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Thread: Amazon - if you thought their tax dodging and treatment of employees was bad, this se

  1. #1

    Amazon - if you thought their tax dodging and treatment of employees was bad, this se

    I’ve disliked their practices, hated their obscene tax dodging and have now decided I really can wait an extra couple of days for an item from an independent, so have cancelled Prime and closed my Amazon account. They don’t deserve my or anyone’s custom.

    https://www.itv.com/news/2021-06-21/...tigation-finds

  2. #2
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    That's horrendous if true.

  3. #3
    Craftsman enndriz's Avatar
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    I did this around 5 or 6 years ago after they shafted me on a return that went bad. I’ve never looked back and haven’t missed them in the slightest. They are a parasite on the UK retail industry. Their ethics have only gotten worse since, so I have no regrets!

  4. #4
    Grand Master hogthrob's Avatar
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    I saw this on the news last night, and rather felt it was a bit of a non-story. From a business point of view, it's probably cheaper to scrap returns than to re-package and re-stock them, and that's without considering any disinfection / quarantine that the Covid pandemic might require.

    Are other large web or mail-order based companies any different?

  5. #5
    Grand Master wileeeeeey's Avatar
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    Amazing thread. Truly special.

    Amazon workers urinate in bottles because they're not allowed toilet breaks while wearing bracelets which buzz when they're not walking fast enough. Amazon were even caught, at board level no less, plotting the smear campaign of one of their own warehouse workers at peak-pandemic last year.

    But trash a load of stuff to keep residuals high and that's it, you're cancelling your account. Sorry but that's laughable. It's also common practice in luxury goods. Burberry and Chanel are no stranger to this either.

  6. #6
    Master Robertf's Avatar
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    A proportion of the stock being destroyed lately doesnt belong to Amazon at all but to sellers using their FBA system who have had the amount of storage they are allowed in Amazon's FBA warehouses cut back recently. I believe more than 50% of all sales on Amazon are by sellers on their marketplace rather than Amazon's own stock - Amazon no longer even needs to invest in or pay for stock storage to make a profit on a sale - in fact they charge sellers to store and despatch it on their behalf, and of course to destroy it too in this situation.

  7. #7
    I think there was an article about Richemont destroying Cartier watches few years back. Terrible practice…


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  8. #8
    Master Onelasttime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wileeeeeey View Post
    Amazing thread. Truly special.

    Amazon workers urinate in bottles because they're not allowed toilet breaks while wearing bracelets which buzz when they're not walking fast enough. Amazon were even caught, at board level no less, plotting the smear campaign of one of their own warehouse workers at peak-pandemic last year.

    But trash a load of stuff to keep residuals high and that's it, you're cancelling your account. Sorry but that's laughable. It's also common practice in luxury goods. Burberry and Chanel are no stranger to this either.
    Just another piece in the sordid Bezos corporate puzzle.

    Luxury goods trashing - who cares? This is £££££s worth of useful, unopened gear chucked in the skip. This is gear that families and schools could have found a proper use for, not alligator-skin manbags.

    As for Amazon warehouse working practices, I thought this was common knowledge? Maybe not then, which begs the question, why not?
    Last edited by Onelasttime; 22nd June 2021 at 16:10. Reason: Not the Bear Pit. Oops!

  9. #9
    Master Christian's Avatar
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    From what I understand the vast majority of this doesn't belong to amazon but sellers who store their stuff in Amazons warehouse and then close up shop. It doesn't surprise me that Amazon chooses the cheapest method of getting rid rather than use its own profits to redistribute somehow. Even if they gave it away, I'd imagine they are opening themselves up to be liable if the cheap Chinese product electrocutes someone or sets fire to their home. Not excusing the practice, but don't find this news story surprising. You only have to spend 10 minutes at a household waste site to see the vast quantities of stuff that is being being sent to be buried on a daily basis.

