The Chain of Responsibility The Dilemma
A customer bought an expensive vase as a wedding gift at a local store and asked that it be shipped to a bride in another state. Several months after the wedding, the buyer became concerned when she had not received a thank-you note from the happy couple. Arguing that the merchandise had not be delivered, the customer requested a refund from the retailer.
However, the store manager uncovered the following facts:
(1) All shipments from the store were handled by a well-known national delivery firm.
(2) The delivery firm verified that the package had been delivered to the designated
address two days after sale.
(3) Normally the delivery firm does not obtain recipient signatures, deliveries are made to
the address of record, regardless of the name on the package.
The gift giver new argued that even though the package had been delivered to the right address, it had not been delivered to the named recipient. It turns out that unbeknownst to the gift giver, the bride and groom had moved. It stood to reason, then, that the gift was in the hands of the occupant at the couple’s former home. The manager informed the gift giver that the store had fulfilled its obligation. The cause of the problem she explained, was the incorrect address given by the customer. She refused to refund the customer’s moneyand suggested that the customer might want to recover the gift by contracting stranger who received it at the couple’s old address.
What are the responsibilities of each party—the customer, the store, and the delivery firm—in this situation.
If you were appointed to settle this customer dispute, what actions would you take and why.