by Graham Pierrepoint
We all expect the things we buy to work out for us – after all, we’ve all been there – that pang of disappointment as a child when a toy we love unexpectedly breaks – an item of clothing emerges flimsier than we first assumed – or some items of technology simply don’t power up at all. In these circumstances, of course, we expect a refund – and Amazon, arguably as one of the web’s biggest online retailers (if not the biggest internationally) – have been very quick to honor refunds and replacements – however, it seems that they won’t necessarily expect you to return an item if it doesn’t work, or even if you simply don’t like it.
A non-returns policy has been in place for US customers for some time, but it has recently emerged in UK press this week that the firm is honoring refunds on faulty or unwanted items – all without the need for customers to send back the existing products. It’s thought that the policy appears to be emerging on smaller items, particularly those costing less than $15 – but some items reaching into the hundreds have reportedly been refunded without buyers needing to send them back. This move is quite baffling in a way – surely Amazon stands to lose out if they do not receive back, for example, an electrical item which functions well and could stand to be sold on elsewhere!
This is why some industry watchdogs have pointed out that Amazon wields an amazing amount of power – that such an uneconomical choice can be repeated many times over without there being a risk to the health of the retailer. Amazon continues to serve millions of customers all over the world and hosts both expedited delivery and video streaming services – as well as having brought a number of products to the household in the bargain. They are still very much a consumer powerhouse to behold – meaning it should come little to no surprise that they can continue to allow certain customers to hold off sending certain products back.
This being said – does this mean you should risk buying cheap products to chance the system? Definitely not – as there certainly doesn’t seem to be an official policy in place. However, it will come as solace to those people who feel they have been mis-sold on a product which they feel they have to return.