A section of the email Amazon mistakenly sent to customers. Photo Courtesy Maya Kosoff
On Tuesday, numerous Amazon users noticed something strange: They’d received emails from the retailer notifying them “someone great recently purchased a gift from your baby registry!”
Strange because few of the customers who had received the emails were pregnant or had newborns, let alone had an active baby registry on the site. Some users were merely slightly confused; others thought it was an Amazon spam message sent in remarkably poor taste, while a few wondered if it was a phishing attempt by a malicious third party.
According to CNN, an attached link captioned “See Your Thank You List” redirected users to Amazon’s home page, mobile app or to set up their own baby registries.
amazon is sending out erroneous emails, like this one, to customers that say someone bought a gift from their (nonexistent) baby registries pic.twitter.com/vC56e2TADy
— Maya Kosoff (@mekosoff) September 19, 2017
That awkward moment when Amazon says someone bought you a gift from your baby registry that you def don't have bc you're def not pregnant pic.twitter.com/p2PRM6sDIq
— Anna Norris (@itsannacorinne) September 19, 2017
— Sam Kappucino (@samkap) September 19, 2017
I did except I DO actually have an Amazon baby registry. Read online that it was just a glitch, hopefully not a virus or phishing!
— Ashley (@Aggie_Ashley07) September 20, 2017
As seemed the likeliest explanation, Amazon now says the emails were sent out in error.
“We are notifying affected customers,” an Amazon spokesperson told Gizmodo via email. “A technical glitch caused us to inadvertently send a gift alert email earlier today. We apologise for any confusion this may have caused.”
Amazon did not immediately respond to a followup question requesting more details on what exactly the glitch was — though the copy sent to customers appeared to resemble a generic notification email rather than any kind of sales pitch.
So there’s that little mystery explained. No ill-considered advertising campaign, no phishing attempt and no intent to do anything else, at least in Amazon’s version of the story. That’s a relief, considering the last Amazon glitch was accidentally informing users shopping for certain chemicals which other components they would need to make a bomb.