Amazon Faulty Product Return Restocking Fee

Hi, i'm having some trouble getting a full refund for returning a faulty item to Amazon (one of the sets of RAM from this deal: https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/469563). When i enquired about not receiving a full refund, Amazon customer service said that i need to pay a restocking fee for the faulty item because, quote:

"I see that the order was placed on Tuesday, 16 July 2019 12:21 PM and it was returned after the return window of 30 days on Wednesday, 11 September 2019 3:44 AM. So that is the reason why you were charged for the restocking fee for the item."

The dates that Amazon specified above regarding me exceeding my return window includes the shipping time to me (13 days from 11 July to 29 July), the return shipping time to Amazon (9 days from 29 Aug to 7 Sept), and the time they took to process the refund after receiving the item (4 days from 7 Sept to 11 Sept).

However, despite their calculation of my return window, my Amazon order details state:

“Return window closed on 30 Aug. 2019”.

The Amazon help pages (at https://www.amazon.com.au/gp/help/customer/display.html?node...) state:

If you identify a faulty item:
* within the relevant return window for that item, you can return the item to us using the Online Returns Centre;

I met this criteria by using the Online Returns Centre on 20 Aug, and selected the return reason as "Item defective or doesn’t work". I then received an Amazon Returns Summary email that same day, which states:

  • They've accepted my return request.
  • I need to send the item by 31 Aug. I met this criteria by posting the item on 29 Aug.
  • The estimated refund amount is $190.55*. As it was an "estimated" amount i didn't think much of it at the time as long as i shipped it by the date specified, however this estimated amount ended up being the actual refund amount I received for the faulty item, which cost $238.19 each to purchase.

I'm continuing to follow up with them to try to get a full refund - i didn't expect it to be difficult but it is my first Amazon return (and now probably my last). Has anyone else had to pay a restocking fee for a faulty item, or been told that you're not in the return window when you believed that you were?

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Comments

  • +6 votes

    You would assume they would stick to the return windows for change of mind returns.

    Technically, you could argue that they won't be "restocking" this item, it's faulty. You really need to push the faulty angle, this isn't just a change of mind. Push back, and keep pushing back. Don't give up, out of principle. There shouldn't be a "return window" for an item that is faulty. Warranty period should apply.

    •  

      Thanks i will continue to pursue. I've pushed back on the return window point and am waiting for their next response, but after they respond I'll push back on the faulty point.

  • +1 vote

    Amazon.com.au Return Policy: You may return for a full refund for the price you paid within 30 days of delivery any new computer purchased from Amazon that is "dead on arrival", arrives in damaged condition or is still in unopened boxes. Amazon may test or inspect returns. If Amazon finds a customer has misrepresented the condition of a return, Amazon may impose a fee equal to up to 15 percent of the merchandise sales price. Any returned computer that is damaged through customer misuse, missing parts, or in unsellable condition due to customer tampering may result in the customer being charged a restocking fee based on the condition of the computer. This policy does not restrict or alter any non-excludable statutory consumer protections or rights you may have, including under the Australian Consumer Law. To view full returns terms including return instructions, merchandise-specific requirements and exclusions see our Returns Policy Page. New, used, and refurbished products purchased from Marketplace vendors are subject to the returns policy of the individual vendor.

    Did you misuse the good in any way?

    •  

      Thanks for the quote info. No misuse, and they never claimed misuse either. The only reason they gave was the return window.

  • +1 vote

    If the ram is faulty. Get it exchanged for the exact same one that is not faulty. If it is not compatible. Thats another story. So what is the whole story op?.

    •  

      I wanted an exchange, but the online return process didn't give me the option for a replacement, only a refund.

      When i looked for more info i found this (https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?ie=UTF8...):

      In most cases you'll be able to choose to get a refund or have a replacement sent to you. If the Replacement option isn't available, choose the Refund option and repurchase the item.

      Even though i could only select refund, i asked for a replacement in the description anyway. But Amazon's "Return Summary" email still stated refund, not replacement. The item's price was higher at the time of the return, if that could that be why the Replacement option wasn't available?

  •  

    Why don’t you just ask for a replacement if it is faulty?

    If it is faulty but you’ve also changed your mind, that isn’t their problem.

    Their live chat is excellent. Get on there and tell them it was faulty and not a standard change of mind. It doesn’t sound like you’ve made that clear….??

    • +2 votes

      There is no window within which a customer is required to return faulty goods, nor are they allowed to charge a restocking fee for return of faulty goods. Claiming otherwise contravenes the Consumer Law.

