Should I Have To File A Police Report Before Amazon Will Help Me?

Reader John is upset because, after someone stole an expensive watch from his Amazon.com shipment, the company refused to help him until he filed a police report. Should he have to do this?

John writes:

I ordered a Tag Heuer watch from Amazon Thursday night at 7pm and overnighted the watch to my office for the next day. I received the package at 10.30 the next morning. I was shocked to find that the watch box was empty.

There was a manual, but no watch. Amazon, who I have been generally pleased with in the past, told me that their jewelry customer service department would have to handle the situation rather than their normal cust. service and that the jewelry cust. service dept. only communicated via email.

Furthermore, it would be 2-3 business days before they could respond to me. I have made many purchases from Amazon over the years, but none for this amount of money.

I am insulted that they cannot offer better service to someone who paid $1500 plus $20 overnight fee to receive an empty box. They recommend I file a police report before they can help me. I will never buy from Amazon again.

Well, we usually recommend that people contact their credit card company in this situation — but filing a police report certainly couldn’t hurt. It’s probably a good idea.

The real question is whether or not Amazon should be more considerate to someone who just paid $1500 for an empty box and who is probably sort of freaking out about it.

Our advice to you, John, is to remain calm and document everything. Photos are always good. Call your credit card company and ask them for their advice.

Comments

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  1. Bob Lu says:

    Actually, I am more astonished that OP didn’t file a police report first.

    • the Persistent Sound of Sensationalism says:

      This. First police, then post office (or other carrier), then Amazon.com.

      • freelunch says:

        you assume that folks want to deal with the police.

        Try calling the police in a big enough city, and the woman that completes the police report over the phone with you will make it sound like youare dumb to even call them for something less than a shooting.

        The requirement for the police report is probably for an amazon insurance claim…

        that said – the customer service via e-mail only is annoying, and not something I would accept.

    • dognose says:

      I’m just guessing that the guy has something to hide. Doesn’t want to meet with a cop face to face and risk them finding something wrong with you.. like the smell of pot or coke dust on your nose.

      One thing missing from this article is more details on condition of the box. Did someone open it and steal the watch after it left Amazon, or did amazon ship an empty box? Did he sign for the package directly from fedex?

      • John Hates Amazon says:

        FYI – I filed a report and have nothing to hide. The box was in good condition. It looks like the wrong box was shipped that may not have had a watch in it.

  2. TuxthePenguin says:

    File the stinkin’ claim. Filing a police report doesn’t cost you a dime. They probably want you to so that they can file a claim with their insurance carrier (or with the service that delivered the watch). If I was out $1500, I’d jump through whatever hoops they asked.

    • armour says:

      Actually it dose many police forced charge 25 -75 dollars to revive a printed report.

      Yes it is free to report a crime and file a report but cost you so you can give it to insurance company ect.

      • kayl says:

        Where do you live that reports cost that much?

        I get a lot of reports for work and typically pay no more than $6-8 max. Heck- I’ve gotten accident reconstruction reports with 30-40 pages and hundreds of photographs for less than you’re claiming to pay!

      • AustinTXProgrammer says:

        I have only given my insurance companies report numbers. If you have a decent carrier they will order and pay for the report.

  3. Abradax says:

    Ummm yes.

    1500 bucks and it is empty? File the effing report.
    This is one of the many ways to weed out scammers. A scammer has no qualms about telling Amazon that their product arrived empty, many will think twice before inviting the police to their house and telling them to their face.

    It might suck, but you can thank your fellow human beings for being scum.

    • stock2mal says:

      Agreed.

    • Shadowfax says:

      Exactly. Amazon can’t be expected to be on the hook for every jackass who claims the watch didn’t arrive. Because unlike the OP, probably 90% of them are trying to scam a second watch. Making you file the police report lets them verify that you are legitimate.

    • Weighted Companion Cube says:

      +1

    • Griking says:

      I agree. It sounds fair to require a police report to me. Why should Amazon trust that the customer wasn’t just trying to scam them. He still may be for all we know but he’ll have to file a false police report to do it which makes the offense much more serious. If he’s actually telling the truth then I don’t understand the hesitation to file a police report.

  4. semidazed says:

    I think filing a police report is just common sense, since it’s grand larceny. Having the police involved probably helps Amazon cut through some red-tape in conducting their investigation.

    Honestly, this is a crime. I’m not sure why the guy is so upset that Amazon told him to go to the police. I’d be more skeptical if they tried to draw it out without any police involvement.

