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'[OT] Business procedure for delayed delivery'
2006\07\10@171153 by James Newtons Massmind

face picon face
What would you do, as a small (tiny) business, if a package has been
accepted by the shipper and they show it in their system, not yet delivered,
and the customer is demanding a refund or re-ship?

Is it my responsibility to make the customer happy no matter what? What if
it turns out the customer is refusing delivery or doing something that makes
delivery impossible?

Does my responsibility end when I hand off the item for delivery and that is
confirmed, to the customer, by the shipper?

Just curious to see what other people think.

---
James.


2006\07\10@172217 by Josh Koffman

face picon face
On 7/10/06, James Newtons Massmind <spam_OUTjamesnewtonTakeThisOuTspammassmind.org> wrote:
> Is it my responsibility to make the customer happy no matter what? What if
> it turns out the customer is refusing delivery or doing something that makes
> delivery impossible?

Was the package insured? If there was a definite problem with the item
itself, I'd say it's your problem. If the item can't be delivered, I'd
ask the shipper why and thne go from there. I don't think you should
be obligated to refund the money until there is a concrete
determination that you will be getting your item back.

Josh
--
A common mistake that people make when trying to design something
completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete
fools.
       -Douglas Adams

2006\07\10@173256 by Shawn Tan

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face
On Monday 10 July 2006 22:11, James Newtons Massmind wrote:
> Does my responsibility end when I hand off the item for delivery and that
> is confirmed, to the customer, by the shipper?

IANAL..

personally, i think that it is the responsibility of the seller is to ensure
that the product arrives with the customer in good order.. it's just good
customer service..

however, in your case, it's the responsibility of the delivery company to make
sure that items are shipped..

so, i think that the customer is right to complain.. i feel that it's your
responsibility to 'go after' the delivery company to find out exactly what's
wrong.. and then take it from there..

cheers..

--
with metta,
Shawn Tan

2006\07\10@181319 by James Newtons Massmind

face picon face
>
> On 7/10/06, James Newtons Massmind <.....jamesnewtonKILLspamspam@spam@massmind.org> wrote:
> > Is it my responsibility to make the customer happy no matter what?
> > What if it turns out the customer is refusing delivery or doing
> > something that makes delivery impossible?
>
> Was the package insured? If there was a definite problem with
> the item itself, I'd say it's your problem. If the item can't
> be delivered, I'd ask the shipper why and thne go from there.
> I don't think you should be obligated to refund the money
> until there is a concrete determination that you will be
> getting your item back.
>
> Josh

No insurance, but tracking and delivery confirmation.

In this specific case, I kept pinging away at the shipper until they found
and delivered the package.

I had always intended to make sure he was well taken care of. If the
delivery had been truly lost, I would have replaced it at my cost or
refunded his payment, but that is just because I really like to make sure
people who I do business with are happy no matter what.

But I was rather shocked at the attitude of the customer... He felt that it
was my duty to refund or deliver another despite solid proof that the
delivery company was at fault. It wasn't "I know you have no responsibility
for what went wrong, but I would really appreciate it if you would..." it
was "You need to do the right thing and..." followed by "I will file a
complaint with PayPal..."

I guess what bothers me is the idea that this is expected, and therefore not
really "above and beyond" as I would expect it to be.

If the package had not showed up, I was ready to refund on the theory that
"if you loan someone $20 and never see them again, it was worth it."

---
James.


2006\07\10@181604 by James Newtons Massmind

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>
> On Monday 10 July 2006 22:11, James Newtons Massmind wrote:
> > Does my responsibility end when I hand off the item for
> delivery and
> > that is confirmed, to the customer, by the shipper?
>
> IANAL..

Understood, I'm just interested in peoples expectations not a legal opinion.

> personally, i think that it is the responsibility of the
> seller is to ensure that the product arrives with the
> customer in good order.. it's just good customer service..

Ok.

> however, in your case, it's the responsibility of the
> delivery company to make sure that items are shipped..
>
> so, i think that the customer is right to complain.. i feel
> that it's your responsibility to 'go after' the delivery
> company to find out exactly what's wrong.. and then take it
> from there..

