A growing number of Tennessee residents have come to rely on online shopping websites when they want to find new products or old favorites quickly and easily. The low prices and ease of delivery associated with e-commerce giants like Amazon have reshaped the retail industry, with brick-and-mortar shops on the decline in many places, while warehouses and postal facilities have seen a massive upsurge in demand. However, online shopping has also come with its own set of questions. For example, who is responsible for defective goods when they are sold through an open online platform?
Coverage applies regardless of vendor
Amazon, the largest of the online marketplaces, is at the heart of this question. When consumers make a purchase on Amazon, they deal only with the massive corporation. However, Amazon serves as a listing service for thousands of individual vendors, who may sell goods of varying quality. Under a new policy, the e-commerce giant will now pay customers directly for property damage or personal injuries up to $1,000 caused by defective products sold on the site, even if Amazon itself was not the vendor.
More serious injuries may still lead to disputes
According to the online shopping company, over 80% of customer complaints associated with defective goods involve less than $1,000 in damages. However, for claims greater than $1,000, injured customers will still have to go through a standard claims process with the seller. Many consumers have resorted to suing Amazon for the harm done by defective products after dealing with recalcitrant sellers.
The policy will go into effect on Sept. 1, 2021, and it follows a number of lawsuits and federal complaints aimed at pushing Amazon to account for defective or counterfeit goods sold on its site. The Consumer Product Safety Commission says that almost 400,000 faulty hair dryers and 24,000 defective carbon monoxide detectors were sold on the site, exposing consumers to danger.