No refunds - why has Additions still got our money?
How many customer orders cancelled by Additions has the company failed to refund delivery fees on? It's a question we'd like the answer to and if you've ever ordered anything from Additions, you might too.
In January, Additions advertised a Buffalo Ministation 320GB external hard drive for just £24. It seemed like a ridiculously low price but dozens of Hot UK Deals forum members ordered them anyway, because occasionally a retailer will make good on the price. We were also curious to see what happened, so two of us in the Bitterwallet office ordered the product on 18th January. Here's what Additions charged me:
The total charge was £24.35; £24 for the product, a 15% discount code, plus a £3.95 delivery charge. This is how the detail looked in the confirmation email from Additions:
The total amount was debited at the time of order, not the time of delivery. Several hours later, Additions appeared to cancel all the orders, citing a mis-price. By their terms and conditions they were within their rights to do this, because a customer's order is only accepted once the goods are dispatched; the order confirmation emails are described as merely acknowledgments. A quick phonecall to Additions to confirm the cancellation and ask for my refund, and three days later the money is back in my account.
So then. Lots of chancers hoped to get lucky on a low price; they didn't, and instead they got a refund. What's the problem? Additions didn't refund all the money - they kept the £3.95 delivery charge:
They didn't just keep our money; according to the Hot UK Deals forums, they failed to refund dozens of other customers; there are examples here, here and here. In fact, in all the cases we're aware of, Additions only refunded the delivery charge after the customer contacted them to request it; more examples are here and here, and Bitterwallet reader Scott also contacted us concerning problems with refunds.
Perhaps customers were being impatient, and Additions would eventually get around to refunding the delivery charge? So the two of us at Bitterwallet waited to see what happened. Guess what? Nothing did. The 60 day limit for refunds set by the Distance Selling regulations came and went, and Additions failed to refund the delivery charges. So do Additions only refund charge manually if they're asked to?
£3.95 isn't a big deal, and for that reason it's possible many people didn't bother to chase Additions for a refund, or even notice it hadn't been paid back. It doesn't matter a damn - it's the customer's money. The question is - how many customers did Additions charge and fail to refund? And has Additions failed to refund delivery charges on other occasions? It may not be a matter of a few pounds; it may be thousands of pounds, perhaps more, of customer's money. We don't know how much for certain without asking Additions. So that's what we're doing.
We're sending this letter to Shop Direct Home Shopping Limited, the parent company of Additions. We've asked for some straight forward answers to our questions. How much of your money does Additions have that it shouldn't? We'll let you know what we find out.