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Shopping online? Don't get caught between retailers and shipping companies when packages don't arrive – CBC.ca

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A Calgary online shopper is told his almost $2,000 drum set was lost in shipping and he’ll have to eat the cost.

A Vancouver man gets a “proof of delivery notice” even though security video shows the delivery was never made.

Canadians are shopping online in record numbers during the pandemic — sales almost doubled from $1.6 billion in February to $2.8 billion in August, according to Statistics Canada.

But what happens when those items don’t arrive? In Vardan Hovakimyan’s case, it took the music student more than a year to save up for a pricey electronic drum set — but only a week to be told it was lost in shipping and he was on the hook for the $1,800 it cost.

The 40003 Speedlight Electronic Drum Kit was shipped in two boxes. Only one arrived at the Purolator outlet on Sept. 16, missing key pieces and rendering the set useless.

Things got complicated when Hovakimyan asked for a refund. He spent weeks going back and forth between the shipping company and the retailer, trying to get them to track down the missing box or give him his money back.

Purolator said it would look for the package, but he’d have to deal with the seller if he wanted a refund. The seller, Acclaim Sound and Lighting in North Bay, Ont., would only offer a replacement if the set was back in stock sometime in the future — or give him the $100 it got from shipping insurance.

“I was humiliated and very, very, angry,” Hovakimyan told Go Public. “It just felt so wrong.”

Consumer laws are on the side of online shoppers when deliveries go missing, but experts say taking advantage of those laws is harder than it should be, made more complicated when companies try to shift the cost of lost parcels onto buyers in their policies.

“It’s certainly not unusual that companies will write policies that are one-sided and intended to make consumers feel they have fewer rights than they do,” said Ken Whitehurst, executive director of the Consumers Council of Canada.

Whitehurst says some company policies indicate the buyer is responsible for merchandise that’s lost in shipping, even though consumer laws clearly say the retailer is responsible.

He says buyers often think they are at the mercy of those store policies. Hovakimyan did, after reading Acclaim Sound and Lighting’s shipping policy, which says the customer assumes “the risk of loss” once an item is shipped.

“There are contradictions between the laws and the [stores’] policies… customers don’t even know what they’re facing,” Hovakimyan said. 

Hovakimyan thought he was at the mercy of the store’s return policy, which says the customer assumes ‘the risk of loss’ once an item is shipped. (Colin Hall/CBC)

Acclaim Sound and Lighting owner, Tim Hazelwood, tells Go Public the store’s policy is there to protect his small business from losses it can’t afford when shipping companies lose merchandise. He said he wasn’t aware of the consumer protection law. 

“I’ve never heard of that and I’ve been in business for 30 years,” Hazelwood said, adding small retailers are at a huge disadvantage when it comes to online sales because it’s harder for them to absorb losses and because bigger companies like Amazon and Walmart get better deals on shipping costs.

The company refunded Hovakimyan’s money more than a month later, but only after Purolator located the missing box in one of its warehouses.

Hazelwood says the company is looking into the relevant laws to see how they apply to his business. 

Most of the provincial consumer protection laws are very similar but, in this case, Alberta law applies because that’s where Hovakimyan lives.

A look at two shoppers who’s online orders never arrived, with some tips on what you should do before making online purchases. 2:11

Signed for, not delivered

Then there’s Kamyar Yousefi from Vancouver. He only got his money back after CCTV footage of his building’s mailroom revealed his online order was never delivered, despite getting a “proof of delivery” email notification from FedEx saying he’d signed for the package.

“They put my name as a person who’s signed it, but I didn’t sign anything,” Yousefi said about the $330 online order he placed in August with fashion retailer Diesel.

Yousefi says FedEx wouldn’t take his concerns seriously at first. He says it was only after Go Public contacted the company that it sent someone to his building to investigate and confirm the package never arrived.

He also wasn’t sure that Diesel would give his money back, since its policy also shifts the responsibility of lost packages to buyers once an order leaves the warehouse.

