Home – New Forums Selling online Warranty period

  • This topic is empty.
Viewing 7 posts - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #993813
    TropicalLife
    Member
    • Total posts: 8
    Up
    0
    ::

    Hi everyone,

    I run an online clothing business (swimwear). Last year, I had a customer who had purchased a top 13 months previously email me and complain, and as a gesture of goodwill, we repaired the top for her.

    She has now contacted again (1 year and 5 months after purchasing the top), to say the clip has broken.

    We have sold hundreds of these tops, and have not had this issue with any others.

    As part of good customer service, I feel somewhat obliged to fix the top again. However at the same time, clothing is subject to wear and tear, we are only a small business and can not really afford to be doing this, and we aren’t Tuppeware – at no point to we offer a lifetime guarantee for repairs.

    I don’t like to get any customers offside, but I am torn as I feel I also need to put my foot down.

    Just wondering what others opinions are who sell online? Or any opinions at all would be very helpful.

    Many thanks.

    #1193622
    Rowan@quaotic
    Participant
    • Total posts: 712
    Up
    0
    ::

    I think it is a bit rich for this customer to think that you are going to fix items for ever. Is this a returning customer who you want to keep, or a customer that you really don’t want to deal with again if this is the type of behaviour they will constantly show?
    I don’t think you have any obligation to fix this item after the amount of time that has elapsed.

    #1193623
    TropicalLife
    Member
    • Total posts: 8
    Up
    0
    ::
    Rowan @ GardenLarder, post: 227763, member: 28171 wrote:
    I think it is a bit rich for this customer to think that you are going to fix items for ever. Is this a returning customer who you want to keep, or a customer that you really don’t want to deal with again if this is the type of behaviour they will constantly show?
    I don’t think you have any obligation to fix this item after the amount of time that has elapsed.

    Thanks Rowan. It’s really helpful to have another opinion when you normally just work by yourself.
    You’re right – this is not a returning customer. They have only purchased two items (back 1.5 years ago), and nothing since. If they keep requesting repairs as well I think it’s unlikely that they would be returning customers either.

    Thank you for your reply, most appreciated.

    #1193624
    John Debrincat
    Member
    • Total posts: 963
    Up
    0
    ::
    TropicalLife, post: 227666, member: 65035 wrote:
    Just wondering what others opinions are who sell online? Or any opinions at all would be very helpful.

    Many thanks.

    Hi there [USER=65035]@TropicalLife[/USER] the whole issue of refunds, replacements and returns can be very tricky. At the core of the issue is what do you have in your terms & conditions or Shipping & Returns policies. These create baseline for you to fall back on but they must also be compliant with Australian Consumer law.

    We did a webinar last your for our customers and had a lawyer from Lawpath present on the subject. You can find a replay at

    [MEDIA=youtube]RB88EeTi_Rs[/MEDIA]

    and you can find the information on refunds etc around the 15 – 16 minute mark. But there is lots of good information targeted at online merchants in the webinar. The last 10 minutes or so is specific to our customers but the rest is general.

    However I also agree with you that you should try to keep the customer happy. But 15+ months would seem to be a long time to replace or repair a garment.

    I always recommend that every online store have clearly written and available T&Cs, Shipping & returns, Privacy policy and Terms of usage (service based businesses). If possible ensure that the customer cannot checkout without accepting the T&C’s. There is nothing wrong with having the shipping and returns info in the T&C’s and also separately.

    All the best

    John

    #1193625
    Rowan@quaotic
    Participant
    • Total posts: 712
    Up
    0
    ::

    Johns reply is much better than mine. I didn’t mention returns laws simply because I felt it didn’t apply here after the amount of time that has elapsed. His advice on your tems and conditions is spot on :)

    #1193626
    Angela Stackelbeck
    Member
    • Total posts: 26
    Up
    0
    ::

    Hi there

    The Australian Consumer Law deals with this type of issue.

    The Australian Consumer Law website has all sorts of good information available to help you to ensure that your policies, procedures and Terms and Conditions are compliant with the law.

    Once you have developed compliant policies, procedures and Terms and Conditions then you are in a good position to enforce these policies when dealing with difficult customers.

    I hope that this helps.

    Cheers

    Angela

    #1193627
    El Arish Tropical Exotics
    Member
    • Total posts: 227
    Up
    0
    ::

    I agree with John. We sell live plants so go even further with information on product care, best time to purchase, etc. Having additional information will help indemnify you and some customers may find it useful, it can also be good for SEO and it’s much easier to write a friendly email with a link than constantly reanswering the same questions.

    However, you’ll find some customers won’t bother to read the information you provide (more now than ever as they maybe ordering from a phone) and won’t care. Right or wrong, they’ll still feel it’s your responsibility to fix it. And I think that’s probably what you are facing now. You are in the right but the way you handle it can influence if she ends up a cranky customer or not. By no means do I think you should eat the loss but think about creating a solution that works for both parties. I tend to weigh it up case by case. Recently I did replace something for a customer well over a year after purchase but I weighed up he was a small order but multi repeat customer and as he was placing another order postage wasn’t an issue. I let him know I was doing it as a favour to him and didn’t bring up policy at all.
    I don’t have a lot of issues but when I do rather than just point out policy I’ll do something like point out policy and then give them a coupon code for a replacement plant with their next order. Or possibly a dollar amount or percentage off if it’s something like Australia Post being late. This probably wouldn’t be a solution for all businesses but I find it separates the freebie punters from the more genuine and I feel better that we’ve both contributed to a solution. Generally the response I’ve gotten to this particular way of dealing with it has been pretty good.

    Anyway, hope you find something that works for you but no way are you responsible for a 15 month old bathing suit that probably lives on the back of a lounge chair.

    Ann

Viewing 7 posts - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.