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A question regarding postage refunds on damaged items


Winnie Wotsit
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What's the situation regarding postage costs when you buy from an online company and the item turns up damaged.

 

I recently ordered an item that cost me £20 plus £7.99 postage. When the courier delivered the item I noticed the box had an hole in it. The courier let me unpack the box and confirm the item inside was damaged.

 

We rejected the item and the courier marked it down as damaged. He took it away with him.

 

I've been told I cant get a refund on the postage, only on the £20 item.

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you are entitled to a full refund as they failed to supply what you ordered. ie, the one they supplied was damaged. The loss of postage will be recovered by them from the courier, along with compensation for damaging the item. They have no choice than to refund you in full immediately and seek redress from the courier in due course.

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Buyer not bound to return rejected goods

 

Unless otherwise agreed, where goods are delivered to the buyer, and he refuses to accept them, having the right to do so, he is not bound to return them to the seller, but it is sufficient if he intimates to the seller that he refuses to accept them.

[sale of Goods Act, section 36

]

 

... which is to suggest that if the seller wants the goods to be returned, it is up to him to persuade the buyer to do so.

 

8)

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[sale of Goods Act, section 36

]

 

... which is to suggest that if the seller wants the goods to be returned, it is up to him to persuade the buyer to do so.

 

8)

 

I don't understand what this has to do with the issue of getting postage paid refunded. The OP stated that the Courier took the item away with them.

 

I'm surprised they expect the OP to still pay for postage.

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The issues are not related. It is up to the retailer to supply the goods in perfect condition. So, as the first consignment was broken, and not accepted, then why is there not an opportunity for the merchant to provide a satisfactry replacement? However, if having seen the item and decided NOT to purchase it for whatever reason, and seek a refund, then the retailer is right in refunding the cost less the postage, unless he agreed to offer free returns.

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I don't understand what this has to do with the issue of getting postage paid refunded. The OP stated that the Courier took the item away with them.

 

:wink:

 

There was no need to let the Courier take the item away to start with! If the general intention is to pursue a complaint against a seller the buyer is entitled to retain the essential evidence, the damaged goods.

 

If the present intention is rather to get the money back and have nothing more than that to do with the seller, the appropriate legislation is the UK Distance Selling Regulations which entitle the buyer to cancel a distance contract. There is then no obligation to explain why the contract is cancelled while the duty of the supplier is clearly defined by section 14:

 

14.—(1) On the cancellation of a contract under regulation 10, the supplier shall reimburse any sum paid by or on behalf of the consumer under or in relation to the contract to the person by whom it was made free of any charge, less any charge made in accordance with paragraph (5).
N.B. "any sum paid"

 

Paragraph (5) shall not apply where the consumer cancels in circumstances where he has the right to reject the goods.

 

8)

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Talk about making a mountain....

 

You ordered goods. You paid for goods and postage. Have you received and nmow have said goods in good condition? NO. The supplier has failed to supply what you ordfered, so you are entitled to a FULL refund including postage paid. The fact they sent it and it got damaged is not an issue. That is a seperate matter between the seller and his choice of carrier. There is no return postage to pay as you have never accepted delivery and thus cannot send anything back, nor would you be liable in any event as the goods were damaged.

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The issues are not related. It is up to the retailer to supply the goods in perfect condition. So, as the first consignment was broken, and not accepted, then why is there not an opportunity for the merchant to provide a satisfactry replacement? However, if having seen the item and decided NOT to purchase it for whatever reason, and seek a refund, then the retailer is right in refunding the cost less the postage, unless he agreed to offer free returns.

 

Disagree. If the purchaser rejects the item due to damage, he is under no obligation to replace that with another item, nor would such a decision affect his rights. The OP is entitled to full refund including postage IMHO.

7 years in retail customer service

 

Expertise in letting and rental law for 6 years

 

By trade - I'm an IT engineer working in the housing sector.

 

Please note that any posts made by myself are for information only and should not and must not be taken as correct or factual. If in doubt, consult with a solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

 

Please click the star if I have helped!!

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You overlook the fact that by claiming the item was broken, the consumer could be attempting to obtain a complete refund**, whereby under DSR and a change of mind, unless the postage was part of a promotion (for free returns), then it is open to the consumer to manipulate the situation to get a 'free' return by claiming the item was broken. The usual situation would be to get the item replaced at the suppliers expense. We still haven't heard the reason why it was suddenly unwanted. A change of mind does not permit a refund of postage.

 

**Not saying this is happening in this specific case - but it is an obvious situation for manipulation. As the goods were returned FoC by the carrier, the replacement should also be supplied FoC.

