Firstly ordering online with us is safe and secure! our website is checked quarterly by Security Metrics to ensure that the highest security standards are maintained, which significantly reduces the risk that our site will be compromised and credit card or other sensitive data will be stolen or misused.
"We take your online security very seriously"
We employ a method of interaction with our visitors that does not compromise credit card information. This online system is 100% secure. Due to credit card fraud your delivery address must match the registered address of your credit card.
We encourage you to feel comfortable using your credit card to conduct commerce on our site.
Return / Refund Policy
If you receive damaged goods we must be notified within 24 hours of receiving the goods, you MUST open the parcel straight away to check for breakages, as obviously we cannot be responsible for a customer dropping the product and causing damage.
Any returns must be authorized and must carry a company issued returns number. Any unauthorised returns may be refused and where goods have been returned unauthorised any carriage charges incurred by the customer will not be refunded. It is the customers responsibility to pay for charges to return the goods to us, any subsequent carriage refunds will be at the discretion of the company up to a maximum of £10.00. We do not collect goods, it is the customers responsibility to return products to us in the same condition in which they were received.
To UK main land, delivery costs are automatically calculated based on the products ordered. We will always endeavour to deliver stock items to you on a next day delivery service if the order is receieved before 2pm Mon - Thurs.
To check wether we can deliver to a destinaton outside the UK please contact us by telephone or email where we will also be able to give you a transport cost. If you require something urgently please send us an email.Please double check the delivery address you give us, you will be required to give us a delivery address where there is a person available to take delivery between 8.30am and 5.30pm Mon-Fri.
The payment address MUST match the delivery address due to credit card fraud.
Prices and Specifiations
All prices shown include VAT. Goods are charged at price shown on the product pages on the date the customer places the order. Prices are correct at time of publication. We reserve the right to cancel/refund orders where a price has changed.
All pictures on this website are for illustration purposes only and the product supplied in exceptional cases may vary from the pictures shown, but the alternative product will be of the same or higher specification.
If we should receive a complaint about any part of our service by e-mail then it will be dealt with promptly (we will reply within 5 working days). It will also be dealt with confidentially and effectively.
Protecting Yourself from a Common Online Shopping Complaint
So, it's payday and you venture into the vast marketplace that is online shopping and buy something with your ATM card. Later that day you check your online bank statement and notice something peculiar: it looks like your card was charged twice for the same purchase.
What went wrong? Is the website you visited trying to rip you off? Do they think you clicked that "add to cart" button two times instead of one? Are they sending you duplicates of the same item now? You're not sure what happened, but you are certain you don't want your card charged twice for one purchase. What you're experiencing is a common online shopping complaint, but before you grab your pitchfork (or the phone) and begin angrily demanding your money back from the online store, here's the story of what really happened. Learn why it sometimes seems like you're being charged twice for the same item, what effect this has on your bank account, and what you can do to protect yourself.
The key to understanding that mysterious second transaction lays in a term you may have encountered called an "authorization." When you buy something online the website you're visiting electronically contacts your card's bank or financial institution to approve your purchase. The bank verifies your card number, your address, and that there are funds available in your account. Once the authorization goes through the credit card processor issues an approval code back to the merchant.
Nearly all reputable online stores follow this procedure, which is useful for catching mistakes, greatly reduces fraud, and helps keep your card secure. Buying something with a credit card, after all, is kind of like an IOU -- merchants have no way of knowing whether your purchase is legitimate until they contact your bank. An authorization is your bank's way of letting a merchant know he or she will be paid for their goods and services.
But when you use a debit or check card tied to your checking account, the authorization also places a "hold" on the amount of your purchase. The money is still technically yours -- the merchant or store isn't paid right away -- but you won't be able to access or withdraw it. If you check your bank statements online you'll usually see these holds listed as pending transactions.
What happens next? The store or merchant "settles" all of their authorized credit and debit card sales by submitting them to their card processor. The batch of sales is sent to the bank, the bank releases the funds from your account, the merchant gets paid, and the hold disappears and shows up as a posted transaction. This usually happens within a couple business days.
