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Alibaba.com Online Transactions Dispute Rules

 

Updated on Sep 17 , 2015

General Guidelines

Alibaba.com’s online transaction management services are available to Alibaba.com’s mainland China members as suppliers (“Supplier”) and international members as buyers (‘Buyer”) to complete sale and purchase on and through the online sites of www.alibaba.com and www.aliexpress.com websites (“Transactions”).   The transaction management services are supported by Alipay Services and Alibaba.com Supplemental Services with a view to providing a safe trading environment and to enhancing the protection of the interests and rights of both Suppliers and Buyers. 

When a dispute arises between Buyer and Supplier under a Transaction, you are encouraged to negotiate with each other to settle the dispute.  Upon your request, Alibaba.com will also assist you in reaching a settlement.  However, if Buyer and Supplier fail to reach a settlement within 30 calendar days after either of Buyer and Supplier makes a complaint or requests refund, the dispute will be submitted to Alibaba.com for its decision.  You will be requested to provide the relevant supporting evidence.  You also agree to comply with these Rules in conducting the dispute process. 

You agree that Alibaba.com will have the right to make its decision on the dispute in its sole discretion based on these Rules.

These Rules do not apply to a member’s activities not directly related to any Transaction, such as whether a product listing is in breach of the Product Listing Policy of the www.alibaba.com and www.aliexpress.com websites (“Sites”), whether any comments made by a Buyer are defamatory. Alibaba.com reserves the right to take down any product listing or to suspend or terminate any member’s account in accordance with the applicable membership services agreement.

Capitalised terms not otherwise defined in these Rules shall have the meanings given to them in the Alibaba.com Terms of Use and Alibaba.com Transaction Services Agreement.

1.         Delivery of Products

1.1       Delivery: Delivery will take place at the place of delivery specified in the relevant order. If the order does not specify a place of delivery, Buyer’s place of business indicated by Buyer on the order will be deemed to be the place of delivery. In case of return, Supplier’s place of business indicated on the order will be deemed to be the place of delivery.

1.2       Transfer of risk: unless the relevant order provides otherwise, the products remain at Supplier’s risk until the products are delivered to Buyer. The risk of loss or damage to the products will pass to Buyer upon delivery.

1.3       Time of delivery: Buyer may cancel the Transaction and request refund before Supplier commences the shipment. If Supplier continues to ship the products despite Buyer’s cancellation, Supplier does so at its sole responsibility and risks, and Buyer is not obliged to take delivery. If Supplier has already commenced shipment before Buyer’s refund request despite that Supplier has not yet notified Buyer of the shipment, upon Supplier’s proof to Alibaba.com’s satisfaction, Buyer’s refund request will be void.

1.4       Prohibited and restricted products: Buyers and Suppliers shall not deal with products in breach of the Sites’ Product Listing Policy and the applicable services agreements. If Supplier delivers any prohibited or restricted product not in conformity with the relevant order, Buyer has the right to refuse to take the delivery and Supplier should be responsible for all the costs including the costs for the return of the products. If Alibaba.com discovers that Supplier and Buyer intentionally deal with prohibited or restricted product, Alibaba.com reserves the right to refuse to make the payment to Supplier and report the same to the relevant government enforcement authority.

2.         Inspection and Acceptance

2.1       If any items of specifications of the products are capable of instant inspection, the rules of “Prima Facie Conformity” below apply. With regard to other items of specifications that are not capable of instant inspection, Buyer must complete inspection and notify to Supplier on the Sites whether to accept or reject the delivery within 3 days after the receipt of the delivery (if the day and hour of receipt of the delivery is available, 3 days mean 72 hours after the time of receipt. If the time of receipt of the delivery only indicates the day without hour, three days mean 72 hours from hour 0.00 immediately after the receipt). If Buyer fails to give notice of acceptance or rejection on the Sites within the above 3 days period, Buyer will be deemed as having confirmed the delivery.

