A warning to all sellers operating on Amazon.co.uk, ... Amazon.co.uk helps perpetuate fraud with their A-Z guarantee Amazon's A-Z guarantee program is apparently designed to help buyers in cases where they have not received an item or they have received an item that is "not as described". Well, fraudulent buyers have found ways to exploit this scheme at seller's expense and not only is Amazon siding with the frauds, but they are helping them con small businesses whilst hiding behind the clause in their terms and conditions: 4. Amazon's right of recovery. Amazon retains the right to seek reimbursement from the seller if it, in its sole discretion, decides to reimburse the buyer under the terms of the Amazon A-z Guarantee described in clause C.1 or Amazon receives a chargeback from the buyer's credit/debit card issuer for the amount of the buyer's purchase from the seller. Our story - we are a small business based in London. We sell on Amazon, eBay, Playtrade & Tazbar and have good histories with each. We have been selling on Amazon.co.uk the longest (since 2006) and have noticed an increase in buyer fraud. This is what happened to us just this week and I wanted to alert other small businesses operating on Amazon.co.uk of this: 30th March, 2009: We sold a buyer a used Playstation 3 console with all necessary accessories. It was described as "Used - Good" and we even added a complementary bag. Total sale price: £220.00 delivered. 1st April, 2009: The buyer contacted us to say that a USB charger for one of the controllers was missing from the "package". There were 3 people who were present when the console was packed including myself. I had personally watched each item being placed into the console travel bag - it really was packed & presented very well. We responded to the buyer exactly where that cable had been packed and asked him to check. 1st April, 2009: The buyer filed an A-Z guarantee claim saying that the item was "Not as described - Missing parts/components". We responded the above statement via Amazon.co.uk's online form. We also told the buyer that if they were not happy with the purchase, they were welcome to return the goods & provided the address (which is on the invoice, as are our T&Cs in accordance with DSR). 8th April, 2009: An empty C6 envelope is delivered to us via Royal Mail First Class Recorded delivery - it was signed for by our building mailroom staff. Puzzled, I keep this envelope in my desk drawer. 16th April, 2009: Amazon inform us that the buyer informed Amazon.co.uk that he has returned the Playstation 3 console via Royal Mail First Class Recorded Delivery for a full refund. He says that it was successfully delivered & signed for and provides a tracking number. This number corresponds to the envelope mentioned above. We relay the above information to Amazon.co.uk, scan the envelope and email the picture. The envelope was empty and cost £1.14 to send. For the record, a Playstation 3 console costs around 7KG and we had to courier the package and enhance the insurance to £210. Royal Mail's Recorded Delivery service insures up to £39. 21st April, 2009: Response from Amazon.co.uk, "We will contact the buyer regarding the return of the item and request proof of shipping which should show the weight of the item at the time it was shipped. If the buyer can produce a receipt that shows the order was sent back to you with the correct address and shipping weight you could be held responsible for the claim." 10th May, 2009: Follow-up from Amazon.co.uk, "The buyer has provided us with a shipping receipt that shows that the return was sent to your address with a weight of 6.030 kg. The receipt also shows it was shipped on 07/04/09 and the cost was GBP 14.57. As they have proven that the item was shipped back to you we will need you to issue them a full refund. If you need a copy of the receipt we would suggest that you contact the buyer directly as we are not able to send attachments through our claims system. Please issue a full refund for this buyer within the next two business days. Failure to do so may result in a debit to your Amazon.co.uk Payments account." 11th May, 2009: We reiterated to Amazon.co.uk that the console had not been returned and that the buyer had sent them a fake scan. We asked that they request the original of the receipt from the buyer - which he buyer would undoubtedly be unable to provide as that tracking number corresponds to an envelope. I pointed out that it had taken the buyer almost 3 weeks to respond to a request for a receipt and that he claims to have sent a £210 item via a service that insures it to £39. 11th May, 2009: (One business day after Amazon.co.uk had said that they would allow two) Amazon.co.uk issued the buyer a full refund of £220 from our account. They now no longer respond to any emails regarding the issue. We have received legal advice regarding this issue and will pursue the buyer for the funds - the case may end up in court. Amazon.co.uk's T&C protect them from being sued over the matter - however, I feel that they cannot be allowed to rob people of their money with no repercussions. We are considering approaching BBC Watchdog about this issue and would like to invite any other businesses who have been through a similar case, to share their stories too - perhaps we can all put something together? For any other businesses operating on the site, please be wary of A-Z guarantee claims & remember that Amazon.co.uk have little / no regard for their sellers/merchants. Thank you for reading.