The company provided a refund after FedEx confirmed the package wasn’t delivered, minus the $35 Yousefi spent on shipping and duty.

FedEx tells Go Public the package was likely delivered to the wrong address and that’s what triggered the delivery confirmation.

It says the seller didn’t request a signature on the delivery. FedEx, along with other shippers, has implemented  “no contact” deliveries during the pandemic, which means no signatures for most shipments.

Kamyar Yousefi says he had to chase both FedEx and the clothing retailer Diesel for weeks after getting a delivery confirmation for an order that never arrived. (Manjula Dufresne/CBC)

So who’s responsible?

The majority of provincial consumer protection laws are “firmly on the side of the consumer,” according to Jeff Orenstein, lawyer and owner of the firm Consumer Law Group, which deals with class-action lawsuits related to consumer protection. 

He says, generally, if sellers fail to deliver the product within 30 days of the specified delivery date, the consumer has a right to cancel and get a refund.

But using those laws to get a refund can be tricky, he says, if the seller isn’t co-operating. Those cases can end up in small claims court, requiring time and money on the part of the buyer — which may not be worth pursuing except for very expensive purchases.

“That’s sort of where the practical reality and the law collide and it becomes more problematic,” he said.

Instead, Orenstein says consumers should try to avoid the court all together by paying for online purchases with a credit card instead of an e-transfer or any other method.

Lawyer Jeff Orenstein says consumer laws are on the side of buyers, but it’s not easy using those laws to get refunds. (Consumer Law Group)

Hovakimyan paid for the drum set using his Visa debit card and Yousefi paid for his clothing by credit card.

Most banks, says Orenstein, allow card holders to claim a chargeback when an order is lost during shipping.

Whitehurst, the consumer advocate, says the same thing, but cautions online shoppers to make sure they know their banks’ chargeback policies before using their card to make a purchase.

Banks and credit card companies often have specific rules around how to apply for a chargeback and how quickly after the purchase that needs to happen. 

He also recommends researching shipping policies before deciding where to shop, pointing out larger retailers often make getting a refund easier due to the volume of sales.

Hovakimyan says he’s sworn off online shopping after his experience. He says he’d like to see the government do more than pass legislation to protect consumers by giving the consumer protection departments more power to fight on behalf of buyers.

“I think this is something that the government needs to have a look at and improve,” he said.

Yousefi says he’d like to swear off online shopping, but will likely have to continue doing it because of the pandemic.

FedEx says signatures are only required when the retailer requests one, or if the goods being shipped are worth more than $100. (Colin Hall/CBC)


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Housing growth, auto loans drive up demand for credit in third quarter: Equifax – Business News – Castanet.net

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Consumer demand for credit intensified in the third quarter, driven chiefly by increases in mortgage balances and new auto loans, according to data released Monday by credit reporting agency Equifax.

Mortgage balances and new auto loans were up 6.6 per cent and 11.7 per cent year over year, respectively, according to Equifax. Overall average consumer debt increased 3.3 per cent compared with the third quarter of last year.

Rebecca Oakes, assistant vice-president of advanced analytics at Equifax Canada, said in an interview that growth in mortgages last quarter was especially high, with the largest increase among people under 35. That trend comes even as economic fallout from the pandemic and associated lockdown measures hit young people especially hard.

“In terms of new mortgages, that could be refinancing, or it could be brand-new, first-time homebuyers or it could be people moving house,” Oakes said. “That was actually the highest value that we’ve seen ever.”

The increased demand for auto loans in the third quarter could have been a result of pent-up demand from people who had to wait to buy cars later in the year, Oakes said.

The figures in Equifax’s report are drawn from banks and other lenders that provide data to the credit rating agency.

Equifax pegged total consumer debt at $2.04 trillion, while Statistics Canada reported in June that household debt had reached $2.3 trillion, with $1.77 in debt for every dollar of household disposable income.

