How to Handle a Broken or Wrong Shipment

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How many times have you received a broken or incorrect shipment? It is terribly frustrating and can be expensive. However, the situation can be resolved positively, if you know how to handle it. This article will provide a step-by-step guide to make things better.

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Sometimes its as easy as a phone call If the shipment is broken or wrong, immediately call the company that sold you the good. In most cases, the company will be willing to send a new or correct item quickly. Sounds easy, right? It usually is, but in case you run into trouble, read on.

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If you told that it will take several weeks or otherwise get the run around, first consider if the company’s response is reasonable. Is the item a custom order? Is the item an overstock or discontinued? If those conditions are so, you have to decide if you are willing to wait for the new item or if you just want your money back. Life has a funny way telling you if you made a bad purchase and gives you a “do over.”

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If the company who sold you the product isn’t being reasonable, ask to speak to a supervior/manager/owner. Acknowledge that mistakes happen, but you would like to be made whole in a timely fashion. Be creative, maybe the company hasn’t thought of the solution you have.

Here is an example. If you purchased a major appliance and it was damaged in shipping, have the retailer swap out the appliance from their stock. Or, if the item was discontinued, have them send you the updated model. Finally, if you are willing to wait for a custom item, have the company provide you a temporary unit. The goal is to find a win-win situation that allows you to be satisfied.



Write a Letter If you find the company intractable, contact the manufacturer. Explain the service issues and ask them for help. Usually, a manufacturer who encounters a poor retailer will work to make things right. If you can’t get help over the phone, WRITE A LETTER. You will be amazed at how quickly a well-written letter gets action. Finally, if the item is over $500 (or another threshold, depending upon state), consider taking the company to small claims court. It could be a real pain in the neck, but may be the only way.

While getting a broken or wrong shipment is a daily occurrence, a real headache, it is usually resolved with a phone call. If not, a follow up call or letter should handle the situation. Be patient and try to be understanding. An understanding customer can be a breath of fresh air. One final note, if you are particularly angry about the item, ask yourself if you overly attached it. Maybe a little perspective will help settle things out.


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