Which is what happened in this case. Once I got in touch with the right
person, the package was found and delivered to the customer within an hour.

---
James.


2006\07\10@184106 by Spehro Pefhany

picon face
At 02:11 PM 7/10/2006 -0700, you wrote:
>What would you do, as a small (tiny) business, if a package has been
>accepted by the shipper and they show it in their system, not yet delivered,
>and the customer is demanding a refund or re-ship?
>
>Is it my responsibility to make the customer happy no matter what? What if
>it turns out the customer is refusing delivery or doing something that makes
>delivery impossible?
>
>Does my responsibility end when I hand off the item for delivery and that is
>confirmed, to the customer, by the shipper?
>
>Just curious to see what other people think.

The legalistic situation, AFAIUI, <standard disclaimer> IANAL.

Consumer items: typically *you're* responsible by default under the UCC.
http://www.law.cornell.edu/ucc/ucc.table.html

Of course that's why all the boilerplate on sales orders and invoices
to cover every possible situation.

Commercial items (which are typically sold F.O.B. customer location) ownership
passes when it is accepted by the agreed-upon carrier and *they* have to file
a claim with the carrier.  If other terms such as CIF are involved the
situation is different. There are also terms which are important mostly
for big stuff like FOR. All this comes into play in odd situations such
as the locomotive which is dropped onto the ship it is supposed to be
transported on (in the process of loading it on board), causing great
damage (a real case). The resolution is very important to the parties
in a situation like that.

This is all very well established in law and practice, as you might
imagine, with probably millions of packages having gone missing over the
years.

But if the customer doesn't want the item for any reason, it's probably
better from a business pov to let them out of it, IMHO.  There are
exceptions- deliberate rip-offs and that sort of thing. There area also
considerations such as whether a CC or Paypal might decide in the favor
of the customer.

>Best regards,

Spehro Pefhany --"it's the network..."            "The Journey is the reward"
speffspamKILLspaminterlog.com             Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
Embedded software/hardware/analog  Info for designers:  http://www.speff.com
->>Test equipment, parts OLED displys http://search.ebay.com/_W0QQsassZspeff


2006\07\10@185050 by Spehro Pefhany

picon face

>
>
>Commercial items (which are typically sold F.O.B. customer location)
                                                    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Argh. That should be *SUPPLIER* location, of course!

Best regards,

Spehro Pefhany --"it's the network..."            "The Journey is the reward"
.....speffKILLspamspam.....interlog.com             Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
Embedded software/hardware/analog  Info for designers:  http://www.speff.com
->>Test equipment, parts OLED displys http://search.ebay.com/_W0QQsassZspeff


2006\07\10@192937 by Paul Hutchinson

picon face
>-----Original Message-----
>From: EraseMEpiclist-bouncesspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTmit.edu On Behalf Of James Newtons Massmind
>Sent: Monday, July 10, 2006 5:12 PM
>
>What would you do, as a small (tiny) business, if a package has been
>accepted by the shipper and they show it in their system, not yet
>delivered, and the customer is demanding a refund or re-ship?

Unless you and the customer agree to other policies, getting the package to
him is your responsibility. Since you contracted the shipping service, any
mistake they make must be corrected by you. I know from my 25 years at a
small company that does direct sales that all the credit card companies and
the Better Business Bureau will hold you 100% responsible if the item
doesn't arrive.

If you and the customer agree ahead of time, in writing, that to save money
the package will not be insured and it is lost in shipping then you will be
able to defend yourself to the BBB. However, even in this case the credit
card companies will still side with the customer and take the money back
from you :-(.

>
>Is it my responsibility to make the customer happy no matter what?

Only if you want that customers business in the future.

> What if it turns out the customer is refusing delivery or doing something
>that makes delivery impossible?

Then you take the package back from the shipper and, refund the purchase
price to the customer.

