I ordered a lighting fixture from Lighting Universe/ATG, and paid $40 for the fixture plus $9.99 shipping, a total of $49.99. When they sent me an email saying that the item would be shipped from the warehouse in about a week, I called right away to cancel the order because I needed the item sooner than that. They sent me a message 2 days later saying that it was too late to cancel because the item had already left the warehouse. In the meantime, I had located the item from another company and paid them for express shipping.
When the item arrived from ATG, I got the return authorization and mailed it back. I paid myself at UPS. I expected a $40 refund -- the cost of the merchandise. Instead I received a $25 refund. When I sent them a message about this, they said that they had deducted a $4 restocking fee, as well as what they claimed was their $11 shipping costs on the original order. I wrote back and said that the brand of fixture I had ordered was on the list of companies with no restocking fee, they said that the list had been recently updated, and at the time I requested the return authorization, the company HAD been charging a restocking fee. A load of bull, but no way I could prove that. So I requested the $11 be refunded, since my order had not qualified for free shipping and I had paid for the shipping myself.
Four emails and 2 phone calls later, they still claim that I am not entitled to that $11. Basically, they are stealing $11 from me. Not only that, but it cost me less than $10 to ship the package back to them via UPS (the same way it arrived). If they as an internet business don't get a better rate from UPS than I do as an individual, someone at the company is pretty stupid. I think what it means is that when someone gets free shipping and ,returns the item and ATG deducts their "shipping costs" from the merchandise refund AND they are charging a restocking fee, ATG is making a nice little profit off those shipping costs. I have never encountered another business that deducts their "free" shipping costs from a return.
What really irritates about the whole thing is that if they weren't so idiotic and disorganized, they would not have given me false information in the first place by telling me that the item would not ship for a week. Since it did ship 2 days after my order, it did arrive in time for the contractor, but by then I had already ordered from somewhere else, so I paid for shipping costs 4 times: once for my ATG order, once for my order from the other company, once to return the ATG item, and the $11 they are refusing to refund me.