More than three million consumers have chosen to use payment deferral programs since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Equifax. Since the start of this year, some banks have offered consumers the option to suspend their loan payments for several months, in recognition of the financial strain the pandemic has created for many households.

However, under the payment deferral programs, interest continues to accrue during the months for which payments are suspended.

The percentage of balances where credit users have missed three or more payments was at its lowest level since 2014, with deferral programs likely masking the true delinquency rates, according to Oakes.

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Housing growth, auto loans drive up demand for credit in third quarter: Equifax – Business News – Castanet.net

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Consumer demand for credit intensified in the third quarter, driven chiefly by increases in mortgage balances and new auto loans, according to data released Monday by credit reporting agency Equifax.

Mortgage balances and new auto loans were up 6.6 per cent and 11.7 per cent year over year, respectively, according to Equifax. Overall average consumer debt increased 3.3 per cent compared with the third quarter of last year.

Rebecca Oakes, assistant vice-president of advanced analytics at Equifax Canada, said in an interview that growth in mortgages last quarter was especially high, with the largest increase among people under 35. That trend comes even as economic fallout from the pandemic and associated lockdown measures hit young people especially hard.

“In terms of new mortgages, that could be refinancing, or it could be brand-new, first-time homebuyers or it could be people moving house,” Oakes said. “That was actually the highest value that we’ve seen ever.”

The increased demand for auto loans in the third quarter could have been a result of pent-up demand from people who had to wait to buy cars later in the year, Oakes said.

The figures in Equifax’s report are drawn from banks and other lenders that provide data to the credit rating agency.

Equifax pegged total consumer debt at $2.04 trillion, while Statistics Canada reported in June that household debt had reached $2.3 trillion, with $1.77 in debt for every dollar of household disposable income.

More than three million consumers have chosen to use payment deferral programs since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Equifax. Since the start of this year, some banks have offered consumers the option to suspend their loan payments for several months, in recognition of the financial strain the pandemic has created for many households.

However, under the payment deferral programs, interest continues to accrue during the months for which payments are suspended.

The percentage of balances where credit users have missed three or more payments was at its lowest level since 2014, with deferral programs likely masking the true delinquency rates, according to Oakes.

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Stock market news live updates: Dow falls, but heads toward best month in more than three decades – Yahoo Canada Shine On

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GlobeNewswire

Biological Seed Treatment Market to be worth USD 2,037.5 Million By 2027 | Reports and Data

