Do you know your rights when you want to return goods that you bought online? And just as importantly, can you rely on retailers to give you the information you need?
I had a frustrating experience in getting a refund from the high street chain, Mango, which significantly delayed the return of my money.
We’ve found that the chain was providing inaccurate information to customers about their rights to a refund after returning goods bought online and sometimes taking too long to issue refunds.
What are your rights to a refund from an online order?
As someone who shops online regularly for my whole family, I check return policies before I buy things.
And I know I’ve got 14 days from when I receive goods I’ve bought online to return them. And the retailer has 14 days from the day they get the goods back, or from the proof of postage date, to make a refund.
So why did it take Mango more than five weeks to refund me when I returned clothes using a pre-paid address label?
To get my money back without further delay I had to be persistent and made several time-consuming phone calls to its customer service representatives at my own expense.
What is the returns system?
Mango’s website says that it will refund customers between three and 12 working days from when the goods are returned to its warehouse.
Not only does 12 working days equate to 16 days, rather than the 14 stipulated in the regulations, but Mango’s system will only process a refund once the retailer has sent the returned goods from its Manchester depot to its Spanish depot.
The retailer provides a pre-paid returns sticker for returned goods to its Manchester depot, but doesn’t consider goods returned until they’re received in Spain.
In my case, the parcel containing my returned goods was received at the Manchester depot two days after I posted it. But then it went missing.
Computer system says ‘no’
Four different customer services representatives told me they could see on their computer system that my parcel was received in Manchester. But they said they couldn’t process the refund until my parcel was received in Spain, even though they acknowledged that the parcel had gone missing at their end.
I’ve found several online reviews of Mango complaining of similar problem. I never did find out what happened to the parcel.
We want Mango to ensure that its refund process is in line with consumer law, so that refunds are processed within 14 days of items being received.
It should acknowledge that this 14-day period starts when items are received at the returns address it provides in the UK, or it should address their existing pre-paid returns label directly to its warehouse in Spain.
Mango didn’t respond when asked to comment.
Have you had a similar experience with a retailer? Did you battle through to get your money back or did you find it all too frustrating and give up?