>
>Does my responsibility end when I hand off the item for delivery
>and that is confirmed, to the customer, by the shipper?
>

Definitely not, the shipper is your vendor not the customers vendor. Until
the customer receives the package undamaged you have not delivered the goods
sold to the customer.

Paul

>Just curious to see what other people think.
>
>---
>James.

2006\07\10@195743 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
James Newtons Massmind wrote:

>> personally, i think that it is the responsibility of the seller is to
>> ensure that the product arrives with the customer in good order.. it's
>> just good customer service..
>
> Ok.

That's also how I see it.

There are sometimes items sold marked in a way (maybe "FOB someplace"?
don't remember) that indicates that it is the buyer's responsibility to get
them from there to his place. I don't think that would fly for small
consumer items within a country, though.

>> however, in your case, it's the responsibility of the delivery company
>> to make sure that items are shipped..
>>
>> so, i think that the customer is right to complain.. i feel that it's
>> your responsibility to 'go after' the delivery company to find out
>> exactly what's wrong.. and then take it from there..

Yup... since your contract with the buyer is to deliver him that item (if
that's what it is), and your contract with the shipper is to take care of
that part of your responsibility, the buyer has nothing to do with your
problems with the shipper. If the shipper loses it, you have to reimburse
the buyer or re-ship to him according to your deal with the buyer (there's
some kind of rules, right?), and the shipper has to reimburse you according
to your deal with the shipper. Now if your deal with the buyer is better
(for the buyer) than your deal with the shipper (for you), you may be
<beep> :)

So probably you should set your delivery rules in a way that your delivery
guarantee is covered by your shipper's delivery guarantee. Or maybe, if
your shipper is someone known and reputable, you may be able to set your
delivery rules in a way that you can get yourself out of the middleman
position. Like "delivery is guaranteed to the extent that your chosen
carrier warrants delivery; my part is done with proven hand-over to the
carrier". (IANL, consult your lawyer :)  However, that may not be a good
business strategy.

Gerhard

2006\07\10@200103 by Rob Robson

flavicon
face
From: "Paul Hutchinson" <paullhutchinsonspamspam_OUTyahoo.com>
To: "Microcontroller discussion list - Public." <@spam@piclistKILLspamspammit.edu>
Sent: Monday, July 10, 2006 4:29 PM
Subject: RE: [OT] Business procedure for delayed delivery


>>Is it my responsibility to make the customer happy no matter what?
>
> Only if you want that customers business in the future.

That's a fairly significant "if".  If a customer is so unreasonable as to be
less than understanding when third parties introduce unforeseeable problems,
it may be preferable to lose their business than to reward their behaviour,
which may have its origins in some completely unrelated aspect of their
lives.  US Customs has apparently become a significant source of
unpredictable, random shipping delays, for example.  If a US customer were
to hold a non-US supplier directly responsible for this, I would humbly
suggest that they jump in a lake.

RR


2006\07\10@213639 by VULCAN20

picon face
2 qustions:
What is the value of the Item?
   If the cost is low, and you can afford it.  Send them another one
for good PR.

Was it shipped by PRIORITY MAIL, with a click N Ship lable?
     The confirmation delivery is free, So they never scan the package
in or any where along the route.   The only time it is scanned is when
it goes out for deliver.  PAYPAL does not accept that type of shipping
as  proof that you put it in the mail.   If you buy a delivery
confirmation sticker it gets scanned in when you take it to the Post
Office.  That type PAYPAL will accept as proof of putting in the mail.

James Newtons Massmind wrote:

{Quote hidden}

2006\07\10@215347 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
> What would you do, as a small (tiny) business, if a package has been
> accepted by the shipper and they show it in their system, not yet
> delivered,
> and the customer is demanding a refund or re-ship?

Whatever you have already stated in your terms of trade which the
customer has implictly or explicitly accepted when they enter into
their contract with you.

What?
You don't have one of those, either? :-)
Next time.


       Russell


> Is it my responsibility to make the customer happy no matter what?

Terms of trade.

> What if it turns out the customer is refusing delivery

Terms of trade.

> or doing something that makes delivery impossible?

Terms of trade.