The rising demand in the agricultural sector for food grains and the scarcity of arable lands are driving the demand for the Biological Seed Treatment market.New York, Nov. 30, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Global Biological Seed Treatment Market is forecast to reach USD 2,037.5 million by 2027, according to a new report by Reports and Data. Rising demand in the agriculture sector for food grains and growing R&D to increase crop yield and seed potential is expected to drive the growth of the biological seed treatment market. The growing focus on organic farming in the agricultural sector is most likely to fuel the demand for biological seed treatment over the forecast period. The escalating need to enhance plant nutrients’ availability in the root system is boosting the demand for biological seed treatment solutions. The increasing awareness pertaining to the adverse effects of chemical seed treatment among health-conscious consumers is furthering the utilization of biological seed treatment solutions.The high cost associated with biological seed treatments and the lack of awareness among farmers regarding sustainable agricultural practices is restricting the growth of the biological seed treatment market over the forecast period.  Get FREE Sample Copy with TOC of the Report to understand the structure of the complete report@ https://www.reportsanddata.com/sample-enquiry-form/3696Further key findings from the report suggest * The increasing demand in the agricultural sector for food grains and scarcity of arable lands are driving the growth of the market. The increase in awareness among consumers regarding the environment and health has propelled the market growth. * The government of several countries has restricted the use of chemical pesticides and is encouraging biological seed treatment products. They are taking initiatives for promoting biological seed treatment products and awarding grants for the research and development of seed treatment products. * The Asia Pacific market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 12.4% over the forecast period, making it the fastest-growing region in the biological seed treatment market. There is a significant demand for biological seed treatment in the region for the minimization of the usage of excessive pesticides. * The biological seed treatment market is adopting some wiser strategies in order to say competitive between the growing demand for the products. Prominent brands in the sector have undertaken collaborations to expand their product portfolios and enter new markets. To retain the position of products in the competitive market, companies are adopting effective marketing and branding strategies. * Key participants include BASF SE, Syngenta International AG, Bayer CropScience AG, DuPont, Monsanto Company, Koppert Biological Systems, ADAMA agricultural solutions, Plant Health Care, Incotec, and Verdesian Life Sciences, among others.  BUY NOW (Customized Report Delivered as per Your Specific Requirement)@ https://www.reportsanddata.com/checkout-form/3696For the purpose of this report, Reports and Data has segmented the Global Biological Seed Treatment Market on the basis of product, function, crop type, and region: * Product Outlook (Revenue, USD Million; 2017-2027) * Botanicals & others * Microbials (Fungi, Bacteria) * Function Outlook (Revenue, USD Million; 2017-2027) * Seed Enhancement (Biostimulants, Biofertilizers) * Seed Protection (Biofungicides, Bioinsecticides) * Crop Type Outlook (Revenue, USD Million; 2017-2027) * Wheat * Corn * Sunflower * Cotton * Soybean * Vegetable crops * OthersTo identify the key trends in the industry, click on the link below:   https://www.reportsanddata.com/report-detail/biological-seed-treatment-market * Regional Outlook (Revenue, USD Million; 2017-2027) * North America 1. U.S. 2. Canada * Europe 1. Germany 2. U.K. 3. France 4. BENELUX 5. Rest of Europe * Asia Pacific 1. China 2. Japan 3. South Korea 4. Rest of APAC * MEA 1. Saudi Arabia 2. U.A.E. 3. Rest of MEA * Latin America 1. Brazil 2. Rest of LATAMTake a Look at our Related Reports:Natural Rubber Market Analysis by Product Type (RSS Grade, Latex Concentrate, Solid Block), Distribution Channel (Online, Offline), Application (Automobiles, Gloves, Footwear) and Region – Forecast To 2027Digital Farming Market Size, Share & Analysis, By Component (Hardware, Software, And Others), By Application (Precision Farming, Live Stock Monitoring, Green House Farming, And Others) And By Region – Forecasts To 2027Ornamental Fish Market By Types (Cold-water Fish, Tropical Fish) By Applications (Commercial Application, Residential Application) Forecast 2020 To 2027Fishing Nets and Aquaculture Cages Market By Type (Fishing Nets, Aquaculture Cages) By Application (Individual Application, Commercial Application) Regional Outlook And Forecasts, 2020-2027Dripline Market By Type (PC Dripline, Non-PC Dripline, Others), By Application (Farms, Commercial Greenhouses, Residential Gardeners, Others) And Region- Global Forecasts To 2027About Reports and DataReports and Data is a market research and consulting company that provides syndicated research reports, customized research reports, and consulting services. Our solutions purely focus on your purpose to locate, target and analyze consumer behavior shifts across demographics, across industries and help client’s make a smarter business decision. We offer market intelligence studies ensuring relevant and fact-based research across a multiple industries including Healthcare, Technology, Chemicals, Power, and Energy. We consistently update our research offerings to ensure our clients are aware about the latest trends existent in the market. Reports and Data has a strong base of experienced analysts from varied areas of expertise.Reports And Data | Web: www.reportsanddata.com Direct Line: +1-212-710-1370E-mail: sales@reportsanddata.comLinkdIn | Twitter | BlogsLinkdIn | Twitter | BlogsRead Full Press Release@ https://www.reportsanddata.com/press-release/global-biological-seed-treatment-market CONTACT: Contact Us: John W Head of Business Development Reports And Data | Web: www.reportsanddata.com Direct Line: +1-212-710-1370 E-mail: sales@reportsanddata.com LinkdIn | Twitter | BlogsLinkdIn | Twitter | Blogs

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