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Received Only Partially of Order - Payment is Disputed

Discussion in 'Australian Consumer Law Forum' started by SharonBaker, 23 July 2014.

  1. SharonBaker

    SharonBaker Member

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    Hi, not sure if anyone can help but I'll give this a go.
    I recently placed an order with a company for 2 lots of 500 items. They sent me 2 x 50 and when I queried it, and asked where the other 8 packs of 50 were they basically blamed the IT staff.
    They offered me a refund, or to send the rest of the items, but claim that all I paid for were 2 x 50 not 2 x 500 so I would have to send more money.
    The tax invoice clearly states that I ordered and paid for 2 lots of 500 items not 50.
    Under Australian Consumer Law, can I get them to send the rest of the order?
    Cheers.
     
  2. DennisD

    DennisD Well-Known Member

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    Hi SharonBaker

    If a supplier disputes a customer's claim it can request proof of purchase, which a customer must show in order to receive the benefit of consumer guarantees

    Proof of purchase can take the form of a GST tax invoice, a register receipt, credit card records, a receipt number, other things (such as handwritten receipts), or a combination of the above

    You said you have a tax invoice which indicates payment of your order for 2 x 500 items, not 2 x 50 items. Be sure to keep safe the original and a copy of the tax invoice, and any other proof of purchase evidence you may have. This would include, if you paid by electronic funds transfer, records which show the amount paid, such as a credit card statement

    After gathering your proof of purchase evidence for the 2 x 500 items, you can contact the supplier again in order to relay that evidence, and accordingly your claim for the additional items (2 x 8 x 50 items it seems) under the Australian Consumer Law

    If the supplier continues to dispute your proof of purchase evidence (for example, by continuing to 'blame the IT staff'), you can put your claim in writing to the supplier with all supporting proof of purchase evidence included as attachments. You will then have a useful record if you later make a complaint to a consumer rights body

    Consumer rights bodies will generally encourage parties to a dispute to try to resolve the issue between themselves directly prior to engaging their involvement. If your issue is not resolved directly with the supplier, you can then seek responses on this thread as to your consumer protections and next options, such as lodging a consumer complaint

    Don't hesitate to ask any questions you may have about the above

    Hugh
     
  3. SharonBaker

    SharonBaker Member

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    Thanks so much for you help Hugh.
    I only have an emailed copy of the tax invoice, the hard copy they sent with the parcel states 2 supplied but no prices. I paid with PayPal but unfortunately that doesn't provide me with a detailed itemised invoice. I wondered if they had realised that they had made a mistake with their advertising as I had to email them regarding confirmation of the order and if it had been sent. I placed the order on the 26th June, I emailed them on July 2nd to see if it had been sent, the next day they responded basically saying that items were taking longer than usual to deliver. Finally on July 21 I received the parcel with only part of what I had ordered.
    The email response I got from the seller after questioning the missing items was:

    The fact that I thought I was buying 2 lots of 500 and not 2 of 50 is the reason I purchased of this company to start with. Although the blame can be passed on to an IT or advertising error doesn't seem fair.
    Do you really think I stand a decent chance of getting the items I thought I had paid for?

    Thanks again for you help so far Hugh.
    Cheers,
    Sharon
     
  4. DennisD

    DennisD Well-Known Member

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    Hi Sharon

    No problem at all, happy to respond to your query

    There is a difference between a business which makes a genuine pricing mistake and one which attempts to cheat its customers by choosing not to honour its promised prices. If a business corrects a pricing mistake immediately upon becoming aware of it, and improves its processes to prevent a similar event, then common sense would say it likely is a genuine mistake, in which case the business in general probably will not have to honour the mistaken offer. If a business repeatedly makes pricing 'mistakes' and displays a pattern of behaviour, then it is much more likely to catch the eye of the regulators and fall foul of consumer protection laws

    You may recall that a few years ago Coles made a pricing mistake on their website in relation to a slab of beer. Here is a Herald Sun article published around that time (http://goo.gl/4fdzVa). It reports that the company admitted the mistake, took prompt action to rectify it, and offerred customers a voucher for any inconvenience, but the company was not compelled to honour its mistaken price

    From the business' response to you it seems that their view is that their website never advertised the goods for sale as 2 x 500. Do you have a screenshot of their website offer as at the time you placed the order? When you say, 'I thought I was buying 2 lots of 500 and not 2 of 50', when did you think this - at the time clicking 'buy' on their website, or rather only when completing payment with paypal? Did you notice any discrepancy between the website offer and tax invoice at the time of purchase?

    In terms of outcomes, if it is a genuine pricing mistake, frustrating as it is you might not be able to get the 2 x 8 x 50 additional items, however the supplier may in its discretion be prepared to acknowledge the inconvenience caused to you by way of a voucher of some kind

    Let us know how you go, and if you have any further questions

    Hugh
     

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