I had a rather unpleasant experience with a new online store that I was testing for my camera gear. I bought about 600$ worth of gear from them, a couple of lenses; I just wanted to know their delivery time and their customer service. I purchased postage insurance and paid with PayPal.
What happened is something that never happened to me before. I received an email from the courier company telling me that the package got lost in transit. How many times does that happen? Maybe heaps, but it never happened to me before. They apologized and told me to just contact the online store and cancel the order. I did it, but the reaction from the online store, in this case eGlobal Digital was extremely annoying.
They informed me that I was lucky to have purchased the postage insurance, which means that I was entitled to a refund of the order. Soon after I received a note from PayPal, that a refund was issued, but not of the amount I paid; they actually retained 58$ as postage and handling. I thought, wait a minute, they failed to deliver the package at all, and they are charging me postage and “mis-handling”? Then I also noticed the tone of their email – I should feel lucky that I paid about 60$ insurance otherwise they would not issue any refund at all.
It was time to google my rights. Which wasn’t a very difficult thing to do at all. Apparently this scam has been tried many times before. After that I went to the PayPal website to work out their $20K guarantee. Which means as a purchaser of online goods, they guarantee that the goods will be delivered and in good working order or I will get a refund. Pretty simple, I thought.
I contacted the eGlobal store, but received no reply, I then opened a PayPal case, to which I got no reply from eGlobal either. I think they knew that the money will be refunded but couldn’t be bothered actually speaking with their customer and resolve it properly.
After about a week, PayPal judged the dispute in my favor and credited my account with the amount eGlobal was trying to steal.
This is what I worked out about postage, insurance, etc.
It is NOT the buyers responsibility to get insurance. Online stores will try to persuade us to get it to have piece of mind, but what we actually pay for is a piece of mind for THEM. If the package gets lost in transit, they have to refund the money, so its in their interest to buy insurance for the package.
I will never pay insurance again, the 20K$ insurance from PayPal is perfect. If the goods don’t come or if they come in less than perfect condition, I will get my money back. It is up to the seller to insure themselves and to package the goods in such a way that they arrive at my place in perfect working order. My responsibility as a buyer is just to be honest about receiving the goods and be happy with the purchase.