Five Idaho stores pull possibly faulty ‘protective’ eclipse glasses from shelves

Seven Fletcher Petroleum stores recently pulled hundreds of solar eclipse glasses from shelves after Amazon warned customers that they might be inadequate.

Fletcher ordered about 1,700 pairs of glasses on Aug. 2, received them on Aug. 9 and put them on the shelves of stores by Aug. 10, according to company President Marla Gardner. Five of the stores are in Idaho, including one in Eagle, and two are in Baker City, Ore.

Gardner said she received an email from Amazon stating that the glasses did not have the proper certification guaranteeing eye protection to watch Monday’s eclipse. The stores immediately stopped selling them. The glasses wound up being available for purchase for about a day-and-a-half, and Gardner estimated that about 300 pairs sold, most of them at the Oregon locations.

She said her company was reimbursed for the glasses and she ordered new ones, but those have not been received. The stores will offer any customer who purchased the glasses an exchange for new ones.

An Amazon representative offered a written statement to the Statesman on Tuesday but did not verify how many glasses were sold to customers in Idaho or nationwide.

“Out of an abundance of caution and in the interests of our customers, we asked third-party sellers that were offering solar eclipse glasses to provide documentation to verify their products were compliant with relevant safety standards,” according to the Amazon statement. “The offers from sellers who provided this safety documentation remain available to customers. The listings from sellers who did not provide the appropriate documentation have been removed and customers who purchased from them were notified last week. Customers can contact Amazon customer service with any questions or concerns.”

The American Astronomical Society offers tips on its website to eclipse viewers on how to tell whether the glasses they purchased are certified to protect their eyes.

The following Fletcher Petroleum stores sold the glasses that have since been removed from shelves:

  • Veltex, at 2212 10th St. in Baker City, Ore.
  • Fletcher Sinclair, at 940 Hwy 7 in Baker City, Ore.
  • Shady Acres, at 4150 W. State St. in Eagle
  • Sunset C, at 990 Sunset Strip in Mountain Home
  • Veltex Mini Mart, at 182 West 1st Street in Glenns Ferry
  • Kwik Service, at 992 W. Main St. in Jerome
  • Veltex Market, at 511 N. Main St. in Ketchum

Read our ongoing story with everything you need to know about the solar eclipse.