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Old 08-01-2010, 06:14 AM   #1
KunoK
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Payment and delivery times

In Denmark, where I live, the seller is not allowed to draw money from your card until they ship the goods to you. This system seems logical to me. However, I know that in the UK and in the US, this is not so. Here the you pay first, then the seller ships the goods. I would like to know what makes this system work. How long can the seller wait before shipping? When can the buyer get his/hers money back, if the seller is out of stock? Is there anything more than bad reputation, which makes the seller interested in shipping the goods?

My direct reason for this thread is actually not UK or US, but the Netherlands. I have for the second time ordered a reader from a Dutch company ( different Dutch companies). On both occasions the seller , has immediately drawn the money from my account, even though being unable to deliver, because they were out of stock. How long should you accept to wait after having paid. My answer would be: Not a second., but I would like to hear some opinions. Are there some Dutch persons around, who tell how things usually works in the Netherlands? I would welcome some US and UK replies as well.
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Old 08-01-2010, 06:20 AM   #2
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In the UK, provided that the retailer tells you up-front that payment will be taken at the time of ordering, there's no issue with doing this. But they have to give you the option of cancelling your order if you decide at some point that you don't want to wait any longer.

Are you talking about Endless Ideas (BeBook) in the Netherlands? I ordered my BeBook Neo from them. I had to wait a few weeks, but it was well worth waiting for.
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Old 08-01-2010, 06:39 AM   #3
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As Harry states, in the UK it can happen both ways - some take the money on order, others wait until dispatch.

Most websites indicate which method they use (even if you have to look for it in faqs).

We also have a 7 day 'try out' (distance selling regs) that allows the purchaser to return for full refund including p&p. Although how this would work across a border, I don't know ....
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Old 08-01-2010, 08:19 AM   #4
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I think the only case where the approach matters, really, is in the case of bankruptcy of the seller: they take your money and go belly-up before they can send you the goods (and the receiver obviously won't) and you can't get back your money, either. Otherwise a few days either way won't matter.

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Originally Posted by KunoK View Post
Is there anything more than bad reputation, which makes the seller interested in shipping the goods?
Of course: you have a binding contract! Payment is your part of the deal and there's a whole legal system to enforce compliance of either party.

Last edited by rogue_librarian; 08-01-2010 at 08:22 AM.
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Old 08-01-2010, 11:43 AM   #5
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In the USA, it varies from vendor to vendor. Amazon does not charge a credit card until an item ships (something I find inconvenient because I have to keep track of what I ordered so I do not overspend). Some retailers wait until the transaction has cleared before shipping. Some (gasoline stations especially), will make a "test charge" to supposedly assure that the account will be able to pay for the pending transaction (it's an imperfect system that can cause problems at both ends). Still others require the use of a third party "card" that is essentially prepaid and will not "bounce" on the retailer, such as PayPal. Since Denmark legally requires that payment not be taken until the item ships, you have no choice (even if you prefer that system, you still have no choice). At least where I live, if I do not like the way a company handles payment, I usually have the freedom to go somewhere else and, frequently, do. Many brick and mortar retailers here have adopted the practice of charging a fee for using plastic (usually debit cards). I have the option of not patronizing those retailers, an option I take.

I'm sure there are other ramifications behind Denmark's law that may favorably weigh more than the disadvantge of loing the option to choose one form of payment over an other so I'm not attempting to condemn nor praise the law. I'm merely pointing out the differences we have. Keep in mind we Yanks tend to be a fiercely independent lot although, sadly, government control has been slowly encroaching on our freedoms, allegedly for our protection.
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Old 08-01-2010, 11:57 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lady Fitzgerald View Post
In the USA, it varies from vendor to vendor. Amazon does not charge a credit card until an item ships (something I find inconvenient because I have to keep track of what I ordered so I do not overspend). Some retailers wait until the transaction has cleared before shipping. Some (gasoline stations especially), will make a "test charge" to supposedly assure that the account will be able to pay for the pending transaction (it's an imperfect system that can cause problems at both ends). Still others require the use of a third party "card" that is essentially prepaid and will not "bounce" on the retailer, such as PayPal. Since Denmark legally requires that payment not be taken until the item ships, you have no choice (even if you prefer that system, you still have no choice). At least where I live, if I do not like the way a company handles payment, I usually have the freedom to go somewhere else and, frequently, do. Many brick and mortar retailers here have adopted the practice of charging a fee for using plastic (usually debit cards). I have the option of not patronizing those retailers, an option I take.

I'm sure there are other ramifications behind Denmark's law that may favorably weigh more than the disadvantge of loing the option to choose one form of payment over an other so I'm not attempting to condemn nor praise the law. I'm merely pointing out the differences we have. Keep in mind we Yanks tend to be a fiercely independent lot although, sadly, government control has been slowly encroaching on our freedoms, allegedly for our protection.
In the USA, Federal Mail order regulations prohibit any charges to credit cards until ready to ship.
There is an exception for deposits on customized work.
Amazon complies with the law.
Also Note: That items that are on prepaid orders (check, money-order,cash), that are back-ordered , they must send you a notice every 30 days advising of the ETA and giving you the option to Cancel the remaining order). that
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Old 08-01-2010, 01:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
In the UK, provided that the retailer tells you up-front that payment will be taken at the time of ordering, there's no issue with doing this. But they have to give you the option of cancelling your order if you decide at some point that you don't want to wait any longer.