  5. TBGBoodler says:

    It sound like Amazon *is* helping him, by telling him to file a police report.

  6. Alessar says:

    I want to vote C) Amazon is requiring this because the value of the missing item is going to require prosecution

  7. FatLynn says:

    Filing a police report generally takes about five minutes, over the phone.

    • Stickdude says:

      The last time I had to file a police report (someone stole our checkbook and was writing checks out of it), I was able to do it online – didn’t even have to talk to anyone.

  8. Kitten Mittens says:

    To the OP – I work for Amazon customer service and would gladly refund your money. Just post your credit card info and we’ll refund it immediately. What? Don’t you trust me?

    File the report shows a little good faith on your part that you didn’t steal the – most likely – most expensive purchase you’ve ever made from Amazon. Plus, they probably require a police report for their own insurer.

    • cryptique says:

      Exactly right. For merchandise of this value, filing a police report provides Amazon with some assurance that you aren’t just trying to scam them for an extra watch. I would be surprised if this weren’t standard operating procedure, and getting upset about it is pretty pointless.

  9. leastcmplicated says:

    Who cares about the product cost, if it arrived empty it arrived empty, file a police report. I dont understand why he’s so mad at amazon for asking him to file a police report, that just makes sense.

  10. duncanblackthorne says:

    The OP is upset that for a $1500 purchase they aren’t being more helpful. From Amazon’s side of things, a $1500 watch is a better target for fraud than a $15 watch would have been. Filing a false police report is a crime in itself, and the police aren’t as stupid as some people think they are. I think it’s perfectly reasonable, and to the OP’s advantage, to file a police report, and he’s being unreasonable with Amazon in this case.

  11. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    I’m going to assume that the OP bought directly from Amazon and not a marketplace seller. That said, Amazon has a jewelry customer service department for a reason – it probably goes beyond “where’s my stuff?” type of questions.

    If Amazon says he needs to file a police report, he needs to file a police report. He seems appalled that Amazon won’t help him with a missing $1,500 watch but has he stopped to consider that Amazon has no idea whether that watch is actually missing? Filing a police report is a way for Amazon to know that something is amiss and that there is some recourse if the OP is lying.

  12. rickmus says:

    The survey in this article is a bit loaded. Perhaps a survey with a somewhat unbiased approach might be better suited.

    • Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

      Yea, I have to agree… Loaded survey – there isn’t even a choice for “YES, he should Have To File A Police Report Before Being Helped”

      They *are* helping him. Grand larceny, a police report is needed, they told him what to do next. Amazon’s insurer will no doubt want a report.

    • dohtem says:

      You are new here, huh?

  13. Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

    Am I missing something? What’s the big deal about filing a police report?

    • jessjj347 says:

      Seems like if the OP is over-nighting a leisure item bought online, that he/she doesn’t have much spare time. I think the OP is complaining that he/she has to put forth effort without Amazon doing it.

      I get that everyone is saying filing a police report isn’t hard, but you don’t really know the context of the situation. For example, filing a police report may be a hassle and not as easy as everyone has experienced in this thread.

      • leastcmplicated says:

        life is full of inconveniences. For instance I had to take 2 days off because my daughter was sick. Shitty, yes. but I made time to take her to the doctor because something unexpected happened. Amazon didnt open the package to find it empty, he did. It’s not like Amazon can go “Oh sure, we believe you because that scams never happened before, let us overnight you another one!” They have to work with the police as well to find it. What is this “its not my job” mentality lately?

      • davidc says:

        Hassle or not, $1,500 is not chicken feed. What exactly did the OP want? Amazon to rush him out another $1,500 watch? on just his word? Really?

        First off, that’s naive. Second off, if there is something fishy going on, the replacement order would end up the same way.

        Frankly the watch could have gone missing any number of places. The fulfillment house, the delivery guy, or even the “mail clerk” if his _office_ uses one.

        Amazon will probably make things right, but with big ticket items, you can’t expect them to throw caution to the wind.

  14. pop top says:

    I’m surprised this isn’t a Phil article. This JUST happened! The OP hasn’t even waited for the jewelry customer service department to contact him before crying about it. How does he know that the other CS department won’t help him? Amazon gave the OP a good suggestion about filing a police report, which is what you do when something is stolen from you.

    Also, what is Amazon supposed to do exactly? The item the OP ordered was $1500. Don’t you think that it would be a good idea for them to do some due diligence to protect themselves from fraud before just handing over another $1500 item?

