An Amazon customer says she was charged $7,000 to ship toilet paper, and what’s worse, the online retailer wouldn’t help her get her money back, Yahoo News is reporting. It’s the second story of an Amazon shopper being scammed by outrageous shipping charges to make the news this week.
Georgia resident Barbara Carroll works in the custodial industry, so no one would be surprised by the fact that her job requires her to order toilet paper in bulk. So back in March, she ordered three 24-packs of toilet paper, at a cost of $88.17, and had them delivered to her home.
A few days later she got her bank statement, according to WSB-TV (Atlanta).
“There was this order for three cases of toilet paper for $88.17 and shipping $7,455 for a total of $7,543.12. After I screamed I thought, ‘Oh this is not a problem, this is Amazon and Amazon will take care of it.'”
Nope – Amazon did not “take care of it.”
The problem is that Ms. Carroll was taken in by a third-party seller. Amazon functions as an intermediary between you (the customer) and the tens of thousands of third-party sellers that use the tech giant as a platform for their transactions. However, when your transaction goes wrong, Amazon will blame the third-party seller and not help you out, as Barbara found out to her horror.
Ms. Carroll appears to have been taken in by the modern version of an insidious, but old, scam. Namely: the unscrupulous seller offers you something you don’t want – in this case, “expedited shipping” at an outrageous price – and hopes you don’t notice before signing on the bottom line (or in this case, hitting the “place order” button).
The very same thing happened to a Tennessee couple, as previously reported by the Inquisitr. Lorie Galloway and her husband, Bob, ordered $24 worth of paper plates – and were charged $1,080 for shipping. Like the Carrolls, the Galloways had no luck in getting Amazon to refund the charges, and instead got relief from their credit card company.
So what can you learn from these stories? Three things:
First of all, be extra cautious when purchasing something from a third-party seller when using Amazon, as the retailer will not help you with any disputes you have with them.
Second, read the fine print – or in the case of Amazon orders, make sure the price is what you expect it to be before you hit the “Place Order” button.
Third, and finally, pay with a credit card. That way, if you have a dispute and get nowhere with either Amazon or your seller, take it up with your credit card issuer. Paying with a debit card is equivalent to paying with cash, says WSB.