As a result of the way Amazon Marketplace processes payments, U.K. customers buying large-ticket items may be in a bind if a major problem with their purchase arises and the retailer refuses to help.
Under section 75 of the 1974 Consumer Credit Act, customers who pay for an item that costs more than $158 and less than $47,600 are generally able to hold credit card companies jointly liable if a major problem arises with the order, according to The Guardian.
Amazon’s method of processing payments, however, invalidates the protection. Amazon takes the customers payment, takes a commission and passes it on to the individual retailer. Buyers seeking to ensure their card company’s liability are advised to visit the retailer’s direct website.
One U.K. customer ordered a $238 treadmill from Amazon and, after six weeks, the item became inoperable. The customer made repeated attempts to contact the retailer, and Amazon accepted a request to send the item back for repair. After seeing a number of negative posts about the product from other buyers, even after repairs had been made, the customer asked Amazon for his money bank and was denied, The Guardian reports.
The customer then contacted Lloyds Bank, his credit card issuer, for a section 75 claim, but the bank wrote back saying that his purchase was not eligible for a claim because he had paid Amazon for the item.
“The Amazon A-to-Z Guarantee provides additional protection for customers who buy from the third party Marketplace when payment is made via the Amazon.co.uk website,” a spokesman for Amazon said, according to The Guardian. “This covers an item received being defective, damaged, not as described, or received late. We have contacted the customer in question to advise him to raise an A-to-Z Guarantee claim and will review on receipt.”
Additionally, customers who purchased an expensive item more than 90 days ago are not covered by Amazon’s consumer protection policies.