I packaged & returned sink in exact packaging used by MR Direct (minus sheer bag). Company claims insufficient packaging damaged sink-denying refund.
I purchased a sink (901 copper) from MR Direct on May 21, 2013 for the price of $595. The sink was lovely but did not match our kitchen. As per company policy, I returned the sink within 30 days for full refund.
Together with my contractor, we repackaged the sink in the EXACT packaging it came in (minus a sheer material bag). Nails were used to secure and stabilize the contents of the box. The package was sent from the ***** store mid June and received at MR Direct on or around June 25, 2013.
I waited for a refund and called twice on the delay of my refund.
(I believe MR Direct has these calls recorded). I was told the sink was received, restocked and I should be receiving my refund shortly. On those calls, I spoke with a ***** and/or ******* and ******** ***. Finally, at the end of July, I received an email from ******** *** stating that the product was damaged and they would not refund me. Many more emails went back and forth between ******** *** and Returns Manager ****** ************ and myself (all of which I have copies of).
While I also provided my contractors statement of how we used the original, exact packaging (again, minus the sheer bag, which would not have padded sink), MR Direct is refusing to process my refund.
On August 10, 2013, I emailed asking for a company officer's contact information - no reply. On August 13, 2013, I called to speak with a company officer. An employee, *****, gave me the name *** (would not provide a last name or phone number) and hung up on me.
I followed MR Direct's return policy to receive a full refund. I packaged the sink with the exact packing materials and in the same box they they used, send via *** ** - all they requested.
MR Direct sent me photos of a damaged sink. I have no idea how that sink was damaged and/or if that truly is the sink I returned to them.
I followed MR Direct's return policy to receive a full refund. I packaged the sink with the exact packing materials and in the same box they they used, send via ****** - all they requested.
MR Direct sent me photos of a damaged sink. I agree that sink is damaged but have no idea how it was damaged - given that I repacked it how it was sent to me.
I have no way to verify that the sink MR Direct sent me photos of was, indeed, the sink I returned to them.
There is no way I can be faulted for damaging the sink when I followed MR Direct's guidelines.
I am asking for full refund of the $595 I spent on the sink.
To Whom It May Concern :
In regards to the customer's claim that we are not offering a fair judgement for refund, we will emphasize again that any product returned to our location in non-resalable condition cannot be credited. The customer claims that the package containing a 901 copper sink was exactly as it was shipped to her; however, photographic documentation by our claims department upon first receipt of the product says otherwise. Two of our Claims Representatives were present at time of receipt and upon opening the crate, one mentioned that photos would be necessary as they could foresee a problem with the packaging and the denied credit that would ensue. The Returns Manager was then called out to the warehouse to inspect the package and get a first-hand look at the product in question in the instance there would be any issue in the future.
Although the customer claims the packaging was exactly as it was arriving to their location, she does mention the discarded cloth bag that was not returned surrounding the sink. Granted, the bag would not pad the product, however having discarded of the bag would suggest that other packaging could have also been discarded. The sink was received in very poor condition, nearly bent in half, and with multiple dings and irreparable crushed spots. As the product was not shipped this way and arrived with all original packaging to her location in good condition, it leaves a question as to how the product was received here in such poor condition if all packaging was included (which, as stated before, was not - original inspection papers clearly state this, which we have available for documentation.)
In a recorded phone conversation on June 14th, 2013, the customer discussed the return with a customer service representative as well as a claims representative, describing the sink as follows, verbatim: 'it arrived, safe and sound, absolutely gorgeous-unfortunately... unfortunately, it does not match with my woodwork, with my cabinets.'
In an email to the claims representative dealing with her case dated July 24th, 2013, she mentioned the following in response to our denied claim based on poor packaging and irreparable product: 'If you are referring to the "waviness" of the top of sink (which prevents it from laying flat in sink opening), that was the way I received the sink.' She later states in an email dated August 6th, 2013, the following: 'Bottom line, I sent you an undamaged, properly packaged (FedEx approved) sink.'
Unfortunately, the opposing descriptions she uses to express the condition of the received sink are very far from similar, which confuses the case being made. We do have documentation to support both of these examples.
In reference to calls inquiring about her refund, dated July 15th, 2013, she did call and inquire; response given by returns department was as follows, verbatim: 'I will get with my credit department, see what is going on with that and send you over an email.' (Documentation is available). No credit was promised, and although delayed in response, July 24th, 2013, an email was sent to the customer explaining why the credit was denied, which ensued in a number of emails back and forth between the customer and the Returns Manager, all of which explained cordially and professionally the denial.
The customer did include, in this correspondence, a note from her contractor, which states the following as packaging procedures taken: 'We had bottom Styrofoam top Styrofoam and side Styrofoam to secure the sink so there would be no damage upon return. Also we re-nailed the lid to insure its safe return.'
The message does not mention additional bubble wrap, which the customer claims to have used in emails dated July 24th and a phone call dated July 30th but was not included in the return package. It also makes no mention of the cardboard box that the nailed, wooden crate is shipped in initially - this box is actually never mentioned and was not part of return packaging. Regardless, the condition of the sink is not the responsibility of our company nor is it of our shipping provider, as the packaging is insufficient in many other ways. The customer can make any case that feels necessary, however the evidence remains the same, and we have even offered to send back the product to her at no charge for scrap; as it is pure copper, it has substantial monetary value. A refund will not be issued for full credit. The copper strainer, which arrived intact, has been refunded.
