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CONSUMER/CUSTOMERS PROTECTION POLICY

I. (RETURN, DAMAGE, LOSS, REFUND)

CONSUMERS/CUSTOMERS PROTECTION-General Notice:

We at Appleton Group LLC, its products, services, subsidiaries and affiliates ("we", "us") recognize the importance of Consumer/Customers Protection including Return, Damage, Loss and Refund. 

In recognition of international consumer protection laws, policies, guidelines, regulations and protocols; we seek to earn your trust and confidence as an inherent part of our Digital Transformation, Flexible Consumption, Everything as a Service (XaaS), Internet of Things (IoT) and Global Online On-Demand