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    dargong's Avatar
    dargong Posts: 5, Reputation: 1
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    #1

    Aug 23, 2010, 05:12 PM
    Website sales customer wants to return items but did not follow posted return policy
    Website customer wants to return item however, did not follow the posted return policy, does not have the required return authorization and 30 days have passed. Do I need to return their money? Can they file a claim? I am in PA and they are in CT--which state? Thanks.
    JudyKayTee's Avatar
    JudyKayTee Posts: 46,505, Reputation: 4600
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    #2

    Aug 23, 2010, 05:19 PM

    If they file a claim in Small Claims Court it is where YOU do business, not where they live.

    If the return policy was visible and they did not follow it (and it is reasonable), no, you do not have to return their money.

    How much money is at stake?
    dargong's Avatar
    dargong Posts: 5, Reputation: 1
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    #3

    Aug 23, 2010, 07:48 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by JudyKayTee View Post
    If they file a claim in Small Claims Court it is where YOU do business, not where they live.

    If the return policy was visible and they did not follow it (and it is reasonable), no, you do not have to return their money.

    How much money is at stake?
    Thank you so much! I actually thought that my return policy would protect me.

    About $207.00 (that is what they paid minus the shipping and 20% restocking fee). My return policy is pretty simple compared to other ones I looked at. All they had to do is call me (before 30 days) to get a return authorization and then, of course, ship the products back to the warehouse (I have a drop shipper) within 30 days. I believe my return policy is visible because they sent the products to ME (not the warehouse) in 29 days and did not give me time to obtain the return authorization and did not contact me and let me know what they were doing. I was very much surprised that they arrived on my porch!

    Additionally, I had helped them with the issue they were having and after I took care of that on July 31, I did not hear anything else from them until August 20th when they thought I would credit their credit card. They purchased an Easy Set pool and pump from my website.

    Again, thank you!
    JudyKayTee's Avatar
    JudyKayTee Posts: 46,505, Reputation: 4600
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    #4

    Aug 24, 2010, 06:36 AM

    I have a problem with the time frame - they have to notify you within 30 days AND ship back to you within 30 days? The Court could see this as impossible.

    I still think you have a good argument but I would amend the policy, allowing a few additional days between requesting return info and shipping back to you.
    ScottGem's Avatar
    ScottGem Posts: 64,970, Reputation: 6056
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    #5

    Aug 24, 2010, 06:48 AM

    I agree with Judy, that the 30 days to ship should start with the date when you grant the RMA.

    I also agree that since they did not follow your return policy, you are not obligated to give a full refund. However, since you now have the merchandise, you can't keep it and the money too. So I would either send them the merchandise back with a letter stating that since they did not follow the correct return procedure, you can no longer grant a refund. Or you can offer them a partial refund, especially if the product is in resaleable or returnable (to the mfg) for a refund.
    dargong's Avatar
    dargong Posts: 5, Reputation: 1
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    #6

    Aug 24, 2010, 07:04 AM
    The problem is that I did not request the products be sent to me and I could not refuse delivery because they did not require a signature. If I send them back, I have to pay shipping and, at this point, I do not want to have any additional expense. I already shipped them the part they needed at my expense. My website states that they must pay all shipping under all circumstances. I do not know if the products are resaleable and I cannot return them to the dropshipper as I do not have a return authorization (RA) that is required. I will have to go look but I believe my return policy states they have 30 days to return with the RA. Which means, you must obtain the RA prior to shipping. I believe that if you have the RA, shipping time is allowed. These are return rules I must abide by from my dropshipper.

    Thank you for all your help!
    JudyKayTee's Avatar
    JudyKayTee Posts: 46,505, Reputation: 4600
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    #7

    Aug 24, 2010, 07:36 AM

    Please come back and let us know what you find out - I'm curious to see how this resolves itself.
    dargong's Avatar
    dargong Posts: 5, Reputation: 1
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    #8

    Aug 24, 2010, 06:20 PM
    I'll let you know but it could take quite a while!
    JudyKayTee's Avatar
    JudyKayTee Posts: 46,505, Reputation: 4600
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    #9

    Aug 24, 2010, 06:23 PM

    It's not like I have anything better to do!
    morgaine300's Avatar
    morgaine300 Posts: 6,561, Reputation: 276
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    #10

    Aug 24, 2010, 07:48 PM

    I'm starting this with the fact that I am not a lawyer... ;)

    No one has to pay for anything they did not ask to be shipped to them. Would this also apply when something gets returned? He didn't agree to this return (by way of the required RA), so would what Scott said apply, that he can't keep both the item and the money? (It's also not right to have to pay more shipping to return it back!)

    And just an opinion - one change you can make to the return policy to help clear stuff up is to include a statement that you must be called and give them the RA in time for them to still be able to return in 30 days. That is, instead of saying they have 30 days to call and 30 days to return, which does indeed seem impossible. Is that making any sense? And also be specific about whether it has to arrive to you in 30 days or be shipped in 30 days.

    Also just another opinion -- if you could find out whether this could be re-sold (even in some other manner), so that you know you can retrieve part of the money, it certainly wouldn't hurt to offer a partial refund just for the sake of customer service. But if you can't get anything, then I don't see a reason you should have to waste your money when they didn't follow instructions.

    I used to sell casually on eBay, so I kind of feel for you. I know what it's like when people don't read!
    dargong's Avatar
    dargong Posts: 5, Reputation: 1
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    #11

    Aug 25, 2010, 05:09 PM
    Thank you so much for your input! This is great! I love it!

    This is some of what my return policy states:... accepts returns within 30 days after shipment. Return shipments must display the return authorization (RA) number clearly on the shipping carton next to the shipping label. Returns without a properly displayed RA# will be rejected. The buyer is responsible for return shipping expenses as well as all other shipping expenses under all circumstances...

    I want to do what I can to help my customer and I do not want to keep the pool and pump, but I just don't know what to do. I sent another e-mail to my customer and they did not respond. I don't know if my return policy is clear (and I can work on that) however, my customer knows how to get ahold of me and they certainly could have called or e-mailed me and asked. They know that I will respond to them and help them. I have thought about re-sale but I don't feel I can do that until I see what my customer wants to do and I don't know the condition of the items.

    Thanks again!
    morgaine300's Avatar
    morgaine300 Posts: 6,561, Reputation: 276
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    #12

    Aug 26, 2010, 09:06 PM

    Well, I think it's mostly clear. First, it doesn't say anything about contacting you within 30 days and shipping within 30 days. It says you accept the return within 30 days, and I think it's implied that the RA would have to be done in time in order for that to happen. It also clearly states it must have one, and that any returns without one will be rejected.

    If you were to re-write anything, it would maybe be to indicate whether the 30 days is a ship date by them, or a receive date by you.

    And if they can't respond to you, I think that's a bit their problem.

    P.S. This is again just my opinion of course.

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