Has Amazon lost my return package? And where’s my $756?

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By Christopher Elliott

Did Amazon lose Roberto Cusato’s return package after he gave it to UPS? Amazon doesn’t have it — and is still holding the $756 he paid for the leg compressions.

Question

I purchased a leg compression system on Amazon that ended up not being what I was expecting. I returned the item almost a month ago via UPS. Amazon has not received the item yet. An Amazon representative told me I needed to wait two more weeks and would not promise me a refund.

I am at a loss. This was an expensive item — it cost $756 — and I have a receipt from UPS attesting to the return with the item weight and tracking number. How can I get my money back? Should I file a chargeback with my credit card? — Roberto Cusato, Fort Worth, Texas

Answer

Amazon should have received your return package and processed a refund by now.

Or should it? I checked Amazon’s refund policy, and it turns out the company gives itself a lot of time to process your return.

“A refund will be provided after we process your return item at our facilities,” it says. “It can take up to 30 days for us to receive and process your return. In certain circumstances, refund time frames may be longer.”

Longer than 30 days? Like when? (Related: UPS lost my package! Is Amazon’s resolution fair?)

Well, you returned your package on Dec. 13, at the height of the holiday shopping season. UPS was probably overwhelmed for the next two weeks, as was Amazon. If there’s any time of the year when things slow down, it’s probably around the holidays. 

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But you are correct to be concerned about Amazon receiving your package. We’ve had several recent cases in which Amazon didn’t receive a returned package. (I published the latest one just a few days after your delayed return landed in my inbox.)

What to do if you think Amazon has lost your return package

If you’ve returned something to Amazon but haven’t heard from it yet, then Amazon might have lost your package. Here’s what you can do;

Check your order status

You can do that on Amazon’s website. Just log into your account and navigate to the “Returns & Orders” page. If it says “delivered” or “received,” you’re good. If not, then Amazon might have lost your package.

Get in touch with Amazon’s customer service team

If the status of your return is “pending,” it’s time to reach out to Amazon’s customer service team. You can do this by calling Amazon’s customer service line or by using the “Contact Us” feature on Amazon’s website. Have your order number and any relevant details about your return ready. (Related: I want my stolen $200 gift card back from Amazon. Can you help me?)

File a claim

If Amazon can’t locate your return package, you may need to file a claim under its “A-to-z Guarantee” program. Sign into your account and navigate to the “A-to-z Guarantee” page. (Related: I returned my defective hard drives to Amazon. What’s this $546 restocking fee?)

Most importantly, you’ll need to keep good records. That includes photos of your package, UPS receipts and tracking numbers. The evidence could help you get a refund when Amazon loses your package.

It’s true: Amazon loses packages

Basically, here’s the problem: Amazon sometimes loses packages. When it does, it requires you to file a claim with UPS. We’ve even had cases where Amazon takes possession of the return package (via its Whole Foods subsidiary) and then loses it. So, yes, you’re right to be worried.

I publish the names, numbers and email addresses of the Amazon executives on this site. I also have a free guide to Amazon returns that you might find helpful. None of these stories will make your return go faster, but they may help you understand what’s happening behind the scenes.

Since you were right up against your 30 days, I thought it might be worth checking in with Amazon. So I contacted the company on your behalf. 

Amazon says there was a “required” waiting period to ensure the return was properly received but that it initiated a refund on the same day I contacted it. What an amazing coincidence!

I checked back with you and you say that although the Amazon site says your refund is pending, you got your refund.

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Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is the founder of Elliott Advocacy, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that empowers consumers to solve their problems and helps those who can't. He's the author of numerous books on consumer advocacy and writes three nationally syndicated columns. He also publishes the Elliott Report, a news site for consumers, and Elliott Confidential, a critically acclaimed newsletter about customer service. If you have a consumer problem you can't solve, contact him directly through his advocacy website. You can also follow him on X, Facebook, and LinkedIn, or sign up for his daily newsletter.

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