Hall of Shame and Probation Rules DISCUSSION
6 6

428 posts in this topic

Returns and Refunds: Federal Law

 

While state laws primarily govern the issue of returned merchandise, there's no federal law that requires a merchant to refund money. Per most state laws, refunds are subject to the established store refund policy at the time of purchase, unless the product purchased is found to be unfit for the purpose of which it was intended. A customer changing his or her mind after making a purchase, such as deciding they want a bigger television screen, is not the fault of the merchant and the merchant cannot be held responsible.

 

Generally speaking, most stores do offer refunds. It is usually pursuant to a store policy which explicitly that returns are extended, in order to create and keep good will in the community; but again, this is a store policy and not a federal law.

 

Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Deceptive Claims

 

Federal law does provide some, limited protections to consumers through the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC enforces federal consumer protection laws meant to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, or unfair business practices such as false advertising.

 

The agency will sue companies that make deceptive claims about their products or services. When the FTC settles a case it tries to obtain refunds for consumers who lost money, if that's possible, but these refunds are based on deceptive or unfair business practice regulations, not state-refunds laws. Simply put, refunds tend to be a state law contract issue.

 

- See more at: http://consumer.findlaw.com/consumer-transactions/return-policies-and-refunds.html#sthash.l8USq0fy.dpuf

 

 

Looks like you can sue him through the FTC.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Returns and Refunds: Federal Law

 

While state laws primarily govern the issue of returned merchandise, there's no federal law that requires a merchant to refund money. Per most state laws, refunds are subject to the established store refund policy at the time of purchase, unless the product purchased is found to be unfit for the purpose of which it was intended. A customer changing his or her mind after making a purchase, such as deciding they want a bigger television screen, is not the fault of the merchant and the merchant cannot be held responsible.

 

Generally speaking, most stores do offer refunds. It is usually pursuant to a store policy which explicitly that returns are extended, in order to create and keep good will in the community; but again, this is a store policy and not a federal law.

 

Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Deceptive Claims

 

Federal law does provide some, limited protections to consumers through the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC enforces federal consumer protection laws meant to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, or unfair business practices such as false advertising.

 

The agency will sue companies that make deceptive claims about their products or services. When the FTC settles a case it tries to obtain refunds for consumers who lost money, if that's possible, but these refunds are based on deceptive or unfair business practice regulations, not state-refunds laws. Simply put, refunds tend to be a state law contract issue.

 

- See more at: http://consumer.findlaw.com/consumer-transactions/return-policies-and-refunds.html#sthash.l8USq0fy.dpuf

 

 

Looks like you can sue him through the FTC.

 

lol

 

I will look into this :D

 

:roflmao:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've been thinking more about this and saw some interesting comments. The more I think about it the less I like trying to lock down a specific number of days/weeks/months to expect returns. I think it just goes too far.

 

As has been said, it may be best for the seller to state their return policy in the listing or, barring that, the buyer should ask about their return policy.

 

As cold as it may sound, if the return policy is not acceptable to the buyer they should look elsewhere for a seller that has a policy they like.

 

I think a fair return policy is one that does allow some time to have the book checked out for restoration, etc. But that would be up to the seller to state and up to the buyer to accept.

 

I know this is a non-solution but it really started to bother me thinking about enforcing a minimum specific time for returns. Maybe we could take it from this point and discuss ways of making this viable. Such as what happens if a book is sent to CGC shortly after purchase and comes back restored, etc.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As has been said, it may be best for the seller to state their return policy in the listing or, barring that, the buyer should ask about their return policy.

 

As cold as it may sound, if the return policy is not acceptable to the buyer they should look elsewhere for a seller that has a policy they like.

 

I think a fair return policy is one that does allow some time to have the book checked out for restoration, etc. But that would be up to the seller to state and up to the buyer to accept.

 

This is exactly right. I never thought anyone was suggesting that we have a mandatory return policy...or whenever I sensed that someone was implying that, I tried to point out that they were confusing the issues....

 

The real issues being 1) what do we do if a seller fails to state a return policy, which leaves things subject to debating "reasonableness", and 2) how long should someone have to bring forth a PL nomination after a transaction transgression (which is a completely separate issue from that of the return policy)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not sure anyone has mentioned it but why not make return policy part of the rules for a sales thread similar to listing payment types

Examples

Return policy - none

Return policy - up to two weeks

etc

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, if you are looking for suggestions, how about this: Can we find a way to avoid having someone add a name to the PL, having a second person delete the name, and then having a third person add the name back?

 

Shenanigans!

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not sure anyone has mentioned it but why not make return policy part of the rules for a sales thread similar to listing payment types

Examples

Return policy - none

Return policy - up to two weeks

etc

 

Even if you have that, half the people will still say "standard board rules apply" :pullhair:

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sometimes it takes minutiae to ferret out a larger point.

