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The Truth About … Cancelling Orders & Restocking Charges

When making purchases online there is always the chance that these orders will need to be cancelled before they’ve even been delivered, or returned once delivery has been completed. While this may pose no problem when shopping in the domestic market, issues can arise when buying from the commercial scene.

Here we uncover the truth about cancelling orders and returning equipment and the resulting problems that can occur!

  • Orders are generally dispatched the same day.

If you place an order and then, for some reason, decide that it is either unsuitable or that you have simply changed your mind, it’ll be fine to let the supplier know as soon as possible right, as long as it’s within 24 hours? Unfortunately this is a common mistake. Orders are typically processed and dispatched in the same working day and so making a cancellation could incur a restocking charge up to 50% of the purchase price; a costly mistake to make. If the catering equipment has left the manufacturers a fee will be chargeable.

  • Understand the appliance you are ordering.

Basically, be certain that you have the correct product before placing an order to minimise cancellation risk or needing to make a return. Common areas of misunderstanding may seem farcical but do actually occur.

  1. Ordering a 3 phase electrical item? Is your business wired up to accept a 3 phase power supply? If not you may want to price up the cost of converting your electrics before investing in any equipment.
  2. Is the capacity large enough to deal with the level of demand you experience? People have, in the past, made a purchase and then realised the equipment won’t provide high enough output. Oops!
  3. Will the appliance fit into the allocated space you have available? It’s true, people have been known to receive delivery and then realise it’s too wide for their kitchen!
  4. Is the catering equipment going to fit through any doorways? Previously people have realised, a little too late that the small issues of doorways get in the way of a smooth delivery. Units fit perfectly in the kitchen but it’s getting them in there in the first place that causes the problem. If the only access is through a window, some suppliers may be able to facilitate this, by coordinating with the manufacturer on a confirmed delivery date. The cost of taking out the window will lie solely with the customer and the supplier/manufacturer cannot be held accountable for any unforeseen problems which prevent delivery (vehicle break downs, traffic delays, running out of hours etc.). Turning away the delivery at this stage will result in a failed delivery charge.
  5. Ordering a warewasher? What kind of drainage do you need? There is no point purchasing a unit with a gravity drain system to remove waste water and then wondering why it isn’t emptying when the drainage pipe is positioned higher than the equipment. The clue is in the name; gravity is required to remove the water therefore drainage must be lower than the warewasher.
  • Restocking charges are applicable for everyone.

There are no exceptions to the rule; if you cancel an order or send it back after you have signed for it, you will incur a charge. The only instance where no fee is due is if the equipment arrives faulty, damaged or unfit for purpose. High emphasis must be placed on checking all products before the delivery team leaves, being sure to look for dents, bumps and scratches etc. Should there be any issues it is vital to let your supplier know within 24 hours of delivery. Once you have accepted and signed for the equipment, all responsibility falls with you. Up to 25% of the total cost of the appliance could be charged if the item is still packaged in the same condition as it was when delivered. This figure could increase up to 50% if the packaging is missing, with some manufacturer's refusing to accept restocking at all without the original wrapping and pallet. It is not the supplier who puts these fees in place but rather the manufacturer; the supplier simply passing them on the customer. Once equipment has been dispatched it cannot then be resold as new even if it is returned unwrapped and unused. The restocking charge covers the standard depreciation of the equipment from new to graded stock. Unfortunately, the customer may also be liable to pay the return delivery charges so it is imperative to get your order right the first time.

  • If you’re making a return make sure you send the right item back.

You’ve ordered multiple items but need to return some of the products. The delivery driver turns up and you hand over the packages that you don’t need. Sounds simple right? Not exactly; it is vital to make sure you send the right items back. It is your responsibility, not the delivery drivers. Any mistakes could see you paying a restocking charge for a product you actually need, a redelivery charge for that same product and an additional restocking charge for the item you didn’t want originally.

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