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Customers doing "Test orders"
ByronM




msg:3637929
 7:39 pm on Apr 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

Whats the rationale behind "Test orders" and "seeing if i want to do business with you" and then threatening legal action because i billed them when they canceled an order that already shipped?

seems like its getting really popular these days an excuse. "oh, we didn't think you shipped that fast, we were just testing out orders"

 

pbradish




msg:3637960
 8:08 pm on Apr 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

I've yet to run into that. Threatening legal action... are they high ticket purchases? That would seem odd for a test order.

Staffa




msg:3637965
 8:14 pm on Apr 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

I'm somewhat confused here : "...i billed them when they canceled an order that already shipped"

Are they not required to pay befor you ship the goods ?

lorax




msg:3638022
 9:24 pm on Apr 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

Are they competitors in disguise?

LifeinAsia




msg:3638044
 9:55 pm on Apr 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hearing "seeing if i want to do business with you" sounds like either a competitor or an extremely high-maintenance customer.

Do you have any notice on your site stating that the customer will be billed as soon as the order is shipped?

ByronM




msg:3638498
 1:17 pm on Apr 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

Two cases in the same week and both customers sent long emails threatening legal action because i billed their card. We auth on order and bill on ship and sometimes that process only takes 20 minutes after the order has been placed.

All notification say we ship quick and that orders canceled after shipping are billed a re-stocking fee and considered a merchandise return.

Both said they were doing "Test orders" and were "not going to give us the big business" and send their lawyers after us

ectect




msg:3638510
 1:26 pm on Apr 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

This sounds really fishy to me. Can you see any relation between the two orders / customers? My first reaction to a scenario like this would be "scam" - I would be inclined to check out each one very carefully.

piatkow




msg:3638516
 1:29 pm on Apr 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

Two weirdos with identical weirdness in the same week.

Could it be a copycat of something on TV where the fictional fraudster was paid off to keep him out of court?

bwnbwn




msg:3638552
 2:05 pm on Apr 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

Follow your outlined procedure in your return order section and tell them not to do this again or the same thing will happen again.

Charge them for shipping, and restock fee and forget them.

Rugles




msg:3638812
 5:50 pm on Apr 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

"Test orders"

I am confused. Did they provide a credit card number? If so, how could that be considered a "test order".

If I remember my contract law from University, you had a "offer" and an "acceptance", therefore you had a completed transaction and a legal contract. You are on fine legal ground as far as I know.

It could be somebody testing out stolen credit card numbers on your website, that happens to us frequently.

[edited by: Rugles at 6:25 pm (utc) on April 30, 2008]

ambellina




msg:3638832
 6:15 pm on Apr 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

I guess you could post a warning in the terms/conditions that orders ship within X hours/days of the time the order is placed.

Your customers always seem to be such a pain :/ I'll try to send some good "vibes" your way and maybe they will improve.

Demaestro




msg:3638836
 6:27 pm on Apr 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

They entered a contract when they fulfilled the order on your site. Perhaps there is some ambiguity in your checkout process for this to happen to two separate customers.

Do you keep a CC number on file and then charge or do they have to enter it for every purchase? If they didn't enter it because you have it on file then it is conceivable that they didn't realize that they had fulfilled the order, but that is still far fetched assuming you have a clearly labeled button that says "Complete Order" or something similar and equally unambiguous.

I don't even wait to ship before I charge the card... I charge it then send the order to shipping.

howardam




msg:3638849
 6:28 pm on Apr 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

Good Grief. That seems pretty rediculous; and I am pretty positive that you in the right if they actually take legal action. I agree with bwnbwn about just do a basic return, charging shipping and restock, etc. I would then run a check to see if the two customers are the same or with the same corporation because it may be some kind of weird scam. Good luck!

ByronM




msg:3639408
 1:34 pm on May 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

Customers don't appear to be the same. Different phone numbers that are listed in whitepages to different addresses, different ips and they all passed our main fraud scrubbing/verification/geo-ip/proxy scrubbing.

The *MOST* annoying "industry trend" is people ordering from 5-6 sites and canceling the ones that don't ship first. I see this growing on a daily basis and causing lots of grief.

As far as spelling out the rules, its part of what they agree during the sale by selecting the checkbox they agree to it but people don't read that stuff. They find a deal on a deal site, order away and then run off to what they were doing. Most don't even read the order emails, tracking emails and will simply email us from another account and ask about all that.

I'm seriously considering setting up an outbound call that calls everyone and says "your order has shipped via #*$! tracking number 1907394837294378 please check your abc at xyz dot com email to track your order" thank you - good bye.

bwnbwn




msg:3639462
 2:41 pm on May 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

The *MOST* annoying "industry trend" is people ordering from 5-6 sites and canceling the ones that don't ship first. I see this growing on a daily basis and causing lots of grief.

