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Amazon VAT invoice fail

June 08, 2013

Reading time ~3 minutes

tldr; If you have got a company in the EU, think twice when purchasing something from Amazon.co.uk, because they will mess up with all the required invoices and it will be your problem to explain that to the tax authorities.

Need invoices to report to tax authorities? Not with Amazon.co.uk.

We tried to make quite a large order on Amazon in 2013 for our company (around $3000 worth of computer components, GPS hardware and gadgets for one of our projects), but after a week or two after we placed the order they just canceled it silently providing no reason for that.

After we put in even more time to re-order all the things, they failed to deliver correct invoices: they mismatched the billing address and the shipping address and failed to fix that.

It was our company that made all the orders and this was done with our company’s corporate credit card. Moreover, the Amazon account is registered for the same company and its legal registered VAT number.

The orders were to be delivered to a shipping address/recipient which was different from the billing address/company name. However, Amazon and its ‘third-party’ sellers keep insisting on using the shipping address as a billing address in the invoices which is completely wrong and which we think might be considered wrong by the tax authorities.

Amazon.co.uk: Customer support is when you get emails composed of template sentences by robots

After a few emails back and forth we got the following response from Amazon: “Unfortunately, it is not possible for us to alter any details on your original invoice for all your orders. For future orders please update your [order details/billing address] in the “Your Account” section of the website to ensure that you receive future invoices that include the relevant information you require. “

How can we update our billing address if it is already correct and it it has been correct from the very creation of the company’s account on Amazon.co.uk?

We understand that having a support team somewhere in India helps Amazon.co.uk to save on wages and all that, but really, those support guys seem to have no clue about what they are doing with the customer. Consider this short conversation:

Us: “… billing address … is not correct, because this Amazon account is registered to Skanatek AB with its registered VAT number. All the purchases made from this Amazon account were charged against the credit card owned by Skanatek AB. “

Amazon.co.uk support: “See the following Help page for more information and a short video on how to print an invoice: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=201238060. … Your feedback is helping us build Earth’s Most Customer-Centric Company”

Or this one:

Us: “Why does your system assigns different invoice addresses to the orders that were paid from the same account with the same credit card?”

Amazon.co.uk support: “Unfortunately, it is not possible for us to alter any details on your original invoice for all your orders.”

Proof of payment on your orders? Not with Amazon.co.uk

It seems that Amazon.co.uk does not care if it infringes the EU law on the following issues:

  1. Unconditional order cancellation by Amazon.co.uk (we lost a lot of time due to the order being canceled without any prior notice and without any notification at all);
  2. Refusal to provide correct invoices for our orders (here is a recent email from Amazon.co.uk: “Unfortunately we cannot put the companies name on the VAT invoices. Our system doesn’t permit us to do so.”)
In other words, Amazon did everything to hurt our business:
  1. Canceled the orders we have spent so much time on without any reason,
  2. Responded with nonsense messages to our support requests,
  3. Generated completely erroneous invoices
  4. Refused to fix the invoices.

Do you think you can agree with the gist of this article? Or maybe you have a different opinion on this? Then maybe you are the right person to join our team to work on original and interesting projects!

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