> Does my responsibility end when I hand off the item for delivery and
> that is
> confirmed, to the customer, by the shipper?

Terms of trade.

> Just curious to see what other people think.

All together, "Te .. :-)


2006\07\10@225737 by Nate Duehr

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flavicon
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On Jul 10, 2006, at 4:16 PM, James Newtons Massmind wrote:

>>
>> On Monday 10 July 2006 22:11, James Newtons Massmind wrote:
>>> Does my responsibility end when I hand off the item for
>> delivery and
>>> that is confirmed, to the customer, by the shipper?
>>
>> IANAL..
>
> Understood, I'm just interested in peoples expectations not a legal  
> opinion.

Personally I think the customer was being a bit unreasonable, if  
you'd provided tracking info and he could see for himself what was  
going on.  Yes, it's frustrating, but for him to jump straight to  
"I'll file a complaint" is silly.

Luckily it all sounds like it worked out like it was supposed to...

I've seen some REALLY big stuff (large scale telecommunications gear)  
get "lost" in international shipping in my day job.  It's truly  
amazing.  It always turns up, usually somewhere between customs and  
the shipper, even if using a broker, etc.

Of course, this usually also screws up the field engineering team's  
schedule and the entire project timeline when it happens, and the  
project managers get pretty flustered and frustrated and start making  
a LOT of phone calls... (GRIN).

Meanwhile we techies who have "been there, done that, got the t-
shirt" just plan for the weekend to be shot, since we'll be catching  
up to the project timeline so everyone can settle back down again.

When half a million to a couple million bux are tied up on a single  
shipping crate worth of equipment, people get kinda weird.  When it  
arrives you just start unpacking and racking it and testing it all as  
fast as you can reasonably go, unless of course the company is a  
Teamsters/Union shop.

In that case you plan three more days for three guys to find the damn  
"official safety crowbar" and dolly to open the shipping crate and  
move it 10 feet across the room and pronounce it "delivered" -- so  
THEN you can lift it by yourself into the rack because they're gone  
having a "coffee break" for the next week.

Or worse it's a customer that your field engineers are not  
"qualified" to install things into the racks at, so you wait for the  
sub-contractor to show up to put screws in and line it all up all  
pretty-like in the racks and run the wires.  Although, sometimes  
that's nice -- you just watch while a crew of six or seven guys  
hammers through wiring up six or seven cabinets worth of stuff, and  
then you whip out your cable tester and go to work seeing if they  
crossed any pairs.  Wire-wrap and 9-cord (wax string) suck.  :-)  And  
the subs usually do an AMAZING job lacing the pairs in with the 9-
cord, or 11-cord, or whatever...

:-)  (Oops... that turned into a rant.  GRIN.)

Anyway... you were doing the right things, James... the guy just got  
antsy.  If we can lose a couple million dollar shipment, he can  
certainly wait a few days for a lost $20 box o' stuff.

--
Nate Duehr
KILLspamnateKILLspamspamnatetech.com


2006\07\11@015304 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> Does my responsibility end when I hand off the item for
> delivery and that is
> confirmed, to the customer, by the shipper?

I would say that your responsibility is what your customer can
reasonably expect. So it depends a lot on what you promised (explicit or
implicit), or - lacking that - what compareable businesses do.

I stick to the principle that I choose the way I send my stuff (insured
or not, tracking or not, etc), so I am responsible for the goods
arriving at my customers home. I don't advertise this, but I do act on
it (at least up to now). This includes the occasional re-sending.

By the same principle: if a customer chooses to send me paper money by
mail, it is entirely his responsibility whether it arrives or not.

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2006\07\11@015304 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> But I was rather shocked at the attitude of the customer...
> He felt that it
> was my duty to refund or deliver another despite solid proof that the
> delivery company was at fault.

That is a bit rough, but not unfair. After all, he is not a customer of
that delivery company, you are.

> It wasn't "I know you have no
> responsibility
> for what went wrong, but I would really appreciate it if you
> would..." it
> was "You need to do the right thing and..." followed by "I will file a
> complaint with PayPal..."

