COVINGTON, Va. – A Covington woman working to put the final details on her guest bedroom was shopping online for the perfect side chair, and when she finally found and ordered the one, she found something surprisingly concerning in her package.
Shannon Hogan found the perfect chair on Amazon – a leather butterfly chair. When the package arrived within two days through Amazon Prime, Hogan opened her box to find her chair along with what appeared to be a blood vial sitting inside.
“When I picked it up I had no idea what it was,” explained Hogan. “I just opened it like my regular packages and the vial was sitting loose in the corner.”
Hogan, the mother of a 3-year-old, was immediately concerned about the vial, especially if it contained real blood inside, which could potentially place herself, and her family, at risk.
The vial was wrapped with a label from a laboratory located in India called NEECOR, but it did not contain any important information, like a patient’s name or date of birth, on it.
Hogan found herself asking how something like this could happen.
“Why is there an unmarked vile of blood in my Amazon package?” questioned Hogan.
Hogan began her investigation by contacting Amazon.
At the time, Amazon spokespersons were caught off guard and took weeks to even respond to her, Hogan said.
“They were no help. They just gave me a refund for the chair. I contacted the CDC. I contacted the local police station. No one really knew how to help me,” said Hogan.
To get a response from Amazon, Hogan left reviews on the product’s page to alert other buyers. Her comments were deleted from the page as they did not adhere to Amazon’s guidelines.
Eventually, Amazon issued a refund and an account credit.
“I don’t think I would have ever heard from Amazon if you guys didn’t reach out to them,” Hogan said. “The issue I have is not the money. It’s the fact that no one at Amazon cared at all about what I was saying.”
After contacting every agency she could think of, Hogan turned to 10 News for help.
We contacted six other agencies to be told that this is not a criminal investigation and that many of them would not get involved.
10 News contacted NEECOR Precision Laboratory Consumables.
NEECOR’s website details the company as one that prides itself in manufacturing operations that maintain the highest international standards for quality and efficiency.
By phone, Nirav Patel, the company’s CEO, said, “We are not collecting [samples]. We are the manufacturer of blood sample tubes.”
Patel went on to clarify that they just create the tubes and have no involvement with sample collection.
Hitting a dead-end, we called the chair manufacturer in India next — the Leather Jackson Company.
This was when we started to get answers.
When we asked the leather company if they knew how something like this could happen, they answered, “That is not blood.”
10 News spoke by phone to a representative of the company.
The representative explained, “I know it is a blood sample bottle, but it is not blood. It is color [dye]. You can smell it.”
The man went on to explain it was color dye for customers to replace chipped paint that could come off of their chairs.
10 News ordered a chair from the company to see whether we would get a vial in our package, but there was not one included this time.
We contacted several labs to test the tube contents, but unfortunately, we can find no one willing to test it.
Amazon works with a collection of third-party retailers to provide products to customers.
Amazon also confirmed the seller will change the product packaging of the tube carrying the dye and add a description to make it easier for buyers to identify.