One area of debate within the world of business is that of cancellations and refunds, and when we say debate, that has a wide scope and ranges all the way from a reasonable discussion to a heated argument. In the most extreme cases arguments about a cancellation or a refund have gone to litigation, and thus the business has had to ask their litigation lawyers to step in and help resolve the matter.
Of course, this can happen on both sides of the fence for business owners. Either they are the one who sold the goods and services and there is a dispute over their own refund or cancellation policy, or they are the customer of another business and they have found that their rights to cancel or receive a refund for faulty or incomplete goods and services are being denied.
These issues arise for many reasons; some are as a result of a business not making its cancellation and refund clear enough, a business not fulling its obligations with regards to cancellations and refunds, or it might be that a customer believes that they are entitled to cancel and receive a refund in all circumstances, which we hope you already know is not the case.
There are other reasons, but what we have found to be the best way to ensure there is no confusion, is for a business to simply ensure that its cancellation and refund policies are complete, clear, unambiguous, and set out exactly what entitles a customer to a refund, and what does not.
Further to that, it is then beholden on that business to have in place a system that should a customer genuinely be entitled to cancel any agreement, or to a refund that it is processed quickly, efficiency, and most importantly, in a way that ensures that the customer’s impression of the company remains a positive one.
Cancellation policies should be included within the terms and conditions for the purchase of any product or service, and it should go without saying that you should have a commercial lawyer draw up your company’s terms and conditions for all the goods and services that it sells.
A business’s terms and conditions, including its cancellation policy, should be printed on documents and contracts, posted within their website, and there should also be a physical copy of them on display on the business premises. Ideally, they should be easily located on all of them, in order to make it easy for anyone to find them.
The policy should cover the terms under which a customer has a right sot cancel including any time limits, and it should also clearly state if there is a cancellation fee payable. If a fee is payable it must be stated whether it is a percentage of the price or a fixed fee and it can only cover what costs your business has borne as a result of the cancellation.
As for refunds, not every cancellation will entitle a customer to a refund. If they simply change their mind, have used the product wrongly, or something out with the business’s control has occurred, no refund is required to be paid to the customer.
On the other hand, where goods or services are not fit they were purchased for, or there is an excessive delay in delivery, then a refund is payable to the customer.