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Shipping Policy - Damaged Product Due To Shipping?
olimits7

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4169485 posted 8:42 pm on Jul 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

Hi,

I was just wondering, what shipping policy do you guys have in place for when a customer receives a damaged product due to shipping?

Do you pay for their shipping costs to return the product to you?

Do you offer a refund or only exchange for the same product?

Thank you,

olimits7

 

brokaddr



 
Msg#: 4169485 posted 8:56 pm on Jul 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

For me, it depends on the customer's attitude. If they're being rude and accusatory I push them off on the post office.

If they're polite & understanding, I'll eat the costs just to retain them as a customer.

jwolthuis

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4169485 posted 10:00 pm on Jul 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

We pay their shipping costs to return the product, and send a replacement as soon as we verify that they returned it, via the tracking number we provide on the return label.

In some cases, the cost of the return shipping exceeds the value of getting the damaged product back; in those cases, we tell the customer to dispose/keep the damaged item.

We don't actually purchase insurance for our shipments (with some carriers, a certain amount is automatically insured; with other carriers, you must purchase insurance). We build a certain loss percentage from lost/damaged shipments into the price of the shipping.

dpd1

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4169485 posted 2:41 am on Jul 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

First I ask for a photo, which I just tell them is so I can use it with the shipper... But really it's just to verify it's actually damaged. Then if I can, I send them a new part for the one that's damaged. Most of the time I don't bother to ask for it back, because a part will fix it. But if I did, I'd probably expect them to pay, as they didn't pay for insurance, so it was a risk we both took. I'm out some money, and they're out some money, and that's the way it goes. I don't insure anything myself, because it's usually pointless. If you paid extra insurance for everything, you would most likely end up paying more for that, than just taking the hit for when something gets screwed up.

topr8

WebmasterWorld Senior Member topr8 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4169485 posted 7:48 am on Jul 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

as they didn't pay for insurance, so it was a risk we both took.


it is an international crowd here on WebmasterWorld and i'm sure the advice above is correct! ... however for anyone reading this in the UK, the risk is entirely the merchant's.

Propools

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4169485 posted 2:38 pm on Jul 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

We ship a lot via UPS/Fed-Ex and on common carrier freight lines. We have a pretty stringent position on freight damage. It's a pretty common practice with a lot of companies to have such policies listed on their site. Ours is listed as part of our "Legal Stuff" section.

Here's how we address freight, first we have an easy to see "STOP" sign by our shipping section then it reads:

Shipping
Inspect all product shipments and report any damages or shortages. Inspect all cartons and note any damage or possible concealed damage on the freight bill prior to signing forreceipt of or receiving the products. Should the product shipment be signed for and no notes are made indicating any possible or real damages, then the consumer of the product(s) becomes the legal owner of the merchandise and ?*?*?*?.com, the seller, can no longer file a damage claim with the freight carrier and therefore any damage(s) would be yours to claim with the freight carrier, should any be realized. Should product shipment damage(s) be noted on the freight bill, be certain the delivery driver signs the same receipt you do and you retain a copy of the signed documentation for your records. ?*?*?*?' responsibility with respect to shipments made by common carrier ends withthe issues of the bill of lading.

I have taken out our domain/company name and placed it with ?*?*?*?

We are not hard nosed about freight on all occassions. Generally, if they sign the freight bill of "Possible Concealed Damage" or that it is damaged and the accept the product, we do have leverage w/ the freight company for compensation. The other option is for the customer to refuse the shipment due to the damage, should their be any.

What we advise a lot of our customers is that if they get a shipment that looks damaged, to give us a call and talk with us about it. We've done this long enough to know whether they should mark the freight bill as described above or just refuse the shipment.

Hope that helps shed some light on this for you. ;)

dpd1

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4169485 posted 6:32 pm on Jul 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

Actually, this makes me think about how it feels to have the shoe on the other foot. I recently received a box that had been roughed up quite a bit. It was stuff for my biz, that I routinely purchase from someone. I spend a lot of money with them, but I have found them to be quite petty in the past. In this last box, a few things were broke. I wasn't surprised, because it was bending in the middle. I had no choice to accept it, because I needed the materials, and I knew they wouldn't all be broke. I have also warned them in the past, that the way they are packing it is going to lead to breakage, which they completely ignored. So now I'm wondering how they're going to handle it. It's only about $30 damage out of thousands of dollars that I've spent with them. So you would think they'd just blow it off and send more. But knowing how they've acted in the past, I'm not so sure. So we'll see.

Propools

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4169485 posted 8:02 pm on Jul 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

dpd1, if you were our customer and we've had your feedback on product shipment damage; we most certainly would have addressed it.

Concerning, the $30 damaged product, we would probably comp you in some fashion so as not to risk losing your future business.

dpd1

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4169485 posted 9:17 pm on Jul 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

dpd1, if you were our customer and we've had your feedback on product shipment damage; we most certainly would have addressed it.

