Apropos change-of-mind returns - it happened to us again last week! A Customer brought back an 18"x24" black wood poster frame he'd bought earlier in the week claiming that "My husband doesn't like it" , and adding" Can I please have my money back". We checked the poster frame for dents, dints, damages and breakages, and, on finding none, we refunded her money, and that was that. Nothing extraordinary, one might say, so, what's the big deal ? Nothing remarkable, we will segue, except to say that the refund that the Customer asked for called is called a "change-of-mind" ( CHOM) refund, and one which, legally speaking, Customers are not entitled to. To quote the Australian Consumer Law, Customers, or consumers, are not entitled to obtain refunds "when they got what they asked for but simply changed their mind".
There are also several other ground for this disentitlement or ineligibility but, for that moment, let's just confine ourselves to the CHOM refund aspect, a concept not generally not that well known, or understood, by Customers.
So far as we are as our establishment goes, our policy is to accept CHOM returns so long as the goods being returned are fit for re-sale. Fit for re-sale means goods kept in their original packaging, not opened used, soiled, stained, broken, worn, scuffed, marked, or damaged in anyway.
Sadly, not only do some Customers fail, or choose, not to understand that our CHOM acceptance is extended by way of goodwill and that it is not because of a legal obligation, but some even try to hoodwink us into accepting goods that have either been obviously already been used or that are glaringly unfit for sale, such as poster frames being returned with broken glass. To top it off, when Customers are challenged about items such as broken glass, some have the audacity to tell us porkies such as "Oh, well, that's how I got it from you .. " which is unethical, to say the very least.
Below are some examples of photo frames, picture frames and poster frames that Customers sought to return to as CHOM goods. All these were immaculately brand new goods at the time of purchase but when the Customers wanted to return these to us, all were ineligible due to being returned in an obviously unsaleable and an unfit state for resale:
1 ) An interstate Customer wanted to the return to us the A3 to A4 white shadow box frame below which he'd bought several months earlier. The Customer lived in a riverine country region of Northern Australia afflicted by frequent floods and high humidity. The Customer claimed that the frame which became mouldy, must have been damp, faulty or wet when he received it about 5 months prior. However all our frames are stored in elevated, well-ventilated, room-temperature, dry conditions, in temperate areas and are individually checked prior to dispatch.
2) An irate Customer emailed us the photo below about supposedly about an 60x90 cm black wood poster frame that his son had bought from us for his birthday. The peeved Customer then complained at length about the shoddy workmanship, cheap materials and the broken hanging cord which had failed and caused his the framed poster to fall off the wall and break up.
The Customer wanted to return the frame to us for a refund as well as financial compensation for the stress, anxiety, and inconvenience involved in buying and returning the frame. Only thing is, our 60x90 cm poster frames have never, ever, been manufactured with a cord. To put it in another way, the frame in question was not one of ours, was not sold by our store and it was not purchased from us all. All the same, the Customer didn't believe us anyway, and vowed to came in personally to check out our stock for himself. We asked him to show us, bring us, or email us a receipt, docket, invoice, or other proof of purchase, but was unable to do so. We never saw or heard from him again.
3) A Tasmanian Customer rang us complaining that the 30x30 cm white wood, square shadow boxes that she had received from us were "a little too too big" and wanted to return them. The artwork that she was getting printed would be exactly 30 cm square, she said and our frames were "oversize". She added that she was disappointed because we advertised the frame as being 30 cm square and they were not actually that size, but bigger.
We asked the Customer what measurements was she getting and she replied, 34 x 34 cm exactly. That's when we realized that that the Customer was measuring the frame the wrong way. She was measuring the frames externally, from the outside edges, which is incorrect. For those interested to know more about this little conundrum, please visit: measuring photo frame and picture frames correctly.
That being said, photo frames and picture frames should never be measure externally, but internally, that is from the back, where the backing and glass are and because that's where the artwork goes in. We ended up emailing photos to the Customer on how to measure frames correctly and the matter ended there.
4) Can readers guess what is supposedly wrong with the 4"x6" glass frameless clip frame below that a South Australian Customer wanted to return as defective? We shipped a couple dozen of the clip frames to a new Customer and were surprised to receive an email back from her complaining how unhappy she was with their quality and and wanting to return them.
It turns out that this particular Customer was unhappy with the printing of the black-and-white facepaper photograph which she thoughtfully arrowed with bold red arrows. The left hand of the image did not match the right hand she said, obviously a quality problem she volunteered and she wanted to return the frames.
We replied to the Customer that the facepaper is purely for cosmetic appearance, that it is usually discarded by users, that its design does not in the least impede functionality and that the clip frames that were sold her did precisely the job these were bought for. The Customer did not contact us again.
5) Below is a last example of a return request that went unrequited. A young, busy mum comes in complete with a very active toddler and her baby in a pram. She needs a set of of two A2 black wood poster frames with clear glass, which she picks, looks, checks, feels and inspects that these are good and perfect for what she wants before purchasing. We complete the sale and then help the Customer with the frames because she is busy with the children.
The frames won't fit in the boot because it's full with shopping, bags, the pram, etc. We ask her where she would like us to put them and and she says in the back seat. But the back set is occupied by her athletic , toddler. We suggest somewhere else lest the frames get kicked, by the young child but mum says " Nah, they'll be fine". A few days later she comes back with one of the frames she had bought now sporting a broken glass pane. She states that we must have broken the glass while placing it in the back seat and wants to return the broken glass frame for a new one.
We will leave it to the common sense of our readers to guess what the end result of this incident was.