Seller Providing Overseas Return Address to Inflate Postage Costs

Hi OzB,

A month ago, I purchased a electronic drum kit from Donner Music. The module ended up being defective: faulty intermittent USB output, settings refused to save (would revert back after a power cycle), and half the notes wouldn't trigger when doing fast rolls.

They have a 30-day return policy. I was about 20 days in when I emailed them, and got ignored through all my attempts to contact them (I know because a good friend of mine enquired about a product and instantly got a reply). I ended up filing a PayPal case, and was confident that I'd be able to get my money back.

They tried contacting me (finally) to close the case so they can process it (after nearly 2 weeks of being ghosted, and the day before PayPal judgement day lol).

A few more days pass, and PayPal gets back to me:
'….. has agreed to issue a full refund of $488.70 AUD once you return the item(s) associated with this transaction.'

Here's the catch: They provided a return address in China. Shipping quotes for a 25kg drum kit to China start at $400 minimum, and I bought the kit in full confidence that I would be able to return it in their warehouse in Australia if anything went wrong. Their website clearly says that the return address is to whichever warehouse the product is located in. They even shipped the thing from a warehouse in Victoria.

I've been trying to think of the next steps to take (already contacted PayPal, but I doubt they'd care).
Can anyone point me in the right direction? Its a pretty hefty sum of money which I saved up over many months, and it pisses me off how they can get away with this shady business practice.

Many thanks for your time reading this.

tldr: Purchased a faulty drum kit from Donner Music, tried to return it by emailing them and got ignored. Filed a PayPal case and their return address is in China, even though their website and warehouse is in Australia. Shipping costs back to China are $400 and is not an option at this point.

EDIT 1: Many thanks for your input. Company is very shady and falls into many 'grey' areas of ACCC legislation. (Company not Australian, even though they have an .au domain and shipping is from a 'local' warehouse in Vic). PayPal is unlikely to come up with a solution, so I have done some reading on chargebacks for my card issuer:

https://www.mastercard.com.au/content/dam/mccom/global/docum... (p. 234)

Going to leave this here in the hope that this thread can help any others caught up by shady business practices.

I've decided to email them back and try to get a RMA quote for shipping back to their AUSTRALIAN warehouse. I don't mind paying ~$80 for domestic shipping at this point (even though they should be responsible, but I am prepared to cut my losses and let this be a learning experience).

If they do not respond within 3 days of emailing them, I will file a chargeback.
If I clearly shipped it with tracking number back to the address they specify on the RMA and they do not refund me, I will file a chargeback.

Related Stores

Donner Music
Donner Music

Comments

  •  

    Aren’t they a Hong Kong company?

    •  

      Touchy topic but have no clue - return address was a location in China, their warehouse is in Australia, their company address is in Hong Kong.

      •  

        Their contact us page gives a Hong Kong address:
        https://donnermusic.com.au/pages/contact-us

      • +2 votes

        When I looked at the Dropship Program page where they promote partnering with them to be a dropshipper (doesn’t that just fill you with confidence?!?), it mentions an address in Guangzhou.

        The plot thickens…

      • +1 vote

        Touchy topic but have no clue

        It is all over their website, all addresses are overseas.

        Have you read over this?

        https://donnermusic.com.au/policies/refund-policy

        •  

          I've read their page so many times I can basically recite the damn thing lol. Nearly every clause there is unlawful under the Australian Consumer Law, and records show they are a registered business 'Donnar PTY LTD'.

          Strange how many different names and addresses they have -
          Donner, Donnar, Rantion Trading Limited,

          China, Hong Kong, Australia, Guangzhou

          Something is really shady with this business and I doubt they'd stick to their policy if they've been ghosting my emails for 2 weeks (until they had to reply because of Paypal).

          •  

            @kd4314:

            Something is really shady with this business

            Well I only seen the website for the first time last night and after 2 mins on the website, it has alarm bells for 'warranty' claims all over.

  • +1 vote

    Shipping

    1.Products with quality-related issues .

    Donnermusic.com.au will be responsible for shipping fees (within 12USD),and get RMA APPLICATION FORM from our Service Staff when you want to return the products of you order. Then fill the form and print it.

    https://donnermusic.com.au/pages/shipping-f-q

    They should provide you with returns authorisation and return shipping for defective items. Badger them for it.

    Their website is pretty clear it's drop shipped from Hong Kong and returns go there.

    • +1 vote

      OP’s comment about the Australian warehouse seems to reflect the page you linked, which says there is an Australian warehouse…

  • +3 votes

    What a scummy act. Sorry I can't help you. Glad I didn't support then when tempted by their recent $10 delay pedals. Maybe we should ban them on ozbargain if this remains unresolved.

    •  

      Maybe we should ban them on ozbargain if this remains unresolved.

      Then there would be no stores on here if we banned a store every time someone has an 'issue' with them.

      Scummy act or not, seems like the stores return policy etc are all pretty clear to me on the website. They don't hide they are overseas and list many overseas addresses on the site, including the returns page.

      So purely a buyer beware issue.

      •  

        Seems like the stores return policy etc are all pretty clear to me on the website

        I don't know about that one buddy, it seems like you came into this thread with some sort of bias? Literally nothing on that website is "Pretty clear", everything is inconsistent across their shipping, refund and warranty pages. One of them says they're responsible for shipping fees within 12usd, while the other says they are responsible for any shipping fees incurred?

