Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Online Orders: Resolving Issues

We live in an age where we can purchase virtually anything online and have it shipped to us within a few days. This has changed the market by providing more outlets for purchasing niche items like Games Workshop products. Overall I am a fan of online stores and purchasing, as it saves me time and money. However, there are times when things don’t go as planned and orders are either incorrect or never arrive. I am currently facing one of those situations with an order I placed originally in April 2009.

On April 19th, 2009, I placed an order with an online store out of the UK that was advertising on a popular website. At the time, the exchange rate plus the store’s advertise discount meant that I was saving quite a bit when compared with other stores. I had also used this business before and found the service to be quick and professional.

On April 30th, 2009, I received the order in the mail. Upon opening it, I discovered that two blisters were missing from the package and instead two completely unrelated blisters were included. I checked the invoice, paper and online, and I had ordered correctly, so I proceeded to email the store. I received a response two days later that apologized for the mistake and stated that they would be sending out the correct models ASAP.

Satisfied with the response, I placed a separate order for a blister on May 15th, 2009. Within about two weeks that blister arrived at my home. Not understanding why I would have received the new order before the replacement order, I emailed the owner to ask for the status of my original order. Six days later, I received an email stating that it shipped. Again, I was a patient and waited for the order.

On May 28th, I emailed the owner yet again to ask for the status of my order. No immediate response. I emailed again on June 6th, 2009 asking for a refund, since at that point I would rather purchase the models elsewhere since one of them was for a friend. This email finally received a response on June 13th, 2009 with the owner stating, “I am not sure why they were not sent out/Haven't got there but I will send them myself first thing in the morning (sunday) and they will go out recorded delivery monday. I will also put some extras in the parcel as an apology.”

Being the trusting person that I am, I took the response at face value and placed another order with the store to ship the prize to a recent contest winner who was located in the UK. Happily, that order was confirmed to have arrived by the winner of the contest on June 26th, 2009.

So that brings us to today’s post. As you can tell, I am not naming the store or owner as the goal of this post is not to blast the business but find a way to resolve the issue. I am not familiar with UK business rules, so I don’t know if there are government agencies like the BBB that we have here in the US. I am also looking for other suggestions on how to best handle a situation like this one as I am sure others have experienced it. So readers, what do you suggest?


  1. Wow, this is a tough one.
    Now I am curious which store it is so that I might avoid a simialr situation.

  2. Make sure when it's finally resolved you post a consumer review on FtW. I'd also always recommend reading those reviews first.

  3. Typically what I do when I have issues purchasing online is call my credit card company (immediately) to make them aware of the issue.

    In this case it would be 'non delivery of goods', which I've dealt with myself on several occasions. The CC Co. will ask you to try and handle it on your own and then call back in 30 days, but at this point contacting them is only to open a 'case file'.

    I'll then try to work it out with the offending company, but if I'm unsatisfied with the results (even before the 30 days) I call the CC Co. back and they step in and take action. The whole 30 days thing is only to show them that you've made a good faith effort. The CC Co. then refunds me the entirety of the purchase and pursues the offending company on their own.

  4. I second what Oni has said regarding calling your card company (and always use a credit card to purchase online if possible instead of a debit card ((and always pay your balance at the end of the month ;))))

    Overseas makes this tricky - Here in the states I've had one major dispute and it was resolved by calling the consumer protection agency and local law enforcement where the other party lived. Not sure what options along those lines are available to you for overseas issues.