I have outlined 5 potential parties that I might pursue in a small claims court in connection with the issue outlined in the attached (essentially Amazon provided a refund and I subsequently got proof that the item had been delivered). I was hoping for a little wisdom in respect of whether I should pursue this further (I am out of pocket by nearly £500) and if so who should I be pursuing?
It can be contested on line and no need to attend court (easily) and is a small cost compared to the loss. You will get your costs back and additional reasonable expenses when you win the case. Courts require less proof than Amazon and have much lower probability of assumed guilt than Amazon apparently has. https://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk/web/mcol/welcome
We have done it in extreme circumstances and often the defendant has preferred to pay rather than get a detrimental CJ that affects future credit.
Whats to lose ? The only thing I would say is that Courts like you to send a letter before action (recorded) asking the buyer to pay up in a reasonable timescale (say 10 days) before you commence legal action without further notice to them.
I sympathise, but on first reading I see that although you were clearly told to either refund the buyer or respond to the AZ claim, you did neither. That's why you lost the case. I don't see why the buyer should get away with it though, so I would go after the buyer (Amazon have deep pockets).
We have had really good results when we have confronted the buyer with the evidence and sent a letter before action. It dispels the theory that Amazon decisions are above the law and brings a bit of reality to the situation. We have had to use the court route (and have been successful) but most often buyers that are working the Amazon system will prefer to pay up or return the goods to avoid it.
Have read your attachment, I suggest you forget about taking legal action against Amazon, within the agreement between Amazon and yourself, you failed to respond to the A-Z claim within 3 days, therefore viewed that you did not challenge the claim, you also don't mention if tracking was uploaded at the point of dispatch, but not that important now.
With P2G irrespective of the delay in providing information, the issue is did they deliver to the address posted to, have you checked the signature/name matches the buyer, if they did then fulfilled their part of the contract.
Your buyer will have made a legally binding statement when opening the A-Z claim that they did not receive the goods, Amazon have to accept that statement unless evidence is presented to challenge that, therefore I suggest it's the buyer who after receiving a refund and assuming also the goods that's legally liable for the debt.
Before taking your buyer to court, first ensure the confirmation of delivery is to the buyers address and signature matches their name, if so then as already advised send a letter before action to the buyer 'signed for post' outlining the situation and offering +/-14 days to pay the cost, or reverse the refund they received, or court proceeding will be issued for recovery of the cost.
Just make sure your evidence of delivery is 100% sound before going after the buyer, if not then it's P2G you need to pursue for the lost £500.
Thanks for the comprehensive reply. I have been civil at all times with the recipient to date so am probably well placed and while my frustration makes me want to pursue a legal action in the short term I can see that your arguments are sound so will draft up a letter in the morning.
Thanks to all for their advice so far. Please keep it coming especially if you are able to shed more light on the legalities.
It is quite heartening to get some response on this that reflect the sellers side of things. Sadly I have had to recognise that selling on Amazon is not for me, I have already lost far too much sleep with just this issue alone. I have had buyers return goods in poor condition because they bought cheaper elsewhere - and I have had to refund. I wasn't happy but really this issue just took the biscuit for me so thanks for the support.
One last thing - does anyone have a draft letter suitable for this circumstance?