 

Well said.

 

Except this isn't a data-rich, scientific expedition, where minutiae matters and makes a difference. You're all talking about trying to make rules that cover every possible permutation of human behavior as a buyer/seller on these boards, and it's simply not possible to do that without strangling the entire thing to death in the process.

 

But hey, by all means, 10 years of this back and forth has only made the Probation List (and the HOS) grow to gargantuan sizes, so what do I know.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sometimes it takes minutiae to ferret out a larger point.

 

Well said.

 

Except this isn't a data-rich, scientific expedition, where minutiae matters and makes a difference. You're all talking about trying to make rules that cover every possible permutation of human behavior as a buyer/seller on these boards, and it's simply not possible to do that without strangling the entire thing to death in the process.

 

Well, that's not the way I see this discussion, and (at least from my view) we are not trying to arrive at rules that cover every possible permutation (I agree that we should not do that). For example, delving into this minutiae around Rupp's case has helped to ferret out three very high level principles that are worthy of being ferreted out:

 

1) Shouldn't sellers here be able to set their own return policies without having a blanket return policy dictated to them? (n.b. in fact this principle is freeing, not strangling);

2) If a seller fails to state a specific return policy, what do we do for purposes of PL discussions, etc.?

3) What should be the statute of limitations for bringing a PL case after a failed transaction (a stand-alone question...failed transaction might relate to a seller's return policy, or might relate to a host of other transaction failures)

 

It took some delving into the minutiae to get these three big picture items up on the table for discussion. That was my (our) point up there. (shrug)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3) What should be the statute of limitations for bringing a PL case after a failed transaction (a stand-alone question...failed transaction might relate to a seller's return policy, or might relate to a host of other transaction failures)

To help us move along this particular discussion regarding the PL statute of limitations, I am going to offer a hypothetical example that has nothing to do with return policies or restoration guarantees. My example will involve the most basic of failed transactions that would qualify for a PL nomination - seller simply never ships the book after payment is received from the buyer.

 

For the love of my home state of Georgia, or whatever it is that you personally hold dear, can we please stay on point with this for a little while? :wishluck:

 

Here comes my example...I'm going to hypothetically pick on Rupp, since he started this :D

 

Base Scenario: I purchase a book from Rupp out of one of his Clooneyfests on May 25, 2015, and I pay him immediately (for this discussion, it doesn't matter whether it's a $1 book or a $10,000 book). He simply never ships me the book I paid for. For this discussion, it doesn't matter whether he has been communicating with me or ignoring me. Fact is that I paid for a book and he has never sent the book to me. I'm out the money I paid him, and I don't have the book, period.

 

Now, I'm going to iterate through some subsequent cases:

 

Case 1: two months after purchase (i.e., on July 25, 2015), I come into the PL discussion thread and announce my intentions to follow the PL nomination protocol and put Rupp on the PL. I presume you would all say 'proceed'

 

Case 2: I've been too busy to think about Rupp and my comic book for awhile, but it comes back to the forefront of my mind six months after purchase. So, on November 25, 2015, I give Rupp a Thanksgiving present and nominate him for the PL. I presume you would still all say 'proceed'

 

Case 3: I've been really busy. I procrastinate, but finally decide I can't let this slide. Seventeen months after the purchase (i.e., October 25, 2016), I come into the PL discussion thread and nominate Rupp for failure to send me the book I purchased way back in May of last year. You might say...'well, OK, but why did you wait so long?' Like I said, I've been busy.

 

Case 4: I've been really, really, really busy, or incarcerated, or incapacitated...whatever. FIVE YEARS after the purchase (i.e., on May 25, 2020), I come into the PL discussion thread and say that I want to add Rupp to the PL for failure to send me the book I purchased from him five years ago. What would you all say?

 

When would you all say 'well Ed, sorry, but too much time has passed (since the transaction failure) for you to make an issue out of this for purposes of the probation list'? 10 years? 15 years? Ever?

 

This is the essence of the PL statute of limitations discussion. Let's try to have this discussion without commingling it with the return policy/resto guarantee discussion...it really is a separate discussion. Thoughts?

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3) What should be the statute of limitations for bringing a PL case after a failed transaction (a stand-alone question...failed transaction might relate to a seller's return policy, or might relate to a host of other transaction failures)

To help us move along this particular discussion regarding the PL statute of limitations, I am going to offer a hypothetical example that has nothing to do with return policies or restoration guarantees. My example will involve the most basic of failed transactions that would qualify for a PL nomination - seller simply never ships the book after payment is received from the buyer.

