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Investigation underway after Amazon purchase deemed 'hazardous'

Last Updated Nov 20, 2017 at 2:37 pm EDT

It’s one of the most popular toys this Christmas season, and it’s already flying off the shelves. In many cases, parents looking to score brownie points from their kids are having to dish out even more money when buying Fingerlings, an interactive toy that features animals equipped with sensors, online.

One Whitby woman was lucky enough to order not one but two of these toys for her kids from Amazon at the end of October. While one was delivered to her home days later, the second package came with a warning.

First came an email from the seller on Thursday, telling her not to “open the package and reject it immediately.”

“After an hour of speaking with (Amazon) and being sent through a supervisor, I found out whatever the package is, it contains hazardous materials and the one supervisor said it would be harmful to the person who opened it,” said Mickii MacKenzie. “I have two small children, I do not want the package delivered to my house, they need to stop it.”

On Friday, MacKenzie says Amazon sent her an email, saying “I do understand the item is a hazardous item and not at all safe for your children. I’ve checked your correspondence with the seller and see the seller is insisting to deliver the item to your address.”

Amazon went on to say that a report had been filed and an investigation launched, reassuring MacKenzie that the item would not be delivered to her address.

MacKenize says she’s relieved the package was blocked, but wants other parents to be cautious regardless.

“I would feel terribly if I received this information and other people aren’t aware, and they put their children in harms way,” she said. “I want to make people aware that this email is true and is much more vague than it should be.”

Though one of the emails MacKenzie shared only states that the order “may not be what was intended”, it’s still unknown why the package was deemed hazardous.

Amazon released a statement on November 20, stating:

We want customers to buy with confidence anytime they make a purchase on Amazon.com. With the A-to-z Guarantee, customers are always protected whether they make a purchase from Amazon or a third-party seller. If ever the product doesn’t arrive or isn’t as advertised, customers can contact customer support for a full refund of their order.

Amazon does not tolerate fraud and counterfeit. We are constantly innovating on behalf of customers and working with brands, content owners, vendors, and sellers to improve the ways we detect and prevent fraud and counterfeit from reaching our marketplace. We also withhold payment to sellers until we are confident that our customers have received the products and services they ordered. In the event that sellers do not comply with the terms and conditions they’ve agreed to, we work quickly to take action on behalf of customers.

Wowwee, the company behind the Fingerlings, didn’t comment on the specifics of this case but say because the toy is in high demand this season, they are urging their clients to take precautions.

“As we continue to take steps to protect our consumers, we also encourage them be diligent when purchasing Fingerlings and look for telltale signs of counterfeits,” a spokesperson said in an email.

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