A man from Plymouth, UK purchased a Bitcoin processor on Amazon for £3,149.99; ends up receiving a DVD of Baby Boss instead. Ichim Bogdan Cezar criticized the Seattle-based online shopping company for refusing to return his money: “The thing that bothered me the most was the fact that it felt like Amazon wasn’t willing to put in any effort to help me get my money back.”
Cezar purchased the product for his brother-in-law in Romania because Amazon does not yet deliver to Romania. The Processor was a Tanli ASIC Processing Bitmain AntMiner that he and his in-law pooled their funds to buy. After receiving the DVD on 5 December, he emailed the seller, Minifigures Direct LTD, who told him that they had made a mistake and that the Bitcoin processor would arrive by 16 December. The correct package never arrived, and soon afterwards the seller stopped responding to his messages. Cezar proceeded to contact Amazon directly on 18 December. Amazon then tried contacting the seller, but they also had no luck. Subsequently, he requested a refund from Amazon.
His first two applications for a refund were denied, because the package was signed for by his wife. Amazon told him the company “is not able to resolve shipping problems after delivery.” Amazon suggested he reach out to Royal Mail for a solution. This did not work either. On his third request, Amazon finally agreed to give him a refund, but he did not receive his money back until 20 January, weeks after he made the purchase.
The main problem that he had with Amazon’s handling of the situation was the length of time it took to reach a resolution: “I understand that they are a huge company and they may get a lot of complaints but this is something that has been ongoing since November.” The amount of the purchase was also a big issue: “I wouldn’t have made such an issue, but because it was such a big amount of money I couldn’t let it slide.” Cezar also added that “Obviously it’s great that they will finally process a refund for me but it shouldn’t have taken that long, especially when there is such a big amount of money involved. It was stressful for me because all the pressure was on my shoulders to deal with it, with my brother–in-law being in Romania, so the longer it dragged out it became even more annoying.”
Another thing that makes the mix-up frustrating is that Amazon has strict guidelines that sellers are supposed to abide by, and if the seller acts against those guidelines Amazon is supposed to intervene. This could mean the removal of the product listing or the removal of the seller’s account in its entirety. Minifigures Direct, the Amazon seller in this instance, is based in Derbyshire. The account was set up on July 18 of this year by Mr. Sharron Palmer.
The product received mixed reviews on Amazon’s website, which made Cezar even more suspicious that he had been scammed: “If a product is generally good or legitimate, the ratings will roughly be the same,” he figured. But according to Cezar, the negative reviews did not start coming in until after he made his purchase. He had no reason to expect he would be swindled. Furthermore, Amazon has an A-to-Z guarantee that ensures that customers that buy from Amazon.co.uk’s third party marketplace will receive a refund or a replacement if they receive a product that is “defective, damaged, or not the item depicted in the seller’s description.”