Guide To Handling Returns And Refunds With Online Shopping
We’ve all heard a funny story of someone receiving something completely different from what they ordered online. However, it may not be that funny if that happened to us. It can be frustrating to receive a defective or wrong item from the seller.
Online shopping is not 100% fool proof. Things can go wrong from time to time – from receiving a defective or wrong product, to your package going missing.
Before you start complaining about your seller on social media, here’s what you need to know first.
Did it go missing in transit?
Before panicking about being scammed, you should first find out if your item has simply become lost in the mail. This can happen, and you may be able to get compensation if it does.
You should have received a tracking number from your seller after your item has been shipped. It may not come immediately, and you may want to wait a couple of days for the seller to ship your package. If you have no received a tracking number, then you can move on to the next step. Not having a tracking number could be due to a range of reasons. For example, you are shipping for overseas and have opted for a regular mail option (which is usually much cheaper but runs the risk of being lost).
If you do have a tracking number, you can try to locate the package with the relevant courier service. Below we have included the most popular local services and their websites.
|Pos Laju||Tracking: https://pos.com.my/|
In most cases, your package has simply become delayed or ended up routed to the wrong location. In that case you’ll just have to wait a little longer for it to arrive. However, if it is lost – or arrives in a damaged condition – then you will have to decide on how you want to proceed. Some couriers may offer you compensation for losing your goods, although you are unlikely to receive the full value. On the other hand, you can instead try to claim a refund from the seller instead.
Can you get a refund?
Each e-commerce platform has it’s own refund policy, with some being stricter than others. For the most part, bigger e-commerce platforms like Lazada, Shopee, and Amazon will all provide some sort of buyer protection. This makes it easier for you to claim a refund and return items that may have arrived damaged. Other sites like Carousell and Mudah.my rely on the sellers agreeing to provide a refund if you ask for it.
For the most part, e-commerce platforms like to use the refund process to promote their own payment solutions when possible. We’ve provided the refund policies for locally-based platforms below for easy reference.
|Buyer protection||Refund channel|
|Carousell||Yes (Direct communication with seller)|
|Lazada||Yes (item must be returned and inspected by Lazada)|
|Shopee||Yes (Shopee Guarantee)||
Shopee Wallet (if customer has active account)
Bank account (if customer does not have a Shopee Wallet account)
Most of you are aware of the importance of having a warranty, especially on big ticket items like consumer electronics. However, it is equally important to understand who handles your warranty.
Some items may be covered by a manufacturer warranty, which means that you will have to file for a Return Merchandise Authorisation (RMA) with whoever it is that made the product. This generally applies to electronics which cannot be easily fixed or replaced by the seller.
On the other hand, some sellers will handle warranty claims by themselves. Note that some items – like consumables – will not be covered by a warranty.
If all else fails, your rights as a consumer to demand a refund or to reject the goods purchased are enshrined in Part VI of the Consumer Protection Act 1999. In the case that the seller refuses to remedy your problem, you can make an official complaint with the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KDPNHEP) using the e-Aduan system or call 1-800-886-800.