        Their returns policy is b.s, they have ghosted me for 2 weeks to get past their '30-day guarantee' even though there was something wrong with my item.

        They don't hide they are overseas and list many overseas addresses on the site

        It doesn't matter if they 'hide' it or not, I purchased an item from an Australian registered business and received it from a warehouse in Victoria. Their PayPal address is misleading, and to make it worse, its also a different address from their company address listed on the site.

        Purely a buyer beware issue

        Purely the buyer's responsibility to read 3 different pages of terms and services, and expect to return an item to a warehouse in China despite purchasing the item from an Australian business? That's like ordering a Xiaomi TV from their website, receiving it dead on arrival, and being expected to ship it back to their Chinese warehouse at your cost after being ghosted for 2 weeks.

        •  

          I don't know about that one buddy, it seems like you came into this thread with some sort of bias?

          Not at all, I just said all that information is there for you to review. They don't hide it. I headed to https://donnermusic.com.au/, scrolled down to the bottom, and hello, found all these pages

          Shipping F&Q
          Refund Policy
          Warranty Policy
          About Us
          Contact Us

          Reading any one of these pages has warning bells all over it and for any costly purchase like yours, I would have ran away.

          Literally nothing on that website is "Pretty clear", everything is inconsistent across their shipping, refund and warranty pages

          So this wasn't a warning bell for you that nothing was 'pretty clear' and all the addresses are overseas?

          I purchased an item from an Australian registered business and received it from a warehouse in Victoria.

          Did you get a GST invoice with a Australian ABN? If not, you didn't buy from a Australian business, but one that is masking as one. Which means the ACCC laws don't apply.

          Purely the buyer's responsibility to read 3 different pages of terms and services,

          Yes it is the buyer's responsibility to read terms and services BEFORE engaging in a sale with a company.

          No different that shopping at kmart, they list all the details for a return on the website. Never assume, for example some stores accept a change of mind return, others don't. Both are inline with the ACCC guidelines.

          My point was the site had warning bells from the start. Yes its crap they ghosted you, but it to me has no signs of being an Australian business, other than a .com.au domain so trying to force ACCC laws it pushing up hill.

          Do a chargeback if you can or post a empty registered parcel back to them to keep paypal happy.

  • +1 vote

    Kuaidi :)
    Aka local Asian supermarket will put it on a pallet for you.
    Example of a company: https://www.yto.net.cn/English/en/index.html

  •  

    Can you use PayPal’s return shipping reimbursement, or it is capped?

    •  

      Capped at $45.

      I think the business may be breaching ACCC guidelines:

      https://www.accc.gov.au/consumers/consumer-rights-guarantees....

      •  

        Yeah, but if they are HK based tough to get anywhere.
        No sign of an ABN, though presumably they must have one to register the domain name.

        • +2 votes

          Tech Contact ID: C-010394941-SN
          Tech Contact Name: {redacted}
          Name Server: BEAU.NS.CLOUDFLARE.COM
          Name Server: PALOMA.NS.CLOUDFLARE.COM

          Registrant: The trustee for Donnar Trust
          Registrant ID: ABN 34118637745
          Eligibility Type: Other

          https://www.abr.business.gov.au/ABN/View?abn=34118637745

          Not currently registered for GST

          ASIC advises of an intention to deregister this company in two months from today's date. 13/10/2020

          hmm. Chances of getting this company to comply with ACCC seems problematic.

          • +2 votes

            @scrimshaw: Wow, basically crooks.
            I bought a couple of guitar pedals I haven’t plugged in yet.

          •  

            @scrimshaw: Guess I'll be filing a chargeback with my card issuer. Thanks for your input.

    • +2 votes

      It is capped at $45 per return, plus OP is required to have activated Refunded Returns before purchasing the drum kit.

      • +1 vote

        Not true. I was able to activate refunded returns after buying something and use it on that purchase

        •  

          That's good to know. I was told otherwise by a PayPal rep once.

          •  

            @WookieMonster: Pretty sure you only need to activate it once for your account and then it stays "on". So once you've done it, you should be able to claim return shipping for any items after that. That was my understanding anyway…

    • +3 votes

      If you can get a PayPal agent on side they might take your side if you can show shipping quotes make return uneconomical and the item is faulty.

      • +1 vote

        Given the ASIC note in Scrimshaws comment I would escalate with PayPal and consider a credit card chargeback, if you paid that way.

        These guys look likely to disappear with many unhappy customers. Reminds me of the mobile handset people who kept topping the fair trading complaints list a few years ago.

        •  

          First real negative experience with shady business practices and I can say it definitely leaves a bad taste in your mouth. Going to file a chargeback tomorrow and see how it goes.

  •  

    I wouldnt put muck faith in a chargeback tbh as bank will see company has provided you a return address. I once had a chargeback rejected even though any idiot could see i was being swindled.

  •  

    If I clearly shipped it with tracking number back to the address they specify on the RMA and they do not refund me, I will file a chargeback.

    Continue the Paypal dispute if above.

  •  

    Drop shipped item.

  •  

    Surely you didn't pay by PayPal and are going to get screwed as a purchaser ?
    Its like 99.99% protected in that status .

    •  

      I would've thought so as well, but the assumption is always the buyer can ship back whatever to the seller (even if it's not necessarily what they received) but in this case, the seller's address is so remote that it's a very expensive undertaking.

      I'm really curious how this progresses as it does expose a flaw in the PayPal protection which I've always taken great comfort in as a buyer.