A trendy events venue in Austin is suing Amazon after the tech giant canceled plans to hold an event at the facility during the South by Southwest music and tech festival.
Native Hostel alleges Amazon “collaborated” with Wells Fargo, to claim it had transmitted its deposit in error to get a refund on an initial payment, violating the agreement it signed when it booked the venue.
The suit, filed in Texas last month, but moved to U.S. District Court in Seattle this week, claims Native got to keep all prior payments Amazon made if the tech giant canceled. Amazon made two payments — the second of $132,500 — before canceling its rental in December 2017. Amazon asked Native to return that payment, and Native said no.
“Amazon then collaborated with its bank, Wells Fargo, to effect the transmission of a fax, to PlainsCapital stating: ‘We have been notified that the following ACH transfer was sent to you in error. Please consider this letter as your authorization to return the item(s) to us,’” according to the suit.
Native — which describes itself as an “experiential hostel” that includes sleeping rooms and beds, an event space and kitchen and bar — doesn’t go into detail in the suit about how exactly Amazon “collaborated” with Wells Fargo, one of the largest U.S. banks.
PlainsCapital, a Dallas-based bank, returned the payment after receiving the notice, according to the suit. Native is seeking damages between $100,000 and $200,000.
Amazon responded to Native’s claims earlier this month, arguing that parts of the agreement are unenforceable or ambiguous. Amazon also claims it had no involvement in the back and forth between the banks that led to the return of the payment.
Amazon did not immediately return a request for comment. The tech giant is seeking “that Plaintiff take nothing in this lawsuit.”
Here’s the full lawsuit from Native and Amazon’s response:
Native v. Amazon and Wells Fargo by Nat Levy on Scribd
Amazon response by Nat Levy on Scribd