  15. jp says:

    Say what you want about Amazon but I find their customer service outstanding. 2 weeks ago, I purchased a $500 receiver. The box was delivered damaged and a small ding was on the face corner of the unit. I called. Two days later I had another receiver delivered to my front door and gave the damaged one back to the UPS guy postage paid by Amazon. Customer for life here.

    • photoguy622 says:

      Absolutely, Amazon has great customer service.

      I bought a printer and when I received it the box was badly banged up and they gave me a 10% discount because of it.

      Secondly, I just bought a TV from them which was priced (by mistake probably) at $700 under what it is currently going for on the site, and I just got it this past Sunday at the quoted price.

      I love Amazon, and have been shopping them for years.

  16. tjustman says:

    For a major purchase you should be able to call Amazon via voice. For this issue I’d loathe to rely on email to resolution, especially because of the possibility that the merchant could leave you holding an empty box.
    For $1500, I can see the necessity of swearing to a statement to police, risking your criminal liability of making a false statement to law enforcement officials, to convince Amazon of your truthiness.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Amazon wants a statement to the police and risk of prosecution for making a false statement so you can convince Amazon of your honesty. Truthiness doesn’t mean what you’re using it as. Truthiness refers to having a gut feeling of truth without wanting or requiring facts, logic, or reason. Because Amazon wants a police report (evidence of some kind of honesty), it is not going with truthiness.

    • MrWhistler says:

      You can talk to amazon by voice for any order (they actually call you). The problem is that their cust. service people aren’t really that helpful and are SUPER by the book (not to mention they’re outsourced and near impossible to understand). All they seem to do is keep saying “I’m so sorry that this happened” and “I apologize that this situation happened.”

      I ordered a $700 piece of accounting software that I NEEDED next day. Somewhere between Amazon and UPS the shipment got lost and, wouldn’t you know it, they were out of stock. They put in a replacement for me for free and refunded shipping but a few days later when they were in stock again my order still hadn’t shipped (even though on the page for the item it said “Get it tomorrow” and showed it available).

      Still can’t figure out why new orders get priority over their mistake…but I finally got the item 10 days after I ordered…

    • davidc says:

      “or a major purchase you should be able to call Amazon via voice. For this issue I’d loathe to rely on email to resolution”

      Why would you be loathe to written communications when your involved in what could be a criminal matter?

      Oh wait, you’ve never watched Matlock so you don’t know that Amazon can’t trot out their CS rep on the stand and say: Well, the guy on the phone told me his stuff was stolen. Yea, that doesn’t go over very well … same thing with insurance companies and what not.

    • dilbert69 says:

      Of course, how would the DA prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you filed a false police report? It seems the risk of doing so would be low.

  17. Portlandia says:

    Why wouldn’t you file a police report? I’m not saying you’re dishonest but perhaps someone did receive an expensive watch and just want a second to sell on the internet?

    This is exactly why Amazon requires you to file a police report. First, if the OP is dishonest, which I don’t think he is, dishonest people tend to back down on their claim of theft when asked to file a police report. (The whole, filing a false police report thing).

    Second, if someone is stealing from amazon packages in your area, would you want someone else to go through this? Why would you not want to assist amazon in creating a record of the theft with the police.

    You could simply call your credit card and file a chargeback, and you will likely win but why are you being a jerk about the relatively simple task of filing a police report?

  18. doctorc4 says:

    Since it is a Felony to falsely report a crime, this could be equal to a legal declaration of the item as stolen. I believe that this protects them, as well as you.

  19. EdnasEdibles says:

    They should absolutely be doing more to help right off the bat–especially since it isn’t a shipping issue. I could see waiting a few days if they were showing a tracking that the package was elsewhere but he received the package, it was just empty. A few years ago my husband ordered a necklace for me from Helen Ficalora and it never arrived. He called and without any questions at all they overnighted a new package and simply asked him to send back the older one if it ever arrived (it never did).

    • Portlandia says:

      Edna, let me tell you about the Facts of Life. Just because someone made a $1500 purchase doesn’t make them an honest and upstading person.

      If you were to sell something on Ebay, and the buyer said they didn’t receive it how would you feel if they called up and said “My package arrived empty”? You woulf likely ask them to file a police report or a USPS lost and rifled report to keep them honest. How is what amazon asking them to do any different??

