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  • FIRST POST
    • Mysearch
    • By Mysearch 15th Sep 17, 3:03 PM
    • 6Posts
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    Mysearch
    Amazon Marketplace Refunds
    • #1
    • 15th Sep 17, 3:03 PM
    Amazon Marketplace Refunds 15th Sep 17 at 3:03 PM
    Hi,
    I bought a product through Amazon without too much consideration of the seller. After about 6 days, Amazon emailed me to tell me that the product had not been dispatched and that my credit card had not been charged.

    As such, I thought the easiest route was simply to cancel the order via the Amazon website, which was allowed because the order had not been dispatched. While the website appeared to accept the request for the cancellation, I have subsequently discovered that in the context of Amazon’s marketplace orders, this is only forwarded as a request to the seller, who some 6 hours later simply ignored the request stating that the product had now been dispatched and could not be changed.

    To be honest, I was suspicious as to whether anything had been dispatched as there was no delivery tracking information. While the seller has agreed to a refund, it is conditional on the product being returned at my cost.

    As it turns out, the seller company is wholly own by Amazon, but any emails to Amazon asking for help with the refund is simply dismissed on the basis that Amazon do not mediate in marketplace disputes.

    Without going into all the details, the Consumer Rights Act (CRA) makes reference to the "Failure to deliver within a reasonable time and outside of the agreed deadline is considered to be a breach of contract”. I also thought the CRA put the delivery responsibility on the seller not the buyer. From my perspective, the revised delivery date given, for which there is no tracking information or proof of dispatch, amounted to a breach of contract on which the order was based.

    There was also a potential issue under Consumer Protection within the Unfair Trading Regulations, as the seller advertised the product as in-stock, even although they have admitted that they were ordering the product from another 3rd party supplier. If this product is never delivered, can I still demand a refund.

    Would appreciate any advice on how to proceed, I have already filed an A-Z claim. Thanks
    Last edited by Mysearch; 16-09-2017 at 8:28 AM.
Page 1
    • theonlywayisup
    • By theonlywayisup 15th Sep 17, 3:17 PM
    • 11,225 Posts
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    theonlywayisup
    • #2
    • 15th Sep 17, 3:17 PM
    • #2
    • 15th Sep 17, 3:17 PM
    You say you bought from Amazon and infer it is a Marketplace seller, yet you then say the "seller company is wholly own (sic) by Amazon". Which is it? Amazon or a Marketplace seller?

    Has the item been delivered? If not, what is the delivery estimate on your Amazon order?

    You have filed an A-Z (the last possible resort on Amazon) - what is the status?
    • KeithP
    • By KeithP 15th Sep 17, 3:18 PM
    • 4,516 Posts
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    KeithP
    • #3
    • 15th Sep 17, 3:18 PM
    • #3
    • 15th Sep 17, 3:18 PM
    Hi Mysearch, welcome to the forums.

    If you want help, can I respectfully suggest that you edit your post to make it readable.

    E.g. break it up into paragraphs.
    .
    • Moneyineptitude
    • By Moneyineptitude 16th Sep 17, 12:12 AM
    • 18,751 Posts
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    Moneyineptitude
    • #4
    • 16th Sep 17, 12:12 AM
    • #4
    • 16th Sep 17, 12:12 AM
    Would appreciate any advice on how to proceed, I have already filed an A-Z claim. Thanks
    Originally posted by Mysearch
    That's all you can do at the moment. Wait to see the outcome of that

    You do contradict yourself by stating it was an Amazon Marketplace Seller and then later saying the seller was "wholly own by Amazon". Where did you get this information?

    You also don't make it clear whether you are now in possession of the item, but it does seem like you are loathe to return it at your own cost.

    Incidentally, it is not illegal to state the item is "in stock" as long as that information is not deliberately false. If they referenced their supplier was "in stock" then that would not be deemed deliberately misleading.


