I bought an item from Amazon but it was uncomfortable to use so I returned it using their Hermes return facility.
Subsequently, despite having already issued the refund, Amazon informed me they had received a different item – an item I’d never heard of.
They ignored my communications telling them I had in fact returned the right item and charged me for the item again.
Let’s get into the full story and how it’s ended.
While I try to research the items I purchase as best I can, often spending hours reading and watching reviews for higher value items, sometimes there is something the reviews or spec sheets have missed – and sometimes it turns out the reviews I based my purchasing decision on are more positive than I think they ought to have been* when I receive the product and have the opportunity to evaluate it for myself.
*Btw check out my other video on which reviewers to trust.
When looking for a mid-priced wireless earphone with good sound quality for sports and outdoor use I ordered the Jabra Elite Active 65t and the Sony WF-XB700 (a discounted ‘Amazon Renewed’ item). Both of these I’ve reviewed on Amazon, which can be found under my profile GI Chow with affiliate links to them here.
I ended up keeping the Sonys and returning the Jabra for the reasons I talk about in these reviews.
Amazon refunded me immediately I returned the Jabras as usual which was great and I thought no more about it until some weeks later when I got this email:
They received a different item? Surely some administrative mistake with parcels having been mixed up I thought.
So I contacted Amazon via email and the online chat facility to let them know that I had already returned the item – and that they had in fact already refunded me after my return.
Some time later I got this response:
So despite my phone call, online chat and email explaining that I had already returned the item they had gone ahead and recharged me for it!
Once again I told them via a phone call with an Amazon call centre real human being (after first conversing with a bot) that I had already returned the item and also emailed a photo of the Hermes receipt that I was handed when I left the return package at the Hermes drop off point in my local Co-op supermarket. Luckily, or so I thought, I had kept the receipt – even though I had to hunt for it at the bottom of my rucksack! Though with the scanning of my returned package and subsequent refund I thought they must already have had evidence of this.
So imagine my disappointment when I received this response:
I returned a ‘white cap’?! The call centre informed me that email was the only way I could communicate with the Amazon department concerned and that I could not speak to anyone there in person. I wrote several further emails to the email address I was asked to use and while I got clarification that by ‘white cap’ was meant a hat, these were met with the same standard response – and eventually no response at all.
At this point I was totting up the time and hassle the return of this relatively inexpensive item had cost me, thinking it was now getting rather silly. But that just spurred me on to put this matter to bed and get some result from all the time I’d spent on the matter.
And frankly how can a business that has taken so much money from me over the years, makes over $800 profit every single second and is renowned for the efficiency of its operation effectively ignore my communications at best or consider them lies at worst without even a human conversation about the matter.
I had paid via credit card and contacted my credit card company via their online chat. After downloading and filling in a physical paper form:
which I had to print out (I had technical issues printing it but that’s another story) and then post via snail mail back to them, I received this phone text message from the credit card company:
So, after a lot of time and hassle, for now all good in the hood – I think. If you scroll through the several pages of Amazon’s Terms and Conditions you’ll find this:
My credit card company subsequently a letter saying confirming they had refunded the charge but would reinstate it if the vendor provided evidence it was a legitimate one.
I’ll add an update if the saga continues though I hope it doesn’t.
Following this experience, despite the several years I’ve been an Amazon customer, I no longer have a warm feeling about Amazon and have come to consider how much I rely on the company and my account, which I also use for all my Alexa devices. What would happen if Amazon decided to revoke my account?
The same thought occurred about Google, which account I use for my phone and recently my Sony TV too, as well as their search, email and cloud services including of course YouTube.
Makes you think about just how much we rely on these giant corporations – and what would happen if their friendly face (Amazon literally has a smile in its logo) turned sour.
Doesn’t bear thinking about – I’m off to YouTube to distract myself.