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Opinion on stolen package?



12:42 am on Dec 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I have a problem I don't know how to handle. I have a customer who ordered a widget on 11/29. It's a $400 widget, and I was having a blowout sale where I made only $10 on them. (Long story).

The item shipped on 12/2 and was delivered on 12/4. Delivery confirmation shows that.

The customer called to say he hadn't received the package. I asked him to ask friends, neighbors, family and the postman. The postman said he delivered it on 12/4. He remembers leaving the package.

My insurance company MAY pay for the widget, even though it was certainly delivered. But I can't be sure they will. They also require waiting 21 days from the date of delivery before a claim can be filed.

Meanwhile, the customer wants his widget. I told him about the wait, and he got upset and said that sucked. He just called and said he'd talked to his credit card company about doing a chargeback.

I'm trying to calm him down while trying to figure out what to do. If I send him a new one, and the insurance doesn't pay, that's losing the equivalent of 40 sales of these widgets. Sales are tight right now.

The item was delivered. I'm sure from a legal liability standpoint I'm on solid ground. At what point is the customer being unreasonable, though?

What would you do?

I only have until tomorrow afternoon to give this customer an answer.

Thanks for any replies.


2:24 am on Dec 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Customers often are unreasonable...


3:18 am on Dec 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

I would tell him exactly what you just said. Tell him that by him being impatient, he's basically costing you a lot of money... and ask him to look at it from your standpoint. If he refuses to do that, then tell him the package must have been stolen, and you'll have to get an inspector or cop to come by and take a report. See how he reacts to that.

To me, the fact that he is so quick to jump on the 'charge-back' bandwagon, makes me think it's fishy. Most people will give it some time.

There's some other guys on here that have posted some good tactics for this kind of thing, in the past.


3:31 am on Dec 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

dpd1, I did explain it to him that way. He claims to be a merchant himself, and said he understands what it's like to lose money. He knew enough to call to get a chargeback started.

I told him about our ridiculously low margins, and the number of units required to sell to offset this loss. He didn't much care. He sees this as losing money, which it is, and he sees it as theft. He just doesn't want to bear the cost of the theft, but rather put that on someone else. It's no different than if a car dealer delivered a new car to his driveway, it was stolen, and he wanted the car dealer to replace it.

I've done the police report thing before. I'll do it again.

People have really disappointed me more than usual the last month or so. There was a really busy day when we had a lot of orders for one particular brand of product. All the models look the same. A $580 Model XYZ got put into the box of a customer who'd ordered a $360 Model A, and vice versa. The customer who got the Model A of course emailed immediately, and I sent him an XYZ. The customer who got the $580 XYZ for $360 never took my calls or returned my emails.


5:02 pm on Dec 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

I just did a big Black Friday and Cyber Monday Sale. I have at least 10+ packages that have a status of "Delivered" and the customer does not have the package.

I do what I can to try and locate the package. I call their local post office, apartment complex, etc.

If I'm not able to locate it and then I send a replacement with signature required.

I insure all orders over $200 just in case. Most of these orders were under $100

I'm not sure if you would win the charge back or not.


5:35 pm on Dec 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

You might tell the guys who got the wrong thing, that you're going to file in their small claims court. I have no idea if that could even work, but maybe that would be enough to get them to cough it up.

Yes, we now live in the age of entitlement. Many people think everybody owes them something. Honor seems to be a thing of the past.

On the original problem guy... I have a hard time believing somebody who sells stuff themselves, would have that callous of an attitude. Sounds like BS to me. Either that or he's just an a**.


7:54 pm on Dec 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

I would check with your post office, since they now include insurance. To initiate a claim the recipient would need to claim the item was not received on the USPS insurance form - in writing that spells out the penalties for fraudulent claims. The default insurance amount if you did not purchase additional insurance is only $100, but that beats zero. He may run into a problem since the postal delivery person says they remember the delivery. They are kind of busy at this time of year but it is best not to delay, hopefully the delivery person can help you beat the chargeback indirectly.

A similar situation I had, early in starting ecommerce for my own products taught me that it is always best to pay the extra charge for a Signature Confirmation.


4:07 am on Dec 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Insurance is going to pay for it, and I'm sending him a new widget...after he sends the written statement that says under penalty of perjury that he states that he ordered X, payed Y, it was shipped on 12/2, was delivered on 12/4, postman says package was delivered, he doesn't have it.

He was really hot to get this going. I wrote the statement for him, emailed him, and then called to tell him I needed the statement signed and sent back to me before I can send him a new unit.

Not a word.

Everything I send out is insured. I just didn't know for sure if insurance would cover it after it had been delivered.

He lives in an apartment building. I wonder how far into the building the package would have to go before he would consider it his responsibility? In the hall in front of his door? In his apartment itself?


10:13 pm on Dec 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

In my experience, requesting someone to sign something like you asked does wonders. For the guy who thinks claiming non-delivery is akin to downloading an MP3 it really hits home that what he is doing is a crime.


10:34 pm on Dec 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

So did he ever sign?


6:16 am on Dec 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Yes, he signed. The insurance company should pay by the end of the month.

He got a lot nicer when I gave him the tracking number for his replacement widget.

This has been a bad month for lost shipments, attempted fraud, and now the first or possibly second stolen package I've had in the six years I've been doing this.

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