    Note also that stock databases are not infallible and you have to accept that mistakes are sometimes made.
    Last edited by Moneyineptitude; 16-09-2017 at 1:29 AM.
    • Mysearch
    • By Mysearch 16th Sep 17, 8:22 AM
    • 6 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Mysearch
    • #5
    • 16th Sep 17, 8:22 AM
    Apology and Replies
    • #5
    • 16th Sep 17, 8:22 AM
    First some apologizes in response to the comments on post #2, 3 & 4.

    Post 3: I will attempt to break up my comments into more manageable issues. Sorry - i have edited post 1 in any attempt to make it more readable without changing the content.

    Posts 2 & 4: While the company trades as a 3rd party seller in Amazon’s marketplace, I discovered that it was purchased by Amazon in 2011 by a search for information about the seller via Google. However, this is really a side issue as Amazon considers it a 3rd party seller.

    Post 2: The end-date delivery was originally 14 Sept. The seller then revised this date on 12 Sept to the 18 Sep after I thought I had cancelled the order. With regard to the A-Z claim, Amazon have replied that the claim will be addressed by 29 Sep.

    Post 4: Thanks for your insights. To be honest, I do not expect to change either Amazon’s or the seller’s position in this matter, but simply wanted to better understand, what if any, consumer rights I have when ordering products online in the future.

    So, by way of general clarification:

    1) I was trying to better understand consumer rights under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, which makes reference to the "Failure to deliver within a reasonable time and outside of the agreed deadline is considered to be a breach of contract”. From my perspective, the revised delivery date of 18 Sept appeared to breach my original contract, which was compounded by the fact that there was no tracking information or proof of dispatch.

    2) Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 appears to state that “if estimated demand exceeds supply, marketing communications must make clear that stock is limited”. The Amazon website indicated that there was 1 in-stock. However, it also states “Marketers must monitor stocks. If a product becomes unavailable, marketers must, whenever possible, withdraw or amend marketing communications that feature that product.” In this respect, it appeared that either Amazon or the seller failed to comply with this requirement as I believe the seller knew it would have to order the product from a foreign company based in Germany, hence the delay in dispatch. However, I have noted post 4's comments on this aspect.

    3) Much of my annoyance with this process was due to the fact that I had assumed that I was entitled to cancel the product prior to dispatch as the Amazon website allowed me to do this. I did not really understand that the T&C’s of Amazon’s marketplace only forwards the cancellation request to the seller, who then appears to have simply ignored the request and changed the status to 'dispatched' later in the day, i.e. 6 hours later, without replying to my request to cancel the order.

    4) Finally, I was concerned that I had no proof, by way of tracking information, to know whether the product had actually been dispatched. This concern was based on the fact that the seller predicated any refund on the return of the product to them at my expense, which was another annoyance given that I had thought I had cancelled the order before they had dispatched it.

    Sorry for the length and number of issues, but as indicated, I am simply trying to educate myself on these issues when making online purchases in future. Thanks
    Last edited by Mysearch; 16-09-2017 at 10:27 AM.
    • Moneyineptitude
    • By Moneyineptitude 16th Sep 17, 10:30 AM
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    Moneyineptitude
    • #6
    • 16th Sep 17, 10:30 AM
    • #6
    • 16th Sep 17, 10:30 AM
    To avoid the problems you have encountered, I'd just avoid using third party sellers on Amazon in future if I were you.

    I also wouldn't be too worried about being able to quote chapter and verse of the Consumer Rights Act with regard "late" delivery. You will have been given an "estimated" delivery date, not one cast in stone.

    Neither is cancellation guaranteed in the circumstances you describe, but Distance Selling means you are entitled to a full refund if you decide to return it.

    I doubt very much that the seller "ignored" your cancellation request and doubt even more that they deliberately changed your delivery status to "despatched" in order to prevent any such cancellation.

