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dfs

Amazon marketplace seller will not refund shipping

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I bought a bathroom tap from Amazon marketplace and received the item a week later. I immediately noted the item had dents on the chrome finish, as if it was dropped or impacted by a metal object. I also realised the seller was based in Germany.

 

I wrote to the seller and sent photos, all communications going through Amazon. The seller was fairly slow and replied with single line emails every time. They initially offered a small amount £10 refund but I clearly explained that I wanted a replacement. Again no reply for a couple of days, they said "if you don't like the tap, then send it back and we will refund it". I gave the seller every opportunity to correct this, to me they appeared lazy and unwilling to cooperate.

 

Then I raised the question of who will bear the shipping cost and where to return the item. The seller provided no return address to the UK and the only address was on their package for "Germany". Soon after and given the seller was being difficult to communicate, I contacted Amazon UK support to complain and raise the matter.

 

They agreed to bear the return shipping cost and so I sent the item back to Germany with registered international post. For the record, the item cost was £60 and postage to return was £45. It may seem ludicrous but that was the minimum traceable package cost and that is exactly why I made prior agreement with Amazon.

 

I posted a scan of the receipt with the cost through the very same email communication,and waited for a refund. A couple of days later I received a call from Ireland from a guy working for Amazon support (perhaps senior?) apologising for the inconvenience and confirming that the seller will refund the item and will pay the return shipping as well, as they should have provided a return address in the UK. Most importantly, that same guy put all of this in writing and confirmed by email! (Yes I still have it!)

 

The item arrived at the seller three days later, who although having the reference code, delayed the refund of the item for five days until I requested it again. The shipping cost was NOT refunded. The seller is impossible to communicate with, they don't speak good English and give lazy responses. They do not even acknowledge the shipping cost.

 

I have now been chasing Amazon UK for over a month with emails, which are being ignored. Also made several complaint phone calls to their support team which are always met with a confirmation the matter will be resolved, but nothing seems to happen. We are going around circles or they are mocking me.

 

My understanding is that under Amazon's policy I have followed every step correctly to return the item and either they or the seller should refund the shipping cost for an item that was damaged to description. It is clear to me that under distance sales (now Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013) and even Amazon's own policy the shipping cost must be refunded.

 

I have been shopping with Amazon UK for over 10 years and I have never had such a terrible treatment. Perhaps an article to the Guardian or a letter to Trading Standards will refresh their memory of their obligations to the consumer? Or action in court?

Edited by dfs

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Hi dfs

 

Write a Formal Letter of Complaint, mark it as such. Explain what's happened, how they have let you down and what you want them to do. Send a copy of the e-mail you received from Amazon and any other relevant documentation.

 

Sent it to:-

 

Mr Christopher North

Amazon UK

Chief Executive

cnorth@amazon.com

 

Let us know how you get on.

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The seller does agree that they will either provide a UK returns address or will bear the costs of the return as a condition of selling on Amazon.

 

In saying that as the return is paid for out with Amazon they can't refund any payments made out with their payment system.

 

I'm not sure why you would expect Amazon to pay your postage costs? You didn't buy it from or return it to them.

 

I'm a seller on Amazon myself, in this case the seller is totally in the wrong. I hope that you get it sorted.

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The seller does agree that they will either provide a UK returns address or will bear the costs of the return as a condition of selling on Amazon.

 

In saying that as the return is paid for out with Amazon they can't refund any payments made out with their payment system.

 

I'm not sure why you would expect Amazon to pay your postage costs? You didn't buy it from or return it to them.

 

I'm a seller on Amazon myself, in this case the seller is totally in the wrong. I hope that you get it sorted.

 

I was not expecting Amazon to pay out the return cost initially, but as the seller communication was terrible I got them involved.

 

As I explained above, they decided on their own accord to reimburse the return shipping and did so both via the phone and in writing. The agreement was not honoured. The way I see it is that if they cannot protect the consumer purchasing goods through their platform and resolve issues, then I see no reason why I should be buying through marketplace...

 

I do believe that the seller is a cowboy as you pointed out:

 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=1161010

 

"Delivery and handling charges for returning unwanted, damaged or defective, or materially different items to a Seller's International return address, should be borne by the Seller. If a local return address cannot be provided, the Seller can provide a prepaid method of return delivery or refund the return delivery costs to the original payment method used to purchase the order."

 

I am in the process of email the contact provided above. Is there any other tool in my possession to recoup the shipping cost?

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My thoughts are that since it was Amazon who said they would pay the postage, then it is with Amazon you have a claim.

 

 

Write to them and give them a date by with to do the refund. 30 days from the initial agreement would be the best date as the regs say they have up to 30. If you don't get it in that time, then do a letter before action and send that by recorded delivery.

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My thoughts are that since it was Amazon who said they would pay the postage, then it is with Amazon you have a claim.

