Ask LH: What Should I Do When Goods I Ordered Online Never Got Delivered?

Hey Lifehacker, I recently bought a GoPro 4 from an online retailer (BecexTech). It never arrived and I have been stuck in a seemingly endless loop of emails with BecexTech customer support blaming Australia Post and refusing to refund the purchase. Australia Post tell me they never received the item in the first place, BecexTech tell me Australia Post have lost it. Someone is obviously wrong (or lying). How can I force BecexTech to refund my purchase? Thanks, Go Slow

Online shopping picture from Shutterstock

Dear GS,

This is one of the chief caveats of dealing with offshore retailers. As you may or may not know, BecexTech has an Australian storefront but most of its stock comes from overseas warehouses. When something goes wrong, it can be extremely difficult to enforce your consumer rights -- especially if there's no evidence that your rights were actually broken.

As it stands, it's basically your word against BecexTech's and/or Australia Post. As you point out, someone is clearly wrong (our money would be on BecexTech) but it's not something you can easily prove. Were you supplied with a tracking number? If not, it always pays to contact the merchant and request one -- that way you can see where the delivery trail ends in the event of a package not showing up.

Some retailers will happily refund customers if an item doesn't show up in the post, but BecexTech doesn't appear to be among them. Here's what the company has to say on its website about lost of missing goods:

We strongly recommend you to insurance your order as there might be possibility that you order will be damaged and lost on delivery. Insurance is optional and the fees is all on the product page. The fees vary depending on the value of the goods. Please note that BecexTech Australia is not liable for any lost item if insurance is not purchased.

Cheeky, eh? If no-one is prepared to take responsibility, it could be worth contacting the relevant consumer affairs department in your state. We wish you the best of luck.

Cheers Lifehacker

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    We always pay through Paypal when shopping online for this very reason - you can lodge a dispute with Paypal and they will sort it out for you. We've had to do it a few times now and so far they've been able to resolve everything in our favour.

      Did PayPal give you the refunds ? I'm just wondering how I'm going to do this...I bought something on there an iPhone 6s then I started getting gut feeling something's not right when they reply my emails around midnight. Then I looked at negative reviews and got very worried so how do u resolve issue when trying to cancel your order and get refund, if becextech doesn't refund you?

    BecexTech are shifty and paranoid as hell.
    I went to order a Nexus 5 and then they were all "oh, we deposited an amount in your account, you have to tell us what it is before we can complete your order, this is for security" WTF?
    So I buy the Nexus 5 (it was on sale and cheaper than Play Store)) thinking OK great, Aussie company, I can claim the tax on this when i go on holiday, only to then find out its coming from Hong Kong and so there's no tax on it.
    No warning at all that it was coming from overseas, unlike Kogan, who do specifically state that.

    You can call it my error, but it still shit me.

      This seems to happen a lot with eBay items.. Gives me the shit.. There should be a rule that if you are not within Australia you can't advertise that the item is coming from Australia, but is actually coming from Hong Kong.

    Most credit card companies will have a Disputed Transactions department that you can contact and they will usually refund the money to you if you provide them with all the correspondences with the retailer and if the claim is within their grace period (e.g. 90 days)

    Paypal or Credit Card dispute. I'd just tell BecexTech that's the route you'll be going down unless they refund your order ASAP. That lone will be enough for most companies, as both Paypal and CC companies tend to side with the consumer in most cases (all cases when goods aren't delivered?), and the retailer gets a black mark on their record for it.

    You get what you pay for (in this case nothing).

    It doesn't always pay to go with an unknown for the sake of saving a few $$$.

    Those $$$ you tried to save you have now spent in time resolving this.

    Spend a bit more at the start, i.e on the play store and know you will receive it.

    Cheap companies offer low prices by cutting out all service. Other companies include insurance as a default option (can't take off). Some make it optional. Then if anything happens, you're out of luck

    Under Australian Law, the banks cannot make a charge against your credit card
    account, for goods or services you have not received, regardless fo
    a bank's terms and conditions. So, hopefully you paid with an Australian credit card.
    If so, lodge a dispute with them. At my bank ANZ, you can do this over the telephone.

    In general if you are paying the selling company for the postage and goods, title does not change until they deliver to you. Ie its thier loss not yours until you recieve the goods . Try chargeback om your credit card, especially if purchased from site.

    I purchased a phone off them in the past from them without any hassle. Were you supplied a tracking number? Was it legitimately lost? Depending on the carrier, you may also bring this to Postal Ombudsman as an alternative.

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