Cancel a Sale to a Customer

Discussion in 'Ecommerce Forum' started by Sparetoolparts, Aug 26, 2020.

  1. Sparetoolparts

    Sparetoolparts UKBF Regular Full Member

    396 39
    Hi Guys

    A customer bought an item from my online website, that I don't have instock, when I go and try to get this from my supplier I've been told a price increase and a part number change. I have gone back to my customer and told them about this and advised them if they still want the item they will need to pay extra or I can issue a refund.

    The customer is demanding I ship the item at the price they paid for it and are quoting consumer rights etc etc.

    My understanding on this, is I have the right to refuse and refund any order that I want; as nothing has been physically given to the client yet.

    Can anyone confirm this for me?
     
    Posted: Aug 26, 2020 By: Sparetoolparts Member since: Oct 26, 2015
    #1
  2. thetiger2015

    thetiger2015 UKBF Regular Free Member

    358 100
    Bit of a tricky one that, as it was probably best to cancel the order and say you ran out of stock but now the customer thinks you're trying to extract more money from them.

    https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/c...f-something-is-advertised-at-the-wrong-price/

    'Your legal rights depend on something fairly tricky in the law: whether or not you have a ‘contract’.

    Depending on the company’s terms and conditions, you’ll have legal rights (and a contract) either:

    once you’ve paid for the item
    once they’ve sent it to you

    If you have a contract, the company can’t usually cancel your order, even if they realise they’ve sold you something at the wrong price. They’ll only be able to cancel it if it was a genuine and honest mistake on their part that you should’ve noticed.

    If you don’t have a contract and someone realises they’ve told you the wrong price, they can cancel your order.'
     
    Posted: Aug 26, 2020 By: thetiger2015 Member since: Aug 29, 2015
    #2
  3. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

    24,443 2,970
    Yes you can cancel. The item is no longer available at that price.

    Of course the buyer can slag you off to all and sundry.
     
    Posted: Aug 26, 2020 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
    #3
  4. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

    33,362 9,869
    You contracted to supply an item at an agreed price. They fulfilled their part of the contract bu placing an order and making a payment.

    You are obliged to provide the item at that price. If you fail to do so you could be in breach of advertising standards.

    Don't think you can get out of this. If it wasn't in stock you shouldn't have listed the part.
     
    Posted: Aug 26, 2020 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #4
  5. finleydesign

    finleydesign UKBF Enthusiast Full Member - Verified Business

    636 138
    Incorrect, might seem an odd concept for you, but there is no "entitled" clause, any company can refuse to serve anyone for any reason, joe public don't have a right to buy!!!

    The only time it would become an issue, if it was widely recognised that a company had purposely advertised products at wrong prices to encourage sales, thats the only time pricing can be questions or enforced.

    If he ordered, then the company can simply refuse to serve the customer doesn't have to give any reason
     
    Posted: Aug 26, 2020 By: finleydesign Member since: Mar 15, 2012
    #5
  6. tony84

    tony84 UKBF Big Shot Free Member

    5,795 1,068
    If the item number has changed then the item is no longer available? Sounds like it is a similar item but not identical in every way? (or am I clutching at straws?).

    Just tell them you cant provide the item at the advertised price, you will refund them or they can pay the difference and have it at cost. Give them a couple of days to decide and just tell them you will refund them automatically if the answer is anything other than they want the item at cost - obviously word it better than that but life is too short.

    If they choose to take you to court or report you to advertising standard then deal with it. But I have reported things to advertising standards before (a company made an advert saying 90% of mortgage brokers are guilty of bad advice) Advertising standards got in touch and the company said they would remove it... job done, nothing else happened.
     
    Posted: Aug 26, 2020 By: tony84 Member since: Apr 14, 2008
    #6
  7. thetiger2015

    thetiger2015 UKBF Regular Free Member

    358 100
    It's this bit though:

    "I have gone back to my customer and told them about this and advised them if they still want the item they will need to pay extra or I can issue a refund."

    I'd of just cancelled and refunded. Systems don't always count stock accurately and items can be sold out before the website refreshes the feed from the warehouse etc. It's just the 'pay extra' bit that's probably caused the problem.
     
    Posted: Aug 26, 2020 By: thetiger2015 Member since: Aug 29, 2015
    #7
  8. WebDesires

    WebDesires UKBF Regular Full Member

    259 44
    just avoid the mess and say sorry ive talked to our supplier and the new part number is not the same as the old one, thus you are out of stock and will refund the order.

    Then refund them, job done.
     
    Posted: Aug 26, 2020 By: WebDesires Member since: Feb 23, 2016
    #8
  9. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

    24,443 2,970
    Yes its the problem bit - and annoying to the customer.

    However pretty much every online seller goes out of stock / can't find the item they know they have in stock somewhere. And cancels the order.
    Should be rare with decent stock control systems but does happen.
     
    Posted: Aug 26, 2020 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
    #9
  10. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

    33,362 9,869
    Yes, but they didn't cancel the order. They said the customer has to pay more if they want the item. This is where it's all gone awry. If they had just issued a refund it would all be OK.
     
