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VAT relief and 'obstructive' tactics by Amazon

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    VAT relief and 'obstructive' tactics by Amazon

    I haven’t checked but I presume there are posts about VAT relief on various products etc for disabled persons, which of course includes MND sufferers.
    This post is about my recent experiences with Amazon, to ask whether others have similar experiences, and may be to encourage some sort of formal approach by the MNDA.
    I recognise that sometimes purchases are made to other suppliers that display their wares on Amazon, and these involve direct purchase. I have no issue with the VAT relief process for these suppliers.
    My ire is with Amazon itself. I have recently bought several items from Amazon that I know are eligible for VAT relief. But finding relevant advice on Amazon is difficult.
    So I used the chat function (as speaking by phone is near impossible) but found the ‘person’ unhelpful. Indeed, the chatline person went quiet, supposedly researching. I feel s/he was hoping I would give up and end the chat. I persisted, and was informed a message would be sent to the relevant team which would respond the next day. I was not content with this as the information and relevant form should be immediately available to customer services, so I demanded that a manager join the chat. After further exchanges, the Amazon chatperson connected me to a manager who promptly supplied the relevant form with links to where it should be sent after I’d completed it.
    I quickly completed the form and emailed it to the Amazon team. I heard nothing, not even an acknowledgement, until I emailed several days later. I think there would have been no response from Amazon if I had not pursued the matter.
    It seems to me that Amazon is intent on discouraging claims for VAT relief and is being obstructive by not being more helpful.
    Has anyone else had similar experience?

    Amazon have been in the media countless times re taxes unpaid so really doesn't surprise me.
    Diagnosed May 2021 bulbar onset als.


      Hi Michael,

      Basically if Amazon are not applying VAT relief when they should be then they are breaking the law.

      See section 1.4 of this government information

      From my own experience I have also had a problem with Amazon but it was not related to VAT. In my case I needed to receive a delivery of an age restricted item for my sister in law (vape component I think). The driver refused to leave the parcel with me unless I could physically sign to say I was over 18 years old. I explained I have no use of my arms and I’m not able to sign but I am happy for him to leave the parcel. I was on my own in the house so nobody else could sign for me or get my passport out of the drawer. I was struggling to understand why signing to say I was over 18 was important, especially as I’m over 50 years old and do not look remotely under 18. Incidentally the law on age verification checks are based around people not looking the required age who then can be asked for identification or the sale refused. If everybody had to prove their age every time they bought an age restricted item then nobody would ever get out of Sainsbury’s for example.

      I complained to Amazon and got fobbed off by the frontline customer service people. After persisting for a while I got referred to the delivery centre and after that to a manager at the delivery centre. I explained my situation and said that I am unable to sign (not unwilling) and that not allowing me to receive a parcel purely on the basis of by inability to sign is discrimination. This particular manager listened and agreed with my predicament. She requested the driver to redeliver the item immediately and also put a special note on my account that I do not need to sign for an age restricted item because of my disability.

      So in my case persistence paid off and I hope it does in yours too 👍

      Take care and I look forward to hearing how are you fare,

      Foxes Never Quit 💙


        Michael Nicholas I find that, with Amazon's Customer Service, it very much depends on who you get at the other end of the chat.

        You also need to do exactly as they say - I'm not inferring you didn't 😬 - sending forms in the right format, to the right email address.

        Forgive me for asking - have you checked your email spam folder and the messages on your Amazon account for updates, and your bank for the refund? xx
        ​Diagnosed 03/2007. Sporadic Definite ALS/MND Spinal (hand) Onset.
        Eye gaze user - No functional limbs - No speech - Feeding tube - Overnight NIV.


          Ellie - Hi, and sorry for delay replying. Yes, I did send the completed form correctly and have received the refund.

          Once Amazon had forwarded the claim form, it was ok. But it is the way Amazon do not make it easy to find information about VAT relief, and the way their staff seem to deliberately delay and seek to avoid helping disabled claimants that is the point of my ire and original post.