Amazon is offering refunds to customers who purchased potentially defective solar eclipse glasses. Last Saturday, Amazon started to send the notice through email and only those affected customers received it.
The message from Amazon warned customers about the hazards of using different glasses to look at the sun or the eclipse.
Amazon urged customers not to use the solar eclipse glasses because the supplier is yet to provide a confirmation that the product came from a “recommended manufacturer.” The company emphasized that safety is one of its top priorities.
“Out of an abundance of caution, we have proactively reached out to customers and provided refunds for eclipse glasses that may not comply with industry standards. We want customers to buy with confidence anytime they make a purchase on Amazon.com and eclipse glasses sold on Amazon.com are required to comply with the relevant ISO standard,” Amazon added.
Solar eclipse glasses marked with “ISO 12312-2” passed the international safety standard.
Amazon Upsets Sellers
A number of solar eclipse glasses sellers are unhappy with how Amazon handled the situation and they called a media outlet based in Portland to explain their side.
The owner of AgenaAstro, Manish Panjwani, claims that glasses in his astronomy shop came from two NASA-approved manufacturers, Thousand Oaks Optical and Baader Planetarium. Despite this, they were still part of Amazon’s recall.
Panjwani provided papers to Amazon to prove that the glasses he was selling are verified, but there was no immediate response. Amazon only replied to him when the recall was already in effect.
Lunt Solar System, which is located in Tucson, Arizona, also had a similar complaint.
AAS Blasts Amazon
The American Astronomical Society criticized Amazon for its method of trying to solve the problem with the faulty solar eclipse glasses.
AAS spokesperson, Dr. Richard Tresh Fienberg, said Amazon is allowing “anybody” to sell solar eclipse glasses without ensuring if these comply with the safety standard.
Fienberg thinks the situation worsened when Amazon reached out to all customers, even the ones who bought safe glasses, and discouraged them to use the products. He added that the AAS already educated Amazon regarding genuine solar viewers.
Feinberg also said that the AAS prepared a list of verified sellers, however, their reputations are being damaged with Amazon recalling the glasses and offering refunds.
The AAS have communicated with Amazon to address the problem according to Feinberg, but the company is not giving a “satisfactory response.”
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