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Make sure you read the fine print - checking your order costs extra!

Posted by hvallance1 
Make sure you read the fine print - checking your order costs extra!
December 01, 2014 01:48PM
I recently used Price USA’s shipping service to purchase shoes from a US store. I was both disappointed and frustrated with the end result.

Our order consisted of 10 pairs of shoes. The US store got one pair incorrect and this was shipped to the US point of contact, who then repacked and forwarded onto Australia as per the advertised service. Unfortunately for me the US contact did not check the order and did not pick up that one pair of shoes was incorrect.

After seeking advice about this from Price USA, if I wish to return the shoes I do so at my own expense. This is because I did not opt for the ADDITIONAL service of having my order checked at the US contact point (ie after it had been shipped from the store and prior to it being shipped to Australia). Apparently there is a fee for this and information is contained in your original quote.

The amount of text contained within the initial quotes meant of course I did not read it all and didn’t see the information about the option for a shipping inspection prior to the goods being shipped from the US contact point. A big mistake on my part. I assumed that this would be included as part of the service, rather than an optional extra, for which you charge.

I still don’t understand the logic of charging for an additional service which common sense would suggest is just part of the process of putting together a new package for onward shipping to Australia (i.e. checking the goods to ensure they actually match the initial orders). Surely this is not an isolated incident and having a fee in place in the first instance suggests it happens regularly enough for the service to warrant the additional charge.

I'm sure the shoes will be able to be sold on eBay as suggested, but it still means we didn't get what we ordered and that does not change. This is all just my opinion and I wanted to share my experience so you don’t get caught out as well. Given my experience this time around I’ll look for other services should I need to purchase from the US in future. If you do choose to use Price USA, make sure you read the fine print.
Re: Make sure you read the fine print - checking your order costs extra!
December 01, 2014 02:21PM
Stores shipping the wrong items is a huge problem - this is why we introduced the inspection service. Unfortunately to do inspections correctly take a lot of time and so costs money. We are faced with two choices. 1. Charge everyone extra for a service they may not want, or 2. Explain to all our customers (in detail) the need for the inspection service (and advise that they should have it on their order), but ultimately let the customer decide. We feel 2 is the better of the two options as we believe our customers can choose the risks they wish to take with their order.

Apart from the the FAQ and Help pages, everyone is told about the inspection service in two separate emails. The first email (the quote email) says:

Your items are inspected briefly by my US partners before shipping, but because of the range of items ordered, it is not always possible to ensure that the correct items have been shipped by the store or that they are free of defects.

You can request an detailed inspection of your items (US$10). With this service my US partner will open, inspect in detail, and photograph your items. If they find any problems they will contact you before shipping to ensure you are happy with what has arrived from the store. To request this service (if you have not already selected it), just email me and I will add it to your order. If you do not choose the inspection service and the store ships a wrong, incomplete, or damaged item, then you will be responsible for any costs required to rectify the problem. If my US partner orders the wrong item after you have provided the correct information they will cover any costs. Put simply, we always take responsibility for our mistakes, but we can only take responsibility for the store’s mistakes if you have chosen the inspection service.

The second email (when the order ships from the store) says:

Your order does not include the optional detailed inspection service. If you do not now know why you might want this service please see my FAQ page. If you wish to add this service please let me know by email. We highly recommend adding this service as stores often ship the wrong item despite the correct item being ordered, but since it costs extra we understand that you may prefer to take on the risk of receiving the wrong item from the store and save paying for the inspection service.

I am not sure what more we can do to inform everyone of the importance of the inspection service. I wish everyone would choose the inspection service since it would prevent many problems, but I also understand why people may not want it because of the extra cost.

I would like to mention that no email contains any fine print - the text is all the same size as it is all of equal importance and all the text should be read. I know they are long, but they are as short as we can make them if we are to keep you fully informed.

Carolina Tillett
Price USA Support

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/19/2015 08:08AM by Carolina.
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