Amazon fined a college student $3,800 for returning a rented textbook 4 days late

jeff bezosREUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

A college student incurred a $3,800 fine recently after she was four days late in returning a textbook she had rented from Amazon, CBS Philly reports.

University of Delaware student Amelia SanFilippo told CBS' Philadelphia affiliate that Amazon issued the hefty penalty on textbook "Cultural Anthropology: A Toolkit for a Global Age," which she rented for a class this past semester.

When she forgot to send the textbook back to Amazon by its due date, the company notified her that she had been charged for the book since it wasn't returned on time, CBS reports.

SanFilippo rented the textbook from Amazon for only $62.70, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. The $3,800 fine is more than 60 times the price SanFilippo originally paid for the textbook.

According to Amazon's policy on late textbook returns, Amazon will charge customers the price of extending the due date for the rental, and then the price of purchasing the book itself.

SanFilippo's father compared the incident to "extortion" to CBS Philly. Fortunately, SanFilippo was refunded five days after Amazon imposed the fine, although it reportedly took a nine-hour phone call with customer service.

"When I pointed out to him that the sum was exorbitant, he kept apologizing that I was frustrated, but that this was Amazon's policy," SanFilippo's father told the Inquirer about the call with customer service.

Read more: Amazon's textbook rental service is perfect for college students looking to save money and time this semester

Amazon did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment. But in a statement to CBS Philly, Amazon said it had rectified the situation and refunded SanFilippo.

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

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