They cannot return the money the way you want nor can they send you another high dollar item without seeing the return first. They have to return it to the card you paid with, and then they sent you the links that are the fully automated method of return. You print a label and schedule a pickup, at that point it is up to UPS to pick it up, or you take it to a UPS drop point (which is how I do returns). Once they receive the item (be sure to put the return bar code inside the box), they are quick to refund the money. If it is around the topic of they will send a replacement and then you send back the item after and they will refund before you send it back, that sounds like a very poorly trained customer service rep, and that is too bad, and I would not just assume "Amazon" is lying to me, I would assume there is lack of training.
Amazon actually has one of the better customer service ratings for returns/order issues of online retailers. They protect the buyer much more than protecting the seller, trust me. I hate seeing a return request from a buyer, it means 99% of the time I have to eat the expenses and accept the return, even when the buyer was clearly fraudulent. I rarely need to get ahold of a customer service person. If I have an issue with an item, I use the return/refund functions on my order and initiate the return without ever talking to somebody. In the cases I have, the issue was resolved quickly and never required any follow up.
Hopefully you get this resolved quickly. Perhaps you have a way to rate the customer service experience too, and put factual unemotional content into that survey so they can retrain, or improve the person to person experience.
As a side note, their refund policy is clearly documented, there should be no surprises or lies there. Upon a scanned receipt of the item, they will initiate a refund process, which could take days, but rarely does. If you cannot handle a business week period for a refund, then online purchases aren't always a good option, especially for high dollar items. There is shipping time, processing time, and CC clearing periods, often taking a week or more about anywhere you buy online.
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