If you accept paypal you accept the paypal rules, which are rather
consumer-friendly.

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2006\07\11@052212 by Ray Newman

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James,
Did you insure with shipper?
Did shipper guarantee delivery date?

Until package is delivered to customer it is your responsibility because shipper is working for you, not customer.
Unless customer arranged HIS shipper to pick up from you.

You use your insurance or your shipper's insurance for any losses.
But you are still expected to deliver.

Unless customer asked you in writing/email to ship under value and/or not insured you have to deliver.
Customer is expected to wait a reasonable time for delivery for the type of service he asked for.

Just remember the shipper is working for YOU not the customer.
Ray


On Mon, 10 Jul 2006 14:11:49 -0700, James Newtons Massmind wrote:
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2006\07\11@052213 by Ray Newman

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James,
Ah' delivered, great.
This should tell you to ALWAYS insure delivery in good condition.
You should always charge the customer for this service and never back off unless
he accepts responsibility.

In USA I ship UPS and Fedex
free insurance for up to $100
For shipment outside USA I use USPS.com using EMS/Speedpost
because it is far less expensive than UPS or Fedex.

BUT I always insure.

Sometimes customer asks me to ship as gift or undervalue.

I then explain why the need for insurance and ask if he wants to take responsibility.
90% of the time it goes, then, at full value.

Once in a great while I take a chance but I know I will have to pay if not delivered.
Ray



On Mon, 10 Jul 2006 15:16:00 -0700, James Newtons Massmind wrote:
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2006\07\11@082251 by Gerhard Fiedler

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Paul Hutchinson wrote:

> If you and the customer agree ahead of time, in writing, that to save
> money the package will not be insured and it is lost in shipping then
> you will be able to defend yourself to the BBB. However, even in this
> case the credit card companies will still side with the customer and
> take the money back from you :-(.

I don't think of that as the CC companies siding with the customer. I think
of it more as a "this is a somewhat unclear situation, and they want to get
out of the middle man situation". If you think that you're right, you still
can sue the customer. And you always have the choice of sticking to the
shipping methods you like -- the customer doesn't have that choice.

For me, credit cards are a type of payment that is based on being in
agreement -- in several "points of cont(r)act". If one such point doesn't
work out, the whole scheme doesn't work out, and it's reasonable for me to
cancel the deal. There's more than enough CC fraud as it is; probably it's
easier to hold the position that the CC companies pay too much than that
they pay too little.

Gerhard

2006\07\11@102631 by M. Adam Davis

face picon face
In my opinion...

Your responsibility ends when you received payment and the customer
takes responsibility for the product you sold.

If the customer paid you for shipping, or you included shipping "free"
then you are responsible for working things out with the shipper to
ensure delivery.  If you guaranteed a deliver by date, and the
customer didn't receive it on or before that date then you should send
out a new item next day air to fulfill your guarantee.  If you didn't
guarantee a deliver by date, then there really is no reason for them
to get steamed about a supposedly "late" delivery.

Since they were steamed about it, about all you can do is apologize
for the inconvenience, and promise to follow up with the carrier
regarding delivery of the product.  I would probably go further and
give them a "deliver by" date about a week out from the expected
delivery.  If the shipper can't find it and deliver it in that time
then send out a new one 3 days ahead of the new deliver by date, and
start the process of getting the shipper to refund your original
shipment payment and have them return the original package when found
or start the process of getting the insured value paid.

It's a lot of trouble for $20, though.  Personally I'd simply send a
new one out.  When the person gets the second device, have them mark
it return to sender.  If they accept it then charge them for it.  If
they complain tell them that they insisting a second one be sent
immediately instead of waiting for the original delivery constitutes a
second order that is cancelled when it is returned.  You can also get
a refund from the shipper if it's their fault and you chose a service
that has guarantees about timing, but it probably isn't worth your
time.

-Adam

On 7/10/06, James Newtons Massmind <RemoveMEjamesnewtonTakeThisOuTspammassmind.org> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> -

2006\07\11@104746 by Robert Young

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A good phrase (and you will probably need to give a definition in your
terms and conditions) is "FOB" meaning "Freight On Board".

