As crypto mining picks up steam, everyone wants a piece of the pie, even if they don’t know what the heck they are doing.
Ichim Bogdan Cezar, from Stoke, Plymouth, UK, purchased a £3,000 Tanli ASIC Processing Bitmain AntMiner S9 13.5 TH/s Bitcoin mining machine from a 3rd party Amazon reseller. He bought it on behalf of his brother-in-law who lives in Romania, as Amazon does not deliver to that country.
The product itself is a bit longer than a ruler’s length, measuring 13.5 x 5.3 x 6.2 inches. Mr. Cezar would have been expecting the package to come in a decently sized package, as they can weigh up to 11 pounds when shipped depending on the configuration he would have chosen.
The photo above depicts what the miner should have looked like, but Mr. Cezar was taken aback when he saw that the package was a really small and flat.
At the time of delivery on December 5th, the package was signed off by his wife. It was only when he got home later that evening did he realize there was a mix up because once he opened the package, he realized that he spent £3,149.99 on a DVD copy of Boss Baby.
He immediately contacted the reseller (Minifigures Direct Ltd) about the mix up. They followed up by saying that it was a “packing mistake” and that the correct item would be shipped to him by December 16th.
December 16th came and went, and no package arrived. He tried multiple times to get in contact with the reseller, but after getting no response, he contacted Amazon directly on the 18th. They then attempted to get in contact with Minifigures Direct Ltd to get a follow up.
On December 20th, the support ticket was marked as resolved, blaming the issue on a technical problem. However, Mr. Cezar still had not received his miner and applied for a refund on both the 23rd and 24th of December. On both occasions, his claim was rejected as the reseller claimed that the package was delivered. The reseller provided ‘proof’ of delivery, showing that it was signed for (by his wife).
Amazon UK refused to intervene in the matter and advised Mr. Cezar to contact the Royal Mail for further assistance regarding tracking down the package.
It was only after the 3rd attempt did Amazon decide to take action on December 29th. Unfortunately, Mr. Cezar had to wait until January 20th to finally get email confirmation that Amazon would refund him his money for the purchase.
In a statement to the Plymouth Herald, he felt as if Amazon did not care enough about his claim given how long the refund process took.
“Obviously it’s great that they will finally process a refund for me but it shouldn’t have taken that long, especially when there is such a big amount of money involved.
“It was stressful for me because all the pressure was on my shoulders to deal with it, with my brother–in-law being in Romania, so the longer it dragged out it became even more annoying.
“I just felt like no one from Amazon cared about the issue.”
He also stated that at the time, Minifigures Direct Ltd had a five-star rating on Amazon. It was only after the whole ordeal did he see more reviews being posted, but this time highlighting similar instances where other AntMiner S9s were not being delivered. Some even indicated that they sent bogus items just to get confirmation that the product was delivered (to make the dispute process more difficult for the buyer).
One reviewer left the following comment:
“This is a fraud! They sent a spare item just to say they have delivered. I ordered an Antminer S9 and they sent to me a scotch tape. Contacted by email they told me that it was a mistake and that the miner would have been delivered regularly. Nothing has arrived and 3k pounds are gone. Don’t buy anything from this seller.”
Most of the one-star comments also followed a similar theme where the reseller refused to respond to their emails after first contact. The company store front has since removed all items from its listings (most likely because of Amazon blocking them).
Given the amount of attention this case has received, Amazon issued the following statement:
“All sellers on Amazon Marketplace must adhere to our selling guidelines.
“Any seller found to contravene those guidelines will be subject to action from Amazon including removal of product listings and their account.
“The Amazon A-to-z Guarantee provides additional protection for customers who buy from Amazon.co.uk’s third party Marketplace and if a customer received the item, but the item was defective, damaged, or not the item depicted in the seller’s description, we will refund or replace that item.”