Concerning, the $30 damaged product, we would probably comp you in some fashion so as not to risk losing your future business.


Yeah, that's what I would do too. But these guys are a little retarded. At one point in the past, I had already ordered thousands of $ of stuff from them, across numerous times. I had a couple things that showed up scratched... Items that to me are worth total $8... To them, probably about $2. As I was calling in another large order, I casually mentioned that those parts had been damaged, thinking they would just say... "Oh, don't worry about it, we'll put a couple extra in this order for you." No... The guy actually asked me to send it back to them. I'm like... Uh, really? It will cost more to ship than they're worth. He's all... "Well, yeah... We need to see what's going on with them". Which I took as a backwards way of saying that they want me to prove it's actually broke. Like yeah... I just ordered $1500 of stuff from you, and I'm about to order another $1000, but I'm going to lie about these little .50 cent parts being broke.

Unfortunately I have nobody else to go to right now for that stuff, but you gotta really wonder about some people. The same guys send me stuff in the mail every month to buy more stuff. But they're willing to pi** me off over a few .50 cent parts.

Propools

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4169485 posted 9:41 pm on Jul 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

The guy actually asked me to send it back to them. I'm like... Uh, really? It will cost more to ship than they're worth.


Yeah, again we don't do stuff like that.
We ship our orders through a wholesale distributor and our agreement with them, when it comes to some damaged goods is that if it's going to cost more to get it back to us, then they can keep the damaged item and we'll still send the replacement at N/C.

But I understand why some BIG companies may do that because if they do that for all of their 1000's of customers, then it will effect the bottom line. Not that it doesn't for a small business too, but I think we've got a lot more flexibility to do the right thing for the customer every time, while maintaining profitability.

But hey, what do I know? I'm just a pool guy. :)

dpd1

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4169485 posted 9:57 pm on Jul 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

Yeah, again we don't do stuff like that.
We ship our orders through a wholesale distributor and our agreement with them, when it comes to some damaged goods is that if it's going to cost more to get it back to us, then they can keep the damaged item and we'll still send the replacement at N/C.

But I understand why some BIG companies may do that because if they do that for all of their 1000's of customers, then it will effect the bottom line. Not that it doesn't for a small business too, but I think we've got a lot more flexibility to do the right thing for the customer every time, while maintaining profitability.


Yeah, these guys are nothing that big. I think maybe there's 4 employees total, which is why I'm kind of shocked how they handle things. I've had people say stuff like... "Hey, I was putting your thing together, and we lost the screws in the bushes. Can I buy more of those"? And I just mail it to them for free. I've even done that on stuff that they bought a couple years ago. And that's not even a repeat customer. But sometimes you get these people that get so caught up in their policies, or pinching pennies, that they can't see the woods through the trees. If I ran a business that was that big... I would tell all people that deal with customers... Hey, stick to our guidelines, but don't lose a customer over it. When it doubt, ask me what to do.

jwolthuis

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4169485 posted 12:48 am on Jul 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

But if I did, I'd probably expect them to pay, as they didn't pay for insurance, so it was a risk we both took.

We are located in the US, and we feel that the customer is always entitled to receive their shipment in an undamaged condition.

The shipping method used by the merchant is up to the merchant; UPS, USPS, armored car, etc. But the customer is *always* entitled to receive a pristine shipment.

If the shipment is damaged, it's the merchant's problem to fix, not the customer who "took a risk" by not opting for "insurance" (which the merchant may-or-may-not even purchase).

If the payment method was a credit card, the customer has rights, and all credit card companies would approve a chargeback in a heartbeat, based on a merchants' defense that the customer took a risk, and received damaged goods.

dpd1

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4169485 posted 3:33 am on Jul 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

We are located in the US, and we feel that the customer is always entitled to receive their shipment in an undamaged condition.

The shipping method used by the merchant is up to the merchant; UPS, USPS, armored car, etc. But the customer is *always* entitled to receive a pristine shipment.

If the shipment is damaged, it's the merchant's problem to fix, not the customer who "took a risk" by not opting for "insurance" (which the merchant may-or-may-not even purchase).

If the payment method was a credit card, the customer has rights, and all credit card companies would approve a chargeback in a heartbeat, based on a merchants' defense that the customer took a risk, and received damaged goods.


You didn't read the post correctly... That portion was strictly speaking about them paying to return something. I already stated that I fix virtually every damaged item one way or another, and most are fixed with a new part, thereby not needing to return the item anyway.

jwolthuis

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4169485 posted 11:48 pm on Jul 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

I re-read your post, and am sure I didn't misquote it. Thanks.

dpd1

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4169485 posted 2:59 am on Jul 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

I re-read your post, and am sure I didn't misquote it. Thanks.


Then maybe read it a third time, because nowhere in there do I say that I expect a customer to not get a usable product, because they didn't pay insurance. Once again... That comment was specifically addressing whether or not they pay shipping to return an item, before I send a new one. That's it. The original OP asked if sellers pay to ship the item back.

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