      Keep in contact with customer service, remind them of their obligations under the Australian Consumer Law, and if they refuse to issue a full refund, make a complaint to your state or territory Fair Trading.

      Why don’t you just ask for a replacement if it is faulty?

      If it is faulty but you’ve also changed your mind, that isn’t their problem.

      That's not true.

      Customer is entitled to a replacement or full refund at the customer's discretion for major faults such as brand new RAM modules failing. The business must provide whichever the customer opts for and cannot force the customer to take an option the business chooses.

      •  

        Does ACL works on Amazon AU which is a trading platform like ebay , whilst the actual seller or order is fulfilled by Amazon US ? Not Amazon AU ?

        •  

          everybody who sells something and delivers to aus is bound by acl. enforcement is the difficult part though

      • -1 vote

        The business must provide whichever the customer opts for and cannot force the customer to take an option the business chooses.

        No, the law is refund or replace. The business can choose what to do. If the item is still in stock they can give a replacement. If it is sold out they will usually refund.

        The customer can ask for one or the other but the business doesn’t have to oblige for a refund if they can just replace it.

        • +1 vote

          No, the law is refund or replace. The business can choose what to do. If the item is still in stock they can give a replacement. If it is sold out they will usually refund.

          You need to brush up on your consumer law.

          For minor faults, the business can choose to repair, replace or refund. For major faults - such as in this instance - the customer can choose the remedy.

          Here it is in layman's terms from the ACCC:

          When you have a major problem with a product, you have the right to ask for your choice of a replacement or refund.

          I hope you're not running a business and misleading customers.

  •  

    I've never had trouble returning defective products to Amazon.

  • +1 vote

    I've received a further response from Amazon, after i questioned the reason they gave for not providing a full refund.

    For context, my last email contained the following to Amazon:

    Could i please confirm the return window? The dates specified in your email
    (16 July to 11 Sept) include the shipping time to me (13 days from 11 July
    to 29 July), the return shipping time to Amazon (9 days from 29 Aug to 7
    Sept), and the time they took to process the refund after receiving the
    item (4 days from 7 Sept to 11 Sept). Could you please confirm that the
    return window is meant to include the shipping times?

    Also, the order for the item stated that the return window closes on 30
    Aug, and I went through the Online Returns Centre on 20 Aug. I was then
    advised to ship the item by 31 Aug, and i shipped the item on 29 Aug.

    And this was the detail of their response:

    I'm sorry to hear that you have received an incomplete refund for the returned Corsair CMK32GX4M2B3200C16 Vengeance LPX 32GB (2x16GB) DDR4 3200Mhz C16 XMP 2.0 High Performance Desktop Memory Kit from the order XXXXXXXXXXXX as it was returned to Amazon after the return window.

    I've looked into the details and found that this order was marked as delivered on 29 July 2019, please be informed the return window is calculated from the date the package has been marked as delivered.

    Further to your email, return window does include the shipping times. However, I see that my colleague has gotten a one time exception to issue a refund of AU$ 47.64 to cover the price of the Restocking Fee. Please reply to this email and we will put in that request for you.

    So they have offered a refund! I will reply that i'll take it!

    But…… i still don't agree with many things that they had said?

    Amazon stated that the restocking fee refund is a "one time exception", which sounds like the next time i receive a faulty item and return it within the dates provided to me, that i would then have to pay the restocking fee?

    Amazon have re-stated that the item was returned after the return window. However my order details states the date the return window closes (30 Aug), and i contacted Amazon (20 Aug) and shipped (29 Aug) the item before that date, as i had previously explained to Amazon.

    They've stated the "return window does include shipping times". However this doesn't match up with their help pages (https://www.amazon.com.au/gp/help/customer/display.html?node...):

    Where possible, please notify us of faulty items using the Online Returns Centre or by contacting us within 30 days from receipt of delivery.

    It states to notify/contact Amazon within 30 days - it doesn't state that Amazon needs to receive shipment of the item within 30 days.

    I cannot find anything in their help pages that agrees with Amazon's customer service stating the "return window does include shipping times". Their Return Summary email also makes no mention of what date Amazon must receive the item by - it only has the "Send by: Sat, Aug 31" date, which i met (29 Aug).

    Also, while Amazon's reasons for a partial refund have only been about the return window and specific dates, i'm wondering how important the return window period actually is for a faulty item under warranty anyway? If i had instead contacted Amazon about the faulty item after 40 days instead of within 30 days, would Amazon then be within their rights to only provide a partial refund?

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