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Ecommerce Forum

Refused UPS delivery
I am going to start charging customers

 5:23 pm on Apr 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

We are getting a few orders back each week because the customer refused delivery of the item or they didn't make an effort to contact UPS after they had left yellow slips 3 times. I am thinking of adding some language like this to my terms page:

Refused UPS Delivery: If you refuse delivery of an order you will be charged a 25% restocking fee plus a $5.00 re-boxing fee plus shipping costs.

Package not delivered after three attempts: If you have placed an order with us for delivery by UPS, it is your responsibility to make sure that UPS is able to deliver it to you. UPS is very flexible and they will leave you a yellow slip with contact instructions. Often they will be willing to deliver to a neighbor or at a prescribed time. If a package is returned to us because three delivery attempts were made, you will be charged a 25% restocking fee plus a $5.00 re-boxing fee plus shipping costs.




 5:31 pm on Apr 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

In your dreams! You think the credit card companies will let you do that. Customers will scream blue murder, call the card company, and say they want the charge cancelled as they never received the goods. And you'll get a chargeback.

Life's not fair. I wish I could penalise my customers for mucking couriers about. In fact I wish I could charge all the cr*p UK couriers who say they've "carded" the customer when they haven't.


 5:44 pm on Apr 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

If my terms say this and my checkout page says "I have read and agree to your terms" - then I think I will prevail in a chargeback dispute.

Speaking of chargebacks, I was thinking of going for this too. How about adding this one to our terms page!

Chargebacks: If you are dissatisfied with your product for any reason, please call us at 1-800-1234567. Please do not initiate a chargeback with your credit card issuer before contacting us. If you do initiate a chargeback and the card issuer resolves the dispute in our favor, you will be charged a chargeback fee of $30.00 to offset our expenses.


 6:02 pm on Apr 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

Ouch. Can you think of more rules that would put customers off? Seriously, that doesn't sound very friendly to me.

In your check-out, do you have a box for leaving special instructions to the courrier?

After they receive the order, how about sending them a quick email, also mentionning that if there is any problem please call us?

Being a bit more pro-active could win a few more customers :)


 6:15 pm on Apr 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

I think I will prevail in a chargeback dispute

You wouldn't in the UK. Your terms and condition mean natch. The CC companies are only interested in their terms and condition.

Also, in UK law you can't restrict any of the customer's statutory rights. It could be argued that the customer has the right to initiate a chargeback. A court would ask who the h*ll you think you are to require customers to agree to that condition. I don't know about your local law - consult a lawyer with the appropriate specialisation.

I'd love to implement all those ideas you have. In reality I can't. And you probably can't. You'll have an easier life if you learn to live with the inequities.


 6:19 pm on Apr 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

It's pretty standard to not refund shipping and charge a re-stocking fee for returned items... I don't see a big difference between refusing delivery and returning an item, but you'll want to make absolutely sure they read that section of the terms and conditions if you're going to implement it.

I'd also word it differently:
RETURNS/FAILED DELIVERY: Shipping will not be refunded for returned orders, including orders returned due to refused delivery or failure to contact UPS within the first three delivery attempts. Returned shipments will be also be subject to a $5 re-stocking fee per item included in the order.

That way it covers ALL returned items... and customers are more likely to read your return policy than they are to read a "refused delivery" policy.

I wouldn't bother with the chargeback fee though. If they're initiating a chargeback, they're already upset, and you're only going to make things worse... bad word of mouth is the only kind of publicity that's worse than no publicity.


 6:40 pm on Apr 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

In fact after the day I've had today I'm tempted to put a big notice on our site saying "If you are a customer - GO AWAY" :)

<sigh> If wishes were horses....


 6:56 pm on Apr 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

Chargebacks are a pain just add the cost to decent orders.

Unfair but so.


 11:12 pm on Apr 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

Different credit card companies make it more complicated and a hassle to get a chargeback than others do.

Hey how about this:
You must solve a new york times crossword puzzle of my chosing before you're allowed to ask for a chargeback for our products/services.


 11:20 pm on Apr 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

Why would a customer refuse delivery? How often does this occur? Do you send out a notification when the product is shipped? If so, do you include a tracking number for the shipment?

