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There has been many posts re: return policies/restocking fees when buying with a credit card and there have been posts claiming that credit card purchases can force a merchant to accept returns and can force merchants to not charge a restocking fee.


I posed the following questions to AMEX,Visa and MC and I include their response. The credit card name was changed for each issuer but the questions were the same.



1 If merchant labels sale final sale can item be returned if VISA was used


2. If VISA is used to pay for merchandise at auction like Ebay either directly with seller or through PayPal/Billpoint can item be returned if customer wants to.


3. Can a seller/merchant required a restocking fee for returns if VISA was used to pay.


4. Does VISA have any stated policy in regard to returns and the rights of the merchant as well as the cardholder.


This is MasterCard response:


Thank you for your inquiry to MasterCard International.



Whether it includes a restocking fee or not, merchants are allowed to set

their own return policies for purchases made at their store.



Best regards,



MasterCard International

Customer Service Center



jmb


This is AMEX's response:


From: [email protected]


Dear Leonard Eckian:



In response to your e-mail, I have located the following information.



1. If a merchant's sales policy is Final Sale then the merchandise cannot be

returned regardless of how it was paid for.



2. Once again, the return policy is based on the seller whether you paid the

seller directly or through PayPal/Billpoint.



3. A seller can require a restocking fee for returns regardless how the

merchandise was paid for.



4. Return policies are determined by each individual merchant


This is the response I received from Visa:

Thank you for your communication concerning a merchant's return and refund

policy for a Visa transaction.


Although Visa does not dictate what a merchant's return and refund policy

must be, our regulations do require merchants that accept Visa cards to

disclose their policy to the cardholder. If you feel that the policy was not

disclosed to you, your next step should be to contact your Visa card Issuer

directly and ask them to assist you in obtaining a credit to your account.

Let us explain why.


Visa U.S.A. is a membership corporation made up of over 16,000 financial

institutions. These institutions issue their own Visa cards and sign up

their own merchants to accept Visa cards. They also set the terms and

conditions for their merchant relationships and handle any customer service

matters relating to them. Visa does not have access to cardholder accounts

or merchant records; and, as a result, we cannot contact merchants to

resolve cardholder complaints.


Your Visa card Issuer has established procedures to address complaints about

merchant practices and will be happy to assist you. You'll find the address

for matters of this nature on your Visa statement.


We hope this information proves helpful, and we thank you for using Visa.




[This message has been edited by leckian (edited 06-21-2001).]
 

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THANXS. THAT IS GREAT INFORMATION AND IT IS EVEN BETTER TO HAVE IT IN WRITING. I WOULD HAVE THOUGHT THAT AMEX WOULD HAVE BEEN MORE HELPFUL TO THE CONSUMER. THEY HAVE NEVER GIVEN ME TROUBLE ABOUT QUESTIONING A CHARGE.
 

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"Visa U.S.A. is a membership corporation made up of over 16,000 financial

institutions. These institutions issue their own Visa cards and sign up

their own merchants to accept Visa cards. They also set the terms and

conditions for their merchant relationships and handle any customer service

matters relating to them. Visa does not have access to cardholder accounts

or merchant records; and, as a result, we cannot contact merchants to

resolve cardholder complaints"



And therein lies the rub. Visa can set whatever policy they want to. But the bank that ACTUALLY issues the card could side with the cardholder. Visa may not approve, but I doubt it matters.

 

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Thanks, Lenny. I remember when recently someone tried

to tell us that we could get a CC company to remove a

restocking charge even if the restocking charge was

stated in the terms of the sale. That did not sound

right to me at the time.


There is one thing that I'm not clear about. Twice in the last few months I've had online sellers insist that they would only accept credit card payment if they could fax me a document (stating the terms of the sale) which I sign and fax back to them. Would this indicate that when a buyer initiates a credit card dispute that he/she is likely to win if the seller has no signed document in hand? Any thoughts on that?


Bob


------------------

~ The Sultan of Cheap ~





[This message has been edited by RobertWood (edited 06-18-2001).]
 

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Well if you go retail, I think a restocking fee is uncalled for. But if you go the el cheepo, internet, mail order, under 10% markup . . . yous pays yo money and you takes yo chances. You can't have it both ways.


SM
 
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