Hello, I am an online retailer dealing with automotive products and have recently lost a chargeback case to one of my customers.
I had the customer order a product off of my website and after one week the customer calls saying that they wish to cancel the order. I told them that their purchased item is already on route and shipment can not be stopped. I mentioned that once the item is delivered, ship the product to us and we will issue a refund. I also mentioned that the customer is responsible for shipping charges and a restocking fee applies which the customer has to pay. Note: This statement was a mistake telling the customer at this point about fees that are going to be applied to them.
The customer responds back saying that shipping is free so why do they have to pay. I mentioned that the product they ordered did not have free shipping included and that has nothing to do with my company if they need to return the item. This statement from the customer gave me an indication that they might of been looking at another site, saw free shipping and tried to cancel the order with my website.
The shipping company has indicated that the item was refused by the customer. This shipping company first calls the customer to setup a time and date for delivery of their purchased item and it was on the phone that the customer said to the shipping company that they don't want the item. This I believe was an attempt to not pay shipping charges, however, the customer didn't realize that nothing is free in this world.
Once the item was returned, a shipping charge plus a restocking fee was taken out of their refund. The customer complained now saying that if they have to pay for the item then they want the item back. I informed them to purchase the item on our site if they want it. So now the customer says they never receieved the item and they want their money back.
After contacting all parties involved including the shipping company which informed me that the item was refused by the customer, I told the customer that they refused the item and the shipping company has this on file that they refused it. Sometime later I get a chargeback from this customer.
After going back and forth with merchant services, merchant services let the customer win because the shipping company could not give me any proof that the delivery was made or refused. I have terms and conditions, return policies that meant nothing and merchant services removed the money out of my account.
What really bothers me is that no matter what shipping company you use, if a customer wishes to refuse an item, there is nothing on this earth that is going to make them sign some document saying that they refused shippment. It is the word of the shipping company to the word of the customer and the customer wins. Now I am out the website price of this item, not the wholesale price at which I paid.
Now my question is how do we as retailers protect ourselves against this kind of fraud? And how can any organization like merchant services get away with not abiding to the legal documents that companies have on their websites that are there to protect the company from this kind of stealing from these kind of stupid customers?
If anybody has any idea on a solution, it would be great!