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TONY HETHERINGTON: Dodgy Amazon dealer picks the wrong man, as retired detective investigates bogus delivery

10 Sep 2018, 14:43 ... g-man.html

Rosie Cooper, Labour MP, West Lancashire, writes: I wonder if you have received complaints such as that experienced by my constituent involving Amazon and whether you would be prepared to highlight this?

It is very disturbing to read that fraud can be seen to be happening right under the nose of and technically facilitated via Amazon and no or very little action being taken.

Tony replies: It is rare for me to identify any reader in print, but both you and your constituent Len Hunt have told me you are more than happy to be named, which simplifies things.

Len has described how he ordered an iPad via Amazon Marketplace, costing £259. The seller gave him a Royal Mail tracking number so he could keep an eye on the delivery. But when the package arrived there was no iPad. Instead, there was a plastic bracket worth perhaps 10p.

But the dodgy dealer had chosen the wrong person to cheat. Len is a retired detective. He immediately realised the only reason someone would spend £4 to send a cheap piece of plastic was this provided a bogus proof of delivery.

Googling the seller, he found complaints online from other buyers who had paid for expensive items but had received cheap bits of plastic. Fortunately, Len paid with American Express. The card company blocked the payment with Amazon refunding the money a week later.

But Len was less happy with the response from Amazon when he did the right thing and alerted it to the rip-off. He rang to try to report the scam, but was put through to an overseas call centre. 'A fraud in progress was entirely beyond their abilities and training,' he said.

As the online complaints rose from 50 to 100 and then to more than 150, Len watched as Amazon continued to post bogus delivery updates, keeping buyers on the hook, believing goods were still on their way. Worse, he found that Amazon Marketplace, which provides a platform for sellers that are not part of Amazon itself, is not covered by UK consumer protection laws.

But Amazon has told me that although it is an offshore company, it does provide its own guarantee scheme which would have repaid Len if his card company had not done so. Also, it shuts down sellers who break its guidelines.

The company that Len bought from is called 'Eagle Pure IT Com'. But its real name was Electro Seeds Limited. Its owner has now put it into liquidation. The liquidators have told me they are still getting together the company's books and records. They said: 'These will be used to produce our report to the Insolvency Service on the conduct of the director.'

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