NBC10 Responds

Woman Disputes Paying Return Shipping for Damaged Exercise Bike

She says the item arrived damaged

NBCUniversal, Inc.

2020 is about fitness for Jennifer Acheampong. She’s changing her diet and focusing on fitness.

"If I get a bike trainer at home, I will be able to motivate myself," She tells NBC10 Responds.

Acheampong purchased an exercise bike from Sears.com. She paid $204 for the machine. She was excited to work on her fitness, but the plan came to a dead stop when the bike arrived.

She says the pedals did not move, and adjusting the resistance knob didn’t help. According to Acheampong, she called Sears and learned a third party seller used Sears’ website to sell her the bike. She tells us: “When I was purchasing it, I did not know that there is a third person."

Acheampong says Sears transferred her to the third-party company. It told her she could return the bike at her own expense. She argued the bike arrived damaged and she should not have to pay for the return.

The customer tells NBC10, at the company’s request, she recorded a video showing what was wrong with the bike. The company reviewed the video and sent her an email, telling Acheampong to fix the knob with superglue.  

She contacted NBC10 Responds. We reviewed her receipt and noticed it says “sold by Sugarhouse Marketplace." That’s the third party seller.

We reached out to Sugarhouse Marketplace and did not hear back. We also called Sears. Sears says customers are charged for shipping returns unless the item arrives damaged. Sears says it reviewed Acheampong’s case and found this policy does apply to her situation. After NBC10 Responds got involved, the third party seller sent her a pre-paid shipping label and refunded her $204.

What to Know when Buying from an Online Marketplace:

  • Look for any text on the website indicating a third party seller.
  • See what the terms and conditions say about merchant support. Does the online marketplace offer any protection if there's a dispute with a third party seller?
  • Check the return policy before buying. Look for return fees that may apply. The MA Office for Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation offers more tips for making purchases from an online marketplace.

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