Amazon is making it easier for consumers to file a complaint when they believe they have been harmed by a product from a third-party seller, and the company has updated its long-term return policy, referred to as the A-to-Z Guarantee, to address defective product claims, where consumers can Effective September 1st, contact the Company to report a personal injury or property damage claim, after which the Company will connect the consumer with the seller.
Buyers are currently encouraged to contact the seller about any issues, putting the company out of operation. The change addresses a problem that has long plagued Amazon's overseas market, where counterfeit products, unsafe products, and even expired goods have become a notorious problem, and these problems have drawn scrutiny from lawmakers and regulators.
The market, made up of millions of third-party sellers, has grown larger than Amazon's own retail business and has helped the company expand other revenue streams such as commission services and advertising.
Beginning next month, consumers can submit product claims directly to the company, and Amazon said it examines the claims using a suite of independent insurance fraud experts and fraud and abuse detection systems.
If the company determines that the claim is valid, it contacts the seller, and consumers can file an appeal if they believe their claim has been wrongly denied. And while sellers can defend their product if the company contacts them. The e-commerce giant will take over the claim if the seller does not respond.
Last month, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission filed a lawsuit against the company to force it to recall dozens of defective products sold by dealers in its markets.
The complaint also seeks to determine that the company is a distributor of consumer products under the Consumer Product Safety Act and not just the owner of the platform through which the products are sold.
In recent years, several people who said they were damaged by the products have sued the company for damages. This sparked a contentious debate over whether it could be held liable for defective goods offered by third-party sellers via its site. The company responded to these measures by saying that it was a platform and not a seller, which protected it from liability.
She explained that she acts as a channel between buyers and sellers in her market. It is not involved in sourcing or distributing products sold by outside sellers. Lawmakers have also sought to update product liability laws for the e-commerce age to make e-commerce platforms responsible for merchandise, just as retailers are responsible for merchandise sold in physical stores.