I recently had the misfortune of seeing what Amazon really thinks about preserving the integrity of it’s marketplace ecosystem. Amazons bias leans strongly on the customer side, and their ‘no questions ever‘ policy of refunds is comforting. However, what isn’t protected or apparently enforced is the legitimacy of the goods being sold on Amazon. I’m writing this blog post in the hope that someone at Amazon reads it, and some action is taken to get these issues policed, rather than just ignoring them. I’ve highlighted other issues directly to Amazon in the past, and their attitude was equally arrogant. I’ve also recently bought goods that were sold as new, the last being some childrens clothes which were very dirty and saturated with cigarette smoke. Depressing.
To cut a long story short, I’d purchased a Ralph Lauren Polo shirt through Amazon’s marketplace. My interest in the legitimacy of this t-shirt had piqued for a number of reasons; firstly, I’d ordered an XXL, and the shirt that arrived was very small. Searching Google for information on identifying fake Ralph Lauren t-shirts and then comparing the presumed fake to one of my real Ralph Lauren t-shirts, it is clear that the shirt is not genuine.
From what I’ve read, the most telling clue in identifying ‘real’ Ralph Lauren shirts is the stitching on the buttons; legitimate shirts have their buttons attached using thread that is the same colour as the shirt, this shirt is purple but the buttons have been sew on using white cotton. Furthermore, all Ralph Lauren buttons are apparently attached using a ‘cross-stitch’ pattern, and this fake shirt’s buttons are threaded using a simple vertical stitching pattern. A second significant ‘clue’ was that the tags were attached with plastic; not thread, and the identifying tags were not what should be there. I’ve attached pictures of the buttons to prove the legitimacy of my claim
My dismay, and motivation for writing this article is because I feel that Amazon is acting poorly with their lack of interest or reluctance to get involved with a situation. Counterfeiting is a serious crime, and especially so when people that are buying the illegitimate goods are not aware that they are doing so. and furthermore when they are being charged the full price for what appears to be legitimate goods.
When I was sure that the shirt wasn’t real, I started a live chat session with an Amazon representative to make them aware of the situation. The transcript below will hopefully illustrate why I’m frustrated with Amazon and their malevolent attitude.
You’re now connected to Yvonne from Amazon.co.uk
Yvonne: Hello my name is Yvonne,I’ll be happy to help.May I have your name please.
Me: Christopher Angus
Yvonne: How may I help you today Christopher?
Me: Can you see the order I am querying ?
Yvonne: Yes,is it for the Ralph Lauren Mens Country Classic Fit Big Pony Polo Top Purple XL ?
Me: Yes, I believe this to be a fake top, I have looked online and all signs indicate it to be a fake.
Yvonne: Have you contacted the seller to query about this item?
Me: No,I wanted to report it to Amazon first. Hello? (there was no answer for a while; so, I prompted a ‘hello’)
Yvonne: Ok,thank you for letting us know Christopher.If you would like I can contact the seller about this item.
Me:This guy needs to be stopped,don’t you think I should send it to Amazon for inspection or you should perhaps ask your manager?
Yvonne:You can leave feedback on the sellers page about the item that you received and anything you feel is relevant to the order.
Me: So what should I do? Contact the seller?
Yvonne: I can contact the seller now for you or you can contact the seller through your account.
Me: ok thanks, please contact the seller.
Yvonne: Is it that you want to return the item or would you like me to say anything in particular to them?
Me: Wow, this is not the result that I was looking for. Counterfeit goods are a serious problem and this is not going to be investigated? Anyway, I want a refund. I will return the item.
Yvonne: Please bear with me a moment while I contact the seller.
Yvonne: I have contacted the seller to inform them that you would like to return the item
Your chat session has been idle for 4 minutes, so our system is automatically closing this chat. Feel free to get in touch with us again if you have any more concerns.Yvonne from Amazon.co.uk has left the conversation.
That was it. Amazon, did nothing but contact seller and tell them I want to return the goods.