My Amazon UK (high value) return got stolen, what can I do?

n0tna

Novice Member
Hi all,

I am new to this forum and wanted to ask for some advice. I’m in a bit of a deadlock with Amazon UK. For the context, I reside in London and am an Amazon Prime customer for years now and buy a lot (probably too much) from them. Never had a single issue.

Last month, November 2020, I bought an iPhone 12 Pro Max from them, sold and fulfilled by Amazon UK. When I got the phone, turns out it was way too big for me - I decided to buy the smaller iPhone 12 Pro version from Amazon again and return the Max. For returning the iPhone 12 Pro Max, I chose “Hermes Pick Up” as a return option (grave mistake, I know) which was offered to me free of charge by Amazon. I packed the iPhone securely, nice and tight, with some extra bubble wrap just in case. On 25th November the Hermes pick up person came, took my parcel and gave me a tracking number.

All is good until 2 days ago, to my surprise I receive an email from [email protected] telling me:

We are writing to let you know that we received no item /empty box instead of the original item, New Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max (256GB) - Graphite , in your return of order number [XXX].

We are discarding the [INCORRECT ITEM] that you sent.

We cannot issue a refund for this order until we receive the correct item. Please return it to us if you want to receive the refund.

You can review our return policies in the Returns, Refunds and Title section of the Conditions of Use, available at the link below: www.amazon.co.uk/help/conditionsofuse

To appeal this decision, please reply to this email to reach an account specialist.

Sincerely,
Account Specialist
Amazon.co.uk


Of course I got very frustrated, evidently suspecting that somebody at Hermes must have stolen it. I don’t really see another explanation.

I contacted Amazon multiple times, I replied to the first email I received, since that email said “To appeal this decision, please reply to this email to reach an account specialist” - but this is a lie. I replied to the email and got another, automated one from Amazon, saying that this email address I am sending to cannot receive emails.

So I contacted Amazon customer service via chat, and via phone, multiple times. But all they do is keep repeating “please send back the item and you will get the refund” even though I explained the whole situation. Eventually, they tell me that they referred me to a special department that will get in touch with me via email within 24-48h. And, within a couple of hours I receive that same email I received the first time, announcing that the box arrived empty. You guessed it by now, when I write my response and press send I get an automatic response from Amazon telling me that email address does not receive emails. Oh and once, via chat, the agent told me to write to [email protected] which I did, but AGAIN I get an automatic response saying that my email can’t be sent to this email address because it can’t receive emails.

Another thing one of the online agents told me is that I should contact the carrier (Hermes) to try sort out the issue with them. Well, I tried very hard to contact Hermes but the moment I give them my tracking number they tell me that this is an Amazon return and that I need to contact Amazon directly, they don’t have any information and cannot help me.

I don’t know what to do! I am stuck. I can’t get a hold of any email address or any other contact method. Does anybody have some advice please? Is there some sort of buyer protection I can contact? What is my best move right now?

PS- I saw a few posts/forum discussions describing similar issues and some comments were very hostile and suggesting the author was a scammer trying to ask advice to get away with theft. Please don’t think that this is my case. I freaking packed it and sent it back, this is driving me nuts!
 

n0tna

Novice Member

Thank you, yes I saw this thread. And I've read through, unfortunately it contains very little advice. Instead, most of discussion revolves around the author being under suspicion and trying to justify himself against comments that are accusing him of being a scammer essentially.
 

RBZ5416

Distinguished Member
Thank you, yes I saw this thread. And I've read through, unfortunately it contains very little advice. Instead, most of discussion revolves around the author being under suspicion and trying to justify himself against comments that are accusing him of being a scammer essentially.
Apologies, I must have been thinking of another thread that was resolved. Often these sort of cases seem to need email escalation directly to Bezos' office, so maybe try that.
 

MaryWhitehouse

Well-known Member
Go to the police. Check your home insurance. Never, ever send a £1000+ by the cheapest, uninsured method.
 

n0tna

Novice Member
Thank you for the responses.

I managed to get through somebody a little bit more compassionate over the Amazon phone line who seemed to understand my issue. He escalated it with his supervisor who then told me I will get an email from an Account Specialist within 24-48h. Yes, I've already heard that before, but I am hopeful that this time the agent better understood my issue and was able to properly describe it when he filed it to the Account Specialist.

