Refund of full or part payment up front.

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Refund of full or part payment up front.

Postby Roboframer » Tue Oct 11, 2016 11:00 pm

How would you stand, in the eyes of the law, if a customer cancelled an order and demanded a refund of a deposit or full payment up front?

More specifically, not only have you ordered the materials from your suppliers and it's too late to cancel .... they're on their way/you've received them, but it's also mouldings on chop and museum glass cut to size; no chance of YOU getting a refund.

I'd assume it would work the same way for your customer as it would work for you AS a customer to your supplier - that's the decent/sensible assumption. "Sorry, I've spent the money you gave me ... as agreed"????

I can't find much on line bar "these rules may not/do not apply to bespoke goods" but no elaboration on what rules actually do apply and when I search for refunds on deposits it's all about tenancies!

Anyone actually know the rules on this ... ARE there any rules on this?

Nothing's happened BTW, just something I read recently that made me think.

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Re: Refund of full or part payment up front.

Postby IFGL » Wed Oct 12, 2016 6:09 am

Not sure on the actual law, I would tell them their order is partially completed, I would offer to give a refund over what has already been accounted for and let them have the stock.

If this is unacceptable to the customer I would issue a full refund and use the stock for something else anyway.
For us it isn't worth the time or a bad review, I can't remember a customer every not going through with the order after being told it has already been started, cancellations are very rare anyway.
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Re: Refund of full or part payment up front.

Postby Graysalchemy » Wed Oct 12, 2016 8:16 am

Though it pains me to give people money back I do think damage limitation is a far better strategy especially in this day and age with online reviews and social media.

On a side note I remember watching a program about about a family who owned a caravan park. This couple came in after one night and complained about the caravan saying he wanted a refund, but probably more likely wanting a discount or upgrade. The owner just gave him a full refund. He said afterwards that it was cheaper to just get them off the site than have them coming in everyday complaining. Damage limitation.

A piece of glass and backing board can be reused and so can a frame, ok you won't have as much profit when you cut it down but we are talking damage limitation and that does mean making decisions and compromising to maintain the good name of your business.
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Re: Refund of full or part payment up front.

Postby prospero » Wed Oct 12, 2016 8:25 am

I suppose it depends on the scale of the order. If it involves a few £K and you have ordered stuff that you can't usefully employ on other jobs
and/or you have done work on the job, it's unreasonable for the customer to back out. But without anything in writing it is all down to goodwill.
You need to impress on the customer from the get-go that any monies paid are non-refundable. Issue a receipt clearly indicating this.
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Re: Refund of full or part payment up front.

Postby Roboframer » Wed Oct 12, 2016 8:46 am

Regardless of what anyone would do, does anyone know what we would have to do, if anything, by law?
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Re: Refund of full or part payment up front.

Postby Jamesnkr » Wed Oct 12, 2016 11:33 am

It depends on what the contract you have with the customer says about the deposit.
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Re: Refund of full or part payment up front.

Postby Roboframer » Wed Oct 12, 2016 11:54 am

You can't make up your own rules if they contradict statutory rights/the law.

Seems we're all as wise as each other so far!
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Re: Refund of full or part payment up front.

Postby robbiez » Wed Oct 12, 2016 12:11 pm

No cancellation rights exist for custom made products whether on-premises or off-premises.
However, a customer can highlight a tiny, tiny discrepancy and demand a full refund.
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Re: Refund of full or part payment up front.

Postby Roboframer » Wed Oct 12, 2016 12:15 pm

Well they could do that on something off the shelf.

Do you have a link?
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Re: Refund of full or part payment up front.

Postby robbiez » Wed Oct 12, 2016 12:20 pm

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Re: Refund of full or part payment up front.

Postby robbiez » Wed Oct 12, 2016 12:26 pm

You do not have any statutory rights to cancel a custom made order, they do not exist, but you should make your customer aware that deposits are non refundable and custom made orders cannot be cancelled.
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Re: Refund of full or part payment up front.

