restocking fees when wanting to exchange one product for another.

We have a remodel contractor that ordered flooring to put in our house. His crew and I think the correct flooring was ordered. However, my wife said the moment she saw it that it was not what she picked out. Wrong color. To exchange it with the color she wants, the contractor wants to charge a 41 restocking fee. We were never notified about a restocking fee. Is this an excessive fee when we want to make an exchange? The total cost of the material was 2137. To exchange it for the same product but in a different color he wants to charge us 890.00

Asked on April 6, 2016 under Business Law, Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

The only real issue is whether this was what you ordered or not--i.e. do you have anything in writing confirming your order in some definite way, such as by part or model or design number or detailed description. If you can show that this was not what you ordered, the contractor can't charge you for it and must supply the ordered materials. But if this was your order--or if, as a practical matter, you can't show that it wasn't your order--he can charge you the restocking or exchange fee; if you rethink or change your mind about your order, or provided or approved the wrong product numbwr or description, he does not have to take it back at alland can make you pay for this and then buy the new priduct. Since he could do that, he could instead charge to rwatock or exchange. Whose fault this was, his error or yours, determines who is financially responsible and your rights.


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