/ Money, Shopping

Have you had problems with an online order?

Computer mouse lead in shape of shopping trolley

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?


One of the issues is that no one actually proactively enforces these types of rights and requirements.
Many sites still do not provide a geographical address and contact details so it is difficult to work out whether you are dealing with a UK, EU or non-EU based retailer – critical when considering refund rights.

Phil says:
22 June 2015

I would never ever deal with an online supplier that did not provide a geographical address.

Five weeks is a shocking period. The fact that the warehouse is in Spain adds pressure to their systems but it is their choice to sell in the UK. I do have a degree of sympathy as I suspect they use a container to take the returns to Spain rather than paying postage.

Who should you turn to for enforcement ?

I assume the legislation is The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013. Or is it?

I have had two suppliers attempt to require me to check for damage or missing parts at the time of delivery. ~The instructions were to sign for it as “Damaged” if that was the case. Have you ever tried to do that? Do you even know what parts are being supplied, or exactly what all the undamaged parts should look like? Sure, sometimes damage may be obvious, but that may not be the case if something was slightly bent or cracked.

One such item was delivered to me by Parcel Force. It was a fairly large box and two men bought it to my door. They required a signature and I initially said I would just check it first. They said that I could not look at the item until I had signed for it. I explained that the supplier required me to examine the goods before signing for them, but they still refused. The box itself was slightly damaged, which did not help. They had put it down on my path, so I just took the opportunity to take it into my house and started to open the box. They then tried to enter my house to take it back, but gave up when I told them to leave my property. They then photographed me opening the box with a camera phone, In the end a was looking at a significant number of (mostly) metal parts, but was not familiar with any of them, except some wheels. I then relented and signed for the goods.

All rather amusing really, but clearly not a practical instruction from the supplier.

I had another bad experience with Galaxy Stores, from whom I ordered a sofa bed. AFTER placing my order I received an email saying: “We would ask that deliveries are checked thoroughly at the point of receipt, …….. In the highly unlikely event that part of your order arrives damaged from the courier, please ensure that this is noted with the delivery driver by signing for the delivery as “damaged”. BEFORE YOU ASSEMBLE THE PRODUCT, PLEASE CHECK CAREFULLY THAT ALL PARTS ARE PRESENT AND DO NOT SHOW ANY SIGN OF DAMAGE. DO NOT ATTEMPT ASSEMBLY WITHOUT HAVING DONE SO! Please note that we cannot accept back any product which you have attempted to assemble or that has been used.”

Having read that, I felt that if there was a problem, returning the item may be problematic. In spite of being described as “In Stock”, there was also a delay in dispatch. However, they had immediately taken the full payment. I therefore decided to cancel the order. Their following three emails sought to ignore the fact that I had cancelled, but I persisted. They then had to be chased for a refund of my credit card payment. Again I eventually persuaded them to do this, but they retained £80 as a “collection fee”. As they had never delivered, or attempted to deliver the sofa and given that I had cancelled the order before (by their own admission) they had dispatched it, I found that pretty outrageous. I complained about this to both the Edinburgh Trading Standards, and my CC company. Trading Standards said they could not look into this and after several letters explaining things and supplying copies of all the emails, my CC company refunded the £80 “collection fee”. As I understand it, that was their loss. Because I cancelled, Galaxy also asked me not to place any more orders with them (happy to comply!).

On the other hand, one Sunday afternoon a year or so ago, I spent time online looking for a new camcorder tripod (because my local shops had a very limited range in stock). I made a selection from the scores that were available and ordered it from Amazon. I received it the next day. It had come from a supplier in Germany – choice, price and service all brilliant !

Unhappy Mango customer says:
15 August 2015

I am going through the same thing right now with Mango. I disputed that my item had been lost and after going back and forth they finally decided to refund me soon, However, it’s now been one week since they told me that and I haven’t received my refund. Altogether it’s been four weeks since my item has been lost, although the delivery company told me immediately the item was lost, Mango took forever to confirm this.

Mango is too relaxed and they don’t seem to communicate well with their customers. I will be surprised in six years time if Mango are still around.

Today I have started a complaints procedure with PayPal after the non delivery of a handbag from Mango. I started it after the Hermes link for tracking was not functioning, a bad sign, and after my email to Mango was returned undeliverable AND the link to customer service was also unavailable. I began to believe that the Mango site may have been cloned and the company was a scam. I will now have to wait for PayPal to help resolve the problem.

I am currently chasing an order I made through Wowcher. The goods were ordered on 30 July 2015. It is now 29 September. I have yet to receive the items. Wowcher initial advice when I queried the delay after 9 days, was that I should contact the supplier. The supplier’s contact details were not listed on any of the ads or emails I received confirming that my order and payment had been received. Wowcher’s initial response was a computor generated standard letter. I have emailed every week since my first email on 8 August 2015 still no goods despite Wowcher assuring me on 21 August that I would receive the items within 7 days! I have posted on their Twitter site and notice that many people have had similar problems with goods not arriving.

I suspect that the clothing company, Oasis is accepting online orders and taking payment without actually having the items in stock. This was their reply: “Your items were coming from our warehouse, it appears that upon packing these items they were unsuitable for delivery. Therefore a refund had to be processed, please accept my deepest apologies for any disappointment caused. ” Anybody else had this problem with them? My money has been returned. Also they do not provide any contact telephone numbers.

I orders a watch from curry’s online for next day delivery ,instead of the watch I got a tablet which should of gone to one of curry’s shops up north I’m down south ,my watch went to there shop up north I contacted them and they sent courier to collect the tablet from me saying once they got it back they would refund my money for watch back on to my debit card that was the 19th January this year,we are now in February and still no refund,although after nine phone calls to them with four of these phone calls ending we have put it on your card sir give it 3/5 days and we have sent you an email to confirm the refund ,I got neither each time ,they are now saying they will only refund me when they get the watch back,although they no the watch was collected from there own store by there own courier, on the 21st of January ,they allso no the watch is on a pallet in warehouse but this pallet hasn’t been opened as they have back log,but they still refuse to give me my refund until pallet has been opened ,after speaking to the trading standards this morning who adviced me that they are in breach of the consumers contract act ,and as they no the watch was never sent to me but sent to there own store,and they no where the watch is at this moment in time they have no rights with holding my money,so I phoned curry’s again and told them this ,they said they will refund me today and I will get an email as confirmation ,so far no email and I’m not holding my breath

I am experiencing a ‘returns’ problem with online tyre sellers Oponeo. I wished to return two tyres. If Oponeo collected them they would charge £15 for each tyre which would be approximately one third of the total cost of the tyres. A courier company would charge less than half that for UK delivery but if I used my own courier Oponeo say I would have to return the tyres to an address in Poland although they were sent from an address in Aberdeen. Oponeo are a UK registered company and their terms & conditions do not include an address for returns. They also tell me that if I try to return them using a cheaper delivery service to either Aberdeen or their head office in Harrow they will not be accepted. Only the head office can contact their Aberdeen depot.

Sunny says:
17 May 2021

I am waiting now for 1,5 month for a refund. Al kinds or stories that my packages are lost.