Postby prospero » Wed Oct 12, 2016 2:35 pm

People tend to be more litigious nowadays. They "know their rights" - or they think they do. :?
Consequently there are very quick to get on their high horses. But no one would appreciate signing
reams of contract papers in order to nail down the deal. A person's word ought to be good enough.

No one would dream of taking their car to a garage for repairs and having had them done cancel the 'order' and
expect to pay nowt.
Same with picture framing. It's a one-way process. Un-framing a picture does not get your money back.
What's a customer going to do anyway? Take you to court? Any magistrate would throw the case out pronto, that's if any
solicitor would take it on in the first place.

Once upon a time a verbal contract was worth the paper it's printed on. :lol:

Robo makes a good enquiry. 8)
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Re: Refund of full or part payment up front.

Postby Not your average framer » Wed Oct 12, 2016 9:42 pm

Your recept needs to include an order cancellation clause, but the clause would have to be one that could be easily proved as being reasonable in a court of law. A big factor in UK courts and UK law depends upon showing that an action is fair, proportionate and reasonable. Seeking to make a profit out of someone cancelling an order could be considered as unreasonable in court.

Essentially the terms of your cancellation clause need to comply with current consumer law and could in dispute be challenged in a court of law by the customer, or the local trading standards officer. If they cancel an order which has not been completed, you are probably within your rights to offer them a credit note and advise them that if this is not acceptable to contact the local trading standards officer, who will take no action unless you can be shown to be failling in your reasonable duties in some way. For example, failure to complete the work within a reasonable time.

I think that each case is different and if the level of money involved is no big deal, it is probably better to give a full refund and avoid any grief over the matter. It is also possible to end up being the winner, but finding out that this has also produced a PR problem for your business, which costs you far more in the longer term.

I believe that there are a few wise sayings that might be good advice in such situations. One is soonest mended, soonest forgotten, another is settle quickly with your adversary. There's no telling why they want to cancel and it helps to find out why, before deciding how to answer in such situations.

I once had an order from a woman and then had her husband come in trying to get the money back and had to do a bit of quick thinking and informed him that he did not place the order and I could not legally discuss this with him as he did not place the order. He came back with his wife and for a while they looked like they were going to start a fight with each other in my shop. She wanted the framing done and he wanted her money, in the end she won and insisted that the order continued.
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Re: Refund of full or part payment up front.

Postby Roboframer » Wed Oct 12, 2016 10:01 pm

I would have big problems for most jobs as I do not demand a penny up front, but 'most jobs' would not be a problem, I'd probably just swallow it.

Some do insist on some or all payment up front though and there are some jobs that do not come under "most jobs" where I do ask for at least half up front - big first time orders for example, just the same as most suppliers ask for first orders to be pro forma.
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Re: Refund of full or part payment up front.

Postby Not your average framer » Wed Oct 12, 2016 10:08 pm

I think that is a perfectly reasonable and understandable policy. Unfortunately, sooner,or later there will be a customer who wants to stop the order and get the money back. Like as not, there won't be a valid reason. I think it's probably something we have to accept once in a while! :head:
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Re: Refund of full or part payment up front.

Postby Roboframer » Wed Oct 12, 2016 10:15 pm

Well I'm afraid the law is not with them going by the link and info from Robbie - which makes perfect sense.

There is nothing wrong with writing in a period of grace in to the order though - like "We will not order any materials/start any work for a period of X hours/working days, during which time you may cancel and have any payments reimbursed and after which, you're screwed"!

Unless it's a rush job of course, then they'd have maybe an hour to change their mind.
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Re: Refund of full or part payment up front.

Postby prospero » Thu Oct 13, 2016 9:51 am

I just had a cancellation! :shock:

I'm not too fussed though. Been very busy lately so it's been a couple of months since they brought it in.
Funny thing is that only yesterday I dug the painting out and got the moulding out ready to chop today. So no loss.

The particular couple were very hard work picking the frame so they probably wouldn't have liked it anyway. And they
picked a liner to frame it in. They commented that most of my frames looked mucky. :P
So I maybe dodged a bullet there. :lol:

Also, the painting was maybe the worse piece of work I had ever seen. Bob Ross on a bad day. Very bilious. :|
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