I do fear that I will once again receive the generic "we received an empty box please return your item if you want your refund" kind of email. If I do – then I will get in touch with the police and also send an email to [email protected], as apparently this inbox is monitored by a special team that might actually help me.

I will keep updating the progress. If anybody has any other advice please do let me know. Thank you very much.
 

museman123

Active Member
I had this just last week returning an £800 item. Though they emailed first saying thanks for returning the product before I got an email saying it was an empty box. I had to file a report via action fraud before they took me seriously and eventually refunded.
 

n0tna

Novice Member
I had this just last week returning an £800 item. Though they emailed first saying thanks for returning the product before I got an email saying it was an empty box. I had to file a report via action fraud before they took me seriously and eventually refunded.

It seems to happen more and more often...

Could you please describe a little more the steps you took? How did you get in touch with Amazon, and how were you communicating with them, do you have a customer service email address? I find it terribly difficult to get through to someone "higher up" that can actually be of any help. Or have you been solely using the online chat and phone?

Also, when you said you filed an action fraud, how and where can you do this? Do you reckon I should wait a little more before going to those lengths?

Sorry for the ton of questions.
 

brunation

Well-known Member
Never, ever send a £1000+ by the cheapest, uninsured method.

For returning the iPhone 12 Pro Max, I chose “Hermes Pick Up” as a return option (grave mistake, I know) which was offered to me free of charge by Amazon

You'ld think Amazon would learn by now ....

As with @RBZ5416 I recall a similar thread.

Edit:

Twas the same one .....
 

MaryWhitehouse

Well-known Member
You'ld think Amazon would learn by now ....

As with @RBZ5416 I recall a similar thread.

Yet if common sense was applied and spend a few quid on special delivery there would be no grief.
 

EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
If you believe something has been stolen,i would contact my local police,as this is a crime,once you get a crime number,inform both Amazon & Hermes,that you have reported the item stolen,and see what their repose is ?

I doubt the police would be interested in that crime as it wasn't stolen from you and you didn't witness the crime, you're just repeating someone else's claim.

I suppose you could report Amazon for holding your property and neither returning nor refunding it, although it's probably a bit early for that.
 

Thug

Moderator
How did you pay?
Could you not do a credit card charge back?
 

n0tna

Novice Member
Unfortunately, as far as I know, Amazon does not offer the option to "choose your own" return service. You get a list of choices and have to pick from. In some cases, you can't even choose anything else other than "Hermes Pick Up".

I never imagined that I could be held responsible for a service that is provided to me, especially given that it's free of charge.

How did you pay?
Could you not do a credit card charge back?

I paid with Monzo debit Mastercard.
 

n0tna

Novice Member
For those who wonder why would you ever choose Hermes for high value items. Well, in some cases Amazon does not give you the choice.

Just to give an example, if I wanted to return this camera I bought from Amazon (not planning to, just an example), these would be my choices for the return service:
Screenshot 2020-12-11 at 18.31.14.png


As you can see, I don't actually have options. It's Hermes Pickup or nothing else. Usually you'd at least have Royal Mail options too, but in this case for whatever reason, only Hermes is offered.

As a customer, why should I even think about it? I want to return an item, Amazon offers me this convenient return option for free, I just went for it. I will never do that mistake again, that's for sure. But yeah, there's no indication about insurance, responsibility, or anything like that - which is why I assumed that if anything happens it'll be Amazon's responsibility.
 

jaguar180180

Well-known Member
Go to customer services on homepage at bottom.then go to need help over the phone section they will call you back.I had to do this today after a phone I ordered with case turned up but inside the box was 4 four bottles of Catherine kidston hand cream no idea how but contacted them and they are sending me another phone out tomorrow.but to get another phone case they are insisting I must send back the hand cream via Hermes to get a tenner refund for the case:thumbsdow
 

Delvey

Distinguished Member
Rule number 1. Always use Royal Mail.
They weigh everything, and it will be in your receipt.
They won't steal anything (and those that do get caught, alot)
The only thing I suggest is you contact your bank and ask for a charge back (can be done with a debit card)
 

Delvey

Distinguished Member
For those who wonder why would you ever choose Hermes for high value items. Well, in some cases Amazon does not give you the choice.

