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Being charged postage

tofu21tofu21 Posts: 359
edited January 2012 in MTB buying advice
Hello,

I order a helmet from a website and it was shipped free of charge.

When I got it and tried it on it didn't fit. I returned the item at my cost for a refund. They have now refunded me minus £3 for postage. This follows there returns policy on their website which I didn't read before ordering.

I've used the company a few times but have not returned anything before.

I know that £3 isn't a lot of money but it's more the principal than anything.

I thought that keeping the £3 for postage charges was against distant selling regluations etc....

Has anyone with a more legal brain than mine looked into this in the past?

thanks
Simon

Posts

  • JimboMJimboM Posts: 380
    I'm no legal expert but I think you'll find that because it was your mistake ie ordered the wrong size they are within their rights to charge postage. If the product was faulty then postage should be down to them
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  • d3mattd3matt Posts: 510
    This is a tricky one. It is fair enough to charge the postage as you returned the helmet because you effectively have changed your mind - i.e. there's no fault with the product or the retailer hasn't made a mistake. If I was the retailer, I wouldn't want to be loosing money on returns when I'd done nothing wrong. It's hard enough trying to deal with opened packaging and getting that return fit for resale again.
    After all, if you'd purchased this helmet in a highstreet shop, you would have incurred time and costs (fuel, parking etc) to go and buy it in the first place and then again to return it. You wouldn't expect the retailer to pay for your parking or bus fare to return a product back to the store!
    But then as the customer, you may be right about the distant selling regs.

    Riding this Boardman Team FS 2010. Also trying my first blog.
  • bails87bails87 Posts: 13,317
    d3matt wrote:
    You wouldn't expect the retailer to pay for your parking or bus fare to return a product back to the store!
    But then as the customer, you may be right about the distant selling regs.
    But presumably the OP paid the postage to return it?

    The store has charged for the original postage (retailer to customer) that was free at the time the item was bought.

    Stores are allowed to charge a restocking fee, not sure about postage.
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  • d3mattd3matt Posts: 510
    I think at the end of the day, a retailer can do what they like as long as it is stated in their terms of sale (and as long as it's within the law). But of course we never read the terms and just click the tick box when finalising the shopping cart. By buying the product in the first place, you've agreed to their terms of sale whether you've read them or not.

    Shops are the same. I'm pretty sure that all shops are meant to have their terms of sale available for the customer to read - but of course no one every does. Some retailers put the terms up on the wall behind the counter, but of course it's just a bit of A4 paper in a picture frame and unreadable unless your up close to it.

    Riding this Boardman Team FS 2010. Also trying my first blog.
  • tofu21tofu21 Posts: 359
    I may be being a bit dumb here but does page 10 say they must give me a full refund

    www.oft.gov.uk/shared_oft/business_leaf ... oft913.pdf
  • tofu21tofu21 Posts: 359
    Regardless of any leagle position, its looking unlikely that I'll use them again unless I'm 110% sure in the item that I am ordering. Which is a shame as they have been good in the past.
  • d3mattd3matt Posts: 510
    tofu21 wrote:
    I may be being a bit dumb here but does page 10 say they must give me a full refund

    http://www.oft.gov.uk/shared_oft/busine ... oft913.pdf

    Yes it does. So you should get a full refund of the original purchase.
    And as it says "Only if it is covered in the contract and the written information can you require the consumer to pay for the cost of returning the ordered goods", then you have to pay for the return of the item if there terms says so.

    Riding this Boardman Team FS 2010. Also trying my first blog.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    DSR's entitled to full refund, end of, no restocking fee's or P&P to you etc....

    Caveat that they are based in UK, not channel islands or RoI for example.

    Simon
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    If they do not say you are liable to return postage in their T and Cs, you can claim your return postage back.

    But they cannot deduct a postage fee from the price you paid originally.
  • tofu21tofu21 Posts: 359
    Hi,

    Thanks for all the comments. It sounds like I need to drop them an email questioning their policy and asking for a full refund.
  • tofu21tofu21 Posts: 359
    I've spoken to Consumer Direct and they say they should refund me the whole ammount and not withhold anything for postage.

    I've now emailed the company and will see what response I get.
  • mac_manmac_man Posts: 916
    As D3matt has already said

    The guide clearly states that the seller must have T&Cs in place to cover the buyer having to send back unwanted goods at own expense. If not then he must issue a full refund of all costs inc. carriage/delivery costs.

    If goods are faulty or not as described the buyer is entitled to full refund goods and postage.

    If a buyer cancels an order before receiving the goods, then from the guidelines, he is entitled to a full refund of all monies. What those guidelines are a bit light on is the initial cancellation period where a buyer can expect a refund. The standard cancellation period is 7 days from receipt of goods and the buyer can expect a full refund of all monies paid. But the buyer stands the cost of sending back the goods.

    After that period the buyer only gets cost of the goods back, not the postage.

    If the OP cancelled/returned the goods within 7 day period then he is entitled to a full refund.
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  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,692
    Is that charge the cost of returning it or are they attempting to claw back the original delivery cost?

    DSR prevents them from charging you for the initial delivery cost, but the actual cost of returning is entirely down to you.

    Still, you're lucky they'll accept a return at all. A few are now putting in clauses that they won't accept returns of crash helmets, at all, full stop, unless it's a manufacturing defect.

    Reason being that they claim they cannot legally resell them because they have no idea if they've been in a crash, or just plain dropped. How this fits into distance selling regs I don't know but I get the impression there is some prevision for the seller if there is health & safety or hygiene concern.
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