I was at work yesterday listening to Money Box on BBC Radio 4, they were discussing another one of those headline grabbing stories about how people can get ripped off by unscrupulous online e-commerce websites. I found this a bit annoying as really the power seems to be in the hands of the customer.
First of all, if the item they order is not delivered then all they need do is to tell PayPal, WorldPay, Sage Pay or whoever they chose to use as a payment provider, who will then put the payment on hold, or claw it back until the supplier proves they have delivered it. In the case of the Post Office, having a signature on the POD is sometimes not enough.
We had an incident where the item was not delivered to our customer, a card was not left. After a few days our customer phoned us and we eventually tracked down that it was signed for by “T Spires”. Needless to say our customer had never heard of “T Spires”. So we were faced with having to send out a second item, but at the last minute we discovered that “T Spires”, was actually The Spires, the name of his local post office. It all worked out in the end.
The point is that the customer should look at the website they are about to purchase from and if it doesn’t show the very basic information, like contact details, phone numbers, VAT number, company registration number then they should think twice. There is enough information on the Internet to make it very easy to buy safely.