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I ordered a book of stamps on Amazon and it arrived the next day. I used several of them to send a birthday card, some thank you cards, and a “congratulations on your new baby” card.
A few days later my brother received one of the cards with a yellow sticker on the front, saying the stamp was counterfeit. As a result he was reverse charged £2.50.
I have since contacted Amazon saying I must have been duped by the seller, but it refused to accept any liability.
It insisted that I return the stamps in order to receive a refund. An Amazon staff member hung up the phone on me after I asked to speak to his manager. I refused to return them and reported the seller to the police via Action Fraud.
Of all the cards I sent two were reverse charged, one failed to turn up at all, and two arrived no problem, suggesting Royal Mail failed to detect the fake stamps.
– KF, via email
You said you felt like a fool after buying these fake stamps on Amazon.
Shoppers cannot be too careful when buying items from this online shopping giant, as sadly despite its best efforts to contain the issue, counterfeit goods are still being sold.
You said you were reluctant to send the rest of the stamps back to Amazon, but I said you probably ought to send back some to allow it to conduct a proper investigation.
Following my involvement Royal Mail has said it also would like to inspect the stamps. It currently has no explanation as to how these stamps passed through its system undetected.
Its new barcoded stamps are supposed to be more secure, but your case brings into question how well equipped Royal Mail’s machines actually are at spotting fakes.
Following my involvement Amazon’s attitude completely changed and it offered you a refund on the spot.
A spokesman said: “We strictly prohibit counterfeit products in our stores. We have proactive systems and teams dedicated to protecting our store from counterfeit and other forms.”
It has now removed the product in question and says it has “taken action” against the third-party seller. It is also working with Royal Mail to improve its detection of fake stamps.
A Royal Mail spokesman said: “We take the counterfeiting of postage stamps seriously. The practice is criminal and has both financial and reputational consequences for the business. Unfortunately, without seeing all of the envelopes used, it would be impossible to explain what happened in this case.”
Next time, I would recommend buying your stamps from a reputable newsagent so you know they are genuine.