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1 Seattle, WA, United States Review updated:
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In April 2008 we received order from Sheila M. for Panasonic PV-GS80 MiniDV Camcorder. The product was considered new-open box because the box was not sealed by the manufacturer anymore but the product, the camcorder was never used, therefore, brand new. Before shipping it to the customer, weve taken it out of the box and checked everything was ok and that all the accessories that were supposed to be in were actually in the box. All was included; the camcorder was in a perfect condition. We packed it and shipped it to the address the customer provided us with.

After several weeks we received a complaint from the customer as well as a negative feedback on our account. We also received an email from informing us about the issue and requesting our action. Immediately, we logged in to our and responded to the customer, we reassured her the camcorder was in a perfect condition when we were sending it out to her. We asked her what would she like us to do in order to resolve the problem. She replied in an email, said shed like to replace the camcorder. When we tried to reach her at the phone number she gave us in the email, we found out she is not from the US, Sheila M. lives in Venezuela. She had us ship the product to a shipping company in Miami, FL and they were supposed to ship the item to Venezuela.

Our shipping policy clearly stated we do not ship outside the US therefore we are not responsible for the items in transit while being shipped outside the United States. We shipped item in a perfect condition to the address the customer provided us with. What happened after that is not our fault, we didnt choose the company, customer did, were not responsible for the item anymore.

When we tried contacting a few days later to see what can be done about this case, they said theres nothing to be done anymore, the customer will be given a refund and we get nothing. When we were inquiring about the reason, they said we received an email on May 6th and were supposed to reply within 5 days. Failing to do so results in our loss of rights in this case, we cant do anything. When we said we did try to resolve the issue and contacted the customer, the customer service representative told us to email A-to-Z Guarantee Program regarding this, said we should be able to work something out even though we did not respond to the email itself as long as we tried to resolve the issue.

We emailed the immediately, explained we responded to the issue, contacted the customer and tried to resolve. We also explained our situation, said we shipped the product in a perfect condition and are not responsible for the item in transit while being shipped outside the US by an unknown shipping company. The response we got was:

Thank you for writing back to us. Sellers are protected and are not held accountable as long as they follow our guidelines specified in Participation Agreement and they respond to our inquiries in a timely manner. As previously stated, your account was debited for this particular transaction because we did not receive a response to our email that was sent to you on May 5th. Please note, the buyer is automatically eligible for the A-to-z Guarantee, whether they return the item or not.

At this time, it is too late for us to represent support for this claim, as it is closed. We will not be able to credit your account for the amount of the transaction. Please note that this is the final decision.

What happens if a merchant is unable to answer within 5 days? If he�s on a vacation? Or in a hospital? And the fact that he did respond and it was by going directly to his account and answering the customers complaint is simply negligible?

We did our part, shipped item just as it was described. When we received the complaint, we responded to it, tried to resolve the issue. When we try to explain we are not responsible for whatever happened to the product on the way to Venezuela, refunds the customer and states were not eligible for anything, not the money, not the product. THEY DO NOT CARE ABOUT THE FACTS!


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  • Ki
      16th of Apr, 2009
    0 Votes

    Something similar happened to me. I sent out new video game hardware for the Playstation 2, but because it was in an open box, which I stated in the "comments" section, the buyer complained, and asked for her money back. I told her that was okay, and she could ship the item back to me. She refused, saying she didn't want to look at it, she just wanted her money back. The item was BRAND NEW, just with an open box. She said I wrapped in in "toilet paper", when it was clearly tissue paper, actually the kind from Yankee Candle. She filed a claim and Amazon immediately gave her her money back, stating that because it was in an open box, I violated their terms of service. They would not even refund my shipping! I bet the girl is playing with her new toy right now.

  • Sa
      21st of May, 2009
    0 Votes

    I'm sorry you had to learn the hard way, but there are some real misconceptions in your post that need cleared up so others don't make the same mistakes. Please bear with me and know that I'm not pointing any blame at anyone. These are mistakes that anyone can make!

    As a small business owner (and selling at Amazon or ebay *is* a business) - it's your responsibility to stay on top of your business communication. Five days to respond is perfectly reasonable. Who sells things on the Internet and doesn't check their e-mail every day? How do you know if you have a sale?

    If you're going to be out of town or in the hospital, put your account on "vacation." It absolutely stinks that it takes this kind of circumstance to teach this kind of lesson, but I can guarantee you if yo ucontinue to sell on Amazon or ebay that you'll be checking your mail more often, am I right?

    Another thing I'd do is insure your packages if you're selling something that is more expensive than you can write off. When I sell online, my threshold is $25.00 USD for signature required and $50.00 is when I'll pay extra for insurance. I simply add the $1.00 for insurance to the price of my item when I list it. That keeps those costs form cutting into my profit.

    I hope this helps - I really do.

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