Amazon may extend return policy with valid reason

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A Sun City West man says Amazon third-party sellers should make exceptions to strict deadlines on their return policies and provide refunds when mitigating circumstances exist but he's not having much luck.

If a seller on Amazon says 30 days for returns, you better believe they mean 30 days. A confusing item description that significantly impacts the buying decision may not be enough to get an exception, but you should ask for one anyway.

Chuck Causey wanted to buy a jewelry cabinet for his wife. He says he found four identical models on Amazon through 123stores that could be shipped immediately. Three stated "assembly required" so he paid $159 for the fourth one that didn't mention assembly.

"That the absence of 'assembly required,' to me, meant that it came assembled," Causey said.

Causey says he couldn't open the package himself due to a terminal health condition. He says it took a week for him to find someone to open it and discover it wasn't assembled and another three weeks to find someone to assemble it and discover it was damaged. He contacted Amazon for a refund.

"I had not contacted them within 30 days and there was nothing they could do. They weren't going to give me a refund, nothing," Causey said.

With his extremely poor health, Causey says he would never have bought something he had to put together. He again reminded 123stores and Amazon of the confusing info regarding assembly.

"There was nothing they could do because I had not contacted them within the 30-day window," Causey said.

Causey's learned there may be no exceptions to return policies through Amazon. Customers need to act within the 30-day time frame.

"It's very important because we've had a couple of months of frustration now," Causey said.

I asked Amazon to make an exception to the seller's return policy due to the "assembly" confusion. They agreed and took a number of actions. Amazon refunded Causey's $159, gave him a $200 Amazon gift card, and gave him a beautiful new jewelry cabinet, completely assembled - for free. CBS 5 News thanks Amazon for considering the special circumstances of this case and going far beyond what was fair in bringing this matter to a successful conclusion.

Open all shipments from Amazon right away and check for damage quickly. In general, the clock's ticking on your right to return.

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