    • davidc says:

      What? First off your husbands necktie was “never delivered” … easy enough to track. More importantly, I don’t believe your husband buys $1,500 neck ties … apples vs oranges.

      In reality, a package that was never delivered is much much much easier for a company to replace then a package that was delivered and is “allegedly” empty. $1,500 is a chunk of change … combined with the fact it’s jewelry (aka, no serial number) … seems perfectly reasonable to want to get the police involved.

      Oh, and it seems perfectly reasonable they want a paper trail of emails (including your IP address and what not).

  20. Megalomania says:

    File the report. You can’t prove you received an empty box, but you can prove that you are willing to testify under oath that you did.

    Incidentally, grey market sellers (provided you check their reputation first) tend to be able to sell for about 30-50% less than amazon for this sort of thing. I assume the watch was a Carrera, and you can find those for about 1100 easily. The only downside is that you lose the manufacturer’s warranty, but the odds of needing it are rather small and for most issues, you can have it repaired for a good deal less than what you saved anyway.

  21. kt says:

    They are asking for a police report so they can put it through their insurnace company. Anyone can say there was no item in the box when I opened it.

  22. framitz says:

    I once ordered an expensive product from Amazon and received what looked like packaging samples. Everything was there except for the product I ordered.

    I notified Amazon thinking they won’t believe this, but they expedited a replacement that included the product.

    I did close my Amazon account this weekend because of the Website pushing Kindle and other crap constantly but mainly because their Amazon MP3 store is on my phone and I can’t uninstall it or keep it from starting up.

    I won’t be doing any future business with them.

    • pop top says:

      So you had a positive experience with them w/r/t to a transaction but because they are a business and therefore advertise their products, you hate them? That makes no sense.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Wait, so you had a great experience with Amazon, but are no longer going to buy from Amazon because it advertises its own products on its own site?

    • notovny says:

      If uninstallable phone apps are an issue, did you also cease to do business with the wireless carrier?

  23. Aphex242 says:

    I think this sucks, no question, but it’s odd to have a great history with Amazon and in light of one experience stop using them.

    I’ll disclose that I’ve been an amazon customer for years and have been almost totally pleased with every aspect of their service… I’ve sold stuff on the Marketplace, returned numerous items, stopped orders before they went out, etc. They’ve been great.

    I do think it’s odd they’re not being more helpful, but as other posters have indicated, calling the police should have been the first step.

  24. Balaenoptera says:

    They should have been more helpful and have a phone number where he can actually talk instead of e-mailing, but the police report should have been the first thing he filed. If the does get money back from amazon, then the watch was stolen from them, and they want a police report from immediately after it was found to be stolen.

  25. addicuss says:

    great vote options
    yes amazon sucks, no amazon sucks. how bout a simple yes or no vote?
    If the watch shipped with no watch that should be easy enough to prove with the shipping weight. but honestly what is amazon supposed to do exactly? credit you back no questions asked? what if you took the watch out of the box yourself and decided to call amazon to scam 1500$. its a tough situation for both amazon and the customer and its a bit silly to try to villainize amazon for a very obvious, very reasonable request.

    File the report and dont run to a blog to make amazon out to be a bully

  26. Matzoball says:

    Seriously a $1500 watch and they ask that you file a police report is not that big a deal. I once filed a police report because some idiot broke into my car hoping to score something cool in a briefcase that this idiot writer left in plain view. Only thing in it was my Business Law book but the police report helped when convincing my professor to give me two more days to study for the exam.

    Whine if you must but file it anyways. PS you will have to go to the police station so it is a pain.

  27. TheUncleBob says:

    Ten cents says that his credit card will require a police report before allowing the charge back.

  28. Megladon says:

    I’m sure if nothing else it cuts down on the number of people that will say “i got an empty box” if they have to contact the police first.

  29. jessjj347 says:

    Geez, everyone. Filing a police report is not always as easy as you may have had experience with. Personally, I would have to take a trip to a ghetto area, file in person, and hope the police don’t lose the report…such is major-metropolitan area living.

    • pop top says:

      And it’s not that hard either. Every place is different and the OP should file one because it’s the smart thing to do. If this was the OP’s car or TV we were talking about, would you still post the same thing?

    • leastcmplicated says:

      wait…. ur worried about visiting a *police station* in a ghetto area? do you live in bankhead or something???

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      I’m surprised to hear that there are police departments that want people to come into the station for fairly trivial reports. It’s been SOP everywhere I’ve lived in the past 25 years to call the non-emergency 911 line and then have an officer call back. He takes the report and then you have to go in and pick up the report in 2 or 3 days.