Just to give an example, if I wanted to return this camera I bought from Amazon (not planning to, just an example), these would be my choices for the return service:
View attachment 1420830

As you can see, I don't actually have options. It's Hermes Pickup or nothing else. Usually you'd at least have Royal Mail options too, but in this case for whatever reason, only Hermes is offered.

As a customer, why should I even think about it? I want to return an item, Amazon offers me this convenient return option for free, I just went for it. I will never do that mistake again, that's for sure. But yeah, there's no indication about insurance, responsibility, or anything like that - which is why I assumed that if anything happens it'll be Amazon's responsibility.
This can normally be resolved by using the chat facility
 

hippo99

Distinguished Member
For those who wonder why would you ever choose Hermes for high value items. Well, in some cases Amazon does not give you the choice.

Just to give an example, if I wanted to return this camera I bought from Amazon (not planning to, just an example), these would be my choices for the return service:
View attachment 1420830

As you can see, I don't actually have options. It's Hermes Pickup or nothing else. Usually you'd at least have Royal Mail options too, but in this case for whatever reason, only Hermes is offered.

As a customer, why should I even think about it? I want to return an item, Amazon offers me this convenient return option for free, I just went for it. I will never do that mistake again, that's for sure. But yeah, there's no indication about insurance, responsibility, or anything like that - which is why I assumed that if anything happens it'll be Amazon's responsibility.
Been a while since I’ve returned something to Amazon, but they used to (still?) have an option for you to send the item back yourself. ie you get given the barcode return slip to put inside & stick to the outside of the parcel, but the postage/carrier hasn’t been added to your printout.
I just took it down to the post office & paid for the postage (getting the receipt).
 
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museman123

Active Member
It seems to happen more and more often...

Could you please describe a little more the steps you took? How did you get in touch with Amazon, and how were you communicating with them, do you have a customer service email address? I find it terribly difficult to get through to someone "higher up" that can actually be of any help. Or have you been solely using the online chat and phone?

Also, when you said you filed an action fraud, how and where can you do this? Do you reckon I should wait a little more before going to those lengths?

Sorry for the ton of questions.

No worries . I emailed [email protected] about 5 times! I kept getting the generic reply that I needed to send the item back to be refunded so they clearly don’t read what you’re saying. I spoke to action fraud who advised a report due to the the fact they said they received it then said later it was empty .

i also [email protected]

Eventually I got an email saying I had been refunded so not sure which email worked but it did take about a week of messaging!
 

Autopilot

Distinguished Member
You don’t really think that ‘[email protected]’ is some kind of special email address do you, it will just go to the normal CS inbox.

Whatever you think the police will or won’t do, you need to get a crime number normally to escalate and progress this, to make it formal.

You will need to be persistent, they deal with thousands of such claims, real or otherwise.
 

Autopilot

Distinguished Member
There’s a lot of anecdotal evidence out there that it’s not.

Ok, fair enough. I’m highly sceptical but if it gets a response it can’t hurt.

OP, don’t suppose you have an IMEI number, on any invoices or anything, or can get it from Amazon (who will have it)? If so, you could also contact Apple. Apple will know if its activated and being used, although they probably won’t release information directly to you it could help with getting the ball rolling and give Amazon something they can check (if they are not prepared to conduct any kind of checks/investigation, in my opinion they should be refunding you). They may also block it if it’s reported stolen, and may even query it directly with Amazon, I’m not sure. You may never see it again, but it could help your case for a refund. I’m not sure of specifics about how they work, just thinking aloud.
 
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NorvernRob

Distinguished Member
One thing I don’t get here (and you’ve pointed out yourself) is that Amazon paid the return postage, so surely the contract is between themselves and the courier and the liability lies with them? How are they getting away with putting the onus on customers to chase these things up?
 

nvingo

Distinguished Member
One thing I don’t get here (and you’ve pointed out yourself) is that Amazon paid the return postage, so surely the contract is between themselves and the courier and the liability lies with them? How are they getting away with putting the onus on customers to chase these things up?
Because they've received a package so for them the contract is fulfilled?
 

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