    Posted: Aug 26, 2020 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #10
  11. iDigLocal

    iDigLocal UKBF Regular Full Member

    143 27
    I think you need to check your terms and conditions of sale but in general, if it is an honest mistake on your part, then you can cancel the order. "Sorry, there was a pricing mistake and we cannot sell at that price."

    When this happens the best solution is to either

    1. just tell them you haven't got it in stock
    2. depending on the loss, send it out at the price they paid and take the hit then update the price. Sometimes the loss is outweighed by potential future sales. you can even tell them that in actual fact the price was wrong but you will honour it then they will feel good about your business.
    As long as it is not some scam to get sales then its just a mistake, just cancel the order. You won't get the customer back though by the sounds of it. But then if they are being that unrealistic about things then that's probably a good thing.
     
    Posted: Aug 26, 2020 By: iDigLocal Member since: May 9, 2018
    #11
  12. kulture

    kulture UKBF Legend Staff Member

    8,117 2,239
    In retail, the advertised price is not necessarily the contract price. When a customer orders the product at the advertised price, this is an invitation to treat. The business can accept that offer at that price and a contract is formed, or can negotiate and suggest a different price. The customer can then agree the new price or walk away. An ecommerce retailer should not take the money until the contract is agreed and the item ready to dispatch. Most merchant providers would require the retailer to reserve the money but not take it. So no actual refund would occur.
     
    Posted: Aug 26, 2020 By: kulture Member since: Aug 11, 2007
    #12
  13. Nick Walsh Studios

    Nick Walsh Studios UKBF Regular Full Member

    153 19
    Refund and send them a 20% off code for any future purchase, the lifetime value of that client could be worth many thousands of pounds
     
    Posted: Aug 27, 2020 By: Nick Walsh Studios Member since: Apr 12, 2020
    #13
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  14. Sparetoolparts

    Sparetoolparts UKBF Regular Full Member

    396 39
    Thanks for all the advice guy, I think I'm just going to take it on the chin and move on with my life!
     
    Posted: Aug 27, 2020 By: Sparetoolparts Member since: Oct 26, 2015
    #14
  15. Chris Ashdown

    Chris Ashdown UKBF Legend Free Member

    11,890 2,474
    Is it not the case that once the order has been accepted the contract is made, so if you acknowledged the order confirmation to the buyer then you made a contract to supply and you need to honor that contract

    If you did not confirm (accept) the order in any way then you can cancel the offer and refund the payment

    You seem to have been dropshipping and got caught out and should send the replacement item and just absorb the cost as part of life's learning

    Asking for extra money would be seen as a scam and if the sales was by Ebay or Amazon then could damage your company account if reported to them
     
    Posted: Aug 27, 2020 By: Chris Ashdown Member since: Dec 7, 2003
    #15
  16. wayzgoose

    wayzgoose UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    852 129
    I've got in my terms that the contract is not accepted until I post the parcel out.
     
    Posted: Aug 27, 2020 By: wayzgoose Member since: Oct 9, 2007
    #16
  17. Chris Ashdown

    Chris Ashdown UKBF Legend Free Member

    11,890 2,474
    I would doubt that is legal as rather unfair to the customer
     
    Posted: Aug 27, 2020 By: Chris Ashdown Member since: Dec 7, 2003
    #17
  18. wayzgoose

    wayzgoose UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    852 129
    Not really unfair as it is my choice as to time when I accept the order. It's not really possible to accept an order as soon as the money is received as that wouldn't givre you any time at all to agree to it. So at what point to you consider the order is accepted?
    The acknowledgement email is purely showing that an offer to buy has been received.
     
    Posted: Aug 27, 2020 By: wayzgoose Member since: Oct 9, 2007
    #18
  19. wayzgoose

    wayzgoose UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    852 129
    From UK Practical Law site:

    Offer and acceptance
    To give the trader control over the terms of the contract, a website's terms and conditions often:
    • State that by submitting an order the customer is making an offer.
    • Describe when the trader is deemed to have accepted that offer, for example, only once it has issued the customer with an order confirmation e-mail, or actually dispatched the goods.
     
    Posted: Aug 27, 2020 By: wayzgoose Member since: Oct 9, 2007
    #19
  20. LanceUk

    LanceUk UKBF Regular Free Member

    110 36
    The first point is established in contract law, with limited exceptions.. But doesn't hurt to put it in to your standard Ts&Cs.

    The second case varies the normal offer/acceptance rules and would probably be deemed potentially unfair, but not illegal. As such, the advice should also be that this would be made prominent - maybe highighted at your shopping cart and with a separate tick-box... unless this is standard practice for your industry (not dropshipping, but what you sell as I doubt your customers know you dropship) - there are many cases where unfair/onerous terms in B2B and B2C contracts have been struck out as they were not made prominent enough, or had the purchaser's attention explicitly drawn to them...
     
    Posted: Sep 6, 2020 By: LanceUk Member since: Jan 8, 2018
    #20