  30. Anton_Jackson says:

    First off, if something worth $1500 goes missing,you file a police report — if only to prevent this happening again. If my car or my TV mysteriously disappeared I’d call the police. Why would you not do so?

    Secondly, A police report acts as evidence of your sincerity and belief that a crime has been committed — the only parties to this that don’t want it investigated and resolved are the people with the watch. As a wronged party you need and want this investigated

    Thirdly, any insurance company will require a police report to pay out any kind of shipping insurance — either to you for the money or to Amazon to replace the stolen merchandise.

    Lastly, the survey needs a C option. A police report is necessary in this case, Amazon is absolutely correct to request one.

  31. frak says:

    If your house got robbed your insurance company would make you file one as well. Man up and file it.

  32. INDBRD says:

    I would think the police report would be used for legal purposes… if you file a policy report and the item was received, you are filing a false report which has ramifications of it’s own. I would think this would be a normal process for most lost/stolen items. Your insurance company will not replace items in your house/car just because you say there were stolen… what would make this situation any different?

  33. D0rk says:

    To clarify, was this from Amazon themselves, or an affiliate seller?

    Yes, obviously, file the report! Aside from that, Amazon could be a bit more supportive for such a high purchase amount, but i’ll hold true judgment until this develops further.

  34. MeOhMy says:

    I don’t understand what happened in this writeup….the crux of John’s complaint seems to be not that they want him to file a police report, but that they are claiming the only people who can help need 48-72 hours to get their crap together AND they can’t use phones for some reason.

  35. Aennan says:

    Furthermore, it would be 2-3 business days before they could respond to me.

    This is the part of the story that I thought was bad customer service. I read it as though he had to wait 2-3 days for them to respond to him, and then he was told to file a police report before they could help him. In those 2-3 days, he could have already filed the police report they needed.

  36. Doubts42 says:

    I am with 99% of the other consumerists. File the report. it makes sense and could help others as well as yourself.

    I do hate hearing that the jewelry customer service department communicates only by email. Sometimes you want to talk to a human being. You should have that option.

  37. IWanaGoFishing says:

    The poll is pretty much worthless. Requiring a police report has nothing to do with helpfulness or pricing. The author is alleging that a felony was committed. The poll should read something like:

    1. Should Amazon give away $1,500 with no questions asked?
    2. Should the author be required to report an alleged felony?

  38. madmallard says:

    Wow…. author of article severely lacking in relevant knowledge of drop-shipping, larceny, and insurance coverage.

    I don’t even know where to begin…

  39. ARPRINCE says:

    Maybe OP does not want to file a police report because the police might investigate and will find out that a theft never happened? You never know!!! ;)

  40. Froggmann says:

    Uh yes, they can’t start the insurance claim without the police report. I can see them going “Aw shucks, here’s another one. Sorry for the screw-up.” for a $40 dollar widget. but when you end up with a missing $1500 anything, you need to have a official paper trail.

  41. JohnDeere says:

    it wasnt stolen from him. it was stolen en route to him. delivery companys responsibility to file police report.

    • ThomFabian says:

      No, because the shipping company delivered their package. They aren’t claiming a theft at all.

      The person who is out the property (and thus is making the claim of being wronged) is the person who has to file the claim.

      The shipping company can’t go to the police and say “this guy says there was a theft”, thats the job of the person claiming he is out property.

  42. italianbaby says:

    yes… this get the process started for an investigation on amazon’s part.

  43. Macgyver says:

    The reason you file the report is because, it’s for the insurance company.
    The insurance company will get the serial number for the watch. They could see all the hubs that it went through before it got to him. Then they can look at the cameras in those hubs.
    Then they will fax every pawn shop in the vicinity’s of those hubs that it went through telling them that, that watch is stolen.
    Then they go and arrest the person who stole it.

    How are you gonna say that you won’t do business with Amazon anymore because you have to file a police report?
    So what if he spent $1500, he thinks he gonna get preferential treatment because he spent that much.
    If that’s their policy, that’s their policy, nothing could be done about that.

  44. Duke_Newcombe-Making children and adults as fat as pigs says:

    From reading the OP’s story, it is unclear to me if the box ARRIVED empty (yet still perfectly sealed), or was empty, (but opened) upon his inspection. One would lead me to believe some type of carrier chicanery, the other that one of the denizens of the mail room is sporting a spiffy TAG Heuer when he takes Suzy J. Rottencrotch down to the Sizzler on Friday night.

