Amazon Seller Spends Two Years Fighting To Get His Money

When Eric Ristaino sold his iPhone 6S on Amazon, he wanted to get a little extra cash to pay for a new one. But the Branford resident said he ended up without the money or the phone because of a problem with the online retail giant.

“It’s like I got robbed,” said Eric Ristaino.

In 2016, Ristaino was having a battery problem with his iPhone. So, he brought it to Apple where they replaced it.

He then bought the new iPhone 7 and decided to sell the replacement phone online.

“I figured Amazon is the fastest way,” said Ristaino.

Ristaino said he shipped the iPhone to a buyer in New Haven.

“About three months later, they sent me a request to return the phone,” said Ristaino.

Ristaino told us, he denied the buyer’s return request, and said Amazon initially stood behind his decision. He said he worried anything could’ve happened with the iPhone in the time that the new owner had it.

“I don’t know if that’s my phone I’m getting back, if it’s damaged,” said Ristaino.

Then in 2017, Ristaino saw a $595 charge back on his credit card statement for the iPhone he had sold by Amazon. It was the amount the buyer had paid for the phone back in 2016.

Ristaino said he called and emailed Amazon repeatedly for two years to find out why his money was taken and the location of the phone. Ristaino insisted he was getting the run around by the company.

“They told me the same thing that I should be issued a refund and they’ll contact me 24 to 48 hours,” said Ristaino. “I’m out a phone and I’m out 600 dollars.”

Frustrated over the entire process, Ristaino contacted NBC Connecticut Responds.

According to Amazon’s return policy, any item can be returned within 30 days. But in this case, the buyer waited three months to do so.

After years of trying to get his money, an Amazon’s spokesperson told NBC Connecticut Responds that they’ve refunded the $595 they took back from Ristaino. Because of that refund, he now has his money. But he never found out what happened to the phone.

Amazon told Responds in a statement:

“Small businesses and entrepreneurs selling on Amazon Marketplace are incredibly important to our customers. We work hard to help these businesses successfully reach and delight Amazon customers, and we continue to innovate and improve the experience for all sellers”

Ristaino said he is now a much happier customer.

“I know you guys are great at what you do, you really help people.”

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