Stupid Shipping Gang Underpackages Glass Jar, Mauling Customer

We like to post pictures of items comically overpackaged by the Stupid Shipping Gang, in order to point, laugh, and call attention to the wastefulness. Nicole’s experience shows what can happen to consumers when an item is stupidly packaged: Amazon sent her a woefully underpackaged glass bottle of vitamins, which broke in transit and cut Nicole’s finger when she went to open it. Now Amazon won’t give her a refund until she sends the box of broken glass, vitamins, plastic wrap, and a tiny bit of blood back.

I received a package from Amazon today. Not a third party, or whatever, but from Amazon. I order from them a LOT, especially now that they offer subscribe and save. The packaging often leads me to wonder what on Earth I ordered and forgot about. I have ordered several items in the past week, but nothing that required such a large box, so I was unsure what this box contained.

I opened it to see a large jar of vitamins in the corner of a box large enough to hold 3 more jars. It was taped in a layer of bubble wrap and a few of those bags of air were tossed into the box. Not enough to actually provide any protection. Maybe this should have led me to the assumption that the jar was glass, but it didn’t. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a glass jar of vitamins before.


So as I began working at the tape on the bubble wrap, I sliced my finger open something nice. “What the hell was that?” I still wasn’t sure what caused the gash, in retrospect, it may have been a stray glass sliver well into the bubble wrap as I wasn’t down to the jar. I grabbed scissors and felt another pain in my finger on the hand holding the jar. I finally got it open enough to reveal a jar split down the middle and shattered at the top and base. Who sends glass jars in such giant packaging? It should have been snugly tucked into a much smaller box, wrapped in several layers of bubble packaging, and at least once indicated either fragile or glass on the outside of the box. Amazon sucks at packaging.

Upset, I looked up how to dispute this so I wouldn’t have to mail back this package for my ten dollar refund. Not a choice. When you file your complaint you have to check a box agreeing to return the box by a certain day (April 30 for this one), whether requesting a refund or a return. I was not going to do this so I looked for a way to contact them. It doesn’t exist.

I left “Packaging Feedback” and included these same pictures. When I submitted it, I was told not to expect a response. So I looked for a phone number. A Google search led me to the number and stated what I believe to be true: they don’t post the number on their site. Nice, guys.

I called and told this woman what happened. They answered right away, maybe because no one has the number. I told her the packaging was poor and the jar was shattered and I wasn’t comfortable shipping it for someone else to get cut on when they open it. I offered to send pictures. I said my blood, while a tiny amount, was in the mess. And furthermore, why would they offer to pay me to return a bunch of glass and pills? She said she could not override the option and apologized. I had to resend them. I just could not see the point.

I asked to talk to someone else. Her boss was in a meeting. I said: “You know, I am not sending this.”

“Well, I cannot assure you that you will get a refund if you if you don’t return the item,” she said.

“It is not safe. I have already cut myself and am upset by this because I work (lol, am a student, so even worse) in the medical field and have cuts on my hands. You are telling me I have to return this box of broken glass when I offering to send pictures if you just give me a website or email address. Someone who works for Amazon is going to open this box and cut themselves, possibly mixing my blood with theirs. You don’t think that is wrong? Why don’t you have a policy for broken glass items?”

She said she could forward the info and someone could get back to me. How and when, I asked. By email within 24 hours. I was skeptical, but hung up.

After hanging up, I was still pretty upset that there is no policy for such instances. That Amazon always makes all items be shipped back for refunds to be issued. I decided to call one more time and try talking to someone else. I retold my story calmly, explained all the same details. She apologized for all the trouble and my getting hurt and put me on hold while she issued a refund and emailed me confirmation of it. She could not offer an exchange because the product was not available. I explained to her my frustration with there being no policy in effect, but she didn’t seem able to do anything about

Maybe executive customer service can intervene: contact them at

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.