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Thread: Amazon's New Dispute Policy

  1. #1

    Amazon's New Dispute Policy

    Instead of arbitration, Amazon now requires disputes to be settled in court. This isn't designed to protect the user, but Amazon instead. First you have to up front the costs of filing in small claims court ( often more than disputed amount.) Then you have to take time to go to court, and if you lose, judge can award damages to Amazon, including lawyers fees $$$$$$. This will discourage small claims as losses could be much more than actual claim. Plus it drags out the process from weeks to years. Miss a court date, and you are toast. Fits into the same category as "A free lunch." There is no such thing in business.

  2. #2
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    Fortunately as consumers we mostly have the choice of what and where we buy. Especially when it comes to non-necessities. When Best Buy and Fry's went through their idiotic return policy phases they pretty much lost my business for life. There are alternatives and no retailer is required to meet our needs. It sure is better for them if they do .

    A lot of return policies I notice at some large retailers are ridiculous. I don't see how a valid business model can stand up to it. I'm probably out of the loop here and showing my ignorance. What would be an example of a legitimate dispute that Amazon wouldn't simply fix with a refund or replacement?
    Take me to the hotel - Baggage gone, oh well . . .

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Wrenn View Post
    .. First you have to up front the costs of filing in small claims court...
    The terms now say "Any dispute or claim relating in any way to your use of any Amazon Service will be adjudicated in the state or Federal courts in King County, Washington, and you consent to exclusive jurisdiction and venue in these courts. We each waive any right to a jury trial."

    Whether it's small claims court or not, King County, Washington will be too inconvenient in most cases.

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    I haven't read the actual policy, but I'm betting it is not aimed at the small retail side of Amazon where neither arbitration nor lawsuits make much economic sense, but rather the big dollar businesses like AWS. And perhaps at the interaction between Amazon and its affiliated retailers. Amazon retail pretty much doesn't sell anything expensive enough to justify entering any sort of legal process over a purchase, it would probably only come into play when Amazon was named as a secondary party in a product liability suit.

    Arbitration, in general, does not favor the consumer. Most "consumer advocates" view arbitration as a get out of jail free card for big businesses.

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    It is all about avoiding the massive arbitration problem.
    Amazon is required to spend a fair amount on each arbitration case opened.
    When you get thousands being opened you get into the millions of dollars in mandatory fees the Amazon must pay.
    The filers do not have to pay a fee to open the arbitration.
    Do a search on "massive arbitration" for more information.

    Howard Garner

  6. #6
    Seems to be a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation. There's been a lot of complaints about companies forcing people to use arbitration rather than being able to go to court.

    Mike
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  7. #7
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    You're probably about as likely to take legal action against Amazon as to get struck by lightning. I imagine that the vast majority of those here have never taken a retailer to court or to arbitration.

    This was announced a few weeks ago. It won't stop me from buying from Amazon since the chances of me taking legal action against them is pretty much zero.

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    I don't use Amazon very often so I really don't care. I could see a class action lawsuit happening though with how they treat no Prime members. Amazon doesn't tell them but they delay shipping their orders by a week to push people towards getting Prime. If they just used the slowest form of shipping would be fine but I think a clever law firm could go after them and get millions from a settlement. The customers would get nothing but the lawyers could get rich.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Zeller View Post
    I don't use Amazon very often so I really don't care. I could see a class action lawsuit happening though with how they treat no Prime members. Amazon doesn't tell them but they delay shipping their orders by a week to push people towards getting Prime. If they just used the slowest form of shipping would be fine but I think a clever law firm could go after them and get millions from a settlement. The customers would get nothing but the lawyers could get rich.