Are you talking about Endless Ideas (BeBook) in the Netherlands? I ordered my BeBook Neo from them. I had to wait a few weeks, but it was well worth waiting for.
This time it is ebookreaderdiscounter.com, but I had the same experience with endless ideas some time back, when I ordered the original bebook one. I got them to return my money though, and bought a Gen3 instead.

If you always have the option to cancel your order in the UK, that will of course work, I can see that.

I have waited some weeks by now, and will also wait a little longer.
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Old 08-01-2010, 01:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theducks View Post
In the USA, Federal Mail order regulations prohibit any charges to credit cards until ready to ship.
There is an exception for deposits on customized work.
Amazon complies with the law.
Also Note: That items that are on prepaid orders (check, money-order,cash), that are back-ordered , they must send you a notice every 30 days advising of the ETA and giving you the option to Cancel the remaining order). that
Personally, I prefer that money and goods change hands at the same time. I see it as the most balanced system, but I can see that other views are just as valid.
This transaction was handled by paypal, but I don't have an account and I paid using my visa. Based on one of the replies, it might be that I have paid the money, but the the retailer hasn't got them yet.
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Old 08-01-2010, 02:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theducks View Post
In the USA, Federal Mail order regulations prohibit any charges to credit cards until ready to ship.
There is an exception for deposits on customized work.
Amazon complies with the law.
Also Note: That items that are on prepaid orders (check, money-order,cash), that are back-ordered , they must send you a notice every 30 days advising of the ETA and giving you the option to Cancel the remaining order). that
Do cybersales fall under Federal Mail order Regs? U.S. laws have a distressful habit of falling behind technology.
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Old 08-01-2010, 03:00 PM   #10
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Do cybersales fall under Federal Mail order Regs? U.S. laws have a distressful habit of falling behind technology.
We were required to honor them back in 1990 when we sold books as Greenduck.com
There is no exemption. (You are shipping using Mail or other common Carrier)

BTW Visa, Mastercard, American Express had similar clauses in their Merchant agreement. No charges until goods are being shipped.

American Express requires "Signature" on delivery (back then).
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Old 08-02-2010, 01:56 AM   #11
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We also have a 7 day 'try out' (distance selling regs) that allows the purchaser to return for full refund including p&p. Although how this would work across a border, I don't know ....
I believe it's an European guideline. We call it the cool-down period.


Quote:
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My direct reason for this thread is actually not UK or US, but the Netherlands. I have for the second time ordered a reader from a Dutch company ( different Dutch companies). On both occasions the seller , has immediately drawn the money from my account, even though being unable to deliver, because they were out of stock. How long should you accept to wait after having paid. My answer would be: Not a second., but I would like to hear some opinions. Are there some Dutch persons around, who tell how things usually works in the Netherlands? I would welcome some US and UK replies as well.
Here, it depends. Some shops require you to pay in advance and only when they get the payment will they ship. Others will ship and with the shipment there will be an invoice which you have to pay once you get it. And some shops simply won't allow you to order it, unless they have it in stock. I've never cancelled any order, so I've no idea how that works, but, as we have iDEAL (http://www.ideal.nl/consument/?s=wat&lang=eng-GB, or "iDEAL allows you to make online purchases in a familiar, secure and simple way. If you already have online banking, you can start using iDEAL right away, without any formalities.") all transactions are secured against fraud. You can always retract your payment, within 30 days.
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Old 08-02-2010, 03:03 AM   #12
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I believe it's an European guideline.
The word you're looking for is "directive", I think But yes, it's EU legislation ("protection of consumers in respect of distance contracts") allowing you to return your merchandise within a certain period (between 10 and 14 days, usually, depending on your country) for a full refund. Quite handy.
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Old 08-02-2010, 03:42 AM   #13
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The word you're looking for is "directive", I think But yes, it's EU legislation ("protection of consumers in respect of distance contracts") allowing you to return your merchandise within a certain period (between 10 and 14 days, usually, depending on your country) for a full refund. Quite handy.
Not sure how binding it was, hence my use of the word guideline If I recall correctly, a directive has the force of a law, while a guideline is just that, a guideline (correct me if I'm wrong!)
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Old 08-02-2010, 04:13 AM   #14
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[Warning, offtopic ahead]

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Not sure how binding it was, hence my use of the word guideline If I recall correctly, a directive has the force of a law, while a guideline is just that, a guideline (correct me if I'm wrong!)
Almost EU legislation is usually one of two things (we're neglecting Decisions here): Directives or Regulations . Only the latter are immediately enforceable as law in all member states while directives only require member states to achieve a particular result without dictating the means of achieving that result; meaning there's usually some wiggle room.

In this case it was directive 97/7/EC on the protection of consumers in respect of distance contracts.

You're probably all bored to tears by now, so I'll leave it at that ...

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Old 08-04-2010, 11:01 AM   #15
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