I've warned you that not all products you see on Amazon.com are legitimate. With more than 2 million sellers posting things for sale, buying from the bad eggs can cost you big time.
Right now, there's one fake product that millions have purchased and Amazon is stepping up to offer customers a refund. Does Amazon owe you money for this fraudulent item?
Amazon offering refunds for these fake products
The anticipation is growing for many of you who can’t wait to view the solar eclipse on August 21. In the last few weeks, we’ve been giving you all kinds of tips on the eclipse including information on where to get free solar eclipse glasses.
But you shouldn’t get just any type of glasses. Not using the proper eyewear while looking directly at the sun during the historical event can result in severe eye damage. Homemade filters or even very dark glasses are not safe since they don't block enough sunlight.
A major problem is, there have been a large number fake eclipse glasses for sale on Amazon. According to Rick Fienberg, spokesperson for the American Astronomical Society (AAS), eclipse glasses are one thing you shouldn't buy from Amazon. Many of the glasses on the retail site claim to be ISO certified, but they aren't one of AAS or NASA's recommended brands.
ISO certified means that the glasses will block more than 99 percent of the sun's light. Regular sunglasses won't cut it; they only block about 50 percent. Eclipse glasses should be made from solar filters that consist of black polymer or polyester coated in aluminum. These materials are actually hard to come by.
AAS and NASA strongly suggest that you buy eclipse glasses made by American Paper Optics, AstroSolar Silver/Gold film glasses by Baader Planetarium, Rainbow Symphony, Thousand Oaks Optical or TSE 17. These particular brands print their name, address, and ISO certification mark on the glasses
Now, we’re getting word that Amazon is giving refunds to anyone who bought unverifiable eclipse glasses or the possible fake glasses. The online retailer can’t say if all of the glasses for sale on their site come from reputable manufacturers.
So, Amazon is sending out a safety warning to customers, telling them not to use any eyewear that’s questionable and to return glasses for a full refund. The company acknowledges that glasses sold on Amazon.com are required to have ISO certification.
Amazon is reportedly shutting down shops that don’t offer verifiable eclipse eyewear. It doesn’t matter if companies are issuing warnings not to use the product just in case the glasses aren’t up to standards. Amazon’s concerned the warning might not be received in time.
Amazon said they still carry a wide selection of solar eclipse glasses that are safe. Before buying, they suggest looking for a mark on the glasses with the ISO 12312-2 international safety standard. These glasses promise to block out most of the sun’s light and can protect your eyes from radiation.
Amazon sent out warnings to its customers believed to have bought the fake eclipse glasses. If you didn't get a message, that’s because the product was confirmed by the supplier to be ISO compliant.
If you’re still worried you might have a pair of bad glasses, reach out to Amazon customer service to get a refund. Their customer service line is 866-216-1072.