Amazon warns customers of fake eclipse glasses bought on site
PORTLAND, Ore. (KATU) - It's not easy to spot a counterfeit pair of eclipse glasses, especially when you buy online.
Wendy Wllingham couldn't until she stumbled upon an article. She bought a few pairs on Amazon.com. After she learned about the fake glasses, she wrote a complaint and got an immediate refund along with an email reply. (posted below)
A spokesperson for Amazon stated they've reached out to any customer who bought fake glasses and sent refunds, adding that companies who sell glasses on the website are required to comply with the ISO standard.
Safety is among our highest 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.
However, the ISO logo can even be found on counterfeits.
"It said they were legal and legitimate and inexpensive, should've been a giveaway I guess. I was going to send three to my sons and keep two for myself," said Willingham.
Using a pair of fake glasses during the eclipse for even a few seconds can be destructive.
"It's the ultraviolet light or the high-energy light that is completely invisible that does the most damage," said Dr. Brandon Lujan.
With the eclipse just days away, many might now find themselves in a bind looking for a legitimate pair.
"If I hadn't written to them, if I hadn't stumbled on the article, I would be using these glasses and I'd be looking right in the sun and they could burn your eyes out," said Willingham. "It's horrible."
The only way to make sure you're buying a pair of legitimate glasses is getting them through a reliable source. The American Astronomical Society has a list of 12 reputable companies they've approved.
Email response from Amazon.com:
We’re writing to provide you with important safety information about the eclipse products you purchased on Amazon (order […] for Solar Eclipse Glasses CE and ISO Certified 10 Pack by WEBSUN for Direct Sun Viewing Safety Eye Protection Glasses).
To protect your eyes when viewing the sun or an eclipse, NASA and the American Astronomical Society (AAS) advise you to use solar eclipse glasses or other solar filters from recommended manufacturers. Viewing the sun or an eclipse using any other glasses or filters could result in loss of vision or permanent blindness.
Amazon has not received confirmation from the supplier of your order that they sourced the item from a recommended manufacturer. We recommend that you DO NOT use this product to view the sun or the eclipse.
Amazon is applying a balance for the purchase price to Your Account (please allow 7-10 days for this to appear on Your Account). There is no need for you to return the product. You can view your available balance and activity here:
For more information about safely viewing a solar eclipse please see the NASA and AAS websites.
If you purchased this item for someone else, please pass along this information to the recipient.
We hope to see you again soon.