Next to drop free collection for returned items

26 July 2010

Barely a fortnight ago, the BBC squealed on retailer Next for failing to follow Distance Selling Regulations and refusing to refund delivery charges for goods bought online and subsequently returned. Next put their hands up and put their behaviour down to their interpretation of the regulations, but have continued withholding refunds even though the law was clarified in April.

Next promised the BBC it was changing its systems beginning from next month, but what changes will these be? Avid Bitterwallet reader Abi has let us know, following her attempts to recoup delivery charges for a returned order. This is the email sent by Next to Abi:

"In the past NEXT, despite being entitled to charge for the collection of complete orders, has not done so. Instead we have not refunded the original delivery charge. The cost of delivery is the same as collection so this has had no material effect on our overall charges.

"As a result of clarification by the european court, we will be changing the way in which we administer these costs. Delivery charges will be refunded to customers returning their order, but a charge will be made for collection of these orders. Collections from customers who retain at least one item will remain free of charge.

"Of course it would not be viable for NEXT to send out and collect complete orders without any charge. You may be interested to know that even at £3,99 we still do not cover the full costs of deliveries or collections and this price is heavily subsidised.

"In considering your request for a delivery refund we have of course taken into account that you were not charged for the collection of goods and have not paid more than you would have paid under our new charging structure. So I hope you will understand that on this occasion we will not be able to meet your request.

I realise that in the light of media reports this may be disappointing and as a gesture of goodwill we would like you to accept free deliver for your orders during the Autumn/Winter 2010 season up to the 20th of December."

So despite Next admitting they should have refunded the delivery charges, they're refusing to do so because they voluntarily dropped their collection charges. That's no justification at all - not charging for collection doesn't excuse their obligations under the Distance Selling Regulations. If Next wanted to do right by their customers, they should at least be offering to refund delivery charges on charges made since the regulations were clarified in April.

Next are going to get their money one way or another - in the future they'll refund your delivery charges for returned goods, but then charge a similar amount for collection. That said, collection remains free if one item in an order is kept, so customers in the habit of making orders of two or more items will get a better deal by receiving the refund as well as free collection.


  • Jonny S.
    The fact that I HAD to sign up for a credit account before I could pay by card meant I never became a customer of theirs.
  • ajsjdjd
    Simple answer - don't by wanky clothes from a shitty shop such as this.
  • james d.
    this whole legislation is pointless imo, if retailers are forced to do this they will just make delivery free and put up prices.
  • james d.
    besides one party pays one way the other pays the other way sounds pretty reasonable to me, who cares who pays which way.
  • IfYouCopyMyNameYouAreGayIsGay
    All of this is pretty much bullshit. Next will make the money one way or another. The only problem, is that dragging them through courts etc, building up their solicitors fees etc, the costs for all of this is just going to be passed on to the consumers as well. Congratulations. Your moral highground bullshit has just put prices up for everyone, completely contrary to what you were hoping to do.
  • burghhhhhhhhhh
    where do you shop then primani ?
  • Pizza_D_Action
    @ IfYouCopyMyNameYouAreGayIsGay Right so maybe we should let BP off for their huge oil spill in America, because if you fine them for it they'll just add that fine to the cost of their fuel....
  • bushbrother
    So just order 2 items every time, one you wanted, and something crappy. Then return the crappy item, keeping what you wanted. This means no collection charge, but a refund of delivery?
  • IfYouCopyMyNameYouAreGayIsGay
    @Pizza_D_Action Hello, this is the common sense department. We've had a report that you forgot to collect yours when you were born. Please feel free to stop by whenever you've stopped trying to bite your own ear. Ta. The reason why BP should not be let off is that they've caused billions of environmental damage, that firstly needs cleaning up, then needs it to not happen again. Next, have caused no such damage, to anything. Customers are NOT out of pocket from their actions. No damage or financial harm is being caused to anything or anyone. Whether they don't refund initial delivery but give free returns, or refund initial delivery but charge for returns, the customer has to pay for one delivery either way. Just the only difference now after all this pedanticary bullshite, is that customers still have to pay for one delivery, but also have to pay for the increase in product cost due to Next having to recover their solicitors fees. Great victory for the consumer? No. Extra cost for the consumer. No benefits to anyone. PS I hate Next. Their clothes are always shit, have faults, and have less style than a decomposed hooker from the 80's.
  • Gunn
    @Jonny, You can just pay by card but they dont make it easy or obvious.
  • ichyrich
    "You may be interested to know that even at £3,99 we still do not cover the full costs of deliveries or collections and this price is heavily subsidised." Yeah right. They pay their couriers 45p a parcel!
  • dash
    The above poster omitted to mention that despite only getting 45p parcel, the couriers are not subsidized for their petrol and those customers requiring am/pm deliveries have to be adhered by the courier sometimes having to go out in the late pm for 45p and using couple of pounds worth of petrol. Therefore at a loss.
  • parcelguy
    Next couriers are paid only 45p a parcel no matter how much Next cram into the parcel. visit to see probems incurred by Next couriers.
  • Ten B.
    [...] Next to drop free collection for returned items [...]
  • TH1882FC
    Its free if you return items to a store.
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  • Loreta H.
    A very good piece of content.

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