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Store credit reissued rather than refund of my credit card portion of payment for return of items

Hi All…seeking advice

I purchased 6 non sale items from an an online clothing store using a combination of pre existing store credit, then ‘topping up’ the total amount due with a credit card payment. I was pretty set on 3 items, and ordered and additional 3 items for comparison of fit, color etc. Those extra 3 items were subsequently returned and I requested a refund, not store credit. (the refund incurs additional $10 cost to cover postage)

However the store argued that the kept items were paid for on my mastercard, the returned items were paid for on the store credit… so reinstituted the store credit and provided a small refund of the total amount that had been paid on credit card. I have contacted them in writing on 4 occasions without resolution.

Firstly, as a general principle I do not think it is fair or reasonable that returns of items made with part payments using store credit and credit card automatically default to restoration of store credit and not a refund of credit card payments, especially as there is a limited time in which to use the store credit.

Secondly, I would argue that I kept the 3 items purchased with the bulk of the store credit. I always had a clear idea of what I wanted /would keep, but had purchased additional items to try for size and look as I was home and had time to consider different styles. I do not understand how the store can arbitrarily state that I purchased the 3 returned items with my mastercard, and the 3 kept items with my store credit.

Thoughts? Advice? And apologies for the length of the email!

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Welcome to the Community @ingrid

What is the online clothing store’s change of mind policy, and to help provide advice, what online shop is it?

If ordered on the same docket it is common for businesses to use their discretion on which item might be ‘the free one’ when applicable, usually the cheapest of the lot (buy [x] get one free type deals); or which funds are applied to which line item products and in which order when there are multiple forms of payment – unless that is specified in their terms and conditions.

Some members reported being done over by some online clothing stores refusing any return, even to the point of considering bad sizing a change of mind.

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Hi @ingrid, welcome to the community.

The principle you are dealing with is called change of mind. A retailer doesn’t have to accept the return of goods which are change of mind, and where they do, they can stipulate terms and conditions associated with and change of mind returns.

Not knowing these T&Cs, it is assumed from the information that the store doesn’t provide refunds for change in minds, but will provide store credits where returned goods meets its T&Cs.

Looking at your case, you paid for the goods half with credit card and half with existing held store credits. The goods were paid in full using these methods. When half of the goods were returned (irrespective if they were charged to the credit card or paid for using store credits) due to a change in mind, the store has the ability to determine whether the goods should be accepted and what type of resolution they are willing to offer. In your case it is store credits for the value of the returned goods.

It is possibly not want you want to hear, but without knowing who the retailer is and if they have T&Cs online, it is the most likely outcome.

If one choses to over-order goods like you have to try them on and return those you don’t want, it is very important to understand the retailers change of mind policy to ensure one is comfortable with its requirements and resolutions.

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My very recent experience may shed some light on what happened to you.
I used a voucher at KMART and topped it up when buying some goods. A week later I returned them and was given a voucher for the value of the purchase ie the value of the old voucher PLUS the cash I used to top it up.

When questioned, I was told that it is KMART policy to refund by way of a voucher a purchase that involved a voucher irrespective of any top up by the customer and irrespective of any receipt presented by the customer. The voucher has a 6 mth validity.

Firstly, I was surprised by this behaviour. Surely, like you, I thought the non voucher component should be refunded in the manner in which it was paid.

Secondly, IMHO, KMART is very good with returns and its prices, so I have no beef with them for this conduct. I would however be very unhappy if subjected to this - ie what you were served - by a low rent supplier or retailer who I rarely shopped at and who tried to coerce me to shop again at their store. If your voucher has a short dated expiry, which in my books is under a year and the retailer is well known, you could ask for the validity to be extended, top it up so the balance is a nice round sum and ask for it to be exchanged for a gift card/voucher, which you could pass on to a friend or relative at a suitable time.

Just me 2c.

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Thanks for the helpful comments Jon and Phil. I may just have to wear it!

The company is ‘Leina and Fleur’. Australian company, Australian made, make lovely, good quality stuff. I would have said before this that their returns policy was good, and was one of the reasons I felt confident shopping there. If goods are returned unused, perfect condition and with tags within 30 days, you have the option of receiving a store credit for the full amount OR a refund, minus $10 to cover the cost of returning the clothes postage paid.

I have again looked at the terms and conditions on their website and even with the benefit of hindsight, I am unable to find advice stating that when a refund of the balance is requested, (as I did), any returns are first put against store credit. I would have thought that I used my store credit to pay for the kept items, and mastercard to pay /or be reimbursed any outstanding amount…

T and Cs listed here: Returns and Exchanges

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Leina and Fleur sent me a link to their T&Cs page. At the bottom is an amendment as follows:

IMPORTANT ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

When a L&F Reward Code has been used at time of purchase, and this purchase is being returned, the following additional conditions apply:-

  • When an order is refunded in full you will receive any L&F rewards discount voucher points used in this order back in full (with the exception of free shipping codes).
  • When a return is a partial return, and a rewards code is used, the L&F rewards discount voucher cannot and will not under any circumstances be reimbursed or split.
  • All L&F rewards discount vouchers are treated as a whole.

However this information is NOT provided on their ‘returns terms and conditions’ page of advice on their current website…While I read the 'returns terms and conditions ’ page carefully before purchasing, I did not think to read the more detailed T&C page…

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Thanks for that @ingrid. Their returns seems pretty reasonable and they throw in a sweetener for accepting a credit voucher (postage being paid).

You might contact them and explain your expectations and could they work with you considering their web page seem wanting in that the IMPORTANT ADDITIONAL INFORMATION describing how refunds/vouchers are handled is separate from the seeming equivalent statements in the returns section, while suggesting they improve their web site to avoid others missing that important information.

Your worst down side is what you have in hand. Potential upside? Unknown. The crux of it comes down to whether they will work under once-off goodwill based on evidence their web site can confuse their customers, not just ‘expectations’.

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