Where does that extra transaction figure in? It's actually coming from your bank, not the merchant. All banks hold funds for your purchase when they issue an authorization number, but some institutions are posting a separate sale when the transaction actually goes through. This means that the original hold is still on your account for the authorization while other money is being used to actually make the payment.
Is the bank somehow giving away or stealing your money? Was your card charged twice? No, just as before, the money that's on hold is still technically in your account, you just can't access it. Don't worry, that initial authorization hold will always drop off your account, usually within a few days, but in the meantime it will feel as though you've paid twice for the same item.
Cathy Ward of BridesVillage.com, a wedding accessories retailer, says that recently these "double authorizations" have been a significant online shopping complaint and a customer service headache for online merchants. "Many people see these extra authorizations and assume the retailer must have charged them twice," she says. "It's actually an issue on the bank's end, but my staff has to try to explain that to an upset customer. It discourages people from shopping online."
If the fact that only some banks have engaged in this practice sounds suspicious, that's because it is. Throwing in a temporary "second" transaction increases the likelihood you'll unwittingly make additional purchases that exceed your available balance and trigger hefty overdraft fees. The banks aren't technically stealing your money; they're just making it easier to penalize you.
Bob Bryant, a merchant services specialist at ProcessForLess.com, says, "The practice [of using a second authorization] turned into a 'cash cow' for banks, and they profited greatly from it."
What can you do to protect yourself? Fortunately, as of now you probably won't need to do anything. Bryant says that starting July 1, 2010, new federal regulations have gone into effect that make it harder for banks to create circumstances where customers will accidentally create an overdraft charge.
Some banks have been notorious for this practice, but many have recently changed their procedures in advance of the new law. "Bank of America has introduced 'soft authorizations' that do not immediately impact your available balance," Bryant says. "Now that BOA has changed to a new procedure, all the other major banks either have or will likely follow suit." That sneaky second authorization should soon be a thing of the past.
But if you do happen to notice a suspicious "extra" purchase the next time you access your bank statement, here's what you can do:
1) Check the authorization numbers of your purchases. The numbers are usually listed under the name of the business on your transaction sheet, sometimes with a series of xxxx's followed by four or five digits. If the numbers are the same, then the bank or financial institution may be "re-using" the authorization number to post the sale.
If the numbers are different, then it is possible you are being charged for two separate purchases. Check your receipt, invoice, or purchase confirmation and contact the merchant if necessary.
2) Do nothing. If you're not in danger of running into an overdraft and have no major purchases planned, the authorization will drop off your account within a few days to a week. You may want to think about finding another bank, but your card wasn't charged two times.
3) Contact your bank. When you call your bank's customer service department, point out that the authorization numbers are identical for the transaction and tell them to drop the authorization that's not being used for the actual sale. In the past banks have been reluctant to do this, so if you encounter any resistance remind the representative of the new legislation and ask why they can't drop the authorization. Threatening to take your business elsewhere, by the way, often works wonders.
4) Use a credit card to shop online. The second authorization and the problems it can create with your available balance occur only when using bank cards that are tied to a checking account. Using a credit card not only avoids this practice, but it adds an extra layer of security by not being directly attached to the money in your bank.
If you continue using a debit card to shop online, pay careful attention to numbers like your ledger balance and your available balance, and keep a record of your pending and posted transactions. Before you place an order, think ahead about any additional purchases you need to make. Give yourself some buffer room in case there is a mistake, glitch, or extra authorization. Keeping your bank records and finances up to date is the best way to spot unusual activity in your account, prevent problems, and give you piece of mind. Good luck and happy shopping!
Published by Brian Cross
Brian Cross has been an active freelance writer and content researcher for small and independent businesses since 2007.
Company Registration Information
Registered Office Address:
Sunshine Solar Ltd
Unit 29 Ashwellthorpe Ind Estate
Norwich, Norfolk NR16 1ER
UK - England & Wales
Registered in England and Wales No. 5105890