    Have you actually received the item?
    Last edited by Moneyineptitude; 16-09-2017 at 10:32 AM.
    • Mysearch
    • By Mysearch 16th Sep 17, 1:16 PM
    • 6 Posts
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    Mysearch
    • #7
    • 16th Sep 17, 1:16 PM
    • #7
    • 16th Sep 17, 1:16 PM
    Thanks for the response. While I do not disagree with any of the advice given, I would from a learning perspective like to raise a few comments
    I also wouldn't be too worried about being able to quote chapter and verse of the Consumer Rights Act with regard "late" delivery. You will have been given an "estimated" delivery date, not one cast in stone.
    Originally posted by Moneyineptitude
    If the Consumer Rights Act does not effectively define an ‘agreed deadline’ such that a ‘breach of contract’ has any meaning in terms of delivery date range, does it mean that a seller could simply extend the delivery date for whatever reason, e.g. the in-stock claim was false and therefore allows them more time to order in the product. In part, this was why I was interested to learn whether the in-stock claim was a form of false advertising.
    Neither is cancellation guaranteed in the circumstances you describe, but Distance Selling means you are entitled to a full refund if you decide to return it.
    Originally posted by Moneyineptitude
    I agree, it was my ignorance of the Amazon T&C’s in respect to their marketplace sellers that led me to the assumption that if the Amazon website allowed me to seemingly cancel the order before dispatch, this request would be honoured. I was also somewhat taken aback by the fact that while the Consumer Rights Act places the responsibility on the seller to deliver the product, the refund then required the buyer to return the product at their cost. However, is this last issue defined by the seller’s T&Cs?
    I doubt very much that the seller "ignored" your cancellation request and doubt even more that they deliberately changed your delivery status to "despatched" in order to prevent any such cancellation.
    Originally posted by Moneyineptitude
    I hope not. However, I suspect that most buyers operating through the Amazon marketplace know very little about the seller, such that it can appear suspicious when a request for cancellation is ignored and the seller claims the product to have been dispatched some 6 hours after the cancellation request. Does a seller have anything to lose if the refund is predicated on the buyer returning the product at their cost? I was also worried by the absence of any delivery tracking information to ensure the product was in transit, such that I could be reasonably sure that the product would arrive so that it could be returned in order to get the refund. Again, if the product was lost in transit, would the buyer have to prove this fact?

    Again, many thanks for the feedback.
    • timbstoke
    • By timbstoke 16th Sep 17, 1:30 PM
    • 926 Posts
    • 1,199 Thanks
    timbstoke
    • #8
    • 16th Sep 17, 1:30 PM
    • #8
    • 16th Sep 17, 1:30 PM
    If the Consumer Rights Act does not effectively define an ‘agreed deadline’ such that a ‘breach of contract’ has any meaning in terms of delivery date range, does it mean that a seller could simply extend the delivery date for whatever reason, e.g. the in-stock claim was false and therefore allows them more time to order in the product. In part, this was why I was interested to learn whether the in-stock claim was a form of false advertising.
    Originally posted by Mysearch
    If delivery time isn't an integral part of the contract, then basically yes. If you'd ordered it for Next Day Delivery, or told the seller that time was of the essence and you needed delivery by a certain date, then the delivery element becomes part of the contract. Otherwise, they're simply promising to supply the goods to you in a reasonable time.

    Of course, now the item has supposedly been dispatched, you should have it within a couple of days. If you have the option to refuse delivery, that should result in it being returned to the seller at no cost to you
    • KeithP
    • By KeithP 16th Sep 17, 2:41 PM
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    KeithP
    • #9
    • 16th Sep 17, 2:41 PM
    • #9
    • 16th Sep 17, 2:41 PM
    Just to add two points:

    From Regulation 42 of The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013:
    (3) Unless there is an agreed time or period, the contract is to be treated as including a term that the trader must deliver the goods—

    (a) without undue delay, and
    (b) in any event, not more than 30 days after the day on which the contract is entered into.