 

 

Write to them and give them a date by with to do the refund. 30 days from the initial agreement would be the best date as the regs say they have up to 30. If you don't get it in that time, then do a letter before action and send that by recorded delivery.

 

Thank you, should I CC the seller or Amazon's CE contact above?

 

We are beyond the 30 days from the point they agreed to refund the shipping by the way...

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Here is the rubbish response received by Amazon UK,

 

After reviewing our previous correspondence with you, please accept my apologies for any misunderstanding.

 

I've checked and see that your order #XXXXXXXX for the item "XXXXXXX" was sold and dispatched by a third party seller 'SELLER NAME'.

 

I can confirm that GBP XX has been reimbursed. I understand that you've incurred return postage charges while returning the item. In this situation, because the items ordered via Amazon Marketplace aren’t directly fulfilled by Amazon, I'm afraid that we wouldn't be able to refund you the return postage charges.

 

This situation was the result of a human error, and I'm sorry for any inconvenience caused.

 

I can see that you've had a disappointed experience this time. I have forwarded all your comments to the attention of our appropriate department in our company to let them know about your experiences and to review your complain and I'll make sure the appropriate people will take necessary action so that this will not happen again in future.

 

We hope to see you soon.

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"We hope to see you soon. " Cheeky buggers.

 

 

I really would now send Amazon a Letter Before Action with a copy of the email saying they will pay for the postage.

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"We hope to see you soon. " Cheeky buggers.

 

 

I really would now send Amazon a Letter Before Action with a copy of the email saying they will pay for the postage.

 

In response to rebel11's question, it was paid for by Credit Card.

 

To clarify every detail at this point, I made every effort to communicate with the seller and they persistently failed to provided alternative address or instructions for the return.

 

I then contacted Amazon UK to complain who called back and after trying to get in touch with the seller they confirmed they would pay the return shipping. This was a verbal agreement without pressure from my end, call it Gesture Of Goodwill or whatever this is exactly what they promised. All documented and hopefully recorded. After all there must be a log.

 

Secondly, I sent the package back and emailed the receipt to Amazon UK as agreed with the lady I spoke to earlier. Another guy (the one mentioned above) called me at a later date, to confirm the seller has agreed to refund the item AND pay the shipping cost, here it is in writing:

 

"This is A, the agent you spoke with earlier. I'm sorry to hear of the issues you've had in returning your damaged mixer to the seller.

 

As discussed, I've contacted the seller who has confirmed that, once checked, they wlll refund the item and the shipping costs in returning the item. The seller's correct telephone number is:

 

I've also forwarded this issue to our team who review Seller activities as part of any investigation in possible violations of our policies. Although for account privacy reasons, we can't disclose the outcome of any investigation, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you for your vigilance and for highlighting this.

 

I hope this helps."

 

Following Amazon's response above, I wrote to the seller to remind them of their Marketplace rules and obligations. To add insult to the injury, this is their response today:

 

"Hello,

 

thanks for your eMail. The item had a little optical damage, we have sold them to a another customer without any problem.

We have refund you the money."

 

They are so cheeky that they openly admit they sold the damaged chrome finish to another customer.

 

What are my options at this point, publicity? Legal Action? and against which party?

 

This is a complete joke, I am all for it to take it further...

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Hi dfs

 

Contact your Card Provider, explain what's happened that you purchased faulty goods, the product was refunded, but cost of returning the goods hasn't. Can they refund the cost of returning the goods.

 

Explain that you've tried everything to recover the costs, you have emails etc.

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Hi dfs

 

Contact your Card Provider, explain what's happened that you purchased faulty goods, the product was refunded, but cost of returning the goods hasn't. Can they refund the cost of returning the goods.

 

Explain that you've tried everything to recover the costs, you have emails etc.

 

Just a side note that the shipping was paid for by a different Debit Card at the time of posting the item back.

 

I can try to contact them but my concern is that too many parties are getting involved in this case.

 

 

EDIT: Also to add emphatically that the SELLER's RETURN POLICY is pointing to Amazon Marketplace Return Policy. These guys have shot themselves in the foot!

Edited by dfs

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email the man at the top of Amazon - cnorth@amazon.com

 

I have sent a formal letter of complaint.

 

Will give it a few days and then send a letter before action.

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Dear

 

My name is AB and I work within Amazon.co.uk Executive Customer Relations.

 

I am contacting you on behalf of the office of the Amazon.co.uk Ltd Managing Director, Mr Christopher North. After reviewing your correspondence of 29 September 2014, Mr North has requested that I respond to your email.

 

Rest assured however, Christopher takes emails like yours very seriously and is aware of our response.