    Either way, file the dang police report. Most municipalities will do it over the phone, and if you can do it online, it’s even easier. Give Amazon the name of the agency and the report number, and let them do the work while refunding you your money. It’s that easy.

  45. yaced says:

    He wasnt robbed. He got an empty box. Likely the police will give him a run around before filing a report.

    • ThomFabian says:

      No, he is the person who is out property.

      He paid money for an item which was not delivered., and as such a police report is 100% in order.

      The police won’t do any investigation over it (probably), but the report exists as proof of a statement by the person who has been wronged.

  46. Brunette Bookworm says:

    Um, yeah, file a police report. Amazon only has your word that the box is empty. If someone was dishonest enough to steal it, surely someone has tried to scam Amazon out of a watch this way. I don’t care how much you spend, if you need to file a police report, you need to file a police report.

  47. XianZhuXuande says:

    What an ignorant poll. How about C, it is standard practice for a product of this value? Amazon will need the police report to handle this matter efficiently, and it may be required for their insurance. The customer should be filing that police report anyway, and by not doing so they are simply being childish. If the watch was truly stolen they need to file a police report so an investigation can be conducted.

  48. Awesome McAwesomeness says:

    Since a crime was committed, it only make sense that the police should be involved. It’s kind of weird to me that this person is questioning that idea.

  49. jesirose says:

    This is a completely reasonable thing for Amazon. My bf and I had our bikes stolen off our apartment patio. The renter’s insurance gave us the money right away, but asked us to file a report. I was able to do that over the phone.

    It made sense to file the report as well, because my BF’s bike was very unique since he had built it himself. It was plausible we might be able to get his back somehow. (We didn’t though.)

  50. MEoip says:

    What shipping terms does Amazon have? Does the watch become his property when it leaves the warehouse OR does the watch become his when it is delivered to his address? If it’s the latter how can he file a police report, the watch would have been stolen from Amazon not him.
    I do agree with the other comments which think Amazon has customer’s file police reports as a loss prevention measure.

    • Robert Nagel says:

      I think that according to UCC regulations the property becomes the property of the buyer as soon as the seller turns the property over to a reputable carrier. Therefore, it was the buyers property. That said, it is the de-facto responsibility of Amazon because most people don’t know that. Credit card regulations will also tend to throw the responsibility back on Amazon, although it would be in more of an insurance basis.
      As to all the conversation regarding Amazon turning this over to their insurance company I would be very surprised if they insured any of their packages. Insurance is to cover unexpected situations. While it is unexpected for any individual to have a $1,500 watch stolen, it isn’t for Amazon. They ship so many packages that the odds would inevitably drift toward to the expected and they would simply get their premiums back, minus a processing fee by the insurance company.
      $1,500 is a trifling to them. A widespread feeling that all you had to do was call and claim a shortage to get an extra watch would be a calamity. Therefore, they ask the buyer to put their name on an official document before going any further.

  51. Jason Litka says:

    There’s some information missing here… Was the shipping carton tampered with? If so, Amazon needs to contact the carrier to collect on the insurance. If not, a stainless steel watch is heavy enough that there would have been a discrepancy in the shipping weight of the carton. I run into this issue every once in a while at work (eCommerce company) and this is always how we prove or disprove the inclusion of an item of significant value. The shipping label is going to be listed in whole pounds, but I guarantee that internally Amazon has it, at a minimum, down to the ounce, if not smaller (we keep down to 0.01lb for = 3lbs).

    The only time I’d say a missing item warranted a police report would be if Amazon refuses to do anything and the credit card issuer wouldn’t help either. In that case, it should be a lead up to a court case against Amazon.

  52. Jack Handy Manny says:

    Was something stolen? Then tell the authorities.

  53. Red Cat Linux says:

    In a perfectly sealed box that arrives in the mail? Yes, I would have contacted Amazon first. If no love (it IS a lot of money) then I don’t have a problem with a police report. I didn’t like the voting options, so no real choice there.

    A not so cheap vendor would probably ask the same thing for a 4 figure jewelry purchase.

  54. common_sense84 says:

    Nope. Unless the box appeared to be opened in transit, this is not a crime. So requiring this makes no sense.

    This is a packaging mistake, plain and simple.

