A UKRAINIAN refugee in Winchester was left feeling 'hopeless' after ordering a £700 laptop on Amazon only for it to be stolen and replaced with washing powder.

Svitlana Mykhailenko, who works as a cleaner at the University of Winchester, saved for three months to buy a new laptop directly from Amazon as a birthday present for her eldest son who lives in Sweden.

While the laptop was delayed due to external factors, the package arrived on December 20, three days after the initial order.

However, Svitlana was shocked and upset when she opened the package to discover that the laptop she had ordered had been replaced with washing powder.

Svitlana said: “I took the box into the room, took the tape off and the tape wasn’t Amazon tape that they pack with. And I didn’t think anything of it because maybe there are some different shops based on Amazon, it doesn’t have to be Amazon tape or something.

READ MORE: Man's shock after £1,200 MacBook order swapped for washing powder

“So when I open the box, I see covered in paper, packing paper, so it was completely the same, so I didn’t know if it was a mistake or if someone maybe think about it and stole it, there was no idea what happened.”

Svitlana tried to contact Amazon to get a refund or a replacement laptop similar to the one that she ordered, but was unsuccessful, with Amazon claiming that it had been shipped and the delivery completed.

Even after contacting Winchester City Council and Citizen's Advice for aid, Svitlana is no closer to getting either compensation for the missing laptop or a replacement.

She said: “For months I feel bad and frustrated about this situation. It was a huge stress and I made an appointment with my GP – maybe they could give me medicine to make me calm. I was sleeping really bad.”

Svitlana’s friend Mariia Zaika-Chelenk, who was acting as an interpreter, said: “I think it’s not only about the situation, but it’s like, you feel yourself – you don’t know what you can do. You can do nothing.

“You know, it’s a foreign country for us. Maybe we understand laws and everything that is going on but we don’t know something, particular things. And if we were in Ukraine, we would know what to do. So, you feel so helpless.”

SEE ALSO: Teachers at Winchester College vote for industrial action in row over pension changes

Hampshire Chronicle:

A spokesperson for Winchester City Council said they had stepped in.

They said: “We were very sorry to hear what happened with Svitlana’s laptop, the city council has been supporting Ukrainian guests as they settle into the district and so she approached us for help.

"Our Ukrainian support team helped her raise an initial complaint with the retailer and put her in touch with Citizen’s Advice who would be able to advise her further.”

An Amazon spokesperson told the Chronicle that Svitlana will be getting a full refund, saying: “We work hard to build a great shopping experience and that includes a seamless, customer-friendly delivery and returns policy. Even though customer satisfaction is our utmost priority, we recognize that we’re not perfect.

“We are sorry for the inconvenience our mistake has caused. We have thoroughly reviewed this case and taken the necessary action to provide a resolution for this customer.”

Hampshire Chronicle: