Consumer Fraud Center Urges Amazon to Extend Kindle

Consumer Fraud Center Urges Amazon to Extend Kindle
Anti-Counterfeiting Measures to All Products Sold on Its Site 
Safeguards Against Counterfeit Kindles Conspicuously Absent From
Other Consumer Goods 
SANTA MONICA, CA -- (Marketwire) -- 12/07/12 --  As Amazon unveiled
its new Kindle FreeTime Unlimited service to draw more children to
the Kindle Fire video and game platform, the Consumer Fraud Center
called on Amazon to extend the anti-counterfeiting protections
afforded the Kindle, but not provided to other products sold on the
Amazon site in order to stem the rising use by cybercriminals to sell
counterfeit goods to unsuspecting consumers. 
"Amazon's sales practices with respect to the Kindle stand in stark
contrast to the way the company sells other consumer products and
illustrates the lack of willpower keeping Amazon from instituting
basic safeguards to protect consumers from fake products," said James
Lee, executive director for the Consumer Fraud Center. "Unlike
virtually every other consumer product sold on its site, Amazon
forbids the sale of 'new' Kindles from anyone other than Amazon,
thereby ensuring the authenticity of Kindles being sold." 
In fact, counterfeit and gray-market Kindles -- like most other
consumer products -- are widely available through Chinese websites
such as TaoBao.com and etao.com, Lee said. But while Amazon merchants
are allowed to drop ship goods directly to consumers or to Amazon
warehouses in the U.S., Europe or China for "fulfillment," Amazon
jealously protects its own flagship consumer product creating a
significant double standard, Lee added. 
"The same exclusive distribution arrangements and logic should apply
across the board to many other consumer products, including many that
are widely counterfeited," Lee said. "But Amazon steadfastly refuses
to extend the same protection it gives to Kindle to any other
products, even when manufacturers complain about the glut of
counterfeit goods sold through Amazon, including many directly from
Amazon warehouses." 
The Consumer Fraud Center called on Amazon to institute the following
changes: 


 
--  Implement the same anti-counterfeiting protections long employed by
    eBay;
--  End the practice of allowing unverified third-parties to use the
    trademarks and copyrighted material 
of brand owners without consent;
--  Confirm the authenticity of goods when a merchant's sale price (after
    fees & commissions) is lower than Amazon's own cost; and
--  End "drop shipments" of unverified goods to Amazon warehouses directly
    from China.

  
"It's the height of hypocrisy that Amazon aggressively protects its own
products, but does next to nothing to ensure the same level of
protection for other products sold on its site," Lee said. "This
almost cavalier attitude shows a reckless disregard for protecting
consumers and instead demonstrates Amazon's intent to dominate online
shopping at all costs, no matter the harm to consumers, manufacturers
or local governments from lost tax revenues." 
The Consumer Fraud Center last month gave Amazon Marketplace its
highest warning alert because of a recent flood of consumer
complaints over counterfeited products. Consumers were most
distressed over the perceived authenticity conferred to
counterfeiters because of Amazon's allowance for them to utilize its
sales, warehousing and distribution systems. 
A video news release on the Amazon Fraud Alert is available at
http://youtu.be/nqW-qSiLRgg.  
The Consumer Fraud Center
 The Consumer Fraud Center is dedicated to
uncovering the use of legitimate online portals and shopping
destinations for the sale of counterfeit and fraudulent consumer
goods and products. It relies on its network of activated consumers
who submit reports on counterfeit goods sold on websites to create a
national database of products searchable by consumers, media and law
enforcement. For more information, please visit us at
www.consumerfraudcenter.com. 
Contact: 
James Lee
Media Relations Office
(424) 888-0770
Media@consumerfraudcenter.com 
 
 
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