I recently had a very bad experience while shopping at Amazon. I had earlier heard about Amazon fake products or dummies like soap the customers receive instead of the original product. But I always wondered, how this could be possible. My first thought was this might happen in 2nd or 3rd tier cities but not here in Mumbai. But I was wrong.
This article is to help you to deal with the problem if you are in a similar situation. I have learned a lot about the process, there are some things that you need to take care of if you are buying a costly product online.
The fake product on amazon India is a long-going problem. After I stumbled upon the situation I went to various forums, blogs, and videos where I see people getting soap bars instead of iPhones.
But then digging for the information I came across various scams that happen around this one particular fraud. It is not just the product that they are scamming with but also the data.
Here is the story of the fake product by Amazon India scam, a complete timeline of events.
Table of Contents
The story of amazon fake product
During the recent prime day sale, I ordered the Alexa Dot with the clock. This is one of the costliest Alexa available in their affordable Alexa speaker lineup. I wanted to buy this item for a very long time but it was out of budget for me.
But during the sale, the price came down to 4200 which I thought was the best price for the product. So I finally bought the product. Since I am a prime member the product was delivered within a day.
I also run a gadget and tech youtube channel for this blog. So I decided to create a first-hand experience of unboxing the product. This was my first Alexa product so I was pretty excited about it.
But what was inside the box was a complete surprise. I had seen videos of people receiving fake products but never imagined this would happen to me. But the key to the situation is to remain calm.
How to deal with the Amazon Fraud Issue
Since I was recording the unboxing, I was pretty confident that I could provide evidence that the tampering had happened at the seller level.
Tip 1: Always create a video while unboxing costly electronics products. Anything above 1000 considers creating a video.
So after I was able to regain my consciousness and come out of the trauma, I immediately tried to return the item by going into order. But I don’t know if it is a glitch or not, but it’s quite difficult to return products through the mobile app. I tried applying for a return but it took me back to the support page.
So I immediately went to the contact us page and directly contacted the support. The support has the option to get a call back from the support team. Once I called the support they asked for proof of the event and asked for a photograph.
Once I uploaded the proof the return order was placed by the team.
Know the Policy
One important thing you need to know is about the amazon policy. Since this was my first time in the situation I was quite unsure about the process. Once the replacement is placed you need to ask and confirm with the support to inform the delivery guy about the situation of return.
Since the delivery guys are not accustomed to these types of return orders. The same happened in my case. When the delivery guy came with the replacement product he declined to give me the product and take the fake product. The delivery guy said he will be blamed for the order and he might get caught up in the act.
I was not present at home during the time of return, otherwise, I would have called customer support immediately. The amazon policy says if the replacement order is returned then the order will be automatically canceled. Since mine was a replacement and the delivery guy returned with the order, my order was canceled and after connecting with the team again the refund was initiated.
This was a very frustrating movement. Since the product is now not available at the sale price, I will not be able to buy the replacement.
Why does the amazon fake product scam happen?
I tried to dig deeper into the seller’s fraud. How is this really pulled off? I found 2 big issues in this system. The first is where the company Amazon is affected. Since the return is initiated the seller will have the original product and amazon has to pay the customer for the product.
The seller might later sell the original product on the black market. Amazon might track the seller and blacklist the account. But this might not bother them. Since they already have the product, they might be doing these scams on a scale, like on sale days. So they will next time create a new account and do it again.
But what bothers me is the part of privacy. Since these fake sellers have access to your product they also have access to your personal details. After going through multiple forums and articles I found that they use personal data and sell it off in the black market.
This is quite dangerous in my view, if a fraudster has access to your data and uses it with malicious intent it can have very bad consequences.
How to not get scammed?
So now that you know the entire story here are some of the important things that I learned from this scam.
- Always when ordering costly electronics items make sure to open the package in front of the camera. Make it a rule of thumb to unbox the items costing more than 1000 in front of the camera.
- Be careful while buying items on sale days. This is the time when the fraudsters are the most active. Make sure to check the seller and see to it they are verified.
- Contact the support immediately if something like this happens. The support team will place a replacement order on your behalf.
- While on the call with support verify that the item reordered, by checking it on your orders section. Also ask the support team what if the delivery guy reframes from taking back the item. This is important because if he is unaware and does not take the item back, then you will not be eligible for replacement.
- Ask the support team to mention the scenario in return order.
- If the delivery guy doesn’t take the order make sure to call the support team immediately in front of him and try to explain the problem to them.
- Arguing with the delivery guy won’t help. It’s better to let the support team handle it.
- And in the end if nothing works tweet to Amazon.
This was my one-off experience with amazon. I am sure they are trying to make the system perfect because, in the end, they are to pay for the damage. But this incident has left me to vary about online shopping and I will be more cautious from next time on.
It’s better to learn from my experience and be more cautious. We live in that time of history where you are more likely to be the target of a scam or fraud online than offline.