    Non prime member, but last four orders have arrived within two days of placing order. Two of them were last week. Two shipped by USPS from west coast, one by UPS, and last by Amazon, with USPS delivery. These orders were over a two year period, as I don't buy much from Amazon.
    Last edited by Bruce Wrenn; 07-20-2021 at 9:27 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Wrenn View Post
    Non prime member, but last four orders have arrived within two days of placing order. Two of them were last week. Two shipped by USPS from west coast, one by UPS, and last by Amazon, with USPS delivery. These orders were over a two year period, as I don't buy much from Amazon.
    If you buy from an Amazon seller who also fulfills the order then it's usually shipped in a day or two. It's just the stuff that Amazon fulfills that's a problem. After doing a search it seems to be an issue. It looks like it's worse now that their 2nd day for Prime members isn't happening like it once did. I'm sure the idea is that people will just pay for Prime not to wait.

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    It is pretty well known that Amazon has been intentionally delaying shipping for non-prime purchases. I found thousands of complaints when doing a Google search a few years ago. At times the shipments were not leaving the warehouse for three to five days. It is absolutely correct that a lot of Prime shipments are taking more than two days, but I am not sure that Amazon is even promising two day delivery anymore. For me, it is not real common items that are taking extra time. Amazon used to use UPS or Fedex two day shipping for Prime, but I think that got too expensive so now they ship pretty much everything ground and if it takes more than two days it is what it is. Amazon tells you what day to expect delivery. The strange thing is that Amazon has Grasshopper mower parts in the local warehouse for next day delivery, but other common items take multiple days for delivery.

    I get my Amazon Prime for free as part of a household account. I would not buy it myself.

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    "Well known facts" are just rumors, possibly unfounded, unless you can prove it with reasonably acceptable evidence in a court of law. "Thousands of complaints" are merely proof that there are thousands of dissatisfied customers but even that doesn't prove they are rightfully justified in their complaint. When you consider the number of orders Amazon handles daily, I'd be surprised if there weren't "thousands of complaints".

    I am a Prime member of Amazon. I use Amazon a few times each month. Even Prime deliveries have been delayed occasionally over the past year. I suspect Covid-19 has had an effect on Amazon's business. Those orders don't just magically get fulfilled but rather take people. Covid affects people. I suspect Covid has reduced the number of employees and the Covid safety measures slowed the employees abilities to fulfill orders.
    Ken

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    We have been Prime members for 5+ years, I think. We've never had an issue returning an item, no questions asked. I even bought a ShopFox Moulder through Amazon ($1500), had it sit in my garage for a couple of months, partially assembled it and tossed all the cardboard boxes, only to find out the cutter head was damaged. Call Amazon, they picked it up next day.

    We noticed a bit of a slow down during mid 2020 due to COVID.

    Currently, most of what we order is next day delivery, some it same day 3 hour delivery and the rest is 2 day.

    We buy pretty much everything, except food, from Amazon these days, even the odds and sods I need from HD, I check Amazon first, even through I have Lowes, Tractor Supply, Harbor Freight and Home Depot within a six miles radius.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Elfert View Post
    It is pretty well known that Amazon has been intentionally delaying shipping for non-prime purchases.
    Not well known to me. I'm not a Prime member, and never pay for shipping. Looked back at the email trail, and these are my last four orders from Amazon (dating back to May 1):

    Arrived in 3 days - 2 days early.
    Arrived in 2 days - 3 days early.
    Arrived in 2 days - 3 days early.
    Arrived in 3 days - 2 days early.

    I've also had a few orders arrive late over the past year or so, including one last fall that they actually lost track of, cancelled the order, and then delivered a week later - just after the replacement order I had placed arrived. I offered to return one order or the other if they would send me a pre-paid shipping label. They told me just to keep everything - Merry Christmas!

  15. #15
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    My experience was around five years ago. Nothing even left the warehouse for three to five days. I don't think it was coincidence that thousands of other people were reporting the same experience with Amazon at the time. I have had Prime through a household account for four or five years now so I haven't tested a non-Prime order recently.

    It only makes sense that Amazon would slow down non-Prime orders. Why would anyone pay for Prime if you could get the same level of service without Prime?

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