Zombie Amazon Returns More Common Than You Might Think

Earlier this week, we asked whether our readers had any experience with zombie refunds: items that you sent back to a retailer, only to have your refund later reversed for no clear reason. We heard from a surprising number of people whose transactions have risen from the archives and devoured their bank accounts.

Reader C. wrote:

This happened to me with Amazon with a return in March/April. Had defective item, selected instant refund or whatever its called, printed UPS label, package picked up next day, arrived at Amazon warehouse a few days later, signed for at loading dock.

About a month later got a letter that the defective return had not been received and my credit card would be charged for the amount of the instant refund. A web reply to customer service with the UPS tracking number resulted with CSR apology for the oversight and an alleged credit for the credit to my card. Thanks for reminding me to check if I ever got that.

John has a warning for people who don’t normally peek at their spam folders:

I had to get a customer service rep on the phone to get it fixed. I gave them all the shipping information and they cleared it up, it took about 30 minutes. The email that they sent to me was not the same as normal amazon emails and got tagged as spam by my email program, but I check my spam folder, lucky.

It could just be that a large company like Amazon processes so many transactions and so many refunds in a day that something will to wrong with a certain percentage of them. That’s normal, and we don’t expect every transaction to go perfectly. Just let this post serve as a warning: this is something that can happen. Check your spam folders and don’t ignore e-mails from retailers after the transaction.

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Zombie Amazon Return Rises From Dead, Gets Charged To Credit Card