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Their Excuse Doesn’t Hold A Candle To Your Cancellation Policy

, , , , | Right | September 3, 2021

I make and sell custom scented candles on my own website. I always try to accommodate my customers to make them happy as well as making sure I turn a reasonable profit to keep the business going. As such, I have certain policies in place.

I have a twelve-hour cancellation window because I work quickly and can’t afford to use materials on orders that might get canceled and then just sit there, unsellable. I have a “No Returns” policy to save customers and myself return shipping costs, but if there’s an issue or something gets damaged in transit, I send a replacement at no charge to the customer.

If a cancellation is requested outside the policy time frame, I always try to find out why so that I can work with the customer, if necessary, since I might then be out the cost of unsellable merchandise. Sometimes an unexpected financial hardship is the reason they want to cancel, which, of course, I am fine with honoring. All my policies are clearly stated on the website as well as on the order confirmation page where they physically have to tick the box to say they agree to the policies before confirming the order.

The customer orders a candle. More than twenty-four hours later, the customer contacts me via my business email.

Customer: “Hi, I’d like to cancel. If I can’t, what’s your return policy?”

Me: “Cancellation requests are limited to within twelve hours of purchase, and I have a ‘No Returns’ policy, as was clearly stated on the website and at the bottom of your order confirmation. But may I ask why you want to cancel?”

Over a week goes by and I don’t hear back from the customer. I’ve already made this particular order, so I haven’t put through the cancellation until I hear back from them, in case we can work something out.

Customer: *Over a week later* “Hi, did my order get canceled?”

Me: “Did you receive my reply? I was waiting to hear back from you before proceeding.”

Customer: “I shouldn’t have to tell you why I want to cancel.”

Me: “I often make candle orders right away and sometimes ship within twenty-four hours, hence the policy. And since you requested the cancellation outside the timeframe, I asked for a reason so that I can work with you. Otherwise, my policy is pointless.”

Customer: “Since it didn’t get canceled, it should have been processed by now. Why hasn’t it been processed?”

Me: “Because you requested a cancellation, and I was waiting to hear back from you and you took over a week to respond. Would you prefer the candle or the cancellation?”

Customer: “Well, since I obviously can’t cancel and can’t return it, then I want the candle.”

Me: “It’ll be in the mail tomorrow. Thanks.”