  55. MMD says:

    I’m not saying the OP shouldn’t have to file a police report here – he definitely should. But shouldn’t Amazon be at least willing to take his phone calls, too? And is a 2-3 day turnaround on an email really acceptable when we’re talking about a valuable item?

  56. SlappyFrog says:

    Neither poll option is helpful: There was a theft, you file a police report. This is standard procedure for lots of places to avoid scammers.

  57. Seattle-Guy says:

    Without a police report no insurance company in the free world will pay off the claim. I’m appalled that wasn’t this boneheads FIRST course of action.

  58. diamonddude says:

    This is what the TAG Heuer website says about internet purchases:
    “Only the authorized TAG Heuer retailers may offer the TAG Heuer range of Watches & Chronographs and can guarantee that your watch is authentic.

    Buying your TAG Heuer watch from an authorized TAG Heuer retailer ensures that you get the full value for your investment. TAG Heuer does not sell authentic TAG Heuer watches on the Web. Therefore, a watch purchased on the Web from any other retailer may be counterfeit, damaged, tampered with, or contain inferior parts.”

    Unfortunately, buying this type of merchandise online can result in a huge loss, or at least a huge hassle. I have customers tell me how much they saved by buying online, until something like this happens.

  59. tz says:

    I once misplaced a phone – I thought it was lost. Assurion told me I had to file a police report before they would send me a replacement. I did. I found it two years later near the edge of a wall between two boxes (I probably dropped it and it bounced just right to go there where I would never see it until I was cleaning).

    I don’t quite know what you mean by “empty box” – nothing was in the Amazon package, it had a sealed product box but that was empty, it had one that obviously looked ripped open…?

    Basically filing a false police report is usually a felony, so this will insure that you aren’t trying to scam them – I suspect it happens.

    If you file the report AND then they don’t fix it, you have a cause.

  60. Amnesiac85 says:

    That survey is really loaded. Amazon.com is trying to help the guy out, and the Consumerist makes a poke at them. I don’t get it.

    File a police report. It’s 1500 dollars. Sheesh. At that point they can probably help you more than they can now.

    Amazon has always had great customer service, and I thankfully have only needed to contact them once in the 4+ years I’ve been ordering from them. I ordered a book and a video game that never arrived at my apartment. I called them, they apologized, and sent out the same items with two day shipping. The total cost was maybe about $50, well under the $1500 here.

  61. coren says:

    See, the thing is when it’s 60 bucks or 100 bucks (or far less) like when Amazon usually eats the cost, that’s one thing. That’s the price of doing business, and sometimes shit happens. But when it’s a case like this, where the package is delivered (rather than lost/stolen from the doorstep) but empty, and they determine it wasn’t an error on their part – that means someone actually stole it. Lost packages happen. 1500 watches don’t just not arrive in their boxes. Someone stole it, and so the police need to be involved. (and most people won’t file a police report if they’re the ones that took it – the last thing they want is the police investigating them trying to defraud a company. NOT that I think the OP is doing this, just that it’s an easy way to eliminate the possibility)

  62. mikec041 says:

    Not sure the OP can file a police report. At what point does it become his property and not Amazon’s?. Since he may not be the actual owner he has no standing in the matter. Similar to you trying to report a shipment missing with UPS or FedEX if you didn’t mail it you can’t file a claim.

    • EverCynicalTHX says:

      Says who? Are you a lawyer or just thinking out loud perhaps?

      if so please let us know which statute you’re referring to.

  63. Not Again says:

    Why do you need to wear a $1500 watch?

  64. maraa01 says:

    I dont think this is out of line. It cuts down on people claiming that they did not receive something that they did actually receive. It is also probably necessary for their insurance problem. If he already had the watch in his possession and it was stolen he would have to file a police report before his insurance would do anything.

  65. graytotoro says:

    Well, if Amazon tells you to, I would do it. I’m sure that they’ll be more than happy to refund you. In fact, just earlier this year, I ordered some books that never arrived at my dorm’s service desk. I checked several times per week after the arrive by date (it was signed for). They were more than happy to expedite me a new copy of the items even though I eventually found it a few weeks later.

    Before you accuse me of defrauding Amazon, the shipping label misspelled my name (the receipt inside had the correct spelling) so the school never forwarded it to me until I went to the head of the area.

  66. Extended-Warranty says:

    This is just as bad as Wal-Mart trying to check your receipt. I will never shop with Amazon again because they treat their best customers like criminals.

    ….people complain about everything.

