Amazon retailers are discussing legal proceedings against Amazon and Repricer Express over a software glitch that saw product prices wrongly reduced to 1p and put them at risk of bankruptcy.
Angry sellers have set up a Facebook group that threatens a lawsuit against the companies and offers a place for people affected by the pricing error to "fight for their money lost due to repricerexpress.com negligence". The closed group has gathered 72 members so far.
Repricer Express has apologised for the error and Amazon has noted the problem, but the statements have done little to placate the anger and frustration of sellers who have lost thousands in product sales.
Several of Repricer Express's customers have said on the firm's website support and community page that they will file lawsuits over the the pricing glitch and Amazon's dispatching of orders regardless of the problem.
One seller, PensandLeather, said: "I'm getting my attorney involved as Amazon just wrote [to] me that they will not be responsible for the third-party software errors."
PensandLeather posted a response from Amazon which said that the firm will not reimburse every order that had been subject to the incident.
"Please note that we cannot cancel or reimburse orders that have already shipped or been charged to the customer," Amazon said.
Stephen Leitch, another customer of Repricer Express, echoed the anger of PensandLeather: "I am filling suite [sic] in the morning. All my shipments are gone and I am out 11K in product plus all the FBA [Fulfilment by Amazon] fees.
"I got am email from Amazon too stating that they cancelled anything they could but what has shipped will not be reimbursed. I certainly will not be paying for it. Clearly this is negligence and Repricer Express will be held responsible."
Another seller, Dawn Calvert from the US, also said she was pursuing legal action: "We have contacted two class action lawsuit attorneys because Repricer Express and Amazon are not addressing the issue of compensating us for our losses."
V3 contacted Amazon and Repricer Express for comment, but neither company has responded.
The problem occurred between 7pm and 8pm on 12 December and affected resellers on Amazon that were using the company's RepricerExpress tool.
The tool automatically modifies the price of products if a cheaper version appears online elsewhere, thereby keeping sellers on Amazon Marketplace competitive.
However, the error meant that items such as headphones, coats and home furnishings were sold at a fraction of their usual price.
One trader, Judith Blackford of Kiddymania, told Sky News that the error could force her out of business.
"I have lost about £20,000 overnight. Having asked Amazon to cancel the orders they are still sending them out and charging me horrendous fees," she told the broadcaster.
"Surely someone has to be accountable for this. I will be bankrupt at this rate by the end of January."
Brendan Doherty, chief executive at Repricer Express, apologised for the error and explained that Amazon will not punish sellers for the glitch.
"I am truly sorry for the distress this has caused our customers. We continued to work over the following few hours in conjunction with Amazon to revert any incorrect prices to their original prices," he said in a statement on the Repricer Express website.
"We have received communication that Amazon will not penalise sellers for this error. We are continuing to work to identify how this problem occurred and to put measures in place to ensure that it does not happen again."
A spokesman for Amazon told V3 that the company was aware of the problem and was able to cancel the vast majority of orders on affected items.
"No costs or fees will be incurred by sellers for these cancelled orders. We are now reviewing the small number of orders that were processed and will be reaching out to any affected sellers directly," he added.
Amazon may run into some opposition from customers who took to Twitter to boast about their bargains and desire for their purchases to be honoured.
Bought so much stuff during that 1p glitch on Amazon 😂 #winning— CaLum (@CaLum_James1) December 12, 2014
Good old Amazon glitch. Hope the honour it! Haha http://t.co/v65Bms9JDT— Becky Longson (@RNRLongson) December 12, 2014
Superking memory foam mattress for £0.01- thank you Amazon glitch. It's being prepared for dispatch so will see if it's honoured— Joanna christine (@jojo_rugbywidow) December 12, 2014
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