Local accountant Cynthia Brizard needed to purchase the latest version of Microsoft Office for her job.
As she had done for more than 10 years, she logged onto Amazon.com to purchase the newest Microsoft software bundle.
She paid $345.55 to a third-party seller and received the package a few days later.
But Cynthia ran into problems when she tried to install the programs on her new computer. She called Microsoft’s support center for help. After looking into the issue, the technician told her that they had found the cause of the problem.
“They found out that the license was not a valid license,” said Cynthia. “That’s when they told me it was pirated.”
Cynthia immediately called Amazon to inform the company that a vendor was selling pirated goods on their webiste and to find out about a refund. Cynthia said Amazon told her that she had to contact the company directly for any refund. They gave her a phone number to call. But she said that went nowhere.
“Each time I called them it would ring two times and then go busy,” said Cynthia.
Cynthia contacted Amazon again. She said a representative from Amazon told her that “all the authority and information regarding warranty replacement is with the manufacturer.”
According to the representative, there was nothing that Amazon could do.
That's when Cynthia decided to write a letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in hopes of the remote chance that someone from his office would respond.
“I have been a loyal 17-year Amazon customer who has spent over $10,000 of my hard earned money on products sold via Amazon,” she wrote in her letter.
“I shop Amazon so I know that I will get reputable, warrantable , and legal products. I am extremely disappointed that my issue has not been handled better from a company that I used to hold in such high regard.”
Cynthia said she never got a response.
That’s when she contacted NBC 7 Responds for help.
“On May 9th,” said Cynthia, “48-hours later, that $345 was back on my Amazon Credit Card.”
A spokesperson from Amazon said the company works hard to find counterfeiters that sell fake or pirated copies on the retailer’s website.
"Customers trust that they will receive authentic goods when they shop on Amazon and anything that diminishes that trust is unacceptable,” wrote a spokesperson for the company.
“Counterfeit is an age-old problem, but one that we will continue to fight and innovate on to protect customers, brands, and sellers."