trying to place my last order that temporarily rendered my account unavailable. Evidence? A new account was seamlessly created with the same email and password through the process of placing the order, although there was an error when I tried to submit the order. Also, my shopping cart in the original account still contained the items that I bought in my recent order on the “new” account when I finally logged back in today.

Weird, but strangely reassuring. Even through a major system crack-up, I was still able to place an order.