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Non delivered package

 
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somethingpretty



Posts: 190

PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2018 7:57 pm    Post subject: Non delivered package Reply with quote

I have a customer who states she hasn't received a package I shipped out on 9/07. I have checked the tracking # and have confirmed the package was delivered on 9/10. What are my responsibilities in handling this situation? Do I have to refund or re-do the order?
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FoxAndFish



Posts: 1483

PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2018 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First, what is the policy in your store Terms for this type of situation? If you have a policy, it should be followed.

Then, since you didn't post about this information: have you sent the customer a screenshot or PDF of the delivery confirmation from the carrier? Have you encouraged her to discuss this with her family, neighbors (depending on her living arrangement), front desk clerk, building super, local delivery authority (USPS postmaster, UPS dispatcher, etc), whatever? Have you contacted the carrier and asked about the delivery (for example, did it get left in a spot that the customer may not notice or in an open area where it could be stolen)?

Also, what is the value of the item and can it be replaced?

These are all factors that figure into how the situation would be handled.

As far as I'm concerned...and this is my opinion only...you have fulfilled your responsibility as the seller. You have delivery confirmation from the carrier. I would contact the carrier to follow up, to the extent possible, on what might have happened. But it is the buyer's responsibility to receive the package.
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MrsDsHandKnits



Posts: 97

PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2018 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Self deleted since my response is viewed as useless and not relevant to this venue.

Last edited by MrsDsHandKnits on Sat Sep 22, 2018 5:16 pm; edited 10 times in total
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FoxAndFish



Posts: 1483

PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2018 6:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MrsDsHandKnits wrote:
No matter whether it be a large retailer or a small online seller, it is that seller's responsibility to fulfill their end of the transaction and that includes being responsible if a buyer does not receive the item they purchased. Even though sellers have no control over how, when, where a package is delivered, it is the seller's responsibility to act upon any situation that results in the failure of a package being received by the buyer.

That's lovely in theory. That does not work in practice. It is in no way the seller's responsibility that, after the carrier delivered the package to the customer, the customer cannot find that package. The carrier may have delivered it to the wrong address...or left it in a wrong place (for example, our UPS delivery person used to leave our packages at the mailbox, out on a state road, 1/2 mile from our residence, b/c he didn't want to drive to the house). Someone may have taken it from the customer's residence. A door person or building super may have stored it (for example, in a condo/apt complex) and forgotten to give it to the resident. On and on.

None of that is the responsibility of the seller. The customer must also have responsibilities...and that includes making accommodation for receipt of the package. If the customer is in an unsafe or high-traffic area, he/she needs to ask for signature confirmation or pick-up at a post office or similar. If the customer is in a large building with many residents, he/she needs to alert whoever receives mail that a package is expected. On and on.

The seller can of course be helpful in trying to track it down...over the past 9 yrs, I have spent hours on the phone with postmasters and postal carriers helping customers find their delivered packages, even tho I had nothing to do with the customer not finding them. And the seller in this case is free to do what he/she believes is the right course in this circumstance. But the seller has documentation that the package was delivered. Not lost, not never sent, not sent to the wrong address. Delivered.
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MrsDsHandKnits



Posts: 97

PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2018 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Self deleted since my response is viewed as useless and not relevant to this venue.

Last edited by MrsDsHandKnits on Sat Sep 22, 2018 5:17 pm; edited 10 times in total
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MoonwishesStore



Posts: 15269

PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2018 9:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On eCRATER, we are allowed to have our own policies for this type of thing, unlike on say Amazon who seems to hold us accountable until the product has been passed on to the buyer's heirs when they die 10-20 years after the purchase. Many buyers these days seem to think they can get freebies just by saying something didn't show up. I have shipped thousands of orders in the last 16+ years and in that time only around 10, if that, have gone completely missing. Most of the "it shows delivered but it isn't" complaints fall by the wayside when they find that sellers don't give an automatic refund.

ECRATER expects us to treat our customers with courtesy and as a good business person, but they rarely interfere with our store terms of service.
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MaggietheCatsMeows



Posts: 2789

PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 12:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Look up the address on Google maps. It will give you an idea whether the address is a business, dorm, apartment building, etc. Then you can suggest places to look. Last time I had a package go missing it turned out the address was a large museum but the buyer had only put her name and street address. I suggested she ask in the mail room. Evidently she was not a big shot in the museum and her name was not familiar. Buyers should always check with their local post office (the one where undelivered packages are taken for their area) If it was misdelivered it could have been dropped back in the mail.
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MoonwishesStore



Posts: 15269

PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My last two 'not delivered' customers on Amazon, one wrote an extensive letter about a friend not getting their package at Christmas time and now she hasn't gotten hers and she will never shop at Amazon again. I gave her the list of the places she should look for the item and was ticked off that I suggested that she ask her family if she hadn't yet (most of my not delivered problems are family members) and I told her I couldn't do anything since it was the weekend, but she needed to ask at her PO what was going on. Didn't hear from her for a week when she wrote a snotty email saying she had gotten it from the PO. I truly believe she wouldn't have been happy if I had flown to her house via a super jet and found it for her. I don't make calls to PO. I do not have free long distance so why should I pay long distance for a call she can make for free?

