Amazon Prime & Distance Selling Regulations

For those of you who read my last blog Aldofo Kimisky will know that I currently am the proud owner of a book I want to read, but can’t understand the language that its written in. My own fault really – after all the french title should have been enough to give the game away. It wasn’t that long before I noticed but it was too late do do anything about it.

One problem I’ve found with Amazon Prime (other than the fact you have to pay for it) is that your order is dealt with so quickly so there is only a matter of minutes for you to amend or cancel it. This wont really be an issue for most sensible shoppers, but for one reason or another has caught me out a few times. When this has happened I have had to have something delivered that I don’t want. In order to get my money back I have to send it back to Amazon. This is where the law as a consumer is on your side. Distance Selling Regulations are a result of an EU directive and apply to any contract between a supplier and consumer is drawn up by means of distance communication. In this case the suppler would be Amazon and the consumer would be me and the method of distance communication would be the Internet. Distance Selling Regulations stipulate that the consumer (me) has the automatic right to cancel the contract with the supplier (Amazon) at any time within seven days after the product is delivered. Once the contract has been cancelled then supplier has to reimburse the consumer within thirty days. This reimbursement includes any postage costs paid by the consumer for the delivery from supplier to consumer. Most interestingly under the Distance Selling Regulations once the contract is exited by the consumer it is the responsibility of the supplier to arrange collection of the goods from the consumer, and it is only down to the consumer to take reasonable care of the items and facilitate their collection back to the supplier.

Distance selling regulations are a bonus to consumers. This is far beyond what is required under the normal Sale of Goods Act and sometimes results in a retailer having to have two returns policies. I got stung  when I bought a DVD in person from HMV. It was a ‘need it there and then purchase’ as it was someone I had overlooked in my Christmas shopping. Afterwards it turned out that I wasn’t going to see them over Christmas and I realised there was a far better deal on the DVDfrom Amazon. My plan was to get the better deal from Amazon and take the DVD I had already bought to HMV. It was still in the plastic wrapper but they said they told me I could only swap it or have the price loaded onto a gift card. This is the minimum they have to give me under Sale Of Goods Act and they wouldn’t even have to do that if I couldn’t provide proof of purchase. This however was useless to me as I never shop in HMV. I can count the amount of things I have *ever* bought from HMV on one hand. The few times I have bought something from HMV it has either been online (as something has been cheaper which very rareley happens) or I have been back in my home town – usually at Christmas like in this case and I have forgotten  to get someone a present at Christmas. Annoyingly if I had bought it online then I could have taken it into a HMV store and got my money back, but as I had bought it in person I wasnt protected under the Distance Selling Regulations. They are complying with the law perfectly, but as a customer service practice it stinks. HMV can’t not comply with Distance Selling
Regulations, but it seems silly that depending on how you buy something dictates how you are treated by that company. For that reason I won’t shop at HMV either online or instore. The same goes for Sports Direct. I have found getting Sports Direct to even comply with the Sale of Goods Act challenging to say the least.

I decided that I am not going to cancel my contract with Amazon. I am going to keep my book on Aldolfo Kaminsky  proudly on my bookshelf.  Maybe occasionally  I will send if out to one of my friends who speaks French and are in need of a good book. With the book I will put a message simply to return it to me when they are done. This way I hope that the courageous story of Aldofo Kaminsky is heard by some that would otherwise not know his name.

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2 Responses to Amazon Prime & Distance Selling Regulations

  1. I ordered a DVD from amazon to actually find it had been used (I had ordered it brand new)… I got straight onto the laptop and got a new DVD and free postage to return the used one – great 🙂

    • bluebandage says:

      I’ve not really been able to fault Amazons customer service really. It could be a bit different when you are buying something from someone selling through Amazon rather than Amazon itself even though it is Amazon who collect payment which I think is the difference between Amazon and eBay when not dealing with Amazon itself as eBay don’t take any money from you as such – even thought they own PayPal.

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