Nine West wasn’t sure how much tax to charge Jane for her online order so they have gave her a price that was $5.48 less than what they actually charged. When Jane wrote in to complain and to ask for her money back, Nine West explained that it was impossible to instantly calculate how much tax to charge because they use two highly-sophisticated tax gizmos that simply can’t interface with their online store. Jane wants to know if Nine West’s charges are ethical and whether it’s worth complaining over six bucks.
Jane sent us her correspondence with Nine West:
To Whom It May Concern:
On order number E5449228 I was overcharged $5.48. My order confirmation states that the total with tax and free shipping is $214.46.
I was charged:
$55.11 on 2/10/09
$66.13 on 2/10/09
$99.30 on 2/6/09
That comes to $220.54, which is $5.48 more than stated in the confirmation email. Could you please help refund this to my card ASAP?
I’d like to say, too, that it seriously concerns me that you charged more than the amount I’d authorized. This is the type of thing that’d make me think twice before ordering from you again.
Thank you for your help on this matter.
Nine West responded:
Thank you for your e-mail. I have checked on your order and I see that your order total is as follows:
Total Product $ 199.96
Sales Tax 20.49
UPS GROUND .00
Total for order is: 220.45
When placing your online order, on your checkout page you will see that we indicate the sales tax amount as being an approximate rate. Once your order is submitted, we pass it through two separate tax verification systems to ensure that you are charged the correct tax amount for your county. I’m very sorry if we have caused you any concern and please let me know if I can be of further assistance.
Thank you for the clarification. I understand where you’re coming from, but this seems like a poor business practice for a well-established company like Nine West. Shopping online should be as easy and surprise-free as shopping in your bricks and mortar locations. I’ve never had another company give a total at checkout that turned out to be inaccurate. At no point before it showed up on my credit card statement was I told that there would be an additional charge. The confirmation email did not indicate that the total was not final or could possibly change.
If Nine West is able to offer their collection for sale on the internet, they should be able to accurately calculate taxes. Consumers should never be surprised with extra charges. Stores that can only provide approximate charges are obligated to receive permission before charging any more than the authorized amount.
Don’t waste your time convincing Nine West that they’re wrong. Send your confirmation receipt to your credit card company and let Nine West eat the chargeback.