TheFoodMarket.com

Merchant Policies


If anything isn’t clear or you have any questions, please get in touch at any time by sending us an email to support@thefoodmarket.com.

Dispatching Orders

Orders must be marked as dispatched on the date the order is sent. Marking an order as dispatched triggers an email to the customer with their estimated delivery window. Both our team and customers rely on this information should any issues with delivery occur.

When customers place an order, they are provided with an estimated delivery window based on your delivery settings. If orders are marked as dispatched before they leave you, this can cause confusion and complaints from customers as it affects their delivery window and can in some cases, result in a missed delivery. Therefore, orders must only be marked as dispatched once they have been packed and booked for collection that day so that the information provided to the customers is accurate. Tracking information (if available) must be entered into the tracking field when dispatching an order.

Talk to us if you’re having issues, we’d love to explore ways to make improvements.


Late Dispatch

Orders must be dispatched to arrive within the estimated delivery window the customer received based on your delivery settings. We must be contacted immediately if there is going to be a delay in dispatching an order so that we can discuss this with you and update the customer accordingly. Please also notify us if there are any long-term delays so we can update your delivery settings.

Dispatching orders late causes a lot of disappointment and complaints from customers. Orders are often time sensitive and the customers rely on the estimations shown on our website. Late dispatch of orders often results in complaints from customers wishing to be compensated for the delays.


Cancellations

Before orders are cancelled, all other options should be explored first. Cancellations should be the absolute last resort and avoided where possible to minimise customer disappointment and complaints. Unreasonable volumes of cancellations could result in us temporarily suspending your listings.

The cancellation of an order is disappointing for customers and leads to complaints and negative reviews. Before you cancel an order all other options must be explored first. For example:

- If the cancellation is due to a postal address location, we can ask customers if they would be prepared to pay an additional shipping fee to cover the cost.

- If the cancellation is due to delayed stock, we can offer the customer the option to wait for the stock to arrive or select an alternative product from your range.

We do understand that from time to time cancellations are unavoidable so in these circumstances we must be notified within 1 working day of the order being placed. An email needs to be sent to us with the reason for the cancellation so that we can accurately update the customer. This allows customers to find an alternative item.


Alterations to Orders

If you need to make changes to an order, you must contact us instantly with a description of the change so that we can contact the customer to ensure they are happy to proceed with the order. You must contact us within 1 business day of the order being placed to avoid any delays to the order being dispatched. Please note that if the items sent to the customer are different from advertised, the customer will be entitled to a full merchant-funded refund.


Accuracy of Product Listings and Images

Consumers are protected by the Consumer Rights Act 2015 that states that goods should be as described. It is up to you as the merchant to ensure that all product descriptions and imagery are up to date. If your product is subject to regular changes this must be clearly stated in the description (for example; state if you rotate the flavours included in a chocolate box so customers are aware they could receive a different version). Please double-check all information on your listing is correct. Under our new Terms and Conditions - and in line with the Consumer Rights Act 2015 - if the information in your listing is incorrect and it causes a customer complaint as a result, they will be entitled to return the item for a full merchant-funded refund.


Damaged or Spoiled Goods

If goods are delivered damaged or spoiled, we will request that the customer provide a description of the issue as well as clear photos of the damaged items within 24 hours of delivery. On receipt of this information, we will offer the customer a (stock-dependent) replacement.

Please note, under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, the customer has the right to reject the offer of a replacement and be refunded in full for the item (including postage).

Note: Some customers may not have or be able to operate a camera phone so discretion will need to be applied if photos cannot be supplied.


Response Times

Customer support queries must be responded to as swiftly as possible. The recommended time frame is within 1 business day. We need to offer a first class level of service to our customers and this means responding to and resolving their queries as quickly as possible. If we do not receive a response within 3 business days, we may have to refund the order if the query states that the order has not arrived or is damaged.


Delivery Methods

Delivery methods and courier information must be updated with tracking information provided (where possible) to the customer in their dispatch email. We strongly recommend having tracking information for all orders during the busy Q4 shopping period.

Delivery settings, including handling time, must be kept up to date so that customers are provided with accurate information. If delivery is later than agreed and the customer required the parcel by a specific date, then the customer is entitled to cancel the order and receive a full refund. Having up to date delivery information will also reduce contact from our customer service team to yours.


Successful Delivery of Items

Merchants are fully responsible for the goods until they have arrived safely with the customer.

If the goods arrive damaged, this is the responsibility of the merchant to investigate with the courier. In the meantime, the customer must be offered a replacement or a refund if appropriate. If your chosen carrier is unable to deliver the goods and does not offer an alternative delivery option e.g. leaving a ‘sorry we missed you’ card, the merchant is responsible for investigating this with the courier.

In the meantime, the customer must be offered a replacement or a refund if the goods are perishable or time sensitive. We strongly recommend having tracking information for deliveries during the Q4 period to minimise contact from both our support team and customers.

Please note: If the customer misses the maximum amount of delivery attempts and the correct procedure has been followed by the carrier, the customer is not entitled to a replacement or refund.


Suspension of Listings

Although we reserve the right to temporarily suspend your listings if there is a breach of our policies, please be assured that this will always be a last resort. We really want to work together to resolve all issues but we must be notified promptly when issues arise so we can find the best solution.


Customer Policies

We have also updated our customer policies to protect our merchant community from the unforeseen circumstances that may arise in Q4. To view our customer policies including refunds, cancellations, and changes to orders click here.

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