Finally, regarding the service provided to the customer, we also have verbal documentation/recorded phone calls of the conversations between the representative who reportedly 'hung up' on her. The customer was absolutely not 'hung up' on. She was, however, treated cordially and was provided the information she needed in respect with the amount of information a representative of our company is able to release. Supporting documentation can be provided upon request.
All examples and points of contact mentioned in this response can be amply supported, and documentation is available at any point.
Thank you for your time.
Final Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
In regards to MR Direct's 8/26/13 response:
I am glad MR Direct sent a response to my complaint, even after stating that they would have not further contact with me. "I must inform you that our decision is final and I will not be able to correspond further regarding a credit of the value" - MR Direct staff ****** ***** 8/7/13.
I do appreciate MR Direct coming to the table with dialog, as that is what a reputable company must do to resolve problems, if they hope to serve customers and stay in business.
However, I have identified a major flaw in their overall dealing with this situation and in their recent response. MR Direct is making many false assumptions and seem unable to take any responsibility for the situation. Let me give details:
The first false assumption made by MR DIRECT is taking my words out of context and trying to speak for me.
On several occasions, they site my reason for returning the sink "it arrived, safe and sound, ...just does not match my cabinets." It is true, like I stated, the sink was fine upon me receiving it, unfortunately, it did not match my cabinetry. Here is the problem, somehow, MR Direct came up with the notion that I thought the sink was damaged when I received it... Why? Because I inquired to ******** *** about the "waviness" on the top part of the sink? (can provide email dated 7/24/13)?
******** ***'s email stated "the sink was damaged and a refund would be denied". Of course, I was completely shocked when I read this as I had used the same exact packing material (minus the material bag) as used by MR Direct to return the sink. I wondered if ******** *** could be referring to the "waviness" at the top/back of the sink that I noticed which enabled the sink to lay perfectly flat on the counter top?? However, this would not have been an issue with installation and I NEVER referred to the "waviness" as "damage" and/or used the term as a reason for return or refund.
Strangely, Ms. ***** of MR Direct was "confused by the information" (from 8/7/13 email) and whomever wrote this 8/26/13 response stated "opposing descriptions she uses to express the condition of the sink are very far from similar, which confused the case being made."
Let me restate, I never viewed the "waviness" on the sink's top, back ledge as damage or a reason for return or refund.
The second major false assumption made by MR Direct: that I "discarded" the material bag used to ship the sink from their location to mine (in their 8/26/13 response).
Never did I use the term "discard" in any of my emails (which I can supply) or phone conversations (which, seemingly, they can supply) when referring to the material bag.
Further, they expound on their false assumption by stating in their most recent response, "having discarded of the bag would suggest that other packaging could have also been discarded." How presumptuous of MR Direct to assume that I threw away anything. How shameful of them to then make a character judgement of me based on their false assumption.
MR Direct's third false assumption is that because terms such as "box" and "bubble wrap" were not included in our (my and/or my contractor's statements) that they were missing. All MR Direct had to do if they were truly looking to justly resolve this situation was ask if they were used or not. To answer the question, yes, indeed, extra bubble wrap was included and yes, (wood crate), originally used in shipping was used to return the sink.
Further, one more mistake in their 8/26/13 response is that they offered to send back the sink, at no charge. However, in ******** ***'s 7/24/13 email, he stated "If you wish to have the damage sink returned back to you you would need to provide us with a credit card to process the return shipping."
The fact remains, somehow, the sink was damaged. Unfortunately, it is my word against theirs that the proper packaging was used. The sink was also in FedEx's hands and in the warehouse staff's disposal at MR Direct for upwards of a month before they notified me that the sink was damaged. Somehow, the sink was damaged...
I stated earlier that MR Direct does not seem interested in taking any responsibility for this situation. This is a shame, as this is not the way to run a reputable business. As a customer, I have provided MR Direct with honest written statements from myself and my contractor. We followed shipping guidelines with due diligence and am now appealing, in a very public venue, for MR Direct to do the right thing - to take some responsibility for the situation and offer a full refund for the sink.
Thank you very much.
Final Business Response
In regards to the customer's response dated 9/6/13:
Firstly, we regret that the customer is displeased with the way this transaction has been handled, and we also regret that the customer feels as though we have judged her character in an improper way. However, regardless of character, we have supplied ample information to both the customer and BBB (sent additionally to the BBB: phone calls, and documentation stated in first response). Our case is strongly supported and it is not our policy to provide credit for a destroyed product. Unfortunately, we did not package the return product so do not hold responsibility for the damage done. The sink did appear in a wooden crate back to our location (as stated by customer); however, the wooden crate did not appear in the double-corrugated box in which all of our wooden-crated products are shipped. As stated months ago, all original packaging has not been returned.
Emails dated 7/31 and 8/5 record Returns Manager stating that the product would be returned to customer's location should she wish to scrap the metal. No response concerning was noted.
As a reputable company, we have taken every precaution and spent countless hours listening to calls, making sure promises were not made that we were not keeping, and have poured through emails to support the premise of the claim as we do not habitually make these false. We have not targeted nor denied a claim for any purpose other than product is not able to be returned to stock and not able to be held up to shipper's standards for refund. Credit has been applied for product returned safely (i.e. copper strainers), and as we stand by our department's integrity and uphold fair policy, we in turn stand by our decision that although an unfortunate loss for the customer, the refund is invalid.
In regards to a company officer, the customer has spoken numerous times with the appropriate department and a higher company officer is not applicable in the given situation.
We do apologize for the inconvenience, but a very extensive, thorough case inspection has been performed in a conclusive manner.
Thank you for your time.