Amazon Return Costs

  morddwyd 18:36 PM 15 Apr 13

I recently bought a garden implement from Amazon, but when it arrived it was nearly twice as heavy as the weight given in the Amazon website.

Since my only reason for buying was because my current implement, a hedge trimmer, had become to heavy for me, I returned it

I had no problem with this, and received an apology for the wrong description.

However, they refused to bear the return costs and say that since the goods were supplied by one of their trading partners I must take it up with them.

Now the goods were advertised, and wrongly described, on the Amazon website, and were ordered through my Amazon account. The money went from my bank account to Amazon, and the refund was duly paid into my account by Amazon, and my complaint, and the subsequent return, and all the associated e-mails were all progressed through my Amazon account.

Am I being unreasonable in saying that the responsibility is entirely Amazon’s, and the third party is simply their agent, like, for instance, a carrier?

Forget the DSR, this is simply “Goods not as described” under normal consumer protection laws surely?

  alanrwood 20:37 PM 15 Apr 13

I would agree with you that the fault lies with Amazon's description and if that had been accurate then the problem would not have arisen. It is a dispute which should be settled between Amazon and their 3rd party supplier.

  BT 08:50 AM 16 Apr 13

I find that the best approach in similar circumstances is to contact the supplier and ask for a postage paid label, especially if the goods are being returned as faulty or not as described. Often return postage is not paid for returns but in case of faulty or not as described, will usually be paid.

Many suppliers including Amazon, are now using the Collect+ service and you can print out the label yourself.

  Mr Mistoffelees 20:00 PM 16 Apr 13

This from the OFT: !Returning goods Only if it is covered in the contract and the written information can you require the consumer to pay for the cost of returning the ordered goods. If the consumer then fails to return the goods, or sends them at your expense, you can charge them the direct cost to you of the return, even if you have already refunded the consumer’s money. You are not allowed to make any further charges, such as a restocking charge or an administration charge. If you do not include these details in the required written information then you cannot charge anything. You can never require consumers to pay the cost of returning substitute goods. If the goods are faulty or do not comply with the contract, you will have to pay for their return whatever the circumstances."

See at OFT distance selling regulations PDF.

  morddwyd 20:20 PM 18 Apr 13

Thanks for the responses, but they don't really help much in this instance.

As BT says, with Amazon you print your own label, but depending on the link they give you it's either a carriage paid one, or it's one that requires pre-payment. The link they gave me is the latter.

As I said, this is nothing to do with DSR, it's a simple Trade Description matter

  rickf 09:16 AM 19 Apr 13

I have just had a replacement for a hoover that is still under statutory warranty because it developed a fault. This was replaced very quickly and I did not have to pay for return postage. Printed out label from the link they sent me. However, this was an item supplied and sold by Amazon and not from a 3rd party so maybe irrelevant to your situation.

  spuds 10:38 AM 19 Apr 13

Amazon have introduced some new practises as to how they are now dealing with some complaints.

Recently I had a problem through an order placed via Amazon MarketPlace that was 'fullfilled' by Amazon.

The item was faulty and even though the item was perhaps sent or fullfilled by Amazon, they refused to accept any liabilities and referred me back to the advertised seller, for re-address to any problems.

As the item was of low value, I didn't bother to go any further, and just put it down to experience and future consideration?.

  Forum Editor 19:05 PM 19 Apr 13

"Am I being unreasonable in saying that the responsibility is entirely Amazon’s, and the third party is simply their agent, like, for instance, a carrier?"

Technically it's the other way round - Amazon acts as agent for the seller by providing merchant services. Your argument, if there is going to be one, must be with the seller.

  alanrwood 20:21 PM 19 Apr 13


I thought that the contract was between the buyer and who ever took payment for the product

  Forum Editor 08:51 AM 20 Apr 13


When you buy something from a third party seller via the Amazon site you authorise Amazon to act as what's called your 'limited representative' to conclude a contract of sale directly between you and the seller via the Amazon Service. Although I used the term 'agent in my earlier post I was not strictly correct - 'limited representative' is a more appropriate description.

Amazon helps to facilitate the transaction, but is not legally the seller of the item provided by the third party.

  morddwyd 09:05 AM 20 Apr 13

Final Update.

Full amount paid into my bank account by Amazon.

Thanks for all the responses.


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