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I agree Buzby - but you are assuming that there is a "claim" of damage to simply acquire a postage refund.

 

In the situation where an item is damaged, and where the purchaser doesnt desire a replacement, the company absolutely must refund cost and P+P.

7 years in retail customer service

 

Expertise in letting and rental law for 6 years

 

By trade - I'm an IT engineer working in the housing sector.

 

Please note that any posts made by myself are for information only and should not and must not be taken as correct or factual. If in doubt, consult with a solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

 

Please click the star if I have helped!!

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What he said.

 

The issue here is that the transaction has not been completed or the order fulfilled and thus a full refund is in order. The buyer has no retrun postage to pay as they never accepted the goods and the buyer also has no delivery postage to pay as no delivery took place to its conclusion.

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The potential for abuse does not change the rules :)

7 years in retail customer service

 

Expertise in letting and rental law for 6 years

 

By trade - I'm an IT engineer working in the housing sector.

 

Please note that any posts made by myself are for information only and should not and must not be taken as correct or factual. If in doubt, consult with a solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

 

Please click the star if I have helped!!

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whereby under DSR and a change of mind, unless the postage was part of a promotion (for free returns), then it is open to the consumer to manipulate the situation to get a 'free' return by claiming the item was broken.

 

:jaw:

 

Under the Distance Selling Regulations the consumer does not so much as have to claim that anything is broken; there is no obligation to give a reason to cancel.

 

To the contrary, the condition of the goods is no longer a contractual issue for want of a contract to enforce because "the effect of a notice of cancellation is that the contract shall be treated as if it had not been made".

 

8-)

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Ok, let me make this a bit clearer.

 

I ordered a widget online which arrived via courier and noticed the box was damaged. I opened the box in front of the courier and the widget inside the box was also damaged, the item was rejected and returned to the supplier.

 

I contacted the supplier who claimed they do not replace, only refund. They requested I sought a refund ( minus postage ) and re-ordered.

 

 

I was not going to re-order and pay postage a second time.

 

 

I was in this situation about four years ago and contacted trading standards who told me the supplier was under no obligation to refund postage on damaged items.

 

A: I would have asked for a replacement, but the supplier would only refund and ask me to re-order

B: I just want to know if under the SOGA or the DSR, postage has to be refunded under the above circumstances.

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Well in that case, the discussion above is irrelevant - you are categorically entitled to a postage refund.

7 years in retail customer service

 

Expertise in letting and rental law for 6 years

 

By trade - I'm an IT engineer working in the housing sector.

 

Please note that any posts made by myself are for information only and should not and must not be taken as correct or factual. If in doubt, consult with a solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

 

Please click the star if I have helped!!

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Well in that case, the discussion above is irrelevant - .

 

All the info was in my original post, I wondered why there was a discussion ?

 

What's the situation regarding postage costs when you buy from an online company and the item turns up damaged.

 

I recently ordered an item that cost me £20 plus £7.99 postage. When the courier delivered the item I noticed the box had an hole in it. The courier let me unpack the box and confirm the item inside was damaged.

 

We rejected the item and the courier marked it down as damaged. He took it away with him.

 

I've been told I cant get a refund on the postage, only on the £20 item.

 

 

- you are categorically entitled to a postage refund.

 

Where is that stated in the SOGA or DSR ? My supplier is asking for proof that postage is refundable.

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All the info was in my original post, I wondered why there was a discussion ?

 

 

The key omission was that they wouldnt replace the item.

 

However, my perspective has always been that a full refund was payable, irrespective.

 

 

 

 

 

Where is that stated in the SOGA or DSR ? My supplier is asking for proof that postage is refundable.

I believe this will be in SOGA, but I am not 100% on this.

7 years in retail customer service

 

Expertise in letting and rental law for 6 years

 

By trade - I'm an IT engineer working in the housing sector.

 

Please note that any posts made by myself are for information only and should not and must not be taken as correct or factual. If in doubt, consult with a solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

 

Please click the star if I have helped!!

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Where is that stated in the SOGA or DSR ? My supplier is asking for proof that postage is refundable.

 

:!:

 

With a consumer sale the postage is simply not a separate issue. The contract is to deliver the goods. If acceptable goods were not delivered, the contract was not performed. Amen.

 

 

If you need to quote from the Sale of Goods Act, section 20 covers the transfer of risk, which corresponds to the risk that goods are damaged in transit.

 

(1) Unless otherwise agreed, the goods remain at the seller’s risk until the property in them is transferred to the buyer, but when the property in them is transferred to the buyer the goods are at the buyer’s risk whether delivery has been made or not.
Goods damaged before delivery is a matter between the sender and the courier, their problem, not yours.

 

8)

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