An online store owes me a refund for items returned 2.5 months ago.

I purchased some items through an online store Oliver Grace and then returned them, within the return policy timeframe, and I have yet to receive my refund. This was in March and it is now end of May. At initial contact they said they received the items and were working on the refund. I have followed up many additional times and they do not reply. They only have email and no phone number. They owe me 430. How can I get my money back?

Asked on May 26, 2016 under Business Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Assuming that you are correct and you returned the items properly, within the terms and conditions of their return policy, then in theory you could sue them for the money, for breach of contract (violation of the agreement regarding sales and returns). Unfortunately, suing is the *only* way to get the money back, and you cannot recover you legal fees (i.e. lawyer costs) if you hire an attorney.
In practice, if you only have an email, you're not going to get your money back, not in an economic way:
1) First, you  would have to physically locate them--you need a physical address for service of the court papers, or else you can't sue. If you can't or never locate them, that's the end, right there.
2) If they are not in your county, you'd most likely be unable to sue in small claims court. That means suing in "regular" court, which is more expensive and complicated.
3) If they are not in your state, you'd have to use out-of-state service of process, which adds expense and complexity.
4) And if you do sue and win and they still do not pay, you'd have to go through collections efforts which will cost still more time and money and which are not guaranteed to work.
For $430, it would only be worth suing if they were local to you (your county) and you could easily find their address, so you could sue in small claims court, acting as your own attorney.


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