  10. #10
    Master murkeywaters's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christian View Post
    From what I understand the vast majority of this doesn't belong to amazon but sellers who store their stuff in Amazons warehouse and then close up shop. It doesn't surprise me that Amazon chooses the cheapest method of getting rid rather than use its own profits to redistribute somehow. Even if they gave it away, I'd imagine they are opening themselves up to be liable if the cheap Chinese product electrocutes someone or sets fire to their home. Not excusing the practice, but don't find this news story surprising. You only have to spend 10 minutes at a household waste site to see the vast quantities of stuff that is being being sent to be buried on a daily basis.
    I'm not standing up for Amazon but there is so much crap being banded around about these products being scrapped and dodgy products.

    Its mainly all FBA sellers stock being liquidated (Fulfilled By Amazon = general public import stock to Amazon, Amazon fulfils their orders through Prime) so the general public who sell through Amazon are asking for their excess/unsellable stock to be destroyed, lots of this stock is from Chinese sellers importing goods to the UK who then sell their goods here with a false VAT number, of course they didn't pay VAT using a fake number so had a 20% advantage over UK sellers.

    This practice was stopped on Jan 1st when Amazon started to collect VAT/pay VAT on sales rather than leave it for the individual to stump up the tax bill, instantly most Chinese sellers increased their prices, some sold at break even points to get rid of stock and other just told Amazon to destroy their stock as its too costly to re-export.

    Cheap Chinese products are not a worry for Amazon, their criteria for getting a product listed on their website that is electrical, battery operated, or some other HAZMAT product is very strict, you have to jump through so many hoops and provide official paperwork to prove the safety of your product before they will list your product, if one thing is wrong once your product arrives in the FBA warehouse you risk losing all your costs so it really isn't worth it.

    With that said their employment practices look like they could be massively improved on, I get why people dont like Amazon, its practices and say its not a British brand but ironically, a lot of purchases you will make will be from British people who have worked hard to produce a quality product from a trusted Chinese supplier, often most products will have had a better QC than many high street sellers and this practice is only going to get tighter.

  11. #11
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    Well, I personally don’t care if some consider it ‘normal business practise’ or whatever other corporate BS excuse - it’s not acceptable and if Amazon weren’t already on my shit-list of companies not to buy from, this would get them on it! ( I can feel Bezos quaking in his Jimmy Choos! )

    Amazon - with their overwhelming power - could very easily stop or at least vastly reduce the practise simply by insisting that third party unsold/returned stock is returned to base. That might force some of these companies to reconsider how much junk they are churning out and shipping around the world.

    Where the products are Amazons own (and not total junk - laptops or phones for example), they could be distributed to folk who need but can’t afford them. I’m sure a process like that wouldn’t make much of a dent in their profits.

  12. #12

    Amazon - if you thought their tax dodging and treatment of employees was bad, this se

    Quote Originally Posted by wileeeeeey View Post
    Amazing thread. Truly special.

    Amazon workers urinate in bottles because they're not allowed toilet breaks while wearing bracelets which buzz when they're not walking fast enough. Amazon were even caught, at board level no less, plotting the smear campaign of one of their own warehouse workers at peak-pandemic last year.

    But trash a load of stuff to keep residuals high and that's it, you're cancelling your account. Sorry but that's laughable. It's also common practice in luxury goods. Burberry and Chanel are no stranger to this either.
    I think that’s a bit out of line. I want aware of those other incidents, and had I been I would have cancelled then. To criticize principles, particularly in light of unjustifiable business practices, is plain wrong. Did you watch the clip?

    Think your comment merits a retraction.

  13. #13
    Grand Master wileeeeeey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldHooky View Post
    I think that’s a bit out of line. I want aware of those other incidents, and had I been I would have cancelled then. To criticize principles, particularly in light of unjustifiable business practices, is plain wrong. Did you watch the clip?

    Apology in order.
    It's a bit like being shocked when you find out there are suicide nets in the factories where they make iPhones and how many suicides at work it took to put them up, yet not change the conditions or practices which caused employees to end their lives at work.

    Not long ago an employee was "questioned" over a missing iPhone prototype on the roof of the factory then "fell" to his death.

    Big, powerful companies nearly always have awful business practices but Amazon has made zero effort at all to hide its true colours. It's been very open about what it expects and gets up to. This is why I'm so surprised that you're surprised.

