A Tennessee couple was charged $1,000 to ship paper plates they ordered through Amazon, and got absolutely nowhere trying to resolve the matter with the retailer, KGUN-TV is reporting.
Lorie Galloway and her husband, Bob, of Gallatin, Tennessee, may have been victims of the old “read the small print” scam, failing to fully read what they were getting into before hitting “Place Order” on a box of paper plates. But that’s the end of the story; let’s start at the beginning.
Back in December, 2017, Lorie ordered a box of paper plates. To be fair, it was a box of a hundred “heavy duty” paper plates. The total price was $24. Lorie, being an Amazon Prime member (free shipping on most orders), figured she’d be paying $24 for the plates and the shipping.
“I don’t order anything unless it’s free shipping,” she said.
How wrong she was: when her husband got the credit card bill a few weeks later, something was amiss.
“He sent me a text. ‘What did you order at Amazon?’ And, I’m like, ‘What?’ He said, ‘Our bill is a thousand and something dollars,'” she explained.
It was $1,104, to be specific. It came to $24 for the paper plates, and $1,080 for shipping.
They were sent from Atlanta to Tucson, via UPS.
When the couple contacted Amazon, the retailer was helpful — until they weren’t. While a customer service rep at first said that the four-figure shipping charge was “ridiculous,” after an investigation, the retailer determined that the couple was “not overcharged” for the order.
Specifically, the retailer says that the Galloways ordered “expedited shipping,” with a thousand-dollar price tag, something that Lorie disputes.
“If it would have said a thousand and something dollars, I would have noticed that.”
It looks like the couple were victims of a clever scam. Amazon uses third-party retailers – tens of thousands of them – with the tech company acting as a facilitator for the transaction. And it appears that in this case, the third-party retailer in question had a fondness for ensnaring customers who didn’t fully read everything on the screen before hitting the “Place Order” button; they’d done it before, and Amazon “dismissed” them after the Galloways’ complaint.
Unfortunately for the Tennessee couple, they got nowhere with either Amazon or the third party retailer that had scammed them. There is, however, light at the end of the tunnel: if you’ve been swindled by a retailer and get no help with them, when all else fails call your credit card company. Visa’s Legal Department is much better equipped to deal with this sort of thing, and indeed, the Galloways got their money back after disputing the charge with their credit card issuer.
Amazon scams are a dime a dozen, says consumer rights advocate Kim Komando, so always be extra cautious when ordering from the retailer, especially when using a third party.