How to Sue Amazon in Small Claims Court
Amazon.com is a massive American multinational company that offers e-commerce, web, and digital streaming services among others. Through contracts with individual retailers, Amazon facilitates e-commerce transactions between smaller companies and Amazon's customer base of millions. It is one of the U.S. Big Five tech companies, a distinction shared by Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft. With their vast size and resources, suing Amazon in small claims court can be a daunting proposition.
Amazon is no stranger to lawsuits, both on a large and small scale. According to Marketplace Pulse, Amazon received record numbers of consumer complaints in 2020, while trying to meet unprecedented demand during the COVID-19 pandemic. Complaints ranged from poor product quality to inaccurate reviews and long shipping times. In fact, complaint numbers were so high that in August 2021, the company decided for the first time to compensate customers for defective items sold through their marketplace.
Fortunately, if you have a dispute with Amazon regarding a purchase or refund, injury, or other damage, there are a variety of options available to you. One of the most effective methods to obtain compensation is to sue Amazon in small claims court.
In this article, we discuss:
- Reasons to file a lawsuit against Amazon
- How to file a lawsuit against Amazon
- Issues that may arise if you file a lawsuit by yourself
- How to use DoNotPay to file your lawsuit against Amazon
Reasons to File a Lawsuit Against Amazon
You can sue Amazon in small claims court for amounts under $10,000. Some states have lower limitations for small claims, and limitations vary depending on whether you are suing on behalf of a company or an individual. Common reasons that individuals sue Amazon for small claims include:
|Missing Refunds||If you returned an item you purchased through Amazon or the Amazon marketplace, you may be able to sue for the refund amount.|
|Failure to Deliver||Similarly, if you did not receive an item, and if Amazon agreed to refund you for the money spent on that item, you may be able to sue Amazon for the amount you paid.|
|Seller Funds Not Deposited||If you are a seller on Amazon's marketplace and Amazon has failed to deposit money you earned into your seller's account, you may be able to sue them for the money earned through the marketplace.|
|Product Liability||A 2021 Apellate Court Finding established that Amazon can be held liable for injuries and damage caused by defective products sold by third parties through Amazon's marketplace.|
File a Lawsuit Against Amazon by Yourself
If you choose to file a lawsuit against Amazon without a lawyer, it is important to follow the established legal protocols. Below are the steps for filing a small claims suit against Amazon:
Send a Demand Letter
The first step in the small claims process is to send a legal demand letter to Amazon. The letter should include the following:
- How much money Amazon owes you.
- Why Amazon owes you the money.
- Your name, address, phone, number, and other contact information.
- Where to send the payment.
- Amount of time they have to remit payment.
- Your intention to sue if payment is not received within the allotted time frame.
The amount of time that Amazon has to respond to the demand letter varies depending on the jurisdiction, but is usually between 7 and 14 days.
File the Lawsuit
If Amazon does not remedy the situation within the time allotted in your demand letter, you can file your lawsuit in small claims court. You will be expected to pay a filing fee, depending on the state where you are filing. Fees range anywhere from $40 to hundreds of dollars. If you can't afford filing fees, you may ask the court to waive the fees.
Serve Notice to Amazon
When you complete your filing, you must notify Amazon that you filed a lawsuit against them. Service of Process is complicated and must be done correctly in order to avoid compromising your case. Service can be conducted by anyone who is not a Plaintiff in the case and is over 18 years of age. Most people pay a Court Clerk, Process Server, or the local Sheriff's Office to serve. Service must be made to Amazon's local agent for service of process, and must include an official copy of the complaint. Once service is completed, you must also file a Proof of Service form with the Court.
Attend the Hearing
Once you have filed your claim and served Amazon with notice, you will attend a hearing where you present your case and Amazon can mount a defense. Small claims court hearings can be complex, and you will need to ensure that you provide complete and accurate information with sufficient evidence to substantiate your claim. The Court will send you a Notice of Hearing with the date, time, and location of the hearing.
Dangers/Issues With Filing a Lawsuit by Yourself
Let DoNotPay Help File a Small Claims Lawsuit Against Amazon
Rather than trying to file the claim on your own and risk missing a critical step, take advantage of DoNotPay's legal assistance. We will help you draw up a demand letter that follows legal protocols, and even assist you with creating court filing forms for your suit. The process is simple:
- Log-in to DoNotPay and select the Sue Now product
- Enter the dollar amount you are owed
- Select whether you want a demand letter or court filing forms
- Describe the reason for the lawsuit and submit any applicable details, including photo proof
That's it! DoNotPay will then generate a demand letter or court filing forms for you. We'll even mail a copy of your demand letter to the individual or business you are suing!
From Amazon to Zappos, DoNotPay Can Help
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