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What would you do? Send the items back pointing out that they are not eligible for a refund, or just go with the "no quibbles" thing and let it slide? I usually go with the "no quibbles" argument, but this one is just such brazen, bare-faced cheek that I'm not sure I should let her get away with it.
I believe I am within my rights to refuse to give her a refund. The original order was placed on 9 September, so it is well outside the UK "cooling off" period etc. Anyone any thoughts?
[edited by: Rubylily at 12:34 pm (utc) on Oct. 5, 2004]
I would write to the customer, fully explaining the situation, and refuse to reimburse her. If she continues to complain try offering her a "good will" gesture of a 10% or 20% discount on a future purchase, but ignoring anything else.
After all, if she has clearly used the goods (thus rendering them unsaleable, as in this case), and did not bother to return them within the legal period, then your T&C apply.
We provide the TOS in html, word document and PDF format, and again on paper with every invoice by mail.
Over the last few years people have been getting more and more audacious and unfair when it comes to ordering online.
Thankfully its not too rampant, but we've had people boasting via e-mail about how they can "simply dispute charges", implying that we are powerless against their whims.
There is without a doubt a category of online shopper that thrives on creating difficulty and goes out, knowlingly or not, to victimize merchants.
There needs to be more accountability and regulation of customers using credit cards.
Enforcing a clear, suitable and fair TOS is one way of keeping things clean.
BUT I would also say that in this particular case, you are willing to refund her the full cost as a gesture of goodwill (or whatever)...
You've got your stuff back and she's got her refund. You can disinfect the earrings and sell them on. Everyone's happy. You just have to 'get over' the fact that you THINK she's trying it on. Jewellery's hard to sell on the web cos people like to touch it and hold it up against them. Don't penalise her for that.
I'm not sure why you mentioned in your msg how much the earrings and necklace have cost. Surely the way you treat your customers should be the same regardless of if they've returned a £2.00 pair of earrings or a £200 pair?
Simply disinfecting the earrings and reselling them to some other unsuspecting punter who believes, quite rightly so, that they are purchasing new, unused goods, is not an option I would even consider.
I know there's a matter of principle at stake here, which is why I'm annoyed about this, but at the end of the day I am a sucker for goodwill and quality service because I genuinely believe it pays in the long run. I suspect I will indeed relent and give her a refund, along with a letter explaining that she has breached our T&C but that the refund is a gesture of goodwill this time around.
Thank you all so much for taking the time to respond, it has been very helpful. :)
It is all very well to have TOS on the web site, forms etc..
What you must have is a little check box on a booking or payment form that says "I have read and agree to Widget Co. terms and conditions" or something to that effect. The customer must check the box to make the purchase. By checking the box they agree to the conditions. Without this, no matter how prominent your conditions may be, a customer can still say they did not see or read them.
In this case my T&C regarding returns are also printed in big bold letters on the returns slip she had to fill in to send the items back. She couldn't possibly have failed to see them, they really couldn't be any clearer.
IMHO none of your issues matter... and to be clear - you are in business of making sales and each customer (satisfied or dissatisfied) has a circle of influence that can be greatly affected... with consequences.
"If they" are in the habit of wear and returning they are also likely in the habit of public displays that will negatively affect your business and possibly indefinitely.
The customer's trust, state of mind, what they know or don't know is highly suggestive and not the issue.
I highly recommend you issue the refund, use the goods for promotional purposes (which do not have the "new" stigma attached), and put the customer on a watch list for no future sales.
I recently had a customer that was simply impossible to deal with in customer support. They never even purchased a product. I eventually got tired of them wasting my time and told them very kindly to take their business elsewhere. They proceeded to find every forum that mentioned my company and write badmouthing lies about me and my company in the reply to that forum, as well as add comments to numerous other websites internet wide. While I do not deserve the abuse, there is nothing I can do to stop it. I learned a valuable lesson though, one angry consumer can cost a huge headache.
We always issue a refund if the purchase was made in the last 60 days. The reasons have already been mentioned, firstly customer service is paramount, and we want to keep all our customers happy - even if they are unreasonable.
Secondly its easier to give a refund and forget about it leaving you free to deal with more important issues - its just not worth wasting time on arguing about a refund.
It does feel like merchants get the bum deal some of the time though.
If the item is oput of the packaging then I wouldn't refund for that Item. like you say 99.9% of the other online jewelers wouldn't and 99.9% of high street jewellers wouldn't.
If you're not firm, she'll just tell her mates that she knows of a place where she can get expensive earrings for a 'use-once' night out and get a refund.
That's just my opinion though. Refund the necklace, and maybe offer a credit note or voucher for your site, so you don't lose 100%.
wrong. high street retailers will nearly always give a refund for any reason ... why? ... because if you are standing at the counter complaining, it costs lost sales and puts other customers off. (a store might say no at first but if a customer stands there complaining loudly then it gets sorted pretty quick)
if you are going to be in retail you have to accept losses whatever they may be, shoplifting, damage, returns etc etc, just build it into the price, ultimately the customer always pays