Amazon charges college student more than $3,000 for overdue book

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- A Delaware college student tried to save money by renting a textbook from Amazon, but she got more than she bargained for when she didn't send it back in time.

“I’m majoring in cognitive science, concentrating in speech language pathology,” University of Delaware rising sophomore Amelia SanFilippo told CBS Philly.

SanFilippo turned to Amazon to rent a book for one of her classes.

“You just go and click on the button that says rent the book and they just send it as if you’re receiving any other Amazon package,” she said.

But SanFilippo missed Amazon's fine print. If the book was not returned by June 24, she would be charged $3,800 to buy Cultural Anthropology: A Toolkit for a Global Age; however, it was only $150 to buy the book outright.

SanFilippo was reminded four days after the due date about the book.

“Your rental was due June 24, 2019. We have not received it and as a result we have charged you for the item and it is now yours to keep,” read an email from Amazon.

It was hers for $3,800--a charge her father, Anthony SanFilippo, said he won't forget any time soon.

“To ramp that up to $3,800? That to me seems like extortion,” he said.

Her father said after returning the book and enduring a nine-hour call with customer service, they finally got a refund five days later.

But SanFilippo said he's still sending a strong warning to other college students.

“I think Amazon is taking advantage of college students, I do. I don’t think they’re alone. I think there are other companies that are probably doing the same thing,” he said.

Amazon said in a statement, "This was an isolated error that we quickly resolved directly with the customer and have issued a refund. We’ve apologized to the customer and are taking additional actions to ensure this situation does not happen again.”

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