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www.amazon.com Complaint - Amazon reneged on sale

Review by Anonymous on 2002-06-20
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON -- I stumbled upon a great deal at Amazon. They had a camcorder on sale. I really wasn't in the market for one but the deal was just too good to pass up. It was for a Panasonic VDRM10 DVD Palmcorder Camcorder with 3.5" Diagonal LCD. The suggested retail price was listed as $2299.99 and it was on sale for $488.88. It was clearly stated that the camcorder would not ship for several weeks. I researched all over the Internet and the next best price I found was $1,049. I realize companies tend to post the highest possible suggested retail value they can in order to make their sale price more attractive but this was obviously a great deal. So what if it will be several weeks before it ships. It's worth waiting for and it would be here in time to record my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary party. I placed the order then began shopping for and purchasing accessories for this camcorder from other merchants.

I ordered the camcorder that Friday morning – June 14 – and soon received a confirmation email. With free shipping and a coupon my final price was $478.88. How could I go wrong? I repeatedly checked the listing and my order for days and both were still there - unchanged. Wednesday morning the listing did change. It now said the camcorder was out of stock but suggested buying a used one. Minutes later the price changed from $488 to $2,299. Then ‘out of stock’ changed to ‘Seller usually ships in 1-2 business days’. I checked my order and it was still there and expected to ship June 28 – July 5. I also noticed the Amazon sales ranking for this camera was number one.

Wednesday afternoon Amazon send me an email telling me they had canceled my order because, "Though we had expected to be able to send this item to you, we've since found that it is not available from any of our sources at this time." Sure enough, I checked my order and it no longer existed. Was I angry? Livid! Not only do I not get the camera, but I will now be stuck with accessories for a camera I don't have. I emailed orders@amazon.com demanding they honor my purchase. I pointed out that brick-and-mortar stores must sell items at the price marked and I expected Amazon to do the same. I advised them that if they did not honor my purchase I would file formal complaints with the Better Business Bureau and the Washington State Attorney General. Maybe I am impatient but I have not yet received a response. If I do not receive a response today I will make good on my threat and file the formal complaints and will include the Federal Trade Commission.

I expect Amazon to honor the original purchase agreement.
Comments:3 Replies - Latest reply on 2006-03-23
Posted by Anonymous on 2002-06-20:
It seems it was in fact available from their sources, doesn't it. That means that they should ship it even at the mistake price. I can't say about specifics with internet sales, but if the rules are the same as walk in retails, you bet they have to sell it for what they took the order for.
Posted by Anonymous on 2004-01-17:
Typical Amazon service! Email the Washington governor at the Washington State web site. Amazon is based their for tax breaks, let the governor know you are not happy!
Posted by valerie on 2006-03-23:
I DON'T BLAME YOU ONE BIT. I WOULD HAVE DONE THE EXACT SAME THING. I HAVE MADE DEPT. STORES HONOR WHAT IS LISTED, ONLINE PURCHASES ARE NO DIFFERENT.

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