- Posts: 2
- Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2013 10:56 am
- Location: midwest
Not sure if this belongs in this part of the forum... I feel like I'm a fraud victim, but so far the CC company doesn't agree...
I recently made an online purchase from a merchant I have used before with no problems. This time, I purposely made the order just over $100 because they offered free shipping on such orders.
I order a lot of stuff online. It's sometimes a bit complicated because I have a PO box and USPS doesn't deliver to my house. If I can determine that a merchant is going to use USPS, I normally use my PO box as the shipping address, otherwise, for private carriers, I use my residential address. Sometimes, if a merchant provides for a message with the order, I'll use the PO box as the ship address and add a note to ship to the residence if shipping by private carrier.
Lately most online merchants have started to catch the PO box when I place the order, and if they can't ship to it, not accept the order. I like it this way because then I know for sure to use the residence address. In this case, as it turns out, the merchant DOES ship to PO boxes but does not apply free shipping to those orders.
Since I had used this merchant before, I got a little careless and just went through the order using the PO box and didn't bother to add a message about using the other address if necessary.Because of what transpired, I'm not sure that would have mattered anyway. I completed the order and printed a copy of the receipt which clearly stated 'Free Shipping'.
Shortly thereafter, I received an email confirmation showing the full order with free shipping, just as I had placed it. About 12 hours later(1:12 AM!), I got an email from the merchant with the same title. I saw that in my inbox the next morning and didn't bother to open it. Unfortunately I assumed it was just an update with the tracking number. Turns out it was actually a duplicate of the previous confirmation with the $29.75 charge added.
When I received the order a couple of days later, I looked at the packing slip and it looked like the original email confirmation but it had a $29.75 shipping charge added to it. I assumed this was just some kind of mistake and called the merchant's customer service department. I was assured the shipping charge would be refunded. Shortly thereafter I received an email that simply said(1 sentence) that free shipping is not available to PO boxes and the charge would stand.
I opened a dispute with the CC company and sent them a copy of the original receipt. They initially decided in my favor. Then, the merchant responded with some text about their shipping policy and a copy of the packing slip with the added $29.75 charge. The CC company then reversed itself and decided in the merchants favor!
I responded with another letter complaining that I had never agreed to the $29.75 shipping charge and once again sent a copy of the original receipt plus the email confirmation. I also mentioned that I felt the problem was that the merchant's web site didn't properly enforce enforce their business rules. Of course I also complained a lot about the CC company failing to protect my account from unauthorized charges. Haven't heard back yet but I'm not optimistic at this point.
I know $29.75 isn't a big deal and I'm preparing myself to write it off if necessary. But I do feel like I'm being screwed, I never would have placed the order with the shipping charges, in fact I would have just used the residence address. But what really burns me is that the CC company isn't backing me up, I think just the receipt should be enough(I have never filed a dispute before, had this card for 20 years!).
To top it off, after I sent my last response keeping the dispute open, the CC company sent me notification that they are informing the credit reporting bureaus that I'm continuing the dispute!
Many thanks to anyone who has read through all of this, I would love to hear your opinions.