More people are shopping online than ever before and Amazon.com is a very popular website for buying almost anything. However, with all the third-party merchants selling through Amazon, how do you know you can trust the company?
Francesca Tamami wanted to buy a Nintendo DS game player for her son. So she turned to Amazon, a company she's trusted for years.
She bought the Nintendo DS from WorldWide distributors because it had high user satisfaction ratings. The DS arrived and all was well until a month later when it suddenly stopped working. Tamami says she called WorldWide Distributors and they told her to call Nintendo.
Tamami says when she called Nintendo, "They said we don't recognize serial number. It's either counterfeit or made in a foreign country and intended for foreign distribution."
Turns out, she says, it was the latter: foreign made, not meant for sale in the U.S.
Tamami called Amazon citing their A-Z Guarantee Protection Policy, but she got nowhere.
"Because I hadn't notified seller within 14 days. Therefore I was not covered by the A-Z Guarantee," she says.
Remember, the product broke on the 31st day she had it.
So Tamami called WorldWide Distributors again. She says this time they ''admitted'' the product was in fact made for foreign sale and agreed to give her a full refund once she returned the DS. She put the DS in the mail and then posted negative feedback on the seller.
That's when she got a phone call from WorldWide distributors.
"The seller told me that because I returned the product after 30 days, they'd normally charge me a restocking fee, but if I removed the negative feedback, they would not deduct the restocking fee," says Tamami.
Wanting her full refund, Tamami removed her feedback.
She told Fox 5, "I was all lined up to do Christmas shopping on Amazon like I've done for years, but now I will not get on Amazon."
Dave Carroll, customer service expert and co-founder of www.gripevine.com says Amazon should be listening.
"Your brand is nothing more than the sum of the conversations being had about it," he says. "It's the responsibility of Amazon to consider who is selling. At the end of the day, Amazon's brand is going to wear this, not this third party seller.
We called WorldWide Distributors and they did not want our conversation recorded. I explained the situation to a supervisor and she said, "I don't know where you are getting your information. You have no idea what you're talking about."
She also said they did not misrepresent the item sold on Amazon.
An Amazon spokesperson told FOX 5: "We appreciate the information. Under Amazon policy, we can't comment on individual sellers or buyers, but we will look into this."
Tamami has received her refund. And by the way, once you remove negative feedback on Amazon, you cannot go back and post another comment.