  67. sopmodm14 says:

    well, if its theft, whats he supposed to do ?

    start that paper trail

    from their point of view, he could’ve just claimed/alleged it was received as such

  68. Schlinkie says:

    I used to work at Amazon, and yes, it sucks that they don’t have a phone number for the jewelry department, but Amazon also doesn’t want their $10 an hour CS reps handling issues related to items of this value.

    That said, the 2-3 days is a worst-case scenario time frame, and usually you will be contacted in less time. Having the phone rep collect your contact info & a brief description of the issue also lets them prioritize which issues are more urgent. The OP’s issue is more important than the person who is pissed off that they can’t return something they got engraved or resized.

  69. dourdan says:

    was the box tampered with? or did they just not send it?

  70. Levk says:

    I am more astonished someone brought a 1500$ watch!!! OMG my cell phone cost like 200$ and it can tell me time, go on internet, send messages and call people not to mention the apps >> even with a monthly phone bill i do not go over the 1500$ a year at all >

  71. aj74666 says:

    How does Amazon know that you didnt pocket the watch? Filing a police report doesnt ensure that you didnt, but many people would be afraid to call the police, if they stole the watch.

    I had a similar but worse situation. An employee quit and stole an iPhone4 the day she quit. We called ATT gave them the EMEI (serial number of the phone) and confirmed that the phone had been assigned to a different account. Even after filing a police report and have the police call Amazon, they refused to do anything unless I received a warrant. The cops said that would be difficult to obtain, he said/she said. Very sad.

  72. pot_roast says:

    Yes, this complainer should absolutely file a police report. He will probably need one for the credit card company anyway, so why is he complaining about Amazon? File the ^%$! report! GOSH.

  73. woody189 says:

    File the report. Is Amazon just supposed to cough up $1500 everytime someone claims something is stolen?

    I’ve had nothing but AMAZING customer service from amazon. if/ When they screw up they always compensate you. Often times generously

    I once recieved a %30 discount off a cellphone I purchased because in the description it said it had an FM transmitter, and it really didn’t. I emailed them, and they offered to give me 30% of $250 phone back, or refund the item.

  74. Mangy66 says:

    Amazon actually handled that the right way.

    What are they supposed to do? Fill out the report for you? You’re accusing someone (unknown at this moment) of Grand Larceny (or its equivalent for a physical product if Grand Larceny is just for cash…not educated in the terminoligy, nor do I ever want to be). Pretty big deal.

    Also…I like the survey. It’s why Amazon is cheap. This isn’t American Express Customer Service, or Nordstroms. You get the level of customer service you pay for.

  75. RayanneGraff says:

    File the damn report. Unless you’ve got something to hide, which is the only reason I can think of why you’d be up in arms for having to file a police report. Even if your local PD charges a fee to file it- well, you just paid $1500 for a damn WRISTWATCH so I’m gonna assume you’ll be able to afford it.

  76. FenrirIII says:

    Neither. If something is stolen it is not Amazon’s fault. You file a police report that it was stolen, alert the carrier, and then contact Amazon.

  77. John Hates Amazon says:

    Just an update that is is now Tuesday afternoon and I still have not received any communication from the mysterious “jewelry customer service” department that apparently doesn’t have a phone. Police report was filed and faxed.

  78. ElDBA says:

    If the shipping box was tampered with, it would indicate that the item was stolen in transit and one should file the police report as well as file a claim with the shipping carrier.

    If the box was not tampered, then filing a police report is irrelevant because the item was never in his posession. Something must be transacted for a theft to occur and the police department probably has other priorities that would supersede this. If the theft occurred at Amazon’s DC shipping dock, in their storage warehouse, or it was missing when delivered there from distributor or manufacturer, it is actually Amazon’s problem and Amazon should file the police report.

    Since the item never made it into the consumers hand, I would cancel the charge under the context that the service was never provided. At the bare minimum, it would get Amazon’s attention and force them to address the issue without communication barriers and delays.

  79. tekdemon says:

    Well, depending on whether it looks like someone broke into the box or not it might be legitimate for Amazon to request that you file a police report, so that there’s some legal documentation that something was missing/stolen. Otherwise it wouldn’t be covered by whatever insurance policies they have with the shipper or otherwise. It’s such an expensive item that I don’t think it’s unreasonable for Amazon to ask for a police report-they don’t take that long to fill out anyways and in some places the cops can come to you to help you fill one out (call and ask how it works where you live-might not be quite as convenient where you live).