Amazon has the ability to manage a household of accounts – parents, teens, and children. In theory, this is good. In practice, it looks like they never tested it.
Years ago, I set up an Amazon account for my wife and I. In practice, we only use mine, never hers. I would be willing to bet that most families use one Amazon account for shopping – it’s an afterthought for movies and music as well, because account switching isn’t easy.
One of my kids created an account which she used for reading, monitored with Freetime, and reading Kindle books. We added that as a Child account. So far, so good?
The interesting thing about a child account is that Amazon knows the age of the child, so they know when the child becomes a teenager.
It should be easy to convert a child account into a teen account. It isn’t.
And if you try and add the child account email address as a teen account, it refuses, saying there’s already content associated with the child account.
At this point, the kid created a new email address and new Amazon account.
She received some gift cards for her birthday. We added them to her new teen account.
She added Nintendo e-shop cards to her card and went to check out. This should be easy. It isn’t.
We were presented with an error on check out. Basically, it said that it didn’t have a default shipping address available and to add one. It then took the items in the cart and moved them to Save For Later, which isn’t what anyone wanted.
The default address was set when we set up the account. We were caught in a loop. Other people online had this same problem, with no solutions. (Yes, we know how to search).
The fix? Remove the teen account from the household. To be a little hyperbolic…
Amazon wants me to disown my kid
In order to make this purchase work, I had to remove my kid from the Amazon household. This converted the account to a normal Amazon account.
The gift cards were still funding the account, and the checkout worked seamlessly, just as it should on a normal Amazon account. Except it’s no longer in my household and there’s no purchase monitoring, approval, or purchase history available to me.
Amazon, you didn’t test this thoroughly. That’s three strikes. What are you even doing?