cancelling net orders

  hayeside 18:25 12 Feb 2003

I tried to upgrade my virus protection at Symantic, and got caught up in an order process which appeared to have no escape. I immediately cancelled my order by email, but the goods were still sent by FedEx. Symantic have repaid cost of product, but I am now out £25 delivery charges and a further £13.53 tax and admin fee. I thought there were systems in place to prevent this. Any one else had this problem and found a solution

  Forum Editor 19:14 12 Feb 2003

e-commerce sites are totally automated, and there isn't a human being in sight until the order gets to a fulfilment house. There, a warehouse picking note is generated, and a human being collects the item from the shelf, barcodes it, and sends it to be despatched.

The company that actually makes the product isn't involved in the process - until a complaint is received. The delivery charges are paid to a courier company, and of course the tax goes to the government.

If your order was placed with a UK address (and Symantec are here in the UK) you are entitled to a full refund of the product cost. How long after the order was placed was it before you sent the cancellation? And how long after that before Fedex knocked on the door.

  hayeside 16:20 14 Feb 2003

My order was cancelled within one minute of sending, by email to two different Symantic addresses including their order site. Fedex delivered the package three days later. Although Symantic have refunded the product cost within four days of submitting their refund form, there appears no way to stop delivery companies from completing cancelled orders and therby still making a profit.

  Forum Editor 17:09 14 Feb 2003

you've done nothing wrong, and there's no good reason that I can see why you should suffer financially. The law provides you with the right to cancel the order, and a full refund means just that; it doesn't mean "a full refund except for a chunk of money which the company will hold back to pay the courier/admin costs."

My strong feeling is that you write to Symantec's UK office by special delivery - address it to the Sales manager. Tell them that although you acknowledge the fact that the courier company hasn't done anything wrong, it's not your job to pay them. Say that unless you receive a full refund of all monies paid within 7 days of the date of your letter you will take action for recovery through the small claims court.

It's a contractual matter, and as such is something that you must deal with in this way. If you don't get any response from the company I suggest you have a word with your local Trading Standards Office.

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