    The story which has made you cease using Amazon isn't a shock at all and is probably the least bad thing they do.

    Wait until you find out they don't pay tax. You'll fall over.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by wileeeeeey View Post
    Wait until you find out they don't pay tax. You'll fall over.
    Granted this was probably FY19/20 and things could have changed but…

    Online retail giant Amazon paid £293m in tax in the UK last year

    I am not saying it’s the right amount either, clearly a difficult question/debate but nearly £300m is not nothing.

  15. #15
    Grand Master wileeeeeey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Justin Case View Post
    Granted this was probably FY19/20 and things could have changed but…

    Online retail giant Amazon paid £293m in tax in the UK last year

    I am not saying it’s the right amount either, clearly a difficult question/debate but nearly £300m is not nothing.
    You're not wrong but is that nothing or something? What is that figure Vs sales? It has to be in context. It's a bit like saying £300k for a house in London is nothing - £300k is a huge amount of money but for a house in London it's literally f all. Even £1m won't get you much here.

    Are sellers on Amazon still able to skirt VAT making themselves cheaper than the high street on a like for like basis? Does Amazon deliberately enable to this boost sales through its own platform?

    I have an Amazon account and since lockdown I've spent thousands with them on all kinds of stuff. I think they're a disgusting company but they're fast, extremely convenient, and with Covid around the smartest place to buy most things.

    I'm just not going to exclaim my shock when they do something minor which clashes with my own beliefs rather than all the other major stuff they do on a daily basis.

  16. #16
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    Unknown to most except the victims like myself.

    Criminals hack into Amazon account, add a new name / address / mobile number.

    Make a load of " trade ins " in your name in exchange for instant gift cards ( before goods for trade in are sent to them )

    Make a load of orders with your bank card saved on your acount and gift cars Amazon just gave them.

    Then archive the activity and orders so that you cant see what they have done.

    Get the lot sent to the new name and address.

    The new name and address is an Amazon self service locker.

    They get a code for a locker and turn up masked and hooded no doubt so the CCTV is useless.

    Take the goods.

    By the time you realise what is happening its too late.

    I messaged Amazon and their customer service would only relay my messages to Amazon security team.

    Amazon security team would only email me after 48 hours each time lol.

    They said that my account was not hacked and nothing was wrong lol.

    Spent next week contacting customer service about 20 times, phoning my bank several times about fraud.

    Turns out if the retailer denies you were hacked then you are treated as if you made the orders and dont have a leg to stand on.

    I hounded Amazon untill eventually i guess they wanted rid of me and gave me a refund.

    Honestly nightmare to deal with them, the criminals got away with it and Amazon still have the same security flaws today.

    I have blocked Amazon from my bank account, they are a dangerous company and dont even know you are being hacked even after pointing it out.

  17. #17
    Master Onelasttime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wileeeeeey View Post

    I have an Amazon account and since lockdown I've spent thousands with them on all kinds of stuff. I think they're a disgusting company but they're fast, extremely convenient, and with Covid around the smartest place to buy most things.
    Keep drinking the Bezos Kool Aid

  18. #18
    Grand Master wileeeeeey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Onelasttime View Post
    Keep drinking the Bezos Kool Aid
    Can't stand the guy or his practices but everyone is a hypocrite somewhere and I'm not going into shops still.

    Had my second jab yesterday so who knows, might cancel it before 2021 is out. Hope so.

  19. #19
    Craftsman trott3r's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xellos99 View Post
    Unknown to most except the victims like myself.

    Criminals hack into Amazon account, add a new name / address / mobile number.

    Make a load of " trade ins " in your name in exchange for instant gift cards ( before goods for trade in are sent to them )

    Make a load of orders with your bank card saved on your acount and gift cars Amazon just gave them.

    Then archive the activity and orders so that you cant see what they have done.

    Get the lot sent to the new name and address.

    The new name and address is an Amazon self service locker.

    They get a code for a locker and turn up masked and hooded no doubt so the CCTV is useless.

    Take the goods.

    By the time you realise what is happening its too late.