2.2       Prima Facie Conformity: 

  • In respect of any items of specifications are capable of instance inspection, upon Buyer’s signature on the receipt slip to indicate receipt of the delivery, Buyer will be deemed as having confirmed that such items are in prima facie conformity. Unless Buyer is able to provide evidence to the contrary, Buyer is not allowed to subsequently raise objection and complaint or request refund on the ground of these items of specifications.
  • If the products are packed, Buyer should open the package on the spot under witness by the shipping company’s representative.  If Buyer considers that the products are not in prima facie conformity, Buyer should immediately request return or should make a note on the receipt slip (both Recipient’s Copy and Carrier’s Copy) and request the shipping company’s representative to countersign.
  • Prima facie conformity means that the products appear to be in good conditions and in conformity with the photo or description provided by Supplier only based on observation by human eye and/or simple measuring tools. 
  • The scope of items that may be capable of instant inspection for prima facie conformity includes but not limited to the shape, size, weight, color, model, the state of new or used product, etc.

2.3       Unless Buyer has specified any authorized representative to take delivery, if any who affixes its signature (whether in hand writing or electronically, as required by the shipping company) to indicate receipt of the delivery, Buyer shall be deemed to have confirmed the delivery.

3.         Quality

3.1       Supplier is responsible to ensure that the products delivered are in conformity with the relevant descriptions. Supplier may be required to provide the certification of procurement from the manufacturer, product quality certification, pro forma invoices and other supporting documents, etc.

3.2       If the defect in the products is not patent and it is not reasonable to determine whether the products are in conformity with the order based on the exterior appearance, Buyer should provide the testing results from an official or recognized product quality testing institute or from the testing centre of the manufacturer. This rule should also apply to used products.

3.3       The delivery will be considered as not in conformity with the descriptions of the order if the defect appears, based on external observation, to affect the normal use or operation of the product, or if any authentic certification evidences that the delivery is in non-conformity with the product descriptions. Non-conformity includes without limitation the following:

  • Buyer receives a shipment that does not match the description of the products ordered;
  • Supplier delivers used products where new products were ordered;
  • Buyer delivers fake, illegal products;
  • there is shortage in the quantity of the products ordered;
  • the products delivered are incomplete, e.g, certain components are missing.

3.4       The rules on non-conformity do not apply under the following circumstances:

  • the defect in the products has been disclosed to Buyer in the order in advance;
  • it is expressly indicated in the order that the products ordered are used products.

3.5       Buyer will be responsible to provide supporting documents to prove that the delivery is not in conformity with the order. If Buyer fails to provide all or part of the supporting documents, Alibaba.com may proceed with its decision based on the available evidence. If Buyer elects to return the products, Buyer should provide evidence of return and be responsible for the relevant costs.

3.6       Supplier will be responsible to provide supporting documents to defend against Buyer’s claim of non-conformity. If Supplier fails to provide all or part of the supporting documents, Alibaba.com may proceed with its decision based on the available evidence. In case the products should be returned, Supplier should promptly provide the correct address for return. If return fails as a result that Supplier has not provided the correct address, Supplier will be deemed to waive its rights in the products for return, and agree to refund of the contract price to Buyer.

4.         Delay or Failure in Delivery

4.1       After Buyer pays the contract price to seller by making payment to Alipay’s or Alibaba.com’s account, it is Supplier’s responsibility to deliver the product to the destination and within the time period agreed in the order form. There might be delay or failure in the delivery of the products to Buyer due to various reasons. Buyer and Seller may further communicate with each other to extend the delivery time, to stop shipment or to process refund. However, in the absence of express agreement between Buyer and Supplier, Alibaba.com will make its decision based on the rules set out below.

  • If Supplier has not commenced shipment by delivering the products to the shipping company, the Transaction will be cancelled.  Supplier will be responsible for the cancellation of the Transaction. 
  • If Supplier has shipped the products but the shipment is lost in shipment, Supplier will be responsible for the loss (unless Buyer and Supplier have agreed otherwise).  Supplier may separately make a claim to the shipping company. 
  • If Supplier has shipped products and the shipment is still in transit (other than due to customs clearance), in the absence of an express agreement, the Transaction will be cancelled and Supplier will be responsible for the cancellation.
  • If Supplier has shipped the products and the shipment is held up in customs clearance, the party claiming that the other party should be responsible for delay in customs clearance should provide sufficient evidence to prove this.  In the absence of such evidence, in case that the shipment is held up in the customs in the country of the destination, Buyer should be responsible for the delay.  In all other cases, Supplier should be responsible for the delay. 
  • If Supplier has proved that the shipping company has delivered the shipment to the agreed destination, but Buyer fails to acknowledge the receipt of the shipment in time, the shipment will be deemed as delivered. 

