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How would you handle this?

Customer says order not received

     
5:57 pm on Sep 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Hi,

I have an order that I shipped and based on the tracking number it has been delivered. The shipping carrier says they left a reference note saying they left the item on the porch behind a plant pot.

However, I now have my customer saying they received the reference note, but no item is behind the plant pot.

So either my customer is lying to me and trying to get another item for free, or someone stole the item that was on the porch.

I never had an issue like this come up so I don't know how I am going to handle this; what would you do if you were in this situation?

Thank you,

olimits7
6:27 pm on Sept 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Once I had a person say they didn't receive an order even though it tracked as delivered. I told them to take it up with the shipping company, a fact which I also have noted in the terms of sale. After that, never heard from them again saying it wasn't delivered.
6:41 pm on Sept 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Ok, thank you! But is there any insurance or could a customer open up a case with the shipping company themselves?

I would like to say the same thing to them but I don't even know if there is anything the shipping company will be able to do.
6:59 pm on Sept 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

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If it is stolen then the customer needs to report it to his local police. Tell him that your insurance company requires details of his police report before they can authorise a refund. If he is trying it on I am sure that he will "discover" that a neighbour took it in for safe keeping. If he does report it then its between you and the carrier.
7:24 pm on Sept 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

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They can do a chargeback if they didn't get it, even if it says it's delivered. When I get something like this, I talk to the customer and try to get a sense of whether they are telling me the truth. They almost always are. I call the local post office and speak to them and ask them to notify the carrier of the problem. I ask the customer to look for it in the house, outside the house, and with the neighbors. Usually it turns up. If it doesn't, I refund them to prevent a chargeback and tell them I can no longer deliver anything to that address, because their mail is being stolen, and that they should get a PO box. If they want to place another order, it has to be sent to a secure location and requires a signature.
8:07 pm on Sept 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

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piatkow,

That's a good idea; I guess if it was really stolen then the customer won't have a problem contacting the local police to get a report for the stolen item. But if they are trying to get a free item out of this; then I'm sure they would be hesitant to contact their local police dept.

Have you done this before? Have customers sent you a police report in the past of an item that has been stolen?

I don't mind providing them with a full refund if the item has actually been stolen, but I hate just doing a refund solely based on the customer's word. If they can provide me with a police report I would feel more comfortable issuing them a refund.

HRoth,

Then using your method after a police report is received/scanned I think it is good to no longer deliver to the that address and use another address that is secure and requires a signature...like you mentioned.
5:55 am on Sept 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I have never needed to try it but others have recommended that approach here.
4:20 pm on Sept 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I never had an issue like this come up so I don't know how I am going to handle this; what would you do if you were in this situation?


Usually I write a polite email to the customer, apologize for the trouble and ask him to sign a statement under penalty of perjury that he did not receive the parcel. After I have received the statment I will either refund or send a replacement.

Actually my courier requires this statements if something like this happens and the parcel is insured. But even if the parcel was not insured it scares the dishonest people a little. It is one thing to lie about a parcel, another to confirm the lie in writing.

I also tell the customer that I will report the stolen parcel to the police and that he might be contacted and questioned as a witness.

It is important to always be polite and not give the customer the impression you do not believe them. Because often they tell the truth and the parcel was stolen.

Several times the parcel suddenly reapeared. Most of the time not, however.
8:57 pm on Sept 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Ok, great ideas...thank you!

One thing I find strange about this customer is they are very polite and don't seem rushed at all. I would think this customer would be emailing me every couple hours asking about their item and would be annoyed, but it seems like he is very relaxed about this whole scenario.
9:00 pm on Sept 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Hmmmmm...I wonder what method would be better to use:

Tell the customer that I will report the stolen parcel to the police and that he might be contacted and questioned as a witness?

OR

Have them get a police report from their local police dept for the stolen item before I could issue a full refund?
12:38 am on Sept 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

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have you looked at the air photos? Might help to see what the neighborhood looks like. Kind of sounds like it maybe did get stolen.
12:22 pm on Sept 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Depends on the value. If you're looking at less than $100 - just hit the refund button. You're throwing good money at bad by chasing it. Mark the customers account as a baddie, and move on.

I really like the "well, we'll need to get the cops over" idea piatkow suggests.

I reality, if your "customer" doesn't want to pay, they are not going to pay. It's a cost of business you have to plan for.
2:03 pm on Sept 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

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If it is too much, I think I will try to get the reality.
If it is not much, I will choose to let my customer get another.
I am confused very much, because I used to deal with "clear" orders, while it is hard for me.
I am a supplier of packing products. I always ship my products to abroad, but never suffer this confusion.

[edited by: lorax at 2:25 pm (utc) on Sep 17, 2011]

6:29 am on Oct 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

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if you have not paid for extra insurance with the shipping company, then there is no much you can do.
I think that there is always a default price that the shipping company will refund is package is lost.

To avoid: Do not blame teh customer or openly suspecting him, that could fire back to you!
9:36 pm on Oct 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

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if it is an inexpensive item, just ship another and move on. if it is an expensive item, open up a claim with the shipping carrier.
9:21 pm on Oct 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

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If customer really want to give you a hard time he can do so. You being the seller, have less rights than the buyer. Even if he takes you to arbitration, you have very little chance of winning and may end up losing more than just the price of the goods. I have gone through this situation few times so can tell you by experience.