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[ The PC Guide | The PC Buyer's Guide | Purchasing PCs and Components | Vendor and Order Problems and Solutions | Common Vendor and Order Problems ]

Ridiculously Slow Refunds

Getting some companies to agree to issue a refund for a returned item can be difficult enough. To compound the matter, some also take far too long to actually return your money to you. Reasonable delays are understandable, but at some point delays in refunding your money become unacceptable.

Most larger companies will take up to a week to issue a refund, mostly due to the inefficiencies of their own accounting departments. This delay is understandable to a point. But the simple fact is that a refund on a credit card purchase should only take one day to process. Despite the excuses you will invariably hear companies make, the simple fact of the matter is that it is no more time-consuming to process a credit card transaction with a negative number on it than one with a positive number.

Note: If you are getting a refund of a purchase make with other than a credit card, expect potential delays to increase. This is particularly the case if you pay a large amount of cash for something (which you should never do anyway). Most companies don't keep a lot of cash around and they will make you wait for a check to be sent from their head office. Yet another reason to buy with a credit card.

The real trouble comes in with companies that say it will take 30 or even 60 days to issue a refund. If a company tries to pull this sort of stunt, they are just taking advantage of your funds without even the pretense of subtlety: no accounting department is that incompetent. You will at this point have to take action; see here for more. (If a company has to issue a refund due to something they made a "mistake" about, or other incompetence on their part, and they try to make you wait two months to get your money back, suspect that it was no mistake at all.)

As far as I am concerned, this is all about simple fairness. A company should not expect you to wait for a refund significantly longer than they'd be willing to wait for payment for the same item. No company on the planet would wait 30 days to charge your credit card for an item they shipped to you, so no company should make you wait 30 days for a refund. Simple as that.

Next: Lost or Late Shipments

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