Customer Returns

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Callan, Jun 8, 2016.

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  1. Callan

    Callan UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    Hi - hopefully this falls under ‘general advice’, but here goes anyway. I run a small online business selling replacement parts for various items (our customers generally come from the UK and Europe, but sometimes further afield).

    Normally, deliveries are trouble free, but in this instance, a customer from outside the UK ordered two parts and both were eventually dispatched. Unfortunately, one part was incorrectly labelled.

    The customer got in touch to let me know, and I offered to send out the correct part once the incorrectly sent part had been returned (for which I would reimburse or pay up front for all shipping costs).

    However, the customer refused to return the part off their own back (the part is quite large), so on their insistence, I had to arrange for a courier to pick it up from their address instead.

    I arranged the courier and a collection day, but unfortunately, the courier company didn’t turn up. On this same day, the correct part was delivered to the customer.

    When I discovered this, I got in touch with the customer, who complained about having to wait around. This time I offered to arrange an alternative courier to pick up, but also suggested that it may be more convenient for them if they arranged the collection or drop off from their side (for which again, I would be happy to pay all shipping costs, either up front or by reimbursement).

    A day or two later, the customer responded by saying they have gone on holiday. I sent a follow up e-mail three weeks later, but it has remained unanswered.

    Where do I stand? If they ignore another follow up e-mail (beyond the point of a normal holiday period) then, what, if any course of action could I take?
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2016
    Posted: Jun 8, 2016 By: Callan Member since: Jun 8, 2016
    #1
  2. deniser

    deniser UKBF Legend Free Member

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    So the present situation is that the customer has one incorrect part and you still have the correct part and the customer's money for it?
     
    Posted: Jun 8, 2016 By: deniser Member since: Jun 3, 2008
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  3. Callan

    Callan UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    Forgot to add, the correct part was delivered to the customer on the same day the courier was arranged to collect the incorrect part. So currently, the customer has both.

    (Now edited original post).
     
    Posted: Jun 8, 2016 By: Callan Member since: Jun 8, 2016
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  4. deniser

    deniser UKBF Legend Free Member

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    That is a difficult situation.

    You are reliant on the co-operation of the customer and it sounds as though he is not co-operating.

    We have had this situation many times and we now have a policy of absolutely nothing going out unless it has been paid for. We have been stung far too many times by customers pleading desperation and promising to send things back and them then ending up with both lots and never paying for them.

    If it is overseas it is even more difficult. The incentive to return the item is lost and you can't arrange collection without the customer's input. Nor can you issue a legal claim for the money.

    Looks like you might have to put this one down to experience but fingers crossed in the meantime.
     
    Posted: Jun 8, 2016 By: deniser Member since: Jun 3, 2008
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  5. john1989

    john1989 Guest

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    Your options will be dictated by the value. What is the value?
     
    Posted: Jun 8, 2016 By: john1989 Member since: Jan 1, 1970
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  6. Callan

    Callan UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    Yep, it's not the best of situations and we'll definitely have to put measures in place so we don't end up with something similar happening again.

    Hopefully it does resolve itself, but as time goes on...

    Just under £500.
     
    Posted: Jun 8, 2016 By: Callan Member since: Jun 8, 2016
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  7. The Byre

    The Byre UKBF Ace Free Member

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    As John said, the value decides.

    But pity the poor customer - all he/she wanted was the correct part. You sent out the wrong part and then failed to collect it. The customer has simply given up on you and probably can't be bothered any more!

    I was in exactly the same position, some idiotic company clerk in a Swedish company kept sending out stuff we never ordered and had obviously not paid for. This nit-wit then asked me to send all the stuff back. I told him to collect it. That, of course, would have meant his going to his boss and admitting to his stupid mistake, so nothing happened.

    That was some time ago and I found those parts a few days ago and threw them in the bin. Also about £500 worth.
     
    Posted: Jun 8, 2016 By: The Byre Member since: Aug 13, 2013
    #7
  8. gruffUK

    gruffUK UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    Just keep politely communicating with them.
     
    Posted: Jun 8, 2016 By: gruffUK Member since: Aug 11, 2013
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  9. deniser

    deniser UKBF Legend Free Member

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    Once when the courier delivered something to the wrong house and the recipient kindly contacted us to let us know, and they were willing to help up to a point but not to the point of staying in all day waiting for a collection, we agreed that the parcel could be left for the courier to collect under a bush in the garden.

    That way, we got the item back but the recipient wasn't overly inconvenienced.

    Maybe you could suggest that the customer leaves the parcel somewhere where it doesn't involve him sitting and waiting eg. at a work place, under a bush etc....
     
    Posted: Jun 13, 2016 By: deniser Member since: Jun 3, 2008
    #9
  10. CW Legal Services

    CW Legal Services UKBF Regular Free Member

    156 23
    It all depedns upon where it is. EU or further afield. Just keep being polite and keep chasing.
     
    Posted: Jun 17, 2016 By: CW Legal Services Member since: Jan 19, 2016
    #10
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