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Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
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This is a retailing question, with sales over the internet

Resolved Question:

This is a retailing question, with sales over the internet and The Consumer Contracts Regulations.
Company A sells online to Customer C, Company A pays a dropship Company B to send product to Customer.
Customer C no longer wants the product and asks to return the product. Dropship Company B wont take returns under any condition, faulty or not. Who is responsible for the return and the refund?
Many thanks in advance.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Thank you.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

Does the customer have any knowledge of Company B in relation to the sale?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.

No Ben,

the orders are sent without any reference to company B, however, these are their T&C's

Delivery & Returns

All orders are sent using the cheapest option unless otherwise advised. We advise clients to use recorded delivery which require a signature on delivery for both customer and client security. Missing orders will be resent at our expense on the condition the order is sent for as recorded or signed for to a mainland UK destination. We can accept no liability for losses if the shipments you select are not recorded or signed for. For international shipments, if insurance is included we will make a claim on your behalf and credit your account if successful.

Faulty products can be returned directly to us and we will send out a replacement, where no replacement is available, a refund will be issued. The customer should return it along with the order number and a description of the fault. If the product is faulty, we will pay for the postage to return it to us (return postage 2nd class recorded). For damage claims, a picture should be sent for assessment before deciding if a return is necessary. Returns must be agreed with XXX before sending.

The delivery address for returns is:

Returns Dept

XXX

Returned items should be sent 2nd class recorded for the customers security.

If a product has to be replaced we will cover the cost of sending out the replacement. If a returned product is found to be not faulty, the product will be returned to the customer at their expense.

No invoice details will be included in your customer order, so they will not receive any information that is not meant for them. A return address label is attached to each order with our returns address on it (see above), if an order cannot be delivered the Post Office will keep it for five days, after that it will be returned to sender.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

OK, thank you for your response. I will review the relevant information and laws and will get back to you at the earliest opportunity. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Also, please do not responded to this message as it will just push your question to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Thank you Ben.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

No problem at all

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

Many thanks for your patience. In the circumstances it would be Company A who would be responsible for the refund and return of the item. The contractual relationship is between Co A and the customer and therefore the customer’s consumer rights will be applicable against Co A. So even if the item was delivered to the customer by Co B, there would have been no contractual relationship between the customer and that company as the contract there would have been between Co A and Co B. Therefore, as the official seller, Co A will have a duty to adhere to the laws on returns over distance, mainly a 14 day window for returns, even if the actual company which delivered the item does not take returns. Co A will have to accept the item back and then try to re-sell it if possible to recoup their losses.

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