I would stop that by charging each and every one my time my money my grief and put a stop to that garbage.

Reason you are getting this type of behavior is they have been getting away with it I say time to put a stop to it on your site.

Let the other sites get the grief over it till they do as you have and stop this

ByronM




msg:3639505
 3:23 pm on May 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

bwnbwn:

Its a catch-22.. If you play hardball the customers fight back even harder. They will post how terrible you are on 25 forums, 3 review sites and 100 friends.

Sometimes I wonder how the industry came to these circumstances.. people want/expect something for nothing and delivered to there door in 2 days.

HRoth




msg:3639550
 4:14 pm on May 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

I have had some people doing this--they will order something, and if they don't get it right away, they will order somewhere else and not tell me they want to cancel the order. I put up a notice on my site about how long it takes me to process an order, on average (I am NOT speedy). That has helped to greatly decrease this kind of customer, but I still get a few people who do this. I have never heard it called a test order, though. I think some of it is due to merchants competing on the basis of how fast they ship, although speediness is not a major characteristic of merchants in my niche, but I also think some people are just a bit bratty, and some are very young and just constitutionally can't wait for anything. If I have sent it and they want to cancel, I tell them they can send it back and I will refund them, but that everything has to be in resaleable condition. I have this on the site, which my credit card processor told me was enough coverage. I have noticed that some merchants are saying now that if the item is returned, they won't refund the shipping. I don't know how I feel about that yet. So far, I refund everything.

LifeinAsia




msg:3639591
 4:49 pm on May 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

We have a similar situation regarding online reservations. People make a reservation, then go search other sites for a better deal. (Or try to go directly to the supplier and try to leverage a better deal.) We make it quite clear on the checkout page that their credit card will be charged when the reservation is confirmed, after which the standard cancellation rules and fees apply.

Most of the times when they contact us to cancel their reservation becuase their "travel plans have changed," after we remind them they will be charged the cancellation fee, their travel plans mysteriously change back. :)

ByronM




msg:3639600
 4:53 pm on May 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

I just lump both these circumstances as test orders. Some customers get verbal about it being test orders and threatening that they will never do business again for whatever reason but other seem to place multiple orders on different websites for the same item and then go cancel the ones that don't print the first shipping label. (which means nothing since its only important when it gets shipped, not when you have a label/tracking number)

Demaestro




msg:3639652
 5:31 pm on May 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

The way you are describing it makes no sense to me... how can one reasonably think that buying something and completing the checkout process could be construed as anything other then an order?

Test order is something I have only heard of when testing a system, and usually there is a way to discern the test orders from real ones if the tests are done during production... why a real customer would place a "test order" is beyond me... I still don't understand what that means... what are they testing? Their ability to place an order? Is this some test for new employees or students?

How can they reasonably expect that you would be able to distinguish between a "test order" and a real order? Did they click some magic "this is a test order" check box or something?

I don't know what is going on but it seems like some alternate reality. Who wants to do business with someone who uses your real world purchasing gateway for playing around. It is like a prank or something... I have never come across anything like this in over 8 years... and for it to happen to you with two seperate people makes me wonder if you are the victim of a prank or if your checkout process they went through is not clear enough that people don't know when they are completing an order.

[edited by: Demaestro at 5:34 pm (utc) on May 1, 2008]

Essex_boy




msg:3639731
 6:55 pm on May 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

expect something for nothing and delivered to there door in 2 days - I see this in my day to day work.

ByronM




msg:3639784
 8:15 pm on May 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

I don't know what is going on but it seems like some alternate reality. Who wants to do business with someone who uses your real world purchasing gateway for playing around. It is like a prank or something... I have never come across anything like this in over 8 years... and for it to happen to you with two seperate people makes me wonder if you are the victim of a prank or if your checkout process they went through is not clear enough that people don't know when they are completing an order.

Welcome to the wonderful world of hi-tech & electronics! When people spend a dime, they want it tomorrow and anything else short of that is "poor business".

I've spoken to others in the CE/Tech field and its a common occurrence and basically used by the "savvy" deal people.

They go and order a bunch of stuff, hop around and if they find a better deal they go and cancel all their previous orders. Most likely because they're going back and selling on gray markets and want to increase their margin.

These folks if you don't please them 100% go and hammer you EVERYWHERE.. reviews, forums, community sites, blogs - you name it. They will crush you and threaten to sue you all the way down at the same time for fraud, price violation, credit card abuse.. so on and so forth.

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