Example:  You (in Walla Wala, WA) order from me (Lawrence, KS).  I mark
the invoice as "FOB Lawrence, KS".  This means that the buyer (you) are
responsible for the shipment (charges and insurance) as soon as it
leaves my loading dock in Lawrence, KS.

http://www.hometravelagency.com/dictionary/freight-on-board.html gives a
good definition by example.

http://store.viz.com/help_shipping_fob/s.t0xpx31m also has a good
definition

Rob

2006\07\11@105434 by Tim N9PUZ

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On 7/10/06, James Newtons Massmind <spamBeGonejamesnewtonspamBeGonespammassmind.org> wrote:

>What would you do, as a small (tiny) business, if a package has been
>accepted by the shipper and they show it in their system, not yet delivered,
>and the customer is demanding a refund or re-ship?

I have been selling some model airplane related items for over ten
years now. The most expensive is $5 US including shipping. In my
opinion it is worthwhile to go out of your way to have happy
customers. That single sale may end up costing you money but
experience shows that the person who's unreasonable about delivery
times is also the one with nothing better to do than tell everybody
that you're a jerk/dishonest/incompetent (take your pick) any time
they see your products mentioned in a public forum.

The best insurance is to make sure that you are the one stipulating
what they should expect. Minimize any chance for a misunderstanding. I
often ship orders the day I receive them but my sales info or auction
listings typically only promise I will ship the Saturday following the
receipt of payment and that since I have no control over the post
office they should allow up to two weeks from then to get their package.

>Is it my responsibility to make the customer happy no matter what? What if
>it turns out the customer is refusing delivery or doing something that makes
>delivery impossible?

If the customer has refused delivery or something else I don't know
what your legal obligation would be but I'd just refund their money
after you get the product back. Add this to your "sales policy" too. I
wouldn't specifically mention refunds for refused shipments, just
something to the effect that in the case of any problems or disputes
you reserve the right to refund their money as your only obligation.

Most people don't hassle you if you are clear up front. Err on the
side of being _too_ clear.

>Does my responsibility end when I hand off the item for delivery and that is
>confirmed, to the customer, by the shipper?

I think you have to get the product into their hands or refund the
purchase price.

>Just curious to see what other people think.

How many of whatever this little widget is have you sold? Have you had
a lot of trouble with people so far?

Tim

2006\07\11@113612 by Paul Hutchinson

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>-----Original Message-----
>From: TakeThisOuTpiclist-bouncesEraseMEspamspam_OUTmit.edu On Behalf Of Rob Robson
>Sent: Monday, July 10, 2006 8:01 PM
>
>From: "Paul Hutchinson"
>>
>> Only if you want that customers business in the future.
>
>That's a fairly significant "if". If a customer is so unreasonable as to
>be less than understanding when third parties introduce unforeseeable
<snip>
>to hold a non-US supplier directly responsible for this, I would humbly
>suggest that they jump in a lake.

I agree completely that this is a very significant "if". Our philosophy for
customer relations has always been: The customer is always right, especially
when they are wrong. This philosophy limits the customer service options to
either satisfying the customer or making them a non-customer. Occasionally a
customer is so unreasonable that the only option that makes sense is to
refund any money they have paid and give up on having that person as a
customer. Since our products carry a five year warranty we have, on rare
occasions, had to have a customer return the item(s) 3 years after purchase
for a refund so that we can cleanly end the relationship (and the hassle do
to unreasonable demands).

An important aspect of dropping a customer is to make sure they are a
satisfied non-customer. This is because a dissatisfied consumer is very
likely to tell everyone they can that your company is bad.

Paul

>
>RR

2006\07\11@114755 by James Newtons Massmind

face picon face
> How many of whatever this little widget is have you sold?

Several hundred.

> Have you had a lot of trouble with people so far?

No, and this guy was really no serious trouble. I was just curious how other
people managed it and what the /perception/ more than the legal issues are
with regard to delayed delivery.

