The importance of insurance cannot be underrated in any business endeavor, particularly in online shopping. More so, most shippers and retailers are advised to get shipping insurance for all their goods to avoid a total loss.
Whenever orders get missing, the question is, who should bear the brunt or whose loss is more significant is always? Today, we will look at what happens when packages fail to arrive and the importance of shipping insurance.
How Consumers Should Deal with Retailers and Shipping Firms when Items get Missing
This coronavirus pandemic has made an increase in online shopping by Canadians. A report by reputable Canadian statistics says that online sales in Canada were about $1.7b in March, however, by September, it doubled to about $3.2 billion.
Occurrences about missing orders cost both the retailers and shoppers lots of money. The question is what happens when those packages fail to arrive?
A Canadian from Toronto, Vardin Hovakimyan’s, lost his musical set worth millions during transit by sea. Could this have been avoided had he had shipping insurance? Obviously not! But his loss won’t have been that great, and he would have recovered most if not all of his total loss.
The shipping company said they would have to talk to the seller, acclaim sound, and lighting company before knowing what to do.
When contacted, they claimed the only help they could offer was to replace his set when it was back in stock (whenever that is) or give him the $100 insurance cover the goods. Vardin felt bad and sad by the events, but he was left helpless.
There exist laws guiding end-users on online purchases when items are missing; however, professionals state that using these laws is difficult and tricky. This is because firms try to make buyers bear the loss of goods when mishaps happen.
The excuse the CEO gave is that the firm’s policy covers small operators losses it encounters when shipping mishaps happen. Still, he isn’t aware of any laws protecting direct consumers. The CEO said it is difficult for them to absorb losses like this, unlike big firms like Amazon who get juicy deals from shipping firms.
The firm finally refunded Vardin about months later because the shipping firm later saw the missing musical box in one of their warehouses. Hazelwood, the CEO, says his firm is taking a good look at such laws and how they affect his business. Vardin was lucky because consumer laws in Alberta, where he lives, favor consumers.
Item Not Delivered but Signed For
Another interesting case is that of Yousefi Kamyar, who lives in Vancouver. His money was only refunded when a CCTV video of his apartment showed he never received the goods despite a notification mail by FedEx showing he signed for it.
Imagine if he didn’t have a CCTV to bail him out; how would he have convinced them he didn’t sign for the package? Comprehensive shipping insurance would have gone a long way to mitigate his loss.
Yousefi stated that it took a lot of convincing before FedEx could believe his claim at all. It was when spoken to the delivery firm repeatedly that they had to send the company’s investigator to check whether his claims were true.
Yousefi said he wasn’t hopeful that the retailer would refund his request because their consumer policy shifts loss of this type to buyers once it moves from their store.
When contacted, FedEx claimed that it was likely panned out because it was delivered to another location; that was why a delivery message was sent. It claims the sender never requested a signature as new coronavirus pandemic rules do not mandate signatures.
The Question Remains, who should be held accountable?
A prominent lawyer, Jeff Orenstein, who works at a consumer law firm, believes that most consumer protection laws favor consumers. He opines that when sellers do not deliver orders within 30 days specified, a concerned consumer of willing could cancel the order and ask for a replacement.
However, how to use these laws to ask for a refund is complicated. Another crucial option is shipping insurance, but many ignore it.
He asserts that there is a thin line between what is legal and what is realistic, and this puts consumers in a dilemma. His final advice is that consumers should try to avoid these issues turning to legal tussle. That their best bet is to pay online orders by major credit cards and avoid using online transfer methods amongst other banking options.
A consumer activist,
Whitehurst has the same advice as Orenstein but added that consumers should be aware of the chargeback options their bank offers and check vital parts of their card policy before using credit cards online.
Most financial institutions and credit card firms often have a laid-down policy on how chargeback works and how fast after orders have been made, they would get it. He further advises making profitable inquires on how shipping laws do before they decide to make any purchases. He insisted that top retailing stores usually get refunds quickly due to the massive sales they make regularly.
What consumers are all clamoring for is that the government should strengthen consumer laws, and the various departments in charge of fighting for consumers should be empowered. As for Yousefi, though he would like to stop online purchases, his job will not allow it.
This post has been able to describe the plight of consumers in the hands of retailers and shippers whenever there is a problem, and good suggestions are given on how to mitigate these losses.
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