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Beware of Amazon Return Practices


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I took advantage of Amazon's Prime Day sales event to purchase a new Sony 85mm f1.8.  It was listed as "Sold and Shipped by Amazon", not a 3rd party vendor.  

The lens had AF issues, plus the AF lock button on the lens wasn't working properly.  So, I returned the lens. I was only given the option to request a refund; no option for an exchange or to credit my Amazon account.  

I used the UPS shipping label Amazon provided and sent the lens back on October 10. As of yet, I haven't been refunded my money. 

I called Amazon customer service twice and chatted with them once. The chat folks lied to me and told me they processed my return and I would see my refund immediately.  The last customer service person I spoke with informed me that the lens had to be examined by the warehouse team, and that after 30 days they might give the ok for me to receive my refund. Then it could take another extra 7 days for me to see it in my account!! So, I'm looking at 45 days to "hopefully" get my money back from Amazon for a deffective lens they sold me!

No other reputable retailer of photography equipment takes this long to issue a refund.  

I have been a Prime member for many years,  and I have purchased several thousand dollars worth of stuff from Amazon over the years including camera bodies and lenses. This is the second Sony lens I have purchased from Amazon that has been deffective.  The first one was a Sony 40mm f2.5G which was severely de-centered. That return ony took around 15 days. It seems that Amazon has changed its return practices for photography equipment. 

This experience has been so frustrating and disappointing that I will never buy any camera or lens from Amazon ever again. In fact, as soon as I get my money back (if I ever get my money back), I'm probably going to cancel my Prime membership. 

Amazon might be ok for purchasing inexpensive trinkets, but they are definitely unreliable for camera or lens purchases.

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I bought one lens through Amazon. It arrived in an oversized box with one air pillow - it rattled around a lot. Inside the manufacturer’s box was a plastic clamshell holding the lens. The clamshell was smashed - it gave its life trying to protect the lens, but to no avail - the lens did not work at all.

Amazon packers are fine at packing stuff that doesn’t need muck protective packaging, but they can be dismal with more fragile products like lenses. I will never buy anything fragile from them again. Books, Blurays, that sort of thing, no problem.

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I have also stopped buying fragile things from Amazon.

In a move towards a more environmentally friendly image and cost reduction, they have reduced the amount of protective packaging, reduced the thickness of cardboard boxes and in many cases replaced boxes with paper envelopes without any padding. The result are things inside with crushed boxes, open boxes with stuff floating around due to bouncing and not enough protection for fragile things. If in the past I have bought several lenses and compact cameras on Amazon, for these things now I revert to brick and mortar shops, where I can test the lens or bring it back if defective or if I do not like it. Furthermore, I have a couple of occasions in which I did not get the refund for items not delivered. Small amount of money, but disappointing.

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