    I messaged Amazon and their customer service would only relay my messages to Amazon security team.

    Amazon security team would only email me after 48 hours each time lol.

    They said that my account was not hacked and nothing was wrong lol.

    Spent next week contacting customer service about 20 times, phoning my bank several times about fraud.

    Turns out if the retailer denies you were hacked then you are treated as if you made the orders and dont have a leg to stand on.

    I hounded Amazon untill eventually i guess they wanted rid of me and gave me a refund.

    Honestly nightmare to deal with them, the criminals got away with it and Amazon still have the same security flaws today.

    I have blocked Amazon from my bank account, they are a dangerous company and dont even know you are being hacked even after pointing it out.
    Do you have an idea of how theygot into your account?

  20. #20
    Craftsman
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    So much rubbish targeting Amazon its just click bait

    They pay the tax they are legally obliged to just like the rest of us

    They discard lots of stock just like the rest of the retail sector

    They use the same tracking system for warehouse workers as lots of other companies , my mate who works at Tesco has a similar system

    Yes employees pee in bottles , most drivers do that its called "Driver Tizer"

  21. #21
    Master Onelasttime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Liner33 View Post
    So much rubbish targeting Amazon its just click bait

    They pay the tax they are legally obliged to just like the rest of us

    They discard lots of stock just like the rest of the retail sector

    They use the same tracking system for warehouse workers as lots of other companies , my mate who works at Tesco has a similar system

    Yes employees pee in bottles , most drivers do that its called "Driver Tizer"

    Doesn't make it right though, does it? The whole sector needs a kick up the arse to ensure workers are treated fairly and with respect. Without them, the company is nothing.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by trott3r View Post
    Do you have an idea of how theygot into your account?
    No. I have been using the internet since the early 90`s and this was the first time.

    i change passwords like the weather

  23. #23
    Grand Master mart broad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Onelasttime View Post
    Doesn't make it right though, does it? The whole sector needs a kick up the arse to ensure workers are treated fairly and with respect. Without them, the company is nothing.
    The whole wide world of business needs a good kicking Amazon are just a small part of of worker exploitation that we as consumers happily buy into whether it be Chinese workers,Bangladeshi sweatshops producing for Primark to Ralph Lauren, Vietnamese trainer makers or kids mining for lithium and on and on
    We the consumer want cheap goods and someone has got to pay.
    I FEEL LIKE I'M DIAGONALLY PARKED IN A PARALLEL UNIVERSE

  24. #24
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    They’re cheap for nothing. Take away the fast delivery and we wouldn’t use them. That said we don’t get our money’s worth out of prime, at all.

    There’s a house in our street and they have deliveries off them I bet 6 days a week. Crazy. Their house must be a tip.

    I need to ask the other half to cancel it actually and see if we are better off.

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by xellos99 View Post
    No. I have been using the internet since the early 90`s and this was the first time.

    i change passwords like the weather
    I am not trying to teach you to suck eggs, but:

    https://haveibeenpwned.com/ is nice to check if your email/password has been hacked.

    All large retailers get constant fraudulent login attempts from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Credential_stuffing some are successful and exploited.

    The most likely attack vector is not a breech of amazon, but somewhere else you've used the same email/pw combo. If someone breeched amazon there'd be a lot more people complaining.

  26. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by guinea View Post
    I am not trying to teach you to suck eggs, but:

    https://haveibeenpwned.com/ is nice to check if your email/password has been hacked.

    All large retailers get constant fraudulent login attempts from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Credential_stuffing some are successful and exploited.

    The most likely attack vector is not a breech of amazon, but somewhere else you've used the same email/pw combo. If someone breeched amazon there'd be a lot more people complaining.
    Clearscore is another good one. It actually tells you what passwords associated with your email are 'out there' on the dark web

  27. #27
    Master murkeywaters's Avatar
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    I dont see the problem with the tax issues, every company worth its salt employs accountants to take over their tax affairs and essentially work the system to pay the least tax, its all part of business, anyone reading this would happily pay less tax if it was all above board and logged by a certified accountant, pounds are better in your account than HMRCs

    While Amazon probably pays less tax per percentage as a company by working the system, the hundreds of thousands of sellers pay personal tax, VAT, and import duties on goods so the tax paid into the coffers through Amazon overall is huge.

