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lyonsperf

Return Policy

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A question came up on another forum about how and when to inform a customer about the company's return policy. Most sites have a link in the Information box to the retun policy page, but should we be prompting a customer to review our terms before making a purchase?

I'm wondering if a link or statement box on the order preview page would be needed to prevent the chargeback loophole that most processors are using to justify the returnn of funds.


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@@lyonsperf

 

Your terms and conditions or Shipping and returns usually contain your returns policy(s). However, to ensure your customers agree to them, you could use the MATC contribution to force the customer to click a check box which acknowledges that have agreed to the policies.

 

 

Chris


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problem is what to do when people agree to terms and conditions then still complain?


~ Don't mistake my kindness for weakness ~

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@@Biancoblu

 

TRY to help them as much as possible, however, some customers just can't be helped.

 

 

 

Chris


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If you have a problem customer, is it legal to refuse to sell to them again? I'm thinking of someone who, say, constantly claims that merchandise doesn't arrive or is defective and keeps doing chargebacks. If it's legal, how would you do a customer blacklist in osC? Name and address, or credit card number, or would you manually cancel the sale before shipment?


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@@MrPhil

 

There was a Black List contribution for v2.2, I am sure it could easily be updated for use with v2.3.x

 

 

 

Chris


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The mechanics of barring a former customer from ordering again shouldn't be that difficult. What I was wondering more about is what kind of legal hot water you could get into if you decided to ban a Customer From Hell. Could they take you to court and say, "this merchant refuses to serve me because I'm 1/256 Native American" or some crap like that? At a common sense level, there's some difference between your refusing to serve someone who walked into your restaurant, because of the color of their skin, and refusing to sell to someone you have no idea what they look like, but can prove a history of causing problems for you. The cost of defending yourself against bias charges could easily wipe you out.

 

Would it be better to make the experience so unpleasant for them that they give up on ordering from you? Say, "lose" the shipment a couple of times before it finally arrives (actually, you never shipped), or deliberately send the wrong thing so they'll be forced to return it? Just wear them down so they'll stop ordering from you. Of course, a downside to this is that you can get a bad reputation, which may scare off other customers.

 

Anyone with such experiences?


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What I was wondering more about is what kind of legal hot water you could get into if you decided to ban a Customer From Hell. Could they take you to court and say, "this merchant refuses to serve me because I'm 1/256 Native American" or some crap like that? At a common sense level, there's some difference between your refusing to serve someone who walked into your restaurant, because of the color of their skin, and refusing to sell to someone you have no idea what they look like, but can prove a history of causing problems for you. The cost of defending yourself against bias charges could easily wipe you out.

 

Anyone with such experiences?

 

I'm sure laws vary from place to place, but under New Zealand law which is based in British law, having a shop (and presumably a website) and things on the shelves only constitutes an offer to sell them, you don't have to accept any offers to buy something. Someone could offer you $19000 for something which is labled as $1, you're still not obligated to sell it to them.

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You are perfectly entitled, as a seller, to refuse a sale, provided you refund the money if a payment already occured, at least that's what happens in Switzerland, I don't know about other countries. The law you apply depends on what country your business is registered in, in other words, mine is registered in Switzerland therefore I apply Swiss laws regardless of where the customer resides.

 

I have never yet seen a customer try take me to court because I refused a sale, I would imagine that no one in their right mind would go to that length especially when they have no grounds for taking that action. Then again, some people are indeed full of surprises, so we shall see. ;)

 

I had a customer a few years back who would make a purchase, pay with Paypal, then, within hours, open a Paypal "item not received or significantly not as described" case. The customer would then bombard me with emails, phone calls, fax messages, in order to make me cancel the sale and refund the money, because "they had changed their minds".

I obviously cancelled the sale, refunded the money (who wants a Paypal case opened against them?) then TRIED to explain to the customer that, should they change their minds about the purchase, they are entitled to email me to cancel it within 48 hours, and that they are also entitled to return the item against a full refund (it's clearly stated in my conditions), but opening a Paypal case within hours after having paid is just ridiculous and makes everybody waste time.

The customer pulled the trick on me a few times, until I finally deleted them from my customer list and clearly informed them that they are not welcome to my shop anymore. They haven't come back, but should they do, the sale will get cancelled immediately at my end.


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In general, in the US, I'm not sure it's legal to refuse to sell to someone unless they are clearly under legal disability (e.g., underage, barred by law due to felony conviction, etc.). These laws arose from civil rights cases, where non-white people were refused service at restaurants, etc. by white-owned businesses simply because of the color of their skin. That's fine, but "on the Internet, no one knows you're a dog", and no one knows the color of your skin, either. I could very well refuse to sell to someone because they have a history of being a troublemaker with my store, and they come back with a civil rights case against me. There have been cases even in brick-and-mortar stores of troublesome customers being banned, and then suing for discrimination. Maybe I should be asking a real lawyer (but I know what the answer will be), but I thought I'd ask what experience people have had in this area.

 

If it's of questionable legality to ban a customer for any reason, I suppose you could find ways to make the process so painful that they'll give up harassing you and leave in disgust. Hmm, how about detecting their IP address and doubling prices for just them? If they're determined to order and then cancel, that might not be effective. The downsides are your time that they waste and the possibility of their spreading a poor opinion of you.


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Well you really cant take a hardline stance for the sake of your name.....I once attended a seminar on this issue and one of the speakers summed this policy very well.i.e If a person is exploiting your company or brands generosity and user friendly policies,and you live up with it,if that person ever decides to actually buy a thing,your company or brand,would be the first thing in his mind....

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What I was wondering more about is what kind of legal hot water you could get into if you decided to ban a Customer From Hell.

 

Anyone with such experiences?

 

Hey Phil,

 

Check with your attorney would be my best advice.

 

I checked with mine...

 

I had such a problem with a customer... claiming he never received the item and requested refunds (although USPS showed they delivered the package). Also another time they claimed it was damaged, yet again the wrong item, the list went on for a few times.

 

It was a pain but I just kept deleting their account (they created a new one a few times), refunded their money through PayPal and sent them messages that I would not sell to them any more. They weren't happy but OH WELL!


- :: Jim :: -

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Usually on registeration page customers get all the information and privacy policy to buy a product. So, I suggest you to put all your deatails on that page and you can add there return policy details too. Otherwise you have another option to put details on final page where customers add their product to cart. 

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