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Amazon to pay compensation to customers sold dangerous goods

Written by: Emma Lunn
The online giant will start paying damages to people sold dangerous products by independent sellers in the US – with the scheme later expanding to other countries.

Amazon said the new process, set to be introduced in the US on 1 September, will support cases in the “rare case a defective product causes property damage or personal injury”.

More than half of products sold on Amazon come from third parties and are not vetted by Amazon.

Amazon is extending its ‘A-to-Z Guarantee’, which provides customers with a ‘hassle-free return process’ for products sold and fulfilled by third-party sellers, to include the compensation.

If a defective product sold through causes property damage or personal injury, Amazon will pay customers directly for claims under $1,000 (about £724). Amazon said this limit will account for more than 80% of cases and that it may step in to pay claims for higher amounts if the seller is unresponsive or rejects a claim it believes to be valid.

In the event a defective product causes personal injury or property damage, customers can contact Amazon Customer Service, and it will notify the seller and help them address the claim.

If a seller doesn’t respond to a claim, Amazon will step in to directly address the immediate customer concern, bear the cost, and separately pursue the seller.

Under the new rules, Amazon said claims would be analysed by “advanced fraud and abuse detection systems with external, independent insurance fraud experts”.

Amazon said it would launch the scheme in the US in September, but it was “looking forward to expanding in other countries soon”.

The news comes just days after Which? warned that dangerous toys were being sold online. One of 12 toys identified by Which? that failed safety tests was on sale on Amazon Marketplace.

Amazon launched a Counterfeit Crimes Unit last year to protect its customers from counterfeit goods.

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