  28. #28
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    ^ Exactly, well said.

    When I had my own limited company, I paid my accountant to find the most effective ways for me to pay the lowest amount of tax or corporation tax rehired by law.

    I wasn’t breaking rules, just using whatever was available to minimise the burden. Anyone owning their own company who says they do otherwise, I’d suggest was either a liar or a fool as you’re simply giving your money away.

    Loads of EV cars being driven as company cars to offset the corporation tax bills - a free car vs paying tax. It might sit ill with some, but perfectly legit way for business travel needs.


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  29. #29
    Grand Master snowman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by murkeywaters View Post
    I dont see the problem with the tax issues, every company worth its salt employs accountants to take over their tax affairs and essentially work the system to pay the least tax, its all part of business, anyone reading this would happily pay less tax if it was all above board and logged by a certified accountant, pounds are better in your account than HMRCs

    While Amazon probably pays less tax per percentage as a company by working the system, the hundreds of thousands of sellers pay personal tax, VAT, and import duties on goods so the tax paid into the coffers through Amazon overall is huge.
    Clearly, there is a problem with the tax systems internationally, which allows these giants to earn billions and pay a tiny percentage of the tax we would as governments are trying to change the system to make them more accountable.

    However, you're right that it's the system, rather than the companies (and equally, super rich individuals) who are able to pay people to ensure that they pay the least amount of tax they can legally.

    At the risk of straying out of G&D territory, it's always the people in the middle who pay for everything.

    The poor don't have any money to tax and the really rich pay people to ensure they don't...

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  30. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by Mj2k View Post
    When I had my own limited company, I paid my accountant to find the most effective ways for me to pay the lowest amount of tax or corporation tax rehired by law.

    I wasn’t breaking rules, just using whatever was available to minimise the burden. Anyone owning their own company who says they do otherwise, I’d suggest was either a liar or a fool as you’re simply giving your money away.
    I've just finished a lengthy consulting gig where I could have created a ltd company and taken advantage of some tax benefits. I didn't. Fundamentally I believe that people and corporations should pay tax in the spirit of the law, not just the accountants' weasley interpretation of it. Tax is a good thing and I'm happy to pay it.

    The last organisation I worked permanently worked for shared the same principles. It was also a large retailer with £10s of million in unwanted stock and perfect condition returns. It didn't send them to landfill. They were given to charity and sold to one of the myriad of companies that hoover this stuff up for resell. Ironically on platforms like amazon and ebay. There is no need to dump any of it.

  31. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by snowman View Post
    Clearly, there is a problem with the tax systems internationally, which allows these giants to earn billions and pay a tiny percentage of the tax we would as governments are trying to change the system to make them more accountable.

    However, you're right that it's the system, rather than the companies (and equally, super rich individuals) who are able to pay people to ensure that they pay the least amount of tax they can legally.
    Just to be clear, these big companies spend millions lobbying. They cannot be separated from the system, they are the system. You absolutely can blame them for taking advantage of the tax laws because they made them.

  32. #32
    Master Onelasttime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by guinea View Post
    I've just finished a lengthy consulting gig where I could have created a ltd company and taken advantage of some tax benefits. I didn't. Fundamentally I believe that people and corporations should pay tax in the spirit of the law, not just the accountants' weasley interpretation of it. Tax is a good thing and I'm happy to pay it.

    The last organisation I worked permanently worked for shared the same principles. It was also a large retailer with £10s of million in unwanted stock and perfect condition returns. It didn't send them to landfill. They were given to charity and sold to one of the myriad of companies that hoover this stuff up for resell. Ironically on platforms like amazon and ebay. There is no need to dump any of it.
    Quote Originally Posted by guinea View Post
    Just to be clear, these big companies spend millions lobbying. They cannot be separated from the system, they are the system. You absolutely can blame them for taking advantage of the tax laws because they made them.

    There is hope

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