Amazon Makes It Tough To Log Off

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Amazon.com is receiving some criticism for making it even more difficult for users to log off of its system.

Amazon Makes It Tough To Log Off
Amazon Makes It Tough To Log Off

Over at InfoWorld a reader explains the frustrating experience of trying to sign out of Amazon’s site. "The ‘Sign Out’ or equivalent link that for years was at the top of nearly every page is now missing from nearly all pages of those sites. Even the most obvious page where a sign out link should be — the page acknowledging completion of an order — offers no way to log out. Amazon and PayPal have turned things upside down and instead of closing a session, they now want us to remain logged in after leaving their site. Why would they do that?"

Amazon responded to the reader in an email explaining it’s logging out policy and why a customer might want to stay logged in. "When you log out of Amazon.com, access to your Shopping Cart, 1-Click shopping, and recommendations disappears along with your name. To regain access to the items saved in your cart, to place orders, or to view recommended items, you’ll need to log in again. Just click the ‘personalized recommendations’ link that appears near the top of the page, and enter your e-mail address and password."

Amazon wants it’s customers to stay logged in because the fewer clicks it takes to make a purchase and the more clicks it takes to log out means more revenue for Amazon but it also poses a security risk to the customer.

On the issue of security Amazon does recommend that customers log out of its site if they are using a system that is being shared with other users such as a computer at a library. Amazon says if individuals do not log out on a public computer that other users "will be able to view your account information and also will able to place an order from your account. So, I request you to log out from your account before leaving the system."

If you are using a computer that will be shared with other people it would be wise to either not shop from Amazon or to make sure that you log off of its system if you do make any purchases.

Amazon Makes It Tough To Log Off
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  • http://www.pctd.co.uk Adrian

    Strange – Staying logged in maybe ok for some users at say home but what about users who use it at work? I know some companies do not allow such use of their network but those who do..well that is a very big security issue.

    I mean even at home staying logged in can cause security risks but at work there is a 90% chance of a security risk…

    I hope they offer users the option to logout otherwise they may lose customers buying from their site.

    Just my view on it

    PC Technicians Direct

    • http://shaanrupani.com shaan

      uhh its easy to sign out of amazon, its just not obvious. it says ‘if you’re not [insert name] click here’. click << there to log out!

      • Guest

        Wow – you’re soooo smart. Now try reading and understanding the point of the article you moron.

  • Kerry

    If anyone could figure this out, it would be greatly appreciated, as I’m having the same difficulties as well. Amazon does provide an explanation, and it goes something like this:

    When should I sign out?
    If you are using a public terminal, you will want to log off, or sign out, before you leave the computer.
    You’ll be able to tell if you are signed in by the options you see in the right-hand column of Help:
    If you are signed into Amazon.com: Your account name and a “Sign out” link will appear above the Self
    Service Tools box in the right-hand column of our Help pages. You can click the “Sign out” link at any
    time to exit your Amazon.com account.

    Okay, well, I tried followng this advice…no such luck. I could not find the “Self Service Tools box in the right-hand column of their Help pages”. I think they deleted that pathway as well.

    Of course, if I am using a public terminal, I want to log off. Everyone knows this intuitively, which is why you’ve been getting complaints about finding this significant sign off key. They pretend to carry your concern and then provide customers with a half baked solution that doesn’t really exist on their site. That’s like telling me it’s the third door on the left, only to find that the corridor only has two doors.

  • Kerry

    One more thing, why does the sign off link appear off the beaten path, like far out of the way, above the Self Service Tools box in the right-hand column of their Help pages? Seriously? I have to make that trip every time I want to log off?

  • Dwayne

    I’ve read that if you remain logged in to Amazon, the site will collect cookies from other sites you visit, or continue to observe your activities on Amazon. This information will then be associated with your customer file. Ostensibly this “benefits” you by enabling Amazon to recommend additional products to you.


    Rather than follow the labyrinthine procedures for logging out, I simply close the window, and tell Amazon to delete my browsing history, including cookies. When I return to Amazon to verify, I’m logged out.

  • Guest

    I have the same problem logging off, however, I stumbled onto a way to log out. Click “your account” and you will see your name and ‘sign out’ in the upper right hand corner.

  • Guest

    I forgot to mention you can also sign in using “your account”.

    Once you know about this it’s the easiest way to log in AND out.

  • Guest

    Hi – I’ve had this same problem and I finally found the log off spot to click on – from your main Amazon page, go and click on the HELP button/word, on the far right – on the new page that opens up there is a box on far right with a yellow border around it (least it’s yellow/orangish on my screen) not in the box, but right above it are the words…. sign out – click them and ta da was finally able to log of of Amazon for the first time in MONTHS!

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