Written on: 11/10/2013
After seeing the rest of the reviews here and on forums, I believe a viable case for Office of Fair Trading for violation of the Sale of Goods Act.
Ordered an item in Large, received the item in Small from the mirrored site winstanleysbmx.com. Was instructed to post the item back via recorded 2nd class. The returns postage came to £6.30 and when it came to refund time, they initially only offered to refund me the price of the item. I had to explicitly ask for a refund on my returns postage as well, which I first took as a small error.
Then they broke it to me that I could only claim up to £5 of the returns postage back. The difference is only £1.30, but I would certainly be in a lot more trouble had it involved a larger and heavier item. They insisted this was term was clearly posted on their website, but this is the only mention of a £5 limit I could find in the returns information:
"If you are returning items yourself that are deemed to be faulty by us, we will refund up to £5 of your return postage on production of a receipt, this is sometimes printed on the envelope as part of the stamp mark."
Whether or not they are assuming the OFT's definition of faulty, this is still a SOGA violation. I understand the provision of a returns service is a large cost to businesses, but if the cause to return was not the customer's fault, should the customer partly bear responsibility through the cost? Anyone who experienced the same thing with this company should pursue the matter with the OFT.
Unfortunately I see customer service as part of value for money, and company policy as part of customer service, not forgetting the visibility & clarity of the debatable £5 limit on postage refund on the site, so everything gets a 1 out of 5 for me. This is regrettable as the customer reps were very pleasant and polite on the phone... But everything is connected and an overall 1 out of 5 is a very appropriate rating for this experience. I hope the staff find jobs with a better and more ethical company.