I ordered a Kohler sink from the Fixture Universe web site, operated by the Allied Trade Group. Unfortunately I did not research the company prior to ordering as I see I am not the first to experience shoddy customer service with returns.
The day after I was expecting the sink to be shipped I received an email clearly stating the item was back-ordered and would not be available for a month. A few days behind I could handle but not a month. I checked the company's return policy on their website which clearly states "Unshipped items can be cancelled provided that the item was not custom made or built to order." Since this was a stock item and I was under the assumption the item was not even in their warehouse, I cancelled the order and found another sink through a competitor who could guarantee prompt delivery.
Unfortunately the sink I had ordered from Lighting Universe had shipped and was en route, contrary to the email they sent. After it arrived the company notified me that it was too late to cancel the order but that I could return the item under their return policy. This meant paying the shipping cost out of pocket and paying a restocking fee.
I argued that since the company had sent out an erroneous email and that their tracking system was at fault, ATG was liable for the return shipping and should drop the restocking fee. They never budged or even made any attempt at an apology. I filed a complaint with the BBB that fared no better. ATG never accepted responsibility for the email that started the cancellation process. They even had the gall to suggest that the company had "exceeded customer expectations" by delivering the item on the original due date - as if they had busted butt to get it there on time AFTER telling me it was going to be a month late.
I can understand the restocking fee for purchases where the customer changes their mind on a whim, but in my case where the company was at fault I would expect them to be flexible. I will never purchase any lighting or plumbing fixtures from Lighting Universe, Plumbing Universe, aka Allied Trade Group, on any of my future remodeling projects.
Bainbridge Island, Washington