---
James.


2006\07\11@115350 by James Newtons Massmind

face picon face
> If the customer paid you for shipping, or you included shipping "free"
> then you are responsible for working things out with the
> shipper to ensure delivery.  If you guaranteed a deliver by
> date, and the customer didn't receive it on or before that
> date then you should send out a new item next day air to
> fulfill your guarantee.  If you didn't guarantee a deliver by
> date, then there really is no reason for them to get steamed
> about a supposedly "late" delivery.

Ahh... That's an interesting point. I've always just said: "by Priority
Mail" and left it at that. The USPS descriptions for Priority Mail are clear
that there is NOT a guarrentied delivery time, but that 3 or 4 days is
normal. So for a delayed delivery, I do feel the customer was a bit over the
top, but as I said, I would have been happy to refund him just for good PR
and to be rid of the issue... Had they not found the package and delivered
it.

Most of the replys to my original question don't seem to have addressed the
fact that the package was not lost, not damaged, not destroyed, just
delayed.... USPS was clearly indicating that they had the package, but they
just didn't seem to know what to do with it, or were taking an excessive
amount of time (2 weeks) to deliver it.

I guess I wasn't clear about that in my OP.

---
James.


2006\07\11@115657 by Paul Hutchinson

picon face
>-----Original Message-----
>From: RemoveMEpiclist-bouncesspamTakeThisOuTmit.edu On Behalf Of Gerhard Fiedler
>Sent: Tuesday, July 11, 2006 8:23 AM
>
>I don't think of that as the CC companies siding with the customer. I think
>of it more as a "this is a somewhat unclear situation, and they want to get
>out of the middle man situation". If you think that you're right, you still
>can sue the customer. And you always have the choice of sticking to the
>shipping methods you like -- the customer doesn't have that choice.
>
>For me, credit cards are a type of payment that is based on being in
>agreement -- in several "points of cont(r)act". If one such point doesn't
>work out, the whole scheme doesn't work out, and it's reasonable for me to
>cancel the deal. There's more than enough CC fraud as it is; probably it's
>easier to hold the position that the CC companies pay too much than that
>they pay too little.
>

Assuming you don't have a full time staff lawyer, the expense of suing
someone, especially when they reside in a different state than your company,
is enormous. When the product value is less than ten thousand dollars it is
unlikely your company will recover the loss plus all in-house and legal
expenses :-(.

Within the last couple of months we where ripped off by a consumer with the
aid of a credit card company. We accepted an order for about $1000.00,
shipped it, received payment from the credit card and, assumed it was all
fine. A few weeks later the credit card company takes back the money from us
and tells us the customer claims that the product never arrived. We
contacted the shipper and got a copy of the customers signature
acknowledging receipt of the package. Upon contacting the credit card
company we were told that their decision is final, that they believe the
customer, that the signature is likely a forgery and they will not change
their position. We contacted the customer and offered to re-ship the product
but the customer said they no longer wanted it. Since the customer did not
want a replacement we feel very certain that the customer has used the
credit card company policies to get a free $1000.00 worth of product. Now
there is a possibility that the signature was a forgery but under the
circumstances it seems unlikely but, it will be at our expense to prove that
the signature is not a forgery.

We get scammed like this about once every 1 to 2 years. Usually the person
ripping us off lives in a shipping "safe zone" where the shipper does not
get a signature on delivery. In these cases we collect on the shipping
insurance so that minimizes our losses.

Paul

2006\07\11@125248 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
James Newtons Massmind wrote:

> Ahh... That's an interesting point. I've always just said: "by Priority
> Mail" and left it at that. The USPS descriptions for Priority Mail are
> clear that there is NOT a guarrentied delivery time, but that 3 or 4
> days is normal.

I think one summary item is "be as clear as possible". I don't think you
should assume that people know what "priority mail" means. Just say that it
will usually arrive within a week, but that it can take longer, possibly
much longer, up to <whatever USPS guarantees> (or something like that).