    The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 have been consolidated into Part 2 of The Consumer Rights Act 2015.
    .
    • Mysearch
    • By Mysearch 16th Sep 17, 3:21 PM
    • 6 Posts
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    Mysearch
    Again, thanks for feedback in posts 8 & 9.
    If delivery time isn't an integral part of the contract, then basically yes. If you'd ordered it for Next Day Delivery, or told the seller that time was of the essence and you needed delivery by a certain date, then the delivery element becomes part of the contract. Otherwise, they're simply promising to supply the goods to you in a reasonable time. Of course, now the item has supposedly been dispatched, you should have it within a couple of days. If you have the option to refuse delivery, that should result in it being returned to the seller at no cost to you
    Originally posted by timbstoke
    In practice, the Amazon marketplace seller can presumably control the delivery service on offer, i.e. basic delivery with no tracking. Likewise, if the product is delivered to a neighbour or simply thrown over the fence, it has been known, then once in receipt of the product, I assume the buyer is then stuck with the problem of returning the product at their cost, probably requiring a registered post, if a refund is predicated on the return.
    Just to add two points:
    Regulation 42 of The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013

    (3) Unless there is an agreed time or period, the contract is to be treated as including a term that the trader must deliver the goods—
    (a) without undue delay, and
    (b) in any event, not more than 30 days after the day on which the contract is entered into.

    The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 have been consolidated into [Part 2 of The Consumer Rights Act 2015.
    Originally posted by KeithP
    Thanks this is really useful information to understand. While I am assuming that the 30 day limit is the default, as "undue delay" sounds a bit vague, is there not also a 30 day limit on the return of defective goods – are these synchronised?
    • unholyangel
    • By unholyangel 16th Sep 17, 3:37 PM
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    unholyangel
    Just to add two points:

    From Regulation 42 of The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013:



    The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 have been consolidated into Part 2 of The Consumer Rights Act 2015.
    Originally posted by KeithP
    I think you're getting confused. The CPRs werent consolidated into the CRA, that was the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations & the Unfair Contract Terms Act (although the latter still exists for b2b like SoGA).


    However the phrase OP quoted does not come from the CPRs (although those types of practices would be covered under the CPRs), it comes from guidelines ASA use when determining whether marketing communications are misleading. I'm not sure I'd class a product page on a website as marketing communications though.
    Money doesn't solve poverty.....it creates it.
    • unholyangel
    • By unholyangel 16th Sep 17, 3:54 PM
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    unholyangel
    Again, thanks for feedback in posts 8 & 9.


    In practice, the Amazon marketplace seller can presumably control the delivery service on offer, i.e. basic delivery with no tracking. Likewise, if the product is delivered to a neighbour or simply thrown over the fence, it has been known, then once in receipt of the product, I assume the buyer is then stuck with the problem of returning the product at their cost, probably requiring a registered post, if a refund is predicated on the return.


    Thanks this is really useful information to understand. While I am assuming that the 30 day limit is the default, as "undue delay" sounds a bit vague, is there not also a 30 day limit on the return of defective goods – are these synchronised?
    Originally posted by Mysearch
    undue delay is in addition to the default period of performance rather than instead of it.

    If there is a time agreed between the parties at the time of entering the contract, then that period counts as the period for performance. Where no such period is agreed, its the 30 days.

    However this appears to be moot in your circumstances - even if they failed to perform within the 30 days, you'd have to give them a further opportunity (unless as above you told them time was of the essence/it was obvious from the contract itself) and it only really allows you to treat the contract at an end - something you can do anyway at any point up to 14 days after receiving the goods.

    The period for performance is really only useful in contracts where you may not have the right to cancel (such as a contract for personalised goods/goods made to your specification).


    What you could try is arguing that you withdrew your offer before they accepted it.
    Money doesn't solve poverty.....it creates it.
    • Mysearch
    • By Mysearch 17th Sep 17, 8:06 AM
    • 6 Posts
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    Mysearch
    Thanks for the clarification in post 11. I was attempting to cut & paste your references, but as a newbie I am not allowed to include links and mistakenly hacked the meaning of post 9. Also appreciated the updated in post 12. In an attempt to consolidate what I ‘think’ I have learnt I want to first outline some of the details in “The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013” and “Consumer Rights Act 2015 – Part 2”. See post 9 for links. Starting with CCR 2013 covering the ‘Time for delivery of goods’

    “(2) Unless the trader and the consumer have agreed otherwise, the contract is to be treated as including a term that the trader must deliver the goods to the consumer”

    “(3) Unless there is an agreed time or period, the contract is to be treated as including a term that the trader must deliver the goods, (a) without undue delay, and (b) in any event, not more than 30 days after the day on which the contract is entered into.”

