“An empty box for $ 7,000”

ALAMOSA, Colorado – For a farming family outside of Alamosa, their secondary photography business is a lifeline, as are their Amazon deliveries.

“We bought several cameras from Amazon and never had a problem,” Bill Chiles said. “Here in southern Colorado, we take everything we can for photography: weddings, senior photos, graduation ceremonies.

In March, Bill Chiles and his wife, Kelly, ordered a high-end Sony camera from Amazon, paying more than $ 7,000 to invest in their business.

“We love that extra frame rate. It’s a 50 megapixel camera,” Bill Chiles. “We like to stay on the cutting edge.”

Due to a shortage of microchips, Amazon took nearly two months to ship the camera. When the package arrived, Bill Chiles said he opened the box to find two boxes of cameras inside. Both, he said, were empty.

“Shocked,” he said. “I had heard about it with third-party shipments, but not Amazon.”

But Bill Chiles said the real shock came when Amazon insisted the camera was verified and refused to reimburse.

“She literally said to me, ‘Since there is nothing more I can do for you. I’m going to disconnect you now, “” said Bill Chiles.

Kelly Chiles couldn’t believe the answer.

“You’re angry. You have a stomach ache. You want to give up. You want to fight. You just don’t know what to do, and they won’t even listen to you,” said Kelly Chiles. “And you send them the proof. I mean, that should be irrefutable proof that they won’t even watch her.

Their proof is a UPS tracking label showing a weight of two pounds. On other camera sites, the same set of Sony cameras are listed as weighing over three pounds.

“Someone stole it from somewhere,” he said. “They actually stole two cameras because they were two empty boxes with serial numbers close together.”

The Chiles also believe it is suspicious that the same in-demand camera model is listed for thousands less on second-hand sites in the city where their camera was supposed to be shipped from.

“I think they got ripped off. Someone in the Amazon messed it up, in my opinion, and they’re just trying to cover their position,” Bill Chiles said.

The couple filed a police report with local law enforcement, disputed the credit card charges, and contacted Contact Denver7.

“Seven thousand dollars is a lot of money. I don’t care who you are,” Bill Chiles said.

After Contact Denver7 started making calls, Amazon began to investigate. Meanwhile, Bill Chiles emailed Jeff Bezos and received an email stating that once the credit card dispute is resolved, Amazon will process the refund.

“Is there more integrity in this business?” Said Bill Chiles.

He is relieved of the promised refund, but he wants to warn consumers of limited protections if an empty box arrives at their doorstep.

“We really had to save for this camera,” said Kelly Chiles. “And it’s just overwhelming, really. You can’t do that.”

Editor’s Note: Denver7 seeks advice and input from the public to help those in need, solve problems, and empower the powerful. If you know of a community need that our call center could meet, or if you have a story idea for our investigation team, please email us at [email protected] or call (720) 462- 7777. Find more stories from Contact Denver7 here.


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