What would you do if you ordered, they took the entire payment, but only shipped half the order

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Forum topic by Tennessee posted 12-14-2017 12:47 AM 721 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2901 posts in 3289 days

12-14-2017 12:47 AM

Recently, a vendor I dealt with, (who for now shall remain unnamed), did something I thought was wrong.
I ordered two items, a set actually, and only one half of it was in stock although he did not tell me that until he shipped the first half.
I ordered on December 10th, and received an email telling me how much he appreciated my business.
Then it went South…
I received an email late December 12th, informing me that the other half was not supposed to arrive for 2-3 weeks, according to the supplier, and would not be available until late December, probably more like the first third of January.

But they took the entire money amount of the order, including shipping. This was a bit over $200.
I would get in the mail one item, worth about $90, and the other would be in stock in about “2-3 weeks” according to the supplier. That puts it dead in the Christmas/New Years week, and I figured I would not see it until sometime in January, 2018.
Shipping was $14+

I told him that I was not happy, that taking monies and holding it for weeks is not ethical, and accused him of running a bad inventory, taking all my monies and holding it, and with the shipping season, felt that I would not get the last item until about the first third or so of January, 2018.
Obviously he did not respond well to this…

At order time, he felt free to take the entire order purchase money, and said he “would ship the last item at no extra shipping cost to me”, although I had already paid for all the shipping. Huh? I already paid for the shipping – how can you tell me it is a favor that you will ship the second item at your expense, when I already paid for shipping two items?

We had an exchange, and he cancelled my order, and has not replied to my emails that if I want to still buy the set at a later date, could I?
The interesting part is he said he would prefer not to have someone say something bad about him, rather than keep my money and make me wait 3+ weeks for the second item. So he simply cancelled the entire order, and refunded all my money, like he wanted me to not say anything bad about him. Since the two items sort of work together, it seems like he was trying to simply make me go away, rather than gain a bad review somewhere, especially here on Lumberjocks.
It seems that he might have locked me out and will not allow me to buy from him. We’ll see.

What do you think?
Did I overstep by bounds, and should have allowed him to keep all my money even though only half the shipment was coming now, and the rest in January? I have never seen this before. The companies I deal with will charge your account when it ships, not weeks before.
But was I wrong?
I really want the items, but it seems I have burned some sort of bridge with this supplier, by calling him out on keeping my money in advance while making me wait weeks for the second half of my order.

What do you think?

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

9 replies so far

View jmos's profile


917 posts in 3144 days

#1 posted 12-14-2017 12:59 AM

Just my opinion, but I think it’s pretty common practice; you order, pay, and wait for delivery. I’ve not sure I can recall an instance where the company said ‘you keep your money until I’m ready to ship.’ Even with places that tell you upfront it may be months until they can deliver.

I’ve had numerous experiences, especially with small firms, where you order and pay in full, and then wait many weeks for the item to be (usually made then) shipped. I usually don’t worry too much about this if I pay with a credit card and can dispute the charge if they fail to deliver.

Now, if they said an item was in stock, and change their tune later, you’re well within your rights to be angry and cancel the order.

The only exception I can think of would be a really expensive item, where you make a down payment and then pay in full at delivery.

I also agree, if they want to split ship, they should cover any additional postage. If you request a split shipment, you should expect to pay the additional shipping.

-- John

View DocSavage45's profile


8982 posts in 3617 days

#2 posted 12-14-2017 02:50 AM

Small or large company? Have you been a long standing customer? How was it paid for? Credit and debit card processes like paypal wold protect the buyer. Have had positive and negative experiences on Amazon with independent sellers not covered by Amazon. If it sounds “to good to be true,” it has been. Had problems on eBay but also positive when I sent an inquiry.

If it is a seller on any of the big sites there is a process they must follow.

Is there any other source for what you want?

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View johnstoneb's profile


3144 posts in 2947 days

#3 posted 12-14-2017 03:01 AM

You were totally out of line. I have had many shipments split because of stock problems. It happens Many time a business will get a run on an item and have to reorder before filling. I do have one company I deal with that actually has the question on their order on how to deal with out of stock items.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View TheFridge's profile


10859 posts in 2260 days

#4 posted 12-14-2017 03:04 AM

Same thing happened with a carving set. I forgot about the particular gouge until it came in months later.

I think it could’ve been handled better by both parties. Especially him. It’s his job to communicate better.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View Gilley23's profile


489 posts in 1156 days

#5 posted 12-14-2017 03:47 AM

He should have called you or emailed you and told you the situation and asked how you would like to proceed, then either refund or continue on.

I also think that you were a bit to abrasive and should have used more tact in your approach.

View Woodknack's profile


13392 posts in 3154 days

#6 posted 12-14-2017 07:58 AM

Anytime you question someone’s honesty or insult them and they still want to do business with you, they are desperate or scamming you. It would have been best if you were notified at time of purchase that half the order was out of stock. It really depends on whether you are buying retail or wholesale. There are times when buying stock that you pay upfront and get it when you get it. Different types of business have different traditions on handling these things. But when you started throwing accusations and criticizing, you unwittingly ended the business relationship. Businesses sometimes drop customers because they are perceived to be difficult and unfair toward the business. And sometimes it’s because the business is unable to satisfy the customer through no fault of the customer. But anytime a customer questions my ethics or professionalism, the relationship is over. It’s not even just the insult, but practicality. That customer has lost faith in me will be a problem going forward.

-- Rick M,

View Fresch's profile


489 posts in 2695 days

#7 posted 12-14-2017 02:49 PM

Many years ago I was in electrical sales, the highest priced supply house, we stayed in business through customer support. As in not lying and heading off problems through communication if problems arose.
Today, wait my phone just got a text…, we deal, wait my phone got a text…, with what seams to be dumb and rude people and the companies refuse to train or retrain poor performing employees.
To your question buy elsewhere or contact them to clear up things.

View hairy's profile


3074 posts in 4307 days

#8 posted 12-14-2017 03:09 PM

I bought a product from the big company that paints their tools mustard yellow. I made the purchased at a local woodworking store. It took 5 months to get delivered.

The local retailer offered a refund, and tried to acquire the product from other retailers. He treated me right. The big company would not respond to me. It was a real good discount on a tool that I was not in desperate need of, so I waited.

They also sell tools that are painted white. This has been several years and they haven’t got 1 cent of my money since.

-- Genghis Khan and his brother Don, couldn't keep on keeping on...

View JRsgarage's profile


367 posts in 1284 days

#9 posted 12-14-2017 03:13 PM

although it appears you could have worded your concerns more appropriately, i agree businesses should not charge accounts until ready to ship. usually the smaller, less organized companies without pos/inventory systems tend to house those practices.

can you imagine if companies like Amazon did it? the interest on the float alone would be substantial

-- “Facts don't care about your feelings.” ..., Ben Shapiro

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