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Katianne
15-07-2009, 06:27 PM
I haven't had this before and know I can't worry about it but still...

I've just got home to find an email from a customer, to say they are unhappy with a mirror I have made them. Basically they have said they do not like the mosaic tiles I have used (vitreous glass for anyone that knows their mosaic tiles!). I have never had anybody say this before so I felt quite disappointed to read it, but I have told myself that it is one person in hundreds so just to accept it and not worry.

I have emailed the customer to say that I am sorry they are unhappy and have offered them a full refund on return of the mirror. Does this sound reasonable enough?

Has anyone else had this experience?

I suppose it's one problem with selling online. If you buy something from a shop or an event you do see the item in person, whereas online you need to rely on a photograph. Oh well, never mind eh!

soap queen
15-07-2009, 06:35 PM
what a shame. you are right that it is only 1 person though. Not liking an item is only a matter of taste and you are right that it can be difficult online. They are not complaining about the quality or the workmanship and I think that you just have to accept that it may not be to their taste. I think under distance selling regulations (which you presumably have on your site-right?) they have the right to return the item at their expense and within 7 days to receive a refund of the cost only (not original P&P) as long the item is received by you in good condition. Remind them that insurance etc etc is their responsibility.

It is horrid to have this happen but you must expect it sometimes and maybe this is a good opportunity to check that you are selling in accordance with the distance selling regs and to work out a policy for returns.

Don't worry about it though.... in the global scheme of things it' not such a biggy...

Meljov5
15-07-2009, 06:37 PM
I think if you have responded to them quickly and offered a refund you have been fair. I would not stress about it, your mirrors are lovely and you will soon sell it again!

greannancrafts
15-07-2009, 06:41 PM
By offering a refund you have shown credibility.

It is upsetting when someone doesn't like your work, but just concentrate on all the happy customers you have had:)

Jane

Katianne
15-07-2009, 06:42 PM
Have just being reading up on this on Ebay:

Distance Selling Regulations

The Regulations also provide a period of seven working days after the date of receipt within which the consumer can cancel the contract (often referred to as the "cooling off" period) and get their money back, including the original postage and packing charges. The consumer can be asked to return the goods at their own expense, but only if the seller informed them of this requirement before the contract was made (otherwise, the seller is responsible for collecting the goods).

I do state in my returns policy that I accept returns within 7 days, but I haven't said anything about the buyer paying the costs to return it, so for this one I will need to refund for everything. Oh well, it's a learning curve! I will have to go and amend my listings!

soap queen
15-07-2009, 07:14 PM
If you didn't inform them, then you will have to accept it this time but I would correct it straight away. A friend of mine had terrible trouble when a particular customer ( & all his family) started buying stuff and then returning it at her expense. In fact I think they wouldnt even take it to the post office. She had to send a courier to collect it. That was purely malicious, but it is a thought. Another 'friend' just about put a rival out of business by phoning her 0800 phone from Bangkok and leaving it off the hook for 4 days !! There is no end to peoples horribleness ( & Niceness) so be careful to protect yourself.

Katianne
15-07-2009, 07:24 PM
Forget my last post, I am going mad! In my listings it states under the returns policy the following:

Returns accepted for this item.
Additional return policy details: Returns are accepted within 7 days of receipt. This is on the basis that the buyer pays for the postage costs. The refund will be for the cost of the item only.

Am I therefore ok to just refund the price of the mirror and the original P&P charge?

boden girl
15-07-2009, 08:32 PM
Forget my last post, I am going mad! In my listings it states under the returns policy the following:

Returns accepted for this item.
Additional return policy details: Returns are accepted within 7 days of receipt. This is on the basis that the buyer pays for the postage costs. The refund will be for the cost of the item only.

Am I therefore ok to just refund the price of the mirror and the original P&P charge?

From your return policy it sounds like you don't have to pay pp cost?

Lilac Moon
15-07-2009, 08:36 PM
I think if you have stated that you 'will refund the cost of the item only' then you dont have to refund any P&P but if you want to refund the original p&P as an act of good will, then that is up to you.

Katianne
15-07-2009, 08:49 PM
Right, I have just amended all of my listings to read:

Katian Mosaics adheres to 'The Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000; which applies to sales which have been made at a distance. In other words, where there's no face-to-face contact between the seller and the consumer before the contract is made.

In line with the Regulations, I offere a period of seven working days after the date of receipt within which you, the consumer, can cancel your order and get your money back, including the original postage and packing charges. In order to qualify, your purchase/s must be returned at your own expense. I also advise that you obtain proof of postage, in case of the event of the item/s arriving damaged or being lost in transit.

Does that sound ok?

Moonbeam Angel
15-07-2009, 10:17 PM
Sounds fine to me. I can understand that someone not knowing their mosaic tiles might find the vitreous glass ones a little "imperfect", I know they are perfect but the surface is not smooth and shiny, that is the nature of the tile unfortunately (why I don't use them any more!), as you say because they have had to rely on a picture they wouldn't be able to see this in the tiles, just remember, it's the tiles they don't like not your workmanship or the mirror itself.

Katianne
15-07-2009, 10:29 PM
Sounds fine to me. I can understand that someone not knowing their mosaic tiles might find the vitreous glass ones a little "imperfect", I know they are perfect but the surface is not smooth and shiny, that is the nature of the tile unfortunately (why I don't use them any more!), as you say because they have had to rely on a picture they wouldn't be able to see this in the tiles, just remember, it's the tiles they don't like not your workmanship or the mirror itself.

