Consumer Investigation: A consumer got a $5,200 surprise from Amazon. Then she called News10 NBC


CANANDAIGUA, N.Y. -This consumer investigation is one of the oddest cases News10NBC as researched in a long time. You’ve likely gotten a package delivered to your house by mistake. But you’ve likely not gotten a 5,200 lb. mistake. That’s what happened to a News10NBC viewer in Canandaigua. 

When you search for garden planter on Amazon, one of the results you get is for the Crirax Galvanized metal planter. 

It’s a big sturdy metal flower box, a gift that would surely gratify the green-thumbed gardener you love. But Amazon sites says it’s currently unavailable. The site reads, “We don’t know when or if this item will be back in stock.”

That’s because the full stock has been delivered to the driveway of Pat McCauley’s Canandaigua house, waiting for her on Tuesday when she got home from work.

“There were two big pallets in my driveway,” said McCauley. “I was like what is this? And so, I looked at the bill of laden and it was from Amazon. And I figured out what it was because there was a SKU.”

That SKU revealed those pallets were loaded with 120 planters, and her call to Amazon customer service was fruitless.

“So I finally demanded I get a supervisor, and I was on the phone with her for like three hours,” said McCauley. ”Going on hold and she’s talking to different people, and finally she said someone will come and pick up the pallets tomorrow.”

The supervisor still didn’t know why the pallets had Pat’s name on them and were delivered to her address, but she was relieved she at least agreed to have them carted away.

“And so I get home last night and instead of them picking up the pallets there’s two more pallets!” said McCauley incredulously.

The delivery driver had even left  two empty pallets for good measure. There are three full pallets, each filled with 60 planters. That’s 180 total. And she estimates the fourth likely has about 50. That’s a whopping 230 planters. Two hundred thirty boxes at $120 a piece equals $27,600 of product mistakenly delivered to her driveway. Fortunately, she hadn’t been billed for the delivery.

So I did some sleuthing. There was a code on each pallet, FAT2. That’s a code for Amazon’s fulfillment center in Visalia, California. So, one Amazon customer service agent had a theory.

“He couldn’t prove it, but he thought maybe it was an Amazon warehouse return to vendor and got sent to me instead,” said McCauley.

Here’s another oddity. McCauley bought one of those planters back in July. Could her name have somehow been in the system, and that’s how Amazon made the mistake? I reached out to Amazon and a spokesman told me the company is still investigating the matter, but in the meantime, it was taking care of McCauley. 

Amazon spokesman, Richard Rocha wrote, “We’d like to thank News10NBC for bringing this to our attention. We’ve contacted Ms. McCauley to apologize for this inconvenience, and we’re working directly with her to coordinate the removal of these pallets.”

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