Actions To Take If Shopping Online Goes Wrong

by Vincent Norman - Date: 2009-03-22 - Word Count: 555 Share This!

There are plenty of great gifts and services that are available online and for the most part we can purchase safely and happily with a minimum of risk. However, no matter how careful we are, or how closely we watch our transactions, there are things that can happen!
When an online shopping transaction goes wrong, there is a very good chance that you may feel angry, nervous or even frightened about what might happen to your money and to your credit. If you are in a situation like this, there are definitely actions that you need to take.

The first thing that you need to do is to figure out the nature of the complaint. When you purchase products online, there is a chance for miscommunication, just like there is in any other sales transaction. Notify the trader and give them a chance to fix the issue, the more information that you can provide to them regarding the exchange, the better off you are going to be. Give them the date that you ordered, along with the details of what you ordered and let them know what you got instead and what the reason for your complaint is. It is also important to make sure that you inform them about how you want your claim resolved. Do you want a refund, or do you want them to send another version of the product?

Keep a file of all the correspondence that you get from the company. You will find that there is certainly going to be a paper trail of the issue when you start emailing back and forth. You might want to consider putting together a diary of the incident and what day you did what. Write down the days that you contacted them, who you spoke to and any other important information that you can think of and it is important to keep track of the numbers you called as well.

If you have reached a point where you feel that the vendor is behaving inappropriately, you may wish to turn to a trade association or other regulatory body for help. If the vendor is part of any organization like this and is found to be breaking the rules of conduct, then the association can force them to comply. In many cases, these trade associations can arrange for a mediation through a third party mediator who can help you and the vendor come into accord. Also look for help from your local Citizens Advice Bureau, as this can prompt trading standards officers to investigate claims on your behalf.

If there is no satisfactory response from a trade organization, and if you feel very strongly about the matter, you may wish to go to court. It is possible to sue for small amounts through the use of small claims procedures in the county court and you do not require the services of a solicitor. Fees vary and if you win the case, your opponent will be the one to pay them. Keep in mind that even doing this may not get you your money if the vendor in question does not have the money or the means to pay.

Consider what your choices are if you have had unsatisfactory services with an online vendor. There are actions that you can take, so consider how you can best move forward.

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Vincent Norman is a freelance writer living in the UK. He regularly contributes articles for The Online Shopping Centre, who offer great advice when shopping online.

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