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Returns


gillamb

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I had a customer buy some items from me 3 months ago. The items were despatched same day as always and arrived the next day.

 

I had an email on Tuesday asking whether they could now claim a refund as the items were not suitable for them.

 

I refused, saying that unfortunately we can not offer a refund due to the time that has passed since purchase and the fact that they were not faulty, just unwanted. We have a statement on our site saying refunds wont be given for items returned after 30 days unless the item is defective.

 

Today, the parcel turns up, with the returned items inside! Do i have to give a refund? I don't want to pay for despatch again due to this customer ignoring my email, and i certainly don't want to refund him. Does anyone know my legal obligations?

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Depends where you are. Law varies from country to country / state to state.

 

Under most legal systems, you have no obligation to do anything. You stated your returns policy, and declined to accept the return. Your buyer has sent the goods back despite this, so it is entirely his problem.

 

I'd send him (or her) a mail acknowledging receipt of whatever was sent, reminding him of your returns policy, quoting the email you send declining the return, and inform him that you will return the goods to him provided he pays the cost of doing so in advance.

 

You might have some right to dispose of the goods eventually. At some point they must be considered 'abandoned' I guess. You could look into that, but at the moment I'd say you should put them somewhere safe, and ensure you mitigate any loss / damage on your (PITA) buyers behalf. That is to say don't dump them in your back yard!

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Today, the parcel turns up, with the returned items inside! Do i have to give a refund? I don't want to pay for despatch again due to this customer ignoring my email, and i certainly don't want to refund him. Does anyone know my legal obligations?

 

i hope you didn't open the parcel yet.

 

i have customers doing this stuff all of the time, it's ignorant. they get exactly what they order & expect us (the company) to eat it because they "found it cheaper elsewhere" or "i decided i don't want it". and "i expect to be fully refunded." i don't think so.

 

whenever i receive shipments from customers i check their details in my database to ensure somebody already authorized their return. if it's old as hell or nobody authorized it, it gets a big fat "return to sender" written all over it, and gets shipped back.

 

9x out of 10 i never hear back from them.

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i hope you didn't open the parcel yet.

 

Yes, i use a fulfilment company now so all returns go direct to them, so they opened it as a standard return and informed me of the return.

 

It is very annoying as it is quite a large order for us, but for goodwill it may be a good idea to offer credit. I'm torn between thinking it is his problem he returned the item, after i said no, and taking the aggressive approach, and the more reasoned approach of offering a compromise. Ah, the joys of running your own shop!

 

Thanks for all your replies, much appreciated.

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  • 5 weeks later...
Yes, i use a fulfilment company now so all returns go direct to them, so they opened it as a standard return and informed me of the return.

How does the fulfillment company handle it? Do they give you credit or credit minus a restocking fee? What happens the the stuff?

 

Too bad they accepted the package.

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