    “(4) In this regulation, (a) an “agreed” time or period means a time or period agreed by the trader and the consumer for delivery of the goods, but (b) if there is an obligation to deliver the goods at the time the contract is entered into, that time counts as the “agreed” time”.

    Now I am not a lawyer, but when you place an order with Amazon, the order confirmation states an ‘arriving’ window – in my case this was 10-14 Sept. It did not say, this is only an estimate that we can change at any time, although I suspect there are probably caveats in either Amazon’s or the seller’s T&Cs. Whether such details in the small print could be considered ‘fair’ to the consumer might be argued. Therefore, despite the clarification in post 12, ‘undue delay’ still only appears to be a general statement preceding the 30-day default limit, if there is no agreed time associated with the contract. However, while it may only be wishful thinking on my part, I believe that it is not unreasonable for the consumer to believe that the ‘arriving’ date specified in the order confirmation might be seen as a contractual commitment. If so, the seller should not be able to simply change the delivery date without, at least, asking for the customer’s agreement and giving some reason for the delay. CCR 2013 also states:

    “(8) If the consumer specifies a period under paragraph (7) but the goods are not delivered within that period, then the consumer may treat the contract as at an end. (9) If the consumer treats the contract as at an end under paragraph (6) or (8), the trader must without undue delay reimburse all payments made under the contract.”

    Of course, the interpretation of this statement appears to be predicated on the ‘agreed time’ discussed above being a contractual commitment, but would presumably include all return postage costs? In respect to the scope of Consumer Rights Act 2015 – Part 2, it initially appears to be written and design only to be read by lawyers, as such I will only table what I believe to be the general gist of this reference.

    First and foremost, contract terms and notices are required to be fair, presumably to both buyer and seller, that is also only fair. It is also reasonable to assume that both Amazon and its 3rd party sellers want to be fair. However, I believe there is also an implicit caveat to their definition of fairness, when it appears to jeopardize their profit margins.

    In terms of Amazon, their marketplace T&Cs allows them to distance themselves from any subsequent problems and they will simply tell you through essentially pre-formatted emails that you, as the buyer, have to sort out the issue with the seller. However, in this arrangement, the seller then appears to be able to change the delivery date, provide no proof of dispatch via tracking information and place a requirement on any refund based on the return of the product, the cost of which is on the buyer. Should the product go missing on this round-trip process, the buyer appears to have to prove the loss was not their fault. Is that fair?

    I know this might be starting to appear extremely pedantic in the not unreasonable assumption the both Amazon and the seller actually want to provide a good service, it is necessary to their business model. However, when things go wrong, they appear to want to have the ability to invoke myriad of T&Cs details that they know the consumer will never have read. In this respect, they have an ‘unfair’ advantage over the average consumer. Is that fair?
    • unholyangel
    • By unholyangel 17th Sep 17, 1:01 PM
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    unholyangel
    Nearly every company will have similar T&C's designed to protect them. The consumer has the choice of entering into a contract on those terms or finding another retailer. Just as the retailer cannot force you to buy from them on their terms, you cannot force a retailer to sell to you on your terms.

    However what you've probably missed in the T&C's is that no contract is formed until dispatch (most online retailers will state that no contract is formed until dispatch).

    Which is why I said you'd be better off arguing that you withdrew your offer before they accepted it.
    Money doesn't solve poverty.....it creates it.
    • Mysearch
    • By Mysearch 18th Sep 17, 7:31 AM
    • 6 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Mysearch
    I agree and thanks for the education.
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