NBC10 Responds

Amazon Customer Left Frustrated When Third Party Seller Disappears

An Amazon customer was left frustrated when he received a damaged headlight. He reached out to NBC10 Responds after the third party seller disappeared

NBCUniversal, Inc.

Bill Fosbenner knows his way around a car. He’s a mechanic and agreed to help a friend when they needed a headlight repair.

He searched Amazon and bought a headlight from a third party seller in December of 2018. His sales receipt shows it came with a one-year warranty. He paid a total of $746.

Fosbenner says he ran into his first problem when the package arrived. According to Fosbenner, the headlight had a bent bracket, but was otherwise “fully functional”. He reported the issue to the seller, which gave him a partial refund of $106. According to Fosbenner, this was a better option than sending back the part.  

Fosbenner installed the headlight with no problem. But come October it started fogging up. He says he tried contacting the seller on Amazon.

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“The seller that we bought the headlight from that gave us the one year warranty disappeared so we couldn't claim it.” Fosbenner told NBC10 Responds.

With no reply from the third party seller, Fosbenner reached out to Amazon Customer Service to see if they could help. At first Amazon told him he might be covered by the “A to Z Guarantee” which covers “both the timely delivery and the condition of your items,” according to Amazon. The customer service agent looked deeper into his complaint and came back with disappointing news.

“They said, 'Well, we have this 'A to Z Guarantee' but it expires in 90 days. And we're, you know, we're in 10 months into it,'" Fosbenner said.

When Amazon didn’t help, Fosbenner wrote to NBC10 Responds.

Our team reviewed his documents and tried to reach out to the third party seller. When we couldn’t get a hold of them we contacted Amazon. The company told NBC10 Responds it would look into Fosbenner’s situation.

Ten days later his problem was solved.

“I got an email from Amazon and they will take care of it for me.” Fosbenner said.

“We pride ourselves on resolving customer concerns quickly and accurately, and I'm sorry this didn't happen when you contacted us before," Amazon told Fosbenner in an email.

Amazon refunded the remaining $639 he spent on the headlight and sent him a $50 gift card.

What to Know

  • Amazon says if you have a problem with an item you bought from a third party seller: Its “A to Z Guarantee” is there to help.
  • In talking with Amazon about Fosbenner's experience we learned there's some leeway to the 90-day policy.
  • If your refund is denied under the "A to Z Guarantee" you have another 30 days to submit an appeal.

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