Thank you Moonbeam! I know what you mean about the tiles, although funnily enough, I did a fair a few months ago and I had a number of customers comment that they preferred the mirrors I had made using the vitreous glass tiles, as oppose the the smooth tiles. I too had thought people would prefer the smooth ones, so I'm guessing it just comes down to personal taste at the end of the day.

I have been including close up shots in my listings and these will also be on my new website, so hopefully this will give people a true idea of the actual tiles before they purchase.

just sally
16-07-2009, 12:55 AM
i`m sure this must be down to personel taste as from the pict`s i have seen your work is beautiful, this is the down side,the buisiness side, that has me worrying about selling "properly"
why cant people just smile and give me money to buy more beads :D

soap queen
16-07-2009, 10:59 AM
not to be too picky but I would be wary about offering to refund the P&P. Things online are generally a little cheaper than in shops and no refund of P&P is usually part of the deal. I would also point out that a proof of posting is worth very little.
You should be stating that the goods are to be RECEIVED by you in the original condition. If something arrives smashed a 'proof of posting' is useless. The item should be insured by the purchaser as until you get it back it is in their care. In my shop I would not accept returns that have got damaged on the wayu back! It is the purchasers responsibility until it is back. If you ask for insurance & they dont bother then it is not your problem.
I think up to 32 insurance is included by normal post.

Soz to rant but it is so much better to really think it through & try to anticipate every eventuality no matter how unlikely. People are really stroppy these days and think nothing of dropping you in hot water with trading stamdards etc - often only as a bit of revenge but it is unpleasant. If you did not refer to distance selling regs before this then even that is an offense ( I think!). Take this as an opportunity to 'tighten up' your procedures.

PS your stuff is lovely-they are obviously MAD!!:D

goblindreams
16-07-2009, 01:06 PM
Just a quick note..

If I remember rightly from selling on eBay, the DSR only apply to 'Buy it Now' or shop items - not auction - don't know which one yours was but useful to know (if I am right that is - not sold online for about a year).

Don't worry about an unhappy customer.. They are out there and you can't do anything about it unfortunately :(

I am usually 'very nice and polite' and then forget about it... and on more than one occasion have had them thank me and they've bought more and been fine! xx

I once had to refund 900 - had to actually take out an overdraft to do so as money had already gone back into stock!!!

Janx
16-07-2009, 03:17 PM
As far as I am aware you don't need to offer a refund for the p&p at all, just the item cost (I always thought that was the norm!)

I have the following statement on my website:

"I am happy to accept returns provided they are returned in a resaleable (unused and still in original packaging where applicable) condition at your expense. Once I have received the item(s) I will refund the purchase price (excluding postage). Please obtain proof of postage for anything you wish to return as I cannot be held responsible for item that are lost in transit.

I am unable to offer a refund on any custom-made items unless they are faulty."


Jan x

Katianne
16-07-2009, 07:14 PM
not to be too picky but I would be wary about offering to refund the P&P.

I think the law states that we have to though...

Distance Selling Regulations

'the consumer can cancel the contract (often referred to as the "cooling off" period) and get their money back, including the original postage and packing charges.'

Moonbeam Angel
16-07-2009, 07:20 PM
Not that I have had much cause to return items bought through the post or internet, but on the occasions that I have, I have NEVER received a refund of P&P only the cost price of the item, so I lost out on the P&P of receiving the item and the P&P of returning it.

I might also add that these were items bought in auction through ebay! My understanding is that, whatever means you use to purchase, ie buy it now or auction, the distance regs apply.

Katianne
16-07-2009, 07:22 PM
This is taken directly from Ebay:

Distance Selling Regulations

The Distance Selling Regulations apply to items purchased via Buy It Now listings and Second Chance Offers on eBay.co.uk. However, they don't apply to auction format listings on eBay.co.uk.

The Flower Jewellery Shop
16-07-2009, 08:22 PM
Katianne you are correct.

If you are a business then you are covered by the Distance Sellings regs (and the Sale of Goods Act btw) where ever you sell online and a customer can return the goods for a refund for any reason within a specific time scale, in all but a few exceptional circumstance (e.g. customised goods) and that includes refunding the original P&P charges. If you tell the buyer upfront that they will have to pay the cost of any return then you are not required to refund the cost of them returning goods to you, otherwise you are required to refund this P&P as well. You are also not allowed to charge any kind of fee such as a restocking fee.

Lots of business break these rules every day though, as often they can be out of pocket on a sale by meeting their legal responsibilities. However, that is the risk you take selling online and your prices you contain an element to cover this kind of eventually.

Personally I wouldn't buy from someone who would not refund any P&P costs I incurred when returning an item as I think it is poor customer service. If you have a problem with a particular customer abusing your returns service there are ways of refusing their order so they are prevented from buying from you.

There is a great guide here (http://www.oft.gov.uk/shared_oft/business_leaflets/general/oft698.pdf) that clearly explains what you can and can't do.

Hope this helps. :)

PS Even goods such are earrings or knickers are not automatically excluded from the DS regs (another much abused area) - as I said this is part of your business and the costs of returns should be factored in to the price of an item.

Silver Butterfly
26-07-2009, 07:28 PM
I keep updating my T&C's to comply with what I've read about selling via the internet, and then hear elsewhere as I'm so worried the wording isn't right, so the DTI guide will be really useful for this.

In fact, I think I'm getting to the point where I'd rather sell face to face at craft fairs and via shops, as I'm really struggling to put in the time to my online shop and worry so much about sending things so they don't get damaged in the post, and I do find it harder to sell jewellery online.

Katianne, hope you managed to get everything settled with the unhappy customer. Am sure it was just a personal taste thing.

Sarah