Amazon offers refunds for dodgy solar eclipse glasses

It doesn't want customers going blind.

Reuters/Mario Anzuoni

Did you buy a low-cost pair of eclipse glasses hoping to watch the August 21st solar eclipse without spending a fortune? Amazon might be reaching out to you. The company has confirmed a recent Verge report that it's "proactively" refunding purchases of eclipse glasses that might not meet the ISO 12312-2 safety standards needed to protect your eyes. It also appears to be pulling product listings for those glasses to be on the safe side.

It won't shock you to hear the reason why Amazon is taking the initiative: as with its reaction to unsafe hoverboards, it's exhibiting an "abundance of caution." The last thing Amazon wants is thousands of customers damaging their eyesight with sub-par glasses bought from its store, especially if the manufacturers falsely claim to meet safety standards.

As before, you'll want to be sure that any pair of glasses meets those ISO standards before making a purchase. That's not always easy, but the American Astronomical Society has a list of solar viewer brands and vendors if there's any doubt. Amazon notably isn't on that list yet -- however, this new crackdown supports the AAS' claims that the internet giant is making a "good-faith effort" to clean up its act.