Question: I’m trying to get my money back for cheese that I ordered from Murray’s Cheese for a guaranteed delivery before the holidays. The cheese was delivered a day late.
When the package arrived, the cheese was at room temperature. My FedEx driver is a great lady, we discussed the cheese and she felt best that we open the box. The air cooler and enclosed ice pack was totally defrosted — nothing cold about it at all. This was a soft cheese, so it has probably been in the food danger zone for considerably more than four hours, where it is then suggested it be thrown out.
Murrays is blaming a “flood” at Newark airport. They said the plane did not fly on time and they are not responsible. I suppose this is “an act of God” and the company is telling me I will get 10 percent off the $38 I spent on a future order.
But considering the cheese got to my home in an unacceptable condition, and is highly likely inedible, I think I’m entitled to a full refund. What do you think? — Cheryl Emerson, Milford, NH
Answer: You should get the cheese you paid for — and if you didn’t, you should get your money back or a full credit.
FedEx might have refunded its delivery fee to Murray’s under its guarantee, but as far as I can tell, that wouldn’t protect you. A failed delivery could have been covered under the Murray’s own insurance policy. (After reviewing your correspondence with Murray’s, I think it would probably be on the hook for the cheese it sent to you.)
There’s no service guarantee to invoke as a Murray’s customer. Here are the terms of your purchase. It excludes “acts of God” from liability and it doesn’t make any specific guarantees regarding the delivery of its products.
But just because it didn’t make any explicit guarantees doesn’t mean there are no implicit ones. Simply put, a business sending a highly perishable product to customers needs to ensure that the items reach its customers intact. If the cheese is room temperature and likely spoiled, then you have a problem — a problem that the company needs to take responsibility for.
I notice that you put your grievance in writing. That’s excellent. The back-and-forth between you and the company is easily forwarded to a supervisor. Or to me. That shouldn’t be necessary, of course.
I asked Murray’s to review your case one more time. It offered you a full credit for the botched delivery.
(Photo: Bara Tund/Flickr)