Rosie Cooper, Labor MP, West Lancashire, writes: I wonder if you have received complaints such as those experienced by my elector at Amazon and if you would be willing to emphasize this?
It is very worrying to read that fraud can be seen, directly under the nose of and technically facilitated through Amazon, and that little or no action is being taken.
Tony replies: It is rare for me to identify every reader in print, but both you and your elector Len Hunt have told me that you like to be mentioned, which simplifies matters.
A retired detective was not happy when he received a fake episode via Amzon and decided to investigate it
Len described how he ordered an iPad through Amazon Marketplace and cost £ 259. The seller gave him a tracking number for Royal Mail, so he could keep an eye on the episode. But when the package arrived, there was no iPad. Instead there was a plastic bracket of maybe 10p.
But the dodgy dealer had chosen the wrong person to cheat. Len is a retired detective. He immediately realized that the only reason anyone would spend £ 4 to send a cheap piece of plastic was a false proof of delivery.
He googled the seller and found online complaints from other buyers who had paid for expensive items but had received cheap plastic pieces. Fortunately, Len has paid with American Express. The card company blocked the payment with Amazon a week later the money back.
But Len was less pleased with Amazon's reaction when he did the right thing and warned of the rip-off. He called to report the scam, but was transferred to an international call center. & # 39; An ongoing fraud was completely beyond their capabilities and training, & # 39; he said.
Warning: MP Rosie Cooper told us about Len Hunt who was trying to buy an iPad
When the online complaints rose from 50 to 100 and then to more than 150, Len watched as Amazon continued to post fake delivery updates, buyers abandoned, believing goods were still on their way. Worse, he discovered that Amazon Marketplace, a platform for sellers who are not part of Amazon itself, is not covered by UK consumer protection legislation.
But Amazon has told me that although it is an offshore company, it does offer its own warranty scheme that Len would have repaid if his card company had not done so. It also excludes sellers who violate the guidelines.
The company that bought Len will be Eagle Pure IT Com & # 39; called. But the real name was Electro Seeds Limited. The owner has now put it into liquidation. The liquidators have told me that they are still looking for the books and records of the company. They said: & # 39; These will be used to produce our report to the insolvency service about the behavior of the director.
The baggage handler has removed our safety equipment
Mrs. K.R. writes: I flew to Geneva for a ski trip. At home I found an overzealous baggage handler who had taken gas bottles out of my ski bag. My husband and I ski with avalanche bags and buses are an integral part of the safety kit. We had checked the Swiss International Air Lines website before we flew and it confirmed that this was not a problem.
The airline said again that it was fine to fly with gas bottles and asked us to contact customer service. But weeks later, it stated that we were not allowed to fly with the containers and referred to a new part of the website that said that prior permission was needed. This is pretty private and we have no money for £ 400 of ski equipment.
A reader was not happy when they came home from a ski trip and discovered that an overzealous baggage handler had taken gas bottles out of his ski bag
Tony replies: Sending you off-piste in this way is simply crazy given the amount of Swiss International Air Lines' skiers receive. Whether or not it wants to change your mind about carrying gas, it has to stick to the rules that applied when you traveled and not those small print that were introduced later.
I contacted the airline at Zurich airport. It has not explained why it has changed its rules or even if it has changed at all. It just said to me: "It is clear that incorrect information was given to the guest [sic]. & # 39; The company apologizes and has assured me that it will pay the four missing gas bottles with a generous & # 39; goodwill payment on top.
Barclays must be Smarter on transfers
G.F. writes: You recently published a letter from a reader who was not satisfied with the time Barclays Smart Investor needed to complete a stock transfer.
My own transfer from Barclays to Interactive Investor began seven months ago and is still not complete. It seems that no one at Barclays knows how the Crest electronic registration and transfer system works.
As a result, I still have investments worth around £ 2,500 with them.
Tony replies: You have 30 years of experience working at a high level in the City of London and a good knowledge of how share transfers need to be made, with Crest offering a neat seamless service. So you were startled when Barclays told you that moving your investments from the difficult Smart Investor operation to competitor Interactive Investor would take eight weeks. You were even more surprised when Barclays corrected this to 12 weeks.
I asked Barclays to comment. Eventually I felt sorry for the official who had to answer me. It became clear that he also had problems with his colleagues at Smart Investor, who took over from Barclays Stockbrokers.
It still took me seven weeks to bother Barclays, but all your investments have now been transferred. The bank says it accepts that the switch to Smart Investor did not go well. So it has waived costs for some deals and introduced a few online changes to improve the information it offers. Given the steady flow of complaints that I have received, I hope this works.
If you think you are the victim of a financial mistake, write Tony Hetherington at Financial Mail, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5TS or email email@example.com. Because of the high volume of questions, personal answers can not be given. Please send alone copies of original documents, which we unfortunately can not send back.