4.2       Supplier should keep Buyer informed of the status of the delivery. Supplier should also provide Buyer with the records of shipment and the URL for tracking the shipment.

4.3       Buyer should contact Supplier to make sure that the products have been shipped and should also provide other supporting documents as reasonably required by Supplier to fulfill the shipment.

5          Supporting Evidence

5.1       As a general principle, the party making a claim is obliged to provide the supporting documents to prove its claim. Alibaba.com may also request Buyer and Supplier to provide various supporting documents as evidence. Buyer and Supplier agree that Alibaba.com has the sole discretion to accept or reject any supporting document submitted.

5.2       If the terms of the relevant order are not sufficiently clear regarding the dispute, Alibaba.com should have the right to make a decision as it considers appropriate.

5.3       The types of supporting documents listed in this clause are not exhaustive. Alibaba.com has the right to require other supporting documents to substantiate the claim by either Buyer or Supplier.

5.4       You undertake and warrant that the evidence submitted by you is true, complete and accurate. Alibaba.com will only conduct formality review of the evidence submitted is not obliged to carry out any investigation as to the validity or authenticity of the evidence submitted.

6          Return of Products

6.1       Buyer and Supplier may communicate and agree on whether and how Buyer may return the products to Supplier. Products must be returned in the same condition as when it was delivered.

6.2       If Buyer insists on returning the products prior to any agreement, Buyer will be responsible for the shipment costs of return.

6.3       If Buyer returns a shipment, Buyer should also use of the Alibaba.com approved shipping company for the return. Buyer must promptly provide all the relevant shipping details including the shipment tracking number and copy shipment slip to Alibaba.com through the Sites. If Buyer fails to provide the relevant details to allow Supplier and Alibaba.com to track the shipment, the return will be considered as invalid and Supplier will be entitled to the contract price.

7          Release of Payments

7.1       Upon submission of a dispute to Alibaba.com, Buyer and Supplier irrevocably agree that Alibaba.com shall have the right to determine and instruct Alipay (if Alipay Services are being used) to, or Alibaba.com (if Alibaba.com Supplemental Services are being used) will remit all or part of the contract price of the Transaction in dispute to either or both of the parties to the Transaction according to these Rules. If any matters are not dealt with in these Rules, Buyer and Supplier agree that Alibaba.com shall have the sole discretion to determine and instruct Alipay to remit or Alibaba.com can remit (as the case may be) all or part of the contract price of the Transaction in dispute shall be released to either or both of parties.

7.2       If Alibaba.com decides that Buyer should return the products and Buyer fails to return the products within the time period prescribed by Alibaba.com or if Buyer and Supplier have reached an agreement on return and Buyer fails to return the products within 10 calendar days upon such agreement, Alibaba.com shall have the right to instruct Alipay to release or Alibaba.com can release (as the case may be) the contract price to Supplier.

8          Time Limits

8.1       Alibaba.com will notify Buyer and Supplier of the dispute within 2 business days from the receipt of notice of the dispute (Buyer and Supplier are however not restricted from contacting Alibaba.com to provide the supporting documents during this notice period).

8.2       Each of Buyer and Supplier must submit the supporting documents to support and/or defend the claim within 7 calendar days of Alibaba.com’s notice of dispute. If either Buyer or Supplier fails to provide all or part of the supporting documents within the above time period, Alibaba.com may proceed to make its decision based on the available documents.

8.3       Unless there is any special circumstance, Alibaba.com should make its decision within 45 calendar days from its receipt of notice of dispute.

9          Others

9.1       Where the contract price is paid by credit card, if the dispute also involves a complaint to the credit card institute, Alibaba.com will have the right to rely on the decision and opinion of the relevant credit card institute.

9.2       Alibaba.com is not obliged to obtain any legal opinion in order to make any decision.

9.3       The rules under this clause also apply to returned products.

 

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