Of Refunds and Charge Backs

For a whipmaker, having  a long list of orders to make is a good problem to have. It means you’ve got plenty of work to do and your name is out there and your work is in demand. Since going full time, I’ve had as many as 75 orders to make and seldom less than 40.

At times it can be a bit overwhelming. The bad part is having to tell people that you don’t have any whips in stock and they will have to wait. Worse than that is having to tell people who have been waiting that they will have to wait longer because 2013 has been so bad for your family with multiple deaths, illnesses, and hospitalizations.

Whereas I once waited to receive payment until I started making the whip, in 2012 I moved to be more in line with most other whipmakers and started requiring payment for orders up front.  This move eliminated the trend I had noticed for many years in how people would order whips and then forget about it, or disappear when it was time to pay.

With that change, I made sure to update my policies to reflect that a prepaid customer is free to change or cancel their order at any time while they wait and that the customer would receive a full refund. That change has worked very well. So far, not a single prepaid customer has forgotten about their order or disappeared. I have many to change their order, and less than 5 actual cancellations.

Last night I checked my email before I went to bed, I had an email from Paypal with something I never expected: A customer who had only been on the waiting list for one month went through to credit card company for a “charge back.” He claimed his order was “unauthorized charge.” Frankly, I was quite taken aback. I saw nothing weird about the order on my end when it was placed. He even emailed me asking how long the wait would be for the whip. After that, there was no communication whatsoever. I never saw this coming.

While I suppose it is possible someone used his card to make an unauthorized charge, it certainly wasn’t me! If this guy desired to cancel the order, he was free to do so and I would have cheerfully obliged. Unless this was a legitimate case of ID theft, the way this was handled was tantamount to a landlord sending the police to collect the rent from a tenant who wasn’t even late -without ever having attempted to collect it first himself.

If the buyer in this case was legitimately defrauded by someone, he has my sympathy. If he was simply lacking in tact and common decency, I’d rather not do business with him anyway.

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About Rhett

A very happily married father of 5, professional whip maker, Beekeeper, EMT-I, and imperfect follower of The Lord Jesus Christ. If you need a custom built whip, I'm your guy. http://www.cowwhips.com View all posts by Rhett

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