MemberSince99 wrote:The problem with small claims court is, since he ordered online, odds are the merchant is thousands of miles away, and he would have to travel to the merchant's location to file unless things have changed since I last filed (back in the 80s)....
But you work in that area djrez4, realistically is that practical?
Yeah...djrez, I'm surprised at your answer since you claim to be an attorney. Unless this is a really tiny merchant, they will simply have the case removed to regular civil court. Or more likely, the OP agreed to binding arbitration in Timbuktu or something when he ordered. Unless the OP is in the same state as the merchant a small claims claim, though valid, would almost certainly be easily removed to a real court.
Maybe it's the threat of a lawsuit that you are trying to hit them with. But unless they are really ignorant a small claims threat is unlikely to be meaningful. I know there are people who sue big companies in small claims everyday but they almost never collect. It's just too easy to show defect in service, procedures, jurisdiction, and so forth and get the entire proceeding thrown out and retried in a real court. Then the small guy ends up having to hire a lawyer and sometime having to pay the corporation's legal fees.
OP, the reason you are probably going to lose is that the vendor is not obligated to accept a return even if they have a policy of doing so unless there is a defect with the item. You are not claiming a defect, you just say you changed your mind or did not like the item. In that situation they can choose to accept a return or not so they probably don't need to give a reason for not accepting one. In this case they even gave a reason - it was opened. You might not agree and they might just be lying. But from the credit card company's point of view the merchant has no real reason to lie. They don't have to accept the return. If they usually do as a matter of policy then that is generous. If they choose not to in your case then the credit card company is not going to question that.
However, if they told you they would accept it back and give you a refund and they did not then I agree they owe you the merchandise. The shipping question might be debateable though. I suspect that if you request it back (by certified letter) but refuse to pay shipping then you'll create such a pain for them that they will just ship it to you. But I don't think you will get your money back, especially if this was software, a game, a DVD, or something like that.