I like mivox's solution above. That seems to cover any discrepancies with shipments.

danieljean brings up a good point too...

In your check-out, do you have a box for leaving special instructions to the courier?


 9:08 am on Apr 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

One thing about chargebacks is that 'the rules' do state that unless the card has been fraudulently used, the customer must contact the seller before initiating a chargeback. It is unfair that a customer can refuse delivery, perform a chargeback BEFORE the parcel gets back to the seller. The seller knows nothing about the problem and has not been given a chance to correct any errors. Any customer who does this has broken the rules of their own card.

A chargeback is a last guarantee, not the first thing they should do. The reason that the customers get away with it is because the card companies allow them to do this - they make extra money from it (from the fee).

Sometimes you should pressure these companies into being fair. I lost over 200 to one merchant account and decided to press for the money back, which according to their rules, I was entitled to. They would not pay. I sent an invoice. They did not pay. I sent a 7-day small claims court warning to the customer services manager, the sales rep, the accounts department and the overall manager. I got the money back within a few days.

But unfortunately with a chargeback, you may not get the money back unless you can prove that the customer did not contact you. And proving that something did not happen is more difficult than proving something that did happen.


 12:48 pm on Apr 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

>One thing about chargebacks is that 'the rules' do state that unless the card has been fraudulently used, the customer must contact the seller before initiating a chargeback.<

This makes sense to me, but I have lost lots of chargebacks when the customer did not contact me first... I am going to contact my card processor today and get a copy of their 'rules' - I'll report back - this could be interesting (I wonder if they really have any rules, because isn't it usually the customer's card issuer who decides on the chargeback? It could be different rules for citibank and Bank of America?).

This has been a good thread and I am going to try a few of the recommendations here (I wasn't having a very good day yesterday when I started this one...). I am actually thinking that I will add some text onto our shipping confirmation email that reminds the customer that they need to respond to the little yellow slips that UPS leaves or else we'll consider it a return...


 1:06 pm on Apr 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

With AMEX, I have purchased items at retail stores where they have aclear sign that says ALL SALES ARE FINAL, yet they allowed me to return it and chargeback


 1:12 pm on Apr 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

>One thing about chargebacks is that 'the rules' do state that unless the card has been fraudulently used, the customer must contact the seller before initiating a chargeback.<

I don't know which rules you need (merchant or consumer) but I was informed of this when I tried to do a chargeback once - they would not let me. I had contacted the merchant on a different transaction (monthly payments), but not on that specific transaction, so the card company asked for me to contact them (preferably in writing, so they had the evidence).

If it is the consumer agreement, they do change from card issuer to card issuer but the company I was dealing with was one of the biggest in the UK for card issuing and are now even bigger, so it should cover many customers.


 4:21 pm on Apr 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

A chargeback fee? you must have not dealt with a lot of merchant banks, you are being very naive. Your merchant account is the precious ground that your online business stands on. You will NEVER win a chargeback if the customer is not in posession of the goods. At least not with Visa or Mastercard. It doesn't matter if they called you, or chargedback a day after sending the merchandise back. And if you really think these banks will let you get away with a "chargeback fee" you are dreaming. Take it from some one who's been burned by merchant accounts many times with over 60k frozen at one point, because I thought I would fight the customer when they wanted to chargeback. I have painfully learned my lesson. It's ok to dispute chargebacks and you should fight every one, but realize that there are many times that it's better to swallow your pride and just credit the customer before they have a chance to chargeback. We take our merchant account so seriously that if we honestly feel a customer is going to chargeback we issue an immidiate credit so when he calls the credit card company they don't let him chargeback as a credit has already been issued.


 6:17 pm on Apr 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

A chargeback fee? you must have not dealt with a lot of merchant banks, you are being very naive.

WTH are you talking about? I didn't suggest a chargeback fee, wingslevel did. I was saying NOT to try to implement a chargeback fee. I only suggested a restocking fee for returned items.

Please read the thread a little more thoroughly before chewing someone out for something they didn't even say.


 6:25 pm on Apr 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

I apologize, I was addressing wingslevel.


 6:29 pm on Apr 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

Thank you. :)

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