Charging Cards

 We have had a couple of people ask why their card is not charged as soon as they place the order, so we thought we would explain here.

Most of us are used to big businesses like Amazon charging your card when you order, but that is not always the right thing to do. 

We made a decision when we first went online to only charge a card when the parcel is ready to send, there were a few reasons why, most of which are still valid.

As some of our items are Pre-order (we order from supplier when you order the item) it could be a few weeks before we can send your parcel. We don't think it is fair that we have your money for all that time.

We only have a Royal Mail pickup 2 or 3 days a week (see DKY Delivery Times Explained) so we don't always send your parcel on the day you order. Again, why should we have your money early.

 If two customers are shopping on our website at the same time, and they both order the last of the same item, the second person to checkout would not get the item. If we charged your card at checkout we would be doing more refunds. Not a good experience for anyone.

Sometimes a customer does not see notes about the number of items left and amends the shopping basket to more than we have. Our Out of Hours service usually picks this up if it is outside of Office Hours and contacts the customer. If the card had already been charged it would make things awkward for them to resolve.

We think one of  the most important reasons is that it gives customers the option of changing their order without messing about with top up transactions or part refunds. So if when a customer gets their email receipt (straight after ordering) and they see something is wrong, a quick email (even out of hours) can get the order amended, including the price we finally charge.

There is also the VAT discount amendment for customers outside the UK VAT area. At the moment we are not sending parcels outside the Royal Mail UK delivery area, but the Channel Islands (Jersey etc.) are in that UK area. However they do not pay UK VAT (they pay a different tax locally) so we do remove that from their transaction. This is something that would be more difficult if the card had already been charged.

If we do start sending outside the UK again, S+P is charged at the cost Royal Mail charges us plus a small fee to cover packaging. We send a quote to the customer (removing the UK VAT) and, when they agree to the price, we charge their card. How messy would that get if we had already charged their card with the UK price? We would also be doing some refunds for the occasional customer who did not check the S+P page online and the added price came as a shock 😲

Obviously there is a downside, if a customer does not put the correct details in the shopping basket we will only find out when we try to charge the card. This can lead to a short delay while we contact the customer. If you know you want the item quickly then choose "phone me" in the drop down option list in the shopping basket. That way we will give you a ring as soon as we know there is a problem, usually getting it sorted there and then. The number we would be calling from is shown on the Contact Us Page online so please do make sure we can get through any filters you may have set up 😊

We do hope you understand our position on this, please let us know if you would like any more information.

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