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Help - Online retailer not accepting returns, depsite 'return policy' suggesting they would

(13 Posts)
OneTwoOrThree Fri 11-Jan-13 08:21:45

Looking for some advice, please...

I bought 3 hoodies as Christmas gifts from www.abercrombie-store.co.uk/ which I thought was a UK based online store.

The hoodies were dispatched from Hong Kong, and arrived on 24th Dec (just in time - phew). Two out of the three were not liked by the recipients (no problem with the item, and as they were described online), so I said I would return them.

I read the returns policy here where it became obvious (due to pigeon English) that I wasn't dealing with a UK based company. (This in itself isn't a problem, I just wonder if it affects my rights?)

Anyway, as per their 'returns policy' (if I am understanding it correctly) says that if I go back to them within 14 days they will arrange a refund or exchange.

I followed their 'policy' and emailed then on the 14th day after delivery to ask for their returns address (7th Jan). Over the course of this week we have exchaged daily emails, culminating in one this morning where they say that they do not accept returns unless the item is faulty, despite me pointing out their policy says otherwise. The emails are all short, and in poor English, so I'm not getting any explanations, just statements that they won't accept returns.

So, where do I go from here? What are my consumer rights in this instance? Unfortunately I paid by debit card (not credit card).

Thanks in advance for your help

PatriciaHolm Fri 11-Jan-13 10:04:07

I think you've been conned I'm afraid. Technically the returns policy is part of the conditions of sale so in a UK company could be enforced, but this site is clearly illegally reselling from overseas, so thats that really. You won't get any legal redress.

You could try talking to your bank, but given you have the goods, I doubt they will be interested, sorry. Are the goods real? I would be suspicious they were fakes to be honest.

mycatlikestwiglets Fri 11-Jan-13 10:12:58

I agree with PatriciaHolm - and I suspect that your products are fakes too as that website is highly suspect. I had a quick look for you to see if I could identify the company with whom you have contracted, but it isn't apparent from the site. I would be very surprised if it's an English (or UK) company though, which means that your contract might not even be covered by English law (in which case the usual protections/legislation won't apply).

Unfortunately you might have to write this one off to experience, and make sure you always use a credit card for online purchases in future as it gives you more protection (if you used a visa debit you might be able to do something about this by contacting your card provider). I also noted that the very poorly worded returns policy appears to suggest they have to receive the return within 14 days, as opposed to you requesting it within that time period - but I reckon either way you were never going to get your money back on this one.

OneTwoOrThree Fri 11-Jan-13 11:27:25

Thanks both, appreciate it!

The more I look at the site, the more I agree with you both that it looks dodgy.... I think I was in such a rush getting Christmas presents ordered that I didn't look properly at the time. The web pages where you buy the goods are of a good standard and I think I was fooled by them!

The items, in some ways look a bit 'rough' round the edges, however I put this down to a feature / style, rather than being a fake. You've got me thinking now!

I usually always pay be debit card, but this site only accepted visa (not mastercard) so I used my visa debit card. (This should probably have been another warning sign). I will see if there is any recourse through the Bank, but otherwise will put it down to experience.

TBH, I'm most annoyed at myself as I'm usually pretty savvy and in hindsight all the signs were there that this was not a genuine retailer. Oh, well....

Thanks again

MrAnchovy Fri 11-Jan-13 12:11:52

Phone your bank and cancel your debit card, you have given your details to criminals operating from China: whatever your rights are you don't stand a chance of enforcing them.

Report the fraud here.

I don't want to rub salt into the wound, but really:

"www.abercrombie-store.co.uk is definitely an online store of Abercrombie and Fitch, charge brand in clothing. Its stylish design personalizes you, cause you to awesome and delightful, it’s the easiest method to result in the individuality statement. Made with top quality A&F are hot round years. You will be unique and cozy should you put on it."

... and ...

"These terms ... supersede any prior understandings or contracts (whether electronic, dental or written)"

... are more than a bit dodgy.

A quick google suggests its more than likely fake goods. Only 15% 'safe' here

OneTwoOrThree Sun 13-Jan-13 21:11:35

Thanks again. I am pursuing a claim through my bank / through Visa (I paid by visa debit card).

This link (at the bottom) seem to suggest that I may be able to recoup my loss. Fingers crossed!

Trifle Mon 14-Jan-13 08:58:57

Sorry to see that someone else is in exactly the same boat as me.

I too didnt know it was a foreign company. It took them a month to ship me the gilet that I ordered to find it was the wrong colour.

I too paid with Visa debit and am not convinced on getting my money back.

Batards. I;m surprised the real A & F dont do something about it as it reflects badly on them.

Dawnporker Tue 15-Jan-13 12:05:43

The fact that you paid via debit card means s75 of the Consumer Credit Act '74 won't apply. The bank won't have to do anything.

KnockedUpMell Tue 15-Jan-13 12:11:19

I had a similar problem with ordering a fake ergo. (I didn't realise it was fake and the website seemed to be uk but wasn't). When it arrived I emailed to say not as described but the seller wasn't interested in refunding my money. I involved the bank (also paid by debit card) and once the seller realised I was putting in a claim, they refunded the money. I had to send it back to them though and paid shipping cost. Speak to your bank. They will cover fraud (item not as described / fakes count) on your debit card.

OneTwoOrThree Wed 16-Jan-13 21:03:57

I swing between being relieved that I'm not the only person to be scammed, and frustrated that this is happening to more than just me. confused

Dawn I am pursuing through my bank under the visa chargeback facility. Essentially it offers similar protection to section 75 but also covers transactions on visa debit cards and transactions under 100 pound. Chargeback is not legally binding, but is best practice so I'd like to think most reputable high street banks will help.

I've spoken to my bank, who seem
Supportive and have put my case in writing for them to consider. The early signs are promising - fingers crossed!

perfectstorm Sun 20-Jan-13 22:57:26

Visa debit works like a credit card (Maestro etc, as far as I know, doesn't).

They will definitely be fakes. Hong Kong is an absolute centre of the counterfeit industry, and there are factories churning stuff out. That's good, really, as you will get your money back more easily. If you take close ups of the labels and email Abercrombie with them they'll provide you with confirmation, you can then offer that to Visa.

OneTwoOrThree Sun 27-Jan-13 20:27:51

Back with an update..... I sent my 'debit card dispute' off about a fortnight ago. I phoned for an update last week, and got a very vague response saying they were investigating and couldn't / wouldn't give me a timescale. Checked my online banking this weekend, and bingo, and full refund from the bank. Yippeee!!

Thankyou Lloyds Banking Group, you've made my weekend smile

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