 

I am sorry to hear that you are having problems with the third-party seller regarding the return shipping costs of order #XXX-XXXXXX-XXXXX.Please be aware that this seller is not a supplier we personally use to distribute products. Amazon act only as a facilitator in the payment of a Marketplace order. As per Clause 6 of the Participation Agreement, the contract formed at the completion of a fixed price sale is solely between buyer and seller. The enforcement of any contractual obligations arising out of the completion of a transaction is the responsibility of buyers and sellers party to that transaction.

 

As our A-to-z Safe Buying Guarantee only covers the total order cost, we're not in a position to intervene on your behalf or refund you the costs ourselves. Should you wish to pursue this matter further we would encourage you to seek assistance from an advisory body such as Trading Standards(http://www.tradingstandards.gov.uk)

 

We’ll be happy to co-operate with them if required to do so.

 

Regards,

 

AB

Executive Customer Relations

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What a load of [naughty word]. We know how you have worded your contract so as to get all the profit and none of the risk, but in this instance it was Amazon who said 'we will cover the postage' so don't come the innocent party.

You company is just another of the big 'tax dodging' companies. If I was the OP I would not be sending a Letter Before Action and lets see if a judge agrees that you can promise something and then welch on it.

 

 

By the way, I have used Amazon many times and nowhere is there any warning that the transaction has nothing to do with Amazon, if there is then you have hidden it well.

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Have you contacted your Credit Card provider?

 

Not yet, I fear that it would complicate things more while I am dealing with two parties at the moment, Amazon UK and the seller.

 

I am not sure what the best course of action would be and against who at this point, but I am suspending all purchases from Amazon UK indefinitely.

 

Also a little letter to The Guardian may be a good idea for publishing.

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What a load of [naughty word]. We know how you have worded your contract so as to get all the profit and none of the risk, but in this instance it was Amazon who said 'we will cover the postage' so don't come the innocent party.

You company is just another of the big 'tax dodging' companies. If I was the OP I would not be sending a Letter Before Action and lets see if a judge agrees that you can promise something and then welch on it.

 

 

By the way, I have used Amazon many times and nowhere is there any warning that the transaction has nothing to do with Amazon, if there is then you have hidden it well.

 

I have looked at my written communications, although it is clearly implied that Amazon UK promised "something", they have not explicitly written down that "we will be paying the shipping cost (as a gesture of goodwill)". However I know very well what was discussed, I don't know if they record their calls but the lady told me they would pay before I sent the package. Then the other guy above called back to apologise and re-assure me that Amazon UK contacted the seller and agreed he would cover the shipping cost and refund. All BS!

 

edit: I was also not aware the seller is in Germany until after I placed the order. Amazon should warn customers about international sellers. And also what if the seller was in China, would I have to pay shipping to return an item to China? What exactly do I need the Marketplace platform for if it cannot protect me??!!

 

Can I claim statements of verbal communications in my small claims court report?

Edited by dfs

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As this is Europe, you can treat it as being in the UK.

 

 

I would take the route suggested by rebel11 and make a claim on the credit card, they are jointly responsible. As the purchase was over £100, you can use S75 regulations to back up your claim.

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As this is Europe, you can treat it as being in the UK.

 

 

I would take the route suggested by rebel11 and make a claim on the credit card, they are jointly responsible. As the purchase was over £100, you can use S75 regulations to back up your claim.

 

The item cost was around £60 and the return shipping was £43. The item was bought with a credit card and the return shipping was paid with a different debit card. Can you point me to the right direction before I contact the credit card provider?

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You can't use Section 75 as the goods are below £100, as posted in post 12.

 

'Contact your Card Provider, explain what's happened that you purchased faulty goods, the product was refunded, but cost of returning the goods hasn't. Can they refund the cost of returning the goods.

 

Explain that you've tried everything to recover the costs, you have emails etc.

 

They might as a gesture of goodwill. If you could make a Section 75 claim then they would refund no problems.

 

 

 

The item cost was around £60 and the return shipping was £43. The item was bought with a credit card and the return shipping was paid with a different debit card. Can you point me to the right direction before I contact the credit card provider?

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The credit card will not refund the shipping cost, as the item was refunded they said the matter beyond them.

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Hi dfs

 

Is the German retailer on Social Media? i.e. Twitter, Facebook etc. You could use Google translate to leave them a message in German on their Twitter, Facebook page so other customers can see poor customer service, it might just prompt them to refund.

 

The credit card will not refund the shipping cost, as the item was refunded they said the matter beyond them.

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I did a negative review on marketplace for them, I will check if they are on other media.

 

The response from Amazon Executive Customer Relations is totally unacceptable, they are just washing their hands off especially when Amazon staff ring the customer making false promises. Such calls are supposed to be supervised and decisions as such are made by a manager. If this happened in my line of work, one of the managers would get fired.

 

What is particularly irritating after all this communication, is that the cost is negligible to Amazon UK while I have spent thousands of pounds with them.

 

This how they do marketing at Amazon UK, and how they treat their long term customers. They will not see a penny from me again.

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