The other one I got on the 17th, sent her my usual email for this problem and haven't heard back as of today. I assume she found it.

Of note, I RARELY get a where's my stuff email here on eCRATER. I think most folks have in their head the rules for getting freebies in the mail is buy something off Amazon or eBay and then complain that it didn't arrive and you will get it refunded and the item as well. Kaching, Score! Actually, I rarely get a refund request here.

I simply refuse to lay down and be walked on. I sell online to make ends meet not as a charitable foundation.
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thetomsboutique



Posts: 99

PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 5:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm a little late to this party (vacation and then getting caught up upon return), but I think this example is one of those seller "grey areas", with lots of variables involved, and no real right or wrong answer for either side. I think it really just boils down to how badly you want to retain the customer (or not).

Yes, it is not your fault, and you are under no legal obligation to comply with a refund or really even for offering any assistance, assuming you have shipped everything properly. However, from the buyer's perspective, they have paid for an item they have not received; essentially, they paid you for nothing. That's not a good look. On the other hand, from your perspective, you did everything right, and still got screwed.

Bottom line is, in this scenario, someone's getting screwed. Either you're going to lose money on refunding/replacing, or the buyer will get screwed by not getting something in return for payment. That's where the variables come into play. How much was the item? Can you replace it? Is this a repeat customer? Do you want them to be? The list of questions go on and on.

It all comes down to personal preference, really, but I think the first step is communication: Contact them and see where they're coming from. Do they seem nice and patient, or are they dickish and rude? If they fit in the first category, talk them through it. Offer them suggestions on possible places to look for the package, as others have said. Have them (I wouldn't waste the time) call the postal carrier to see if there's anything they can do. These will at least buy more time; hopefully it will turn up by the time they follow through, or they might just lose interest and decide it's not worth pursuing. If they're rude, then that just makes it a lot easier to take their money and not offer anything in return, haha.

Anyway, personally I would probably refund their money in most situations. I'm not desperate to retain customers, but I just put myself in their shoes...they paid for something they didn't get. No, it's not your fault, but the mail company certainly won't do anything about it, and I think it's the right thing to do.

Again, though, this is just an opinion, and there are countless other variables. But I think communication is huge, because it can help you gauge where a person is coming from (because, let's be real here, there are also a growing number of scammers).
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MoonwishesStore



Posts: 15269

PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2018 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Again, though, this is just an opinion, and there are countless other variables. But I think communication is huge because it can help you gauge where a person is coming from (because let's be real here, there are also a growing number of scammers).


Assuming all packages get shipped via the USPS (forget UPS and FedEx for now), the mail gets shipped in different size packages, but generally nothing on the outside that tells you what is in the package. So after all these years and through many venues, I think at most 10 of my packages didn't show up after being marked delivered. I will even go as high as 15 orders just in case. So 15 packages out of probably around 15,000-20,000 orders shipped. That includes books for the first few years, then sewing patterns. I would love to know the figures on computers/electronic/expensive gizmos! Same PO, same delivery routes, yet over the years, it seems that the higher the cost and desirability of an item the more that get delivered but the buyer complains it isn't here. So is there some sort of black hole at the PO across our country that sucks these items in and at the same time tells the computer to mark it as delivered? It is a conundrum for sure.

I know that one lady thought I was rude I guess when I sent her my list (the same one that everyone gets) that said ask your family members. I don't understand that as I have had plenty of occasions where it is the family members fault that the item disappeared. Or the one where the lady hadn't checked her mailbox before writing me and asking where it was! LOL! I don't know why they ask us where something is and they are thousands of miles away. How would we know?

One lady in the UK and I went about 20 rounds about why one of her packages was there lickety-split, and yet the second more expensive one had disappeared. They were mailed 12 hours apart. I noticed that her address was different on the two orders. For those familiar with UK address, they are strange enough to we in the US, but this was really weird, How could something going to the same name and street address, with a different county and different postal code be the same address???? She insisted that it was not wrong and that it was the same address! Off and on it went. I filed the insurance claim and she kept hounding me for it from the day I filed it saying it was taking too long. She claimed it was being shipped by some mail service that wasn't anything I had heard of, nor my postal clerk and it wasn't the Royal Mail, yet she insisted. About 6 months after the order she said that she finally got it and was ticked because of the duty. Not surprising as it was an $80 order. I suspect that was the problem all along once it caught up to her. She got the notice of what she owed and then with the third and final attempt she realized that if she didn't pick it up and pay the piper, it would be returned to me and I would see on the package all the attempts to have her pick it up and that she had been lying big time.

I think some are real full-time scammers and others aren't doing it on purpose, but the first little hitch, they turn into a scammer. Or some are just cranky that day and they seem to be scammers. One thing to be really thankful of here at eCRATER is that we are allowed to communicate with our customers one on one.
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