Next caught refusing to refund delivery charges
It won't come as a huge surprise to avid Bitterwallet readers, to discover yet another major retailer bending the rules with regards to the Distance Selling Regulations. The BBC has been snooping around Next, and found them failing to refund delivery charges applied to goods bought online, but then later returned.
And even though the law was clarified in April, Next won't be getting around to making any changes to that practise until next month.
Said a spokesperson for the company:
''During the last three years, Next has not offered a refund of the delivery charge. This was in line with our interpretation of the Distance Selling Directive. However following clarification from the European Court of Justice in April this year on interpretation of the Directive, Next is in the process of implementing the necessary changes to ensure that delivery charges will be refunded."
Still, they've some way to go until they beat the likes of Shop Direct. The BBC spoke to Littlewoods, who said customers must pay the delivery fee no matter how quickly the product is returned, and will not refund delivery charges unless the product is faulty.
"We believe that we do comply with the requirements of the Distance Selling Regulations and many of our brands offer free delivery and returns."
But as many Bitterwallet readers are aware, Additions - another of Shop Direct's brands - don't refund the delivery charge even an the order is cancelled before it is dispatched; even if it's Additions who cancel the order. On that note, we've taken the matter to the Office of Fair Trading, and we've been told we'll receive "a substantive response as soon as possible."