I hate Amazon bait n switch


They have a responsibility to review things sold under their banner.


So you believe every grocery store selling honey smacks should be held responsible for anyone who gets salmonella?


If they knew or could have known that the food was contaminated, yes.

It shouldn’t be hard for a person to figure who owns a product, and pull it as soon as its discovered. It is due diligence that people should expect from companies, but it seems that ‘tech’ ignore constantly, in preference for high profits for a few.

Really though, it’s an apples and oranges comparison, and has no bearing on anything.


No argument here. It sounded like you wanted to hold Amazon responsible for it being listed in the first place.


Amazon can put in a verification and vetting system in place if they really wanted to - it’s just a matter of cost and if not doing so will have a measurable impact on Amazon’s customers’ willingness to shop there.

So far the answer seems to be no though.


I do not blame Amazon for the listings. After all, there are over 2,000,000 sellers on Amazon and they have no way of vetting each one or every product.

I do blame Amazon for not acting more quickly to delist the products. I am not sure what kind of verification and vetting system they could create. With so many products and sellers any vetting system would almost certainly end up being a bureaucratic nightmare.


Yeah, you would think it would be a high priority.


I don’t think “there are too many things” is an acceptable excuse. They should only support as many things as they can handle proper due diligence for.

If you don’t feel that businesses should be responsible for such things in general, that’s fine although I disagree. But don’t give them a pass just because they’re huge. It’s not like it would be a bad thing for the market if one place being the nexus of most of the sales on the Internet became impractical.


NewEgg sold counterfeit CPUs. A GAO report this year showed that attempts to buy 13 different Urban Decay cosmetics from Walmart, Sears and Amazon showed every single one to be counterfeit.

Amazon seems to have a reasonable vetting process. That is the responsibility part and yes, I believe they have that responsibility. I also know realize that there is a reality factor here too and no amount of wishful thinking is going to change that. Counterfeit goods is a reality of the online marketplace. If a business has a reasonable vetting process that has to be acceptable because there is no other realistic alternative.

What Amazon seems to lack is an expedited corrections process and that is what they need to work on.


yeah, I got a crappy knock-off chinese hose, and it broke in about 45 days. Past the return date, and the seller said there was a 12 month warranty, but Amazon had no links to the seller’s site or any way to redeem the advertised warranty.

Quick chat with Amazon, and they issued a refund/return with a pre-printed label.

So, at least they are good at resolving issues, but I think an ounce of prevention would be worth a pound of cure when it comes to allowing these counterfeiters to list things.

This garden hose wasn’t a knock-off per se, but one of many versions of the hose with seperate store pages that seemed to have the exact same product with slightly different wording, had 5 star reviews when I ordered, when I returned it was down to 2 stars with many “it broke immediately complaints”. There was a new store page with the same product with 4 star reviews not more than a few weeks old. Like a pump and dump for products. Once the bad reviews roll in, change the SKU name and put up a new one.


Do those returns get you on Amazon’s naughty list though? If they deem that you’ve made too many returns, they’ll bounce you. Do they “forgive” returns made for counterfeit products?


No clue, I haven’t done many returns. So Maybe I am not on the “naughty” list.


I appreciate and agree with your point.

The fact that other stores are duped shows you that their is a lack of oversight in this sector that should be addressed.


I think they are actually pretty reasonable on the number of returns allowed, although nobody has successfully figured out what their algorithm is. My theory is that it’s a score based on a variety of factors. Also, last time I looked into this (years ago), they don’t issue warnings. Too many returns, and one day your account is permanently closed. But again, that only seemed to apply to customers that were “obviously” abusing the system, which is vague, but that’s the best I can remember.

I don’t have a personal story about that (I return maybe 2% of things I’ve ever bought there - obvious defects usually, or shipping damage - so it’s not anything I ever worry about), but this did happen to me, and nearly cost me my account, so it did actually scare me, since I depend on Amazon for a ton of stuff I buy:


What happened was that I ordered a music CD (this was very roughly 10 years ago). IIRC, it was a recently-released remaster of a favorite band, and I immediately jumped all over it, in spite of the fact that the price was very high. Didn’t matter; I was a fan, I wanted, no, I needed it.

Received it just fine. No problems.
One day later, like I always did, I went back and checked the price again, and it had dropped about $10 since when I had ordered it, which was less than a week.

Back then, they had that feature where if the price dropped within a certain amount of time, you could get a refund on the balance. I used this feature quite a bit back then, because why not?

Or I should say I thought they still had this feature. Unbeknownst to me, they had recently retracted that feature.

Anyway, I used the online “Call me back” feature to have them call me on the phone at home. It was the middle of the night, but no problem. This was one of the things I loved about Amazon; Click a button, and they call you. I figured the price difference refund would go fine like it always had.

I talked with someone from another country (at the time I was presuming India, but I actually have no idea), and I was having a great deal of difficulty understanding what he was telling me. Normally, their foreign help centers of course had heavy accents, but until this time, I never had a real problem understanding them. But this guy, as pleasant as he was, was totally indecipherable to me. A bad phone connection may have been part of it.

Anyway, he wasn’t able to help me, so I used the “Call me back” button again, figuring this time I’d get someone I could understand. Instead, when the phone rang, it was a recorded message, telling me my problem with this item had been marked as resolved; would I like to continue anyway? I said yes, and the call got transferred…to a voice telling me that all lines were busy.

I hung up, and tried again, and again. Same “busy” message. I was getting frustrated. My girlfriend was sitting there, thinking I must obviously be doing something wrong, so she took the phone from me, saying, “Let me try this.” I handed her the phone.

Just then, my email notification ding sounded, and it was a message from Amazon, saying (and I’m paraphrasing fairly accurately): “You have contacted our Customer Service numerous times regarding this item. Any further attempts to contact Amazon regarding this item will be regarded as abuse of our system, and will result in your account being closed permanently.”

So it was basically my fault for not knowing they had done away with their price adjustment feature, but I was not attempting to abuse their system by making multiple calls; I just wanted my $10 adjustment, and I wanted to understand why I could not get it. Poor communication nearly cost me my Amazon account. It’s all fine now, but this is what can happen when you rely on a single company too much; I was literally scared that they would ‘fire’ me.


Marketplaces aren’t responsible for such things in general. No physical marketplace does due diligence on every product sold by its vendors, nor are they held responsible for individual illegal sales unless the problem is endemic and they demonstrably do nothing about it. Even stock exchanges, where there is limited vetting of the securities being offered by the marketplaces, in that they enforce minimum listing requirements, aren’t held responsible for cases of securities fraud.


Maybe they should be.


Speaking of Amazon bait and switch, I’m getting really annoyed with Subscribe and Save. Never mind the way that products seem to become unavailable all the time, at least three times now they’ve cancelled an existing subscription and proposed to replace it with one for the same item, but a ridiculous quantity. No, Amazon, I do not want 10 litres of chicken stock. Where the fuck am I going to put that?


I swore off S&S months ago for the same reason.


The last time I dealt with S&S was when I ordered something for I think it around 10 dollars. They didn’t deliver it for 5 months and then tried to charge me 80 dollars. I told them I wouldn’t be returning it. They had better get in enroute or keep it from leaving the warehouse. That was ridiculous… and you know what, they did it. It never showed up at the house, and I was not charged.


I briefly used it back in the day but there is literally no product I consistently need on the schedules they offer (maaaybe my breakfast shake but that I think I go through faster than I could subscribe to receive) so I would have to skip and accelerate shipments and once they took away 2 day delivery it really stopped being remotely worth the tiny savings.