Testing Items Immediately after They Arrive
One very important tip for online shoppers is to always test items immediately after they arrive from the online retailer. This means the shopper should open and test the item as soon as possible after it is delivered. Doing this is important for a couple of very important reasons. One of these reasons is testing the item for functionality immediately will help to ensure the online shopper is able to return the item within the limitations of the online retailers return policy. Online retailers often have specific policies pertaining to returns and failure to adhere to these guidelines may result in the shopper not being able to return the item for a refund or exchange. These policies can vary significantly from one online retailer to the next and some policies may be more liberal than others. However, consumers who determine an item is defective within a couple of days after the item is received will likely still be within the period in which returns are still accepted even with online retailers who offer the stingiest return policies.
Another reason why it is important to test an item purchased online for functionality immediately after receiving the item is it helps to ensure the consumer will not lose the original packaging or receipt. This is important because most online retailers will require the item be returned with an original receipt and in the original packaging. It is certainly still possibly for online shoppers to lose the receipt but they are less likely to do so if they realized immediately that the item was defective.
Contacting the Online Retailer
Once an online shopper realizes an item is defective, the first step he takes should be to contact the online retailers. This should be done immediately because the online retailer will likely document the claim of defectiveness during this initial call and this documentation will serve as evidence of when the item was reported to be defective. This proof will come in handy if the online retailer gives the customer problems with returning the item and there is a need to pursue legal actions.
In most cases, the receipt will list a contact phone number which will put the consumer in contact with a customer service representative. However, if the receipt does not have this information the consumer may return to the website of the online retailer to find the necessary contact information. The consumer should then contact a customer service representative and describe the problem with the item as accurately as possible. In most cases the customer service representative will be able to provide the consumer with information on how to return the item for an exchange or a refund.
When the Online Retailer is Unresponsive
As with any retailer, it is always possible that the online shopper will not be satisfied with the response to the complaint offered by the online retailer. The buyer may be dissatisfied with the response offered by the online retailer or may be dissatisfied by a lack of a response from the online retailer. Regardless of the reason for the dissatisfaction the consumer will likely have to pursue other methods of obtaining a response to his complaint. The consumer may wish to elevate his complaint by asking to speak to a supervisor. If this does not rectify the situation it may be necessary to file a complaint with an agency such as the Better Business Bureau. They can than contact the retailer on behalf of the disgruntled consumer and attempt to rectify the situation.