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Local wholesaler at odds with Amazon

Posted: 5:12 PM, Apr 06, 2016
Updated: 2016-04-08 17:30:25Z

UPDATE: 10News was informed Friday that Amazon has reversed its $5,100 fine on a local wholesaler who used the wrong kind of packing peanuts, thanks in part to our coverage. Read the full story below. 

SAN DIEGO -- A local wholesaler is fuming after receiving a fine from Amazon.com for thousands of dollars -- a penalty that had to do with how the company sent its product.

Ryan Doheny sells thousands of dollars' worth of his pro-digestive antacid to Amazon.com each year.

"It's a high-tech antacid," he said.

Now, Doheny said Amazon is giving him a bad case of indigestion because the retailer is fining him and his partners more than $5,000.

Doheny said he's shocked.

"It was three times the value of the order that was placed by Amazon," he said.

Doheny said Amazon bought a big case of the antacid Axia3. Instead of shipping it through his usual Arizona distribution center, he said he did it himself in Carmel Valley, using packing peanuts.

That's where the trouble started.

The packing peanuts protect the shipment, but some could also violate Amazon's terms.

Last week, the retailer emailed Doheny a picture of the open box, saying the kind of packing peanuts he used weren't allowed at their facility. It said he could use other things like shrink wrap, air filled pillows or crumpled paper.

"Crumpled up paper? Then you're wasting trees," Doheny said.

Two days later, he got another email slapping him with a $4,200 fine for not complying with the rules. On Wednesday, they tacked on another $900 for a shipment he'd already sent.

"You would think you would get a warning and at least an explanation," Doheny said. "We just can't get that."

Amazon did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Doheny said he's appealing the fine, but he's also bracing himself to lose a lot more than just peanuts.