Folksy Ltd

Cancelled order - help and advice please

(Roz) #1

Help - I got a request for a custom order from someone in Australia (not on here but you folks are so helpful I thought I’d ask for advice here!).

The order involved me ordering in extra materials at considerable cost as I had to buy more than was actually required for the order, and two items were made. I was in constant communication with the buyer sending photos to help her select colour schemes and also of the final products before sending. I then sent the items by tracked postage but on receipt she said they weren’t quite what she had wanted. I’m not sure what my legal rights were but in the interest of customer satisfaction I said if she returned the items I would give her a refund (minus postage costs) which she agreed to. While the items are not what I would normally make they could be resold here so it wasn’t a complete disaster.

I have just received a card from the post office saying that they are unable to deliver the items back to me as there is a customs charge of £13.58 (including £8 handling fee) to be paid. So what to do now? I know in the grand scheme of things £13.58 is not a vast sum of money but I feel aggrieved that this order is now costing me money. Should I just take it on the chin and pay up putting it down to experience, ask her to pay it (I have yet to process the refund), or ask for a contribution to the costs. The items in question total £52.

Hope you lovely lot can give me some advice and thoughts on what you would do in a similar situation.

(cindyheadley) #2

If it were me, which of course it isn’t, I would be inclined to take it on the chin this time, and get a non-refundable deposit for any future orders for Australia because of the custom charges.
I had a friend on Facebook the other day discussing similar issues, I can’t recall exactly what but it was to do with Royal Mail not even carrying jewellery insured to Australia and having to find a Private courier that would insure, so there seems to be some issues with items for that country.

You should be able to check out the custom fees and at least cover yourself with a deposit for those, you could even make it refundable later if they keep the item if you preferred.?

(Kelly) #3

In all honesty Roz @Rozcraftz, I would take my loss on this one. It’s the first time it’s happened to you and it gives you a heads up for any future purchases from Australian customers. However, I would recommend to contact the buyer to tell her. Had I been the customer, I would actually make a payment to cover those costs because that’s just the kind of person I am. You never know, she may just do the same! x

(Sasha Garrett) #4

Since the goods were being returned to you (and not being purchased by you) I don’t think you should have to pay the import duty/ vat and associated handling charge (can’t get my head around notice 236 returned goods relief though, you might have to pay it and claim it back). I’d take all the paper work you have (original invoice between you and the customer, print out of emails from her saying that she doesn’t want it and would like to return it etc) and go and have words with the post office depot people - I have found that they do on occasion get over excited and charge for things when they shouldn’t or if a mistake has been made on the customs declaration. I’d also warn the customer in Oz that you are possibly incuring additional fees with the shipping and would need to take that into consideration when processing the refund.

For future reference the customs charges and handling fee are payable when buying anything over the value of £15 from outside the EU so you could have had the same issue if the customer had been in the USA or Canada for example. However not everyone fills out the customs declarations correctly and so sometimes things slip through which should have had fees paid and sometimes things get held up which shouldn’t have fees paid.

(Maxine Veronica) #5

Oh what a pain Roz, I would suggested the same as Sasha and try or get the changes cancelled

(Grimm Exhibition) #6

Same as above, learn form it and next time get some kind of a non refundable deposit.

(Melanie Commins) #7

You probably can claim for a refund of the VAT if you fill out a few forms. Unfortunately this won’t include the £8 admin fee, since that is paid to RM for acting as a broker (RM actually pay the fee first and when they send you the card and you go in and pay it you’re essentially paying them back) and they have already done their part, so you’ll only be looking at getting back £5 or so.

I’d be inclined to write it off as a lesson learned. But that’s just me! :slight_smile:

In the future if you ever have any returns coming from outside the EU ask the customer to, if possible, keep the items in their original packaging with your returns address highlighted and their address crossed out (to avoid confusion) and make sure the package is labelled as ‘returned goods’ or some such. The customer will still have to pay to post it back as the package has been opened, but at least it will be really obvious that the parcel contains legitimate returned goods so you’re less likely to face the fee.

(Roz) #8

Thanks all - Post Office not terribly helpful so have decided to just take the hit. More hassle than its worth to claim it back. May have to rethink my overseas sales policy though.

(Sasha Garrett) #9

I have managed to get the royal mail to waive the £8 fee in the past. They had incorrectly held a parcel from New Zealand and charged me for VAT that had been pre paid (I was purchasing something over £15 so VAT would have been payable but we have an agreement with New Zealand that allows for VAT to be prepaid) so when I went to the depot with all the paper work relating to the purchase and pointed out the prepaid vat licence number thingy on the customs form on the front of the parcel they just gave it to me - I didn’t have to pay and reclaim. So try your luck but as Melanie says be prepared that you might not get the fee back and you might have to fill in forms - I guess it comes down to who’s made the mistake (if a mistake has been made).