> So for a delayed delivery, I do feel the customer was a bit over the
> top,

Of course... another summary item :)  But that doesn't help you. It's in
your interest to minimize such events.

> Most of the replys to my original question don't seem to have addressed
> the fact that the package was not lost, not damaged, not destroyed, just
> delayed.... USPS was clearly indicating that they had the package, but
> they just didn't seem to know what to do with it, or were taking an
> excessive amount of time (2 weeks) to deliver it.

I'm one of them, but this wasn't relevant for my reply (and possibly also
not for several others). Since you probably had no guarantee from USPS that
the item will be delivered by <date>, you can't tell the customer "my
carrier will deliver until <date>". You just can say that it's with the
USPS, that they usually will deliver eventually, and that you will treat
this incident reasonably. But that's not a very good reply to an angry and
somewhat unreasonable customer, so the fact that it was "just" temporarily
lost within the USPS doesn't help a lot.

Looking at it with a "customer-friendly" eye you could say that possibly
the customer wasn't aware that it could take 2 weeks or more for the item
to arrive, and that this was the source of the problem. This is something
you probably can avoid by stating your shipping conditions more clearly,
and also what are the conditions where you start doing something, and what.
(Like "in case the USPS delivery should take more than 3 weeks, which
hasn't happened yet but isn't entirely impossible, I'll send out another
item on request, free of charge. In this case, if the original shipment
should be delivered, it will get charged if it hasn't been shipped back by
<method> until one week after delivery." Or something the like...)

Gerhard

2006\07\11@131416 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Paul Hutchinson wrote:

>> For me, credit cards are a type of payment that is based on being in
>> agreement -- in several "points of cont(r)act". If one such point
>> doesn't work out, the whole scheme doesn't work out, and it's
>> reasonable for me to cancel the deal. There's more than enough CC fraud
>> as it is; probably it's easier to hold the position that the CC
>> companies pay too much than that they pay too little.
>
> Assuming you don't have a full time staff lawyer, the expense of suing
> someone, especially when they reside in a different state than your
> company, is enormous. When the product value is less than ten thousand
> dollars it is unlikely your company will recover the loss plus all
> in-house and legal expenses :-(.

Goes for customers also. It's not fun to have to go to court to get your
money back. And you rarely get any of the "in-house and legal expenses"
back in such a case. (Unless of course you have a good case of a frivolous
lawsuit... :)


> Within the last couple of months we where ripped off by a consumer with
> the aid of a credit card company.

I'm sure this happens.

In a way, this is simply a "cost of doing business" this way. Look at it
that way: if your customers didn't have that right (which, as any right,
has a potential for abuse), you probably wouldn't get that much business
from far away customers. Fewer customers would send you money up front that
they could only get back by suing you in case you were dishonest -- that
would put them in a situation like the one you say you don't want to be in.
So you have the choice of either accepting the rules for CC payment, or use
another form of payment. You probably already got to the conclusion that
this is still the least damaging form.

In a way, that's the price you have to pay for an inefficient banking
system that doesn't allow cheap (free), simple, identifiable and quick
transfers of funds between parties. (I'm assuming you're writing from the
US...)

Gerhard

2006\07\11@134332 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> Ahh... That's an interesting point. I've always just said:
> "by Priority
> Mail" and left it at that. The USPS descriptions for Priority
> Mail are clear
> that there is NOT a guarrentied delivery time, but that 3 or 4 days is
> normal.

My experience with Dutch mail is that they do manage to deliver maybe
90% of the packages the next day, but the number of packages with an
excessive delay is not neglectible. Out of that remaining 10% there
maybe 2% takes more than a week. I once had a package delivered after
three months. (by then the customer had complained and received a
re-send - whicg got delivered next day).

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2006\07\11@230441 by Ling SM

picon face
1.  The  best survey maybe at ebay, there are various types of
disclaimers and shipping services and options.

2.  Guess, it depends on value of good, number of supplier(competitor),
and rating of the customer (default is good and get benefits of doubt).

3.  I will look at from the eyes as if I am trying to buy from them.
And what I can accept and I would see as fair.

Ling SM

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