Tuesday, 24 July 2012

When your shopping needs fixing...

credit: vintagedept

Finally it arrives! You rip open the box, snatch it out, it’s great! You turn it over, AND THERE’S A TEAR DOWN THE MIDDLE!

Calm down, no one slashed your dress because they hate you, these kinds of things happen when you buy things online and, you can believe it or not, you can do something about it!

CAVEAT READER: The stuff in this article only applies for goods that you bought online from a LOCAL retailer. Remedies for purchases from overseas will be a lot trickier.

The easiest thing you can do is to get in contact with the retailer about your problem. Retailers don’t usually seek to create for themselves a reputation for spoiled goods so chances are something happened in transit, and they should allow returns. That being said, check their returns policy.

If your purchase was made at a shopping portal e.g. e-bay, mudah.my, friendlyfashion.my, these sites usually provide an option for you to report errant sellers. If attempts to contact them about your problem have been unfruitful, a public mark on their online reputation might motivate them to act.

If that fails too, perhaps its time to bring things into the real world. As a customer, you have the option of taking up your case to the Tribunal for Consumer Claims if your claim is less than Rm25,000.00.

Don’t let its big title scare you, no lawyers are involved in the tribunal’s proceedings (though it would still be a good idea to get legal advice). The tribunal’s hearings are heard by a Tribunal President who will guide the parties involved to reach an agreed settlement. Both parties will have the opportunity to present the facts of their case before a settlement is reached.

If the parties can’t come to an agreement, then the President will decide on an award based on the assessment of the facts and laws involved. The award has to be complied with, and failure to do so will result in a criminal offence under the Consumer Protection Act 1999.

So those are a few ways, you can mend a situation when something goes wrong with your online purchase. Shop smart!

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