 

For the love of my home state of Georgia, or whatever it is that you personally hold dear, can we please stay on point with this for a little while? :wishluck:

 

Here comes my example...I'm going to hypothetically pick on Rupp, since he started this :D

 

Base Scenario: I purchase a book from Rupp out of one of his Clooneyfests on May 25, 2015, and I pay him immediately (for this discussion, it doesn't matter whether it's a $1 book or a $10,000 book). He simply never ships me the book I paid for. For this discussion, it doesn't matter whether he has been communicating with me or ignoring me. Fact is that I paid for a book and he has never sent the book to me. I'm out the money I paid him, and I don't have the book, period.

 

Now, I'm going to iterate through some subsequent cases:

 

Case 1: two months after purchase (i.e., on July 25, 2015), I come into the PL discussion thread and announce my intentions to follow the PL nomination protocol and put Rupp on the PL. I presume you would all say 'proceed'

 

Case 2: I've been too busy to think about Rupp and my comic book for awhile, but it comes back to the forefront of my mind six months after purchase. So, on November 25, 2015, I give Rupp a Thanksgiving present and nominate him for the PL. I presume you would still all say 'proceed'

 

I wouldn't :shrug:

 

I've mentioned this before, but I think it's silly that we're contemplating trying to enforce these ridiculously-long resolution periods. No regular company outside of this board would take any complaint seriously if you waited 6 months to bring the issue to their attention.

 

Buyers need to take responsibility for their purchases too. If you can't be bothered to bring up a non-delivery issue with a seller within a reasonable timeframe (say, a month) after the PL deadline has passed, then it's obvious you didn't care enough about your purchase to begin with. Allowing people to come forward a year later and saying "oh, I never got this item, I'm now nominating this seller for the PL" is crazy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Buyers need to take responsibility for their purchases too. If you can't be bothered to bring up a non-delivery issue with a seller within a reasonable timeframe (say, a month) after the PL deadline has passed, then it's obvious you didn't care enough about your purchase to begin with.

 

It is the determination of the "PL deadline" (or whether we should have one at all) that is on the table for discussion...we don't presently have a "PL deadline".

 

I think you meant to say "....bothered to bring up a non-delivery issue with a seller within a reasonable timeframe after the transaction failure...." (shrug)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Buyers need to take responsibility for their purchases too. If you can't be bothered to bring up a non-delivery issue with a seller within a reasonable timeframe (say, a month) after the PL deadline has passed, then it's obvious you didn't care enough about your purchase to begin with.

 

It is the determination of the "PL deadline" (or whether we should have one at all) that is on the table for discussion...we don't presently have a "PL deadline".

 

I think you meant to say "....bothered to bring up a non-delivery issue with a seller within a reasonable timeframe after the transaction failure...." (shrug)

 

By PL deadline I meant the 30 days that have to pass before you can nominate someone for the PL.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Buyers need to take responsibility for their purchases too. If you can't be bothered to bring up a non-delivery issue with a seller within a reasonable timeframe (say, a month) after the PL deadline has passed, then it's obvious you didn't care enough about your purchase to begin with.

 

It is the determination of the "PL deadline" (or whether we should have one at all) that is on the table for discussion...we don't presently have a "PL deadline".

 

I think you meant to say "....bothered to bring up a non-delivery issue with a seller within a reasonable timeframe after the transaction failure...." (shrug)

 

By PL deadline I meant the 30 days that have to pass before you can nominate someone for the PL.

 

Ah... (thumbs u

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well the first thing most would say is Rupp must have been killed in s'mores making accident since his unfortunate death would be the only thing to prevent him from completing a transaction. lol

 

Here's one for you all...

 

Can a seller who doesn't have a time frame for returns listed but guarantees "100% satisfaction" be allowed to fall back on a generalized cut off time to report a problem with the transaction.

 

Would one overrides the other? The satisfaction guarantee ? Or a generalized cut off time for reporting the transaction?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well the first thing most would say is Rupp must have been killed in s'mores making accident since his unfortunate death would be the only thing to prevent him from completing a transaction. lol

 

Here's one for you all...

 

Can a seller who doesn't have a time frame for returns listed but guarantees "100% satisfaction" be allowed to fall back on a generalized cut off time to report a problem with the transaction.

 

Would one overrides the other? The satisfaction guarantee ? Or a generalized cut off time for reporting the transaction?

 

I would say the cutoff would prevent the nomination.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well the first thing most would say is Rupp must have been killed in s'mores making accident since his unfortunate death would be the only thing to prevent him from completing a transaction. lol

 

Here's one for you all...

 

Can a seller who doesn't have a time frame for returns listed but guarantees "100% satisfaction" be allowed to fall back on a generalized cut off time to report a problem with the transaction.

 

Would one overrides the other? The satisfaction guarantee ? Or a generalized cut off time for reporting the transaction?

 

I would say the cutoff would prevent the nomination.

 

Yet the satisfaction guarantee precedes the cutoff hm

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Can a seller who doesn't have a time frame for returns listed but guarantees "100% satisfaction" be allowed to fall back on a generalized cut off time to report a problem with the transaction.

