So a customer entered their own address wrong at check out and we shipped to that address. This order had free shipping on it. The order has been sent back to us "Addressee Unknown" by USPS but now the customer wants their order. It cost $12.67 to ship once and if I sent it again I'm out another $12.67. Anyone see a way around this?
Unfortunately there's no 'way around it', and you just have to make a choice. What is stated in your shipping and/or return policy?
If you have it stated in your shipping and/or return policy that the customer is responsible for entering the correct address at checkout and any additional costs that arise out of incorrect address entry, then you certainly have grounds to let the customer know that they must pay for the shipping cost to re-ship the package to the correct address. You risk losing future business from the customer, of course, but you have to weigh that risk against your potential losses from providing free re-shipping due to customer errors.
Do (or Will) you do enough volume to allow you to absorb the cost of these incidents over time without hurting your bottom line?
Will taking a hard stance hurt trust in your brand/store, and not only lose the future business of this customer but also result in bad reviews/word of mouth about your store?
This is not the last time this situation will arise, but in my experience it has been a fairly infrequent occurrence (on our store it's been about 0.2% of all orders). Although our shipping policy states that customers are responsible for reshipping costs due to incorrect address entered at checkout, we usually take it on a case by case basis. First we let the customer know the address that was entered at checkout on the order, confirm its incorrect, and feel out how the customer responds to determine our approach. Sometimes we re-ship for free, sometimes the customer volunteers to pay to reship without us even asking, and sometimes they just cancel the order.
Tira here. Thanks @BobsMojo for chiming in with your thoughts. I agree and wanted to add some insight to help.
Thanks for taking the time to explain what happened to your shipment to your customer, @Phil17. This sometimes happens as customers could have old or different addresses stored on their device, or an address may have been mistyped due to human error.
If you don’t want to cover the shipping fee for the customer, I recommend editing your order and adding a custom product priced at $12.67 to charge your customer for the shipping fee, so that you’re not out of pocket for the charges. Shipping cannot be added to edited orders and orders can be edited within 60 days. To edit your order, check out our help doc: Editing an order for deciding on editing an order, how to edit an order, reviewing an edited order, and editing order FAQ.
To start editing your order for this amount, check out our steps on adding a product to an edited order. I suggest adding a product for the amount of $12.67. Once you’ve finished editing your order, you will need to collect payment after your total increases. Here’s our help doc with the steps on how you can achieve this: Collect payment because order total increases.
Since the customer entered the wrong address, I think it’s okay to charge the customer to have the package resent. You may receive some push back from a customer for this charge. If you do, it might be best to refund the customer, then have the customer place a new order on your store, but you will still be out of pocket for $12.67. To refund an order, you can follow the steps from our help doc here: Creating returns and refunds. Once the order has been refunded, the customer can check out for the item on your store, or you can create a draft order to send an invoice to your customer for the order. Here’s our help doc with the instructions: Creating a draft order.
To prevent future re-ships to correct addresses, I recommend adding some information to your store to outline what customers can expect when entering their address at checkout, and how to contact you, along with your store’s policies on reships. You may also want to add a FAQ page on your store, here’s our blog post with some tips on how you can build one and why it’s important to have one: The FAQ Page: Why You Need It, How to Build One, and 10 Great Examples.
I would love to know if this helps!