 

Would one overrides the other? The satisfaction guarantee ? Or a generalized cut off time for reporting the transaction?

 

You're commingling again. :D

 

The PL statute of limitations (aka "generalized cut off time") would not begin running until the point of transaction failure.

 

For a seller who has a specified return time frame, the transaction failure doesn't occur until buyer presents the item for return within the specified time frame, and seller does not execute properly...then, the PL statute of limitations begins.

 

For a seller who does not specify a return time frame or a duration on their "guarantee", this is trickier. But the trick is in deciding how long returns should be allowed if the policy is unstated (this relates to point #2 in my post up there from early this morning). Suppose we hypothetically decide that an unstated return policy leads to a default return window of one year. Then, if you make your return claim in month 11 of that window and the seller doesn't respond, the PL statute of limitations begins running from that point. Suppose we decide that an unstated return policy equates to a lifetime return window. Then, the PL statute clock wouldn't start running until you make your return claim and the seller doesn't respond, whenever that might be. But, ironing this out requires us to take a position on what an unstated return policy equates to...which is separate from the PL statute of limitations.

 

Am I making sense here? Perhaps I need to do another example. hm

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Let's do another example. Let's pretend we took a vote on those issues up there, and decided the following:

 

2) If there is an unstated return policy or a generic "satisfaction guarantee", "resto guarantee", or whatever, that has no stated duration, how long will we, the board, declare that return/guarantee window to be? SUPPOSE WE VOTED 2 Years

 

Ok, great...

 

3) How long should the PL statute of limitations be (i.e., time you have to nominate to the PL after the point of a transaction failure, regardless of the nature of the transaction failure)?: SUPPOSE WE VOTED 1 Year

 

Now, it's relatively straightforward. Give me whatever scenario you want. Seller sells a book with a generic "guarantee" or unstated return policy on June 17, 2015. Under those two hypothetical example votes up there, you have until June 17, 2017 to return the book or raise dissatisfaction with the seller. If you wait until June 18, 2017, you cannot nominate to the PL because there was no actionable transaction failure...you didn't ask to return the book in time. If you ask to return the book on May 27, 2017 and the seller does not respond, there's your transaction failure and you have until May 27, 2018 to nominate that seller to the PL (based on our vote in point 3 up there).

 

Again, to give this traction, we need to decide on #2 AND #3, separately. If we decided 6 months for #2 and 2 years for #3, things would be just as clear to operationalize...whatever...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3) What should be the statute of limitations for bringing a PL case after a failed transaction (a stand-alone question...failed transaction might relate to a seller's return policy, or might relate to a host of other transaction failures)

To help us move along this particular discussion regarding the PL statute of limitations, I am going to offer a hypothetical example that has nothing to do with return policies or restoration guarantees. My example will involve the most basic of failed transactions that would qualify for a PL nomination - seller simply never ships the book after payment is received from the buyer.

 

For the love of my home state of Georgia, or whatever it is that you personally hold dear, can we please stay on point with this for a little while? :wishluck:

 

Here comes my example...I'm going to hypothetically pick on Rupp, since he started this :D

 

Base Scenario: I purchase a book from Rupp out of one of his Clooneyfests on May 25, 2015, and I pay him immediately (for this discussion, it doesn't matter whether it's a $1 book or a $10,000 book). He simply never ships me the book I paid for. For this discussion, it doesn't matter whether he has been communicating with me or ignoring me. Fact is that I paid for a book and he has never sent the book to me. I'm out the money I paid him, and I don't have the book, period.

 

Now, I'm going to iterate through some subsequent cases:

 

Case 1: two months after purchase (i.e., on July 25, 2015), I come into the PL discussion thread and announce my intentions to follow the PL nomination protocol and put Rupp on the PL. I presume you would all say 'proceed'

 

Case 2: I've been too busy to think about Rupp and my comic book for awhile, but it comes back to the forefront of my mind six months after purchase. So, on November 25, 2015, I give Rupp a Thanksgiving present and nominate him for the PL. I presume you would still all say 'proceed'

 

I wouldn't :shrug:

 

I've mentioned this before, but I think it's silly that we're contemplating trying to enforce these ridiculously-long resolution periods. No regular company outside of this board would take any complaint seriously if you waited 6 months to bring the issue to their attention.

 

Buyers need to take responsibility for their purchases too. If you can't be bothered to bring up a non-delivery issue with a seller within a reasonable timeframe (say, a month) after the PL deadline has passed, then it's obvious you didn't care enough about your purchase to begin with. Allowing people to come forward a year later and saying "oh, I never got this item, I'm now nominating this seller for the PL" is crazy.

 

You are confusing normal returns with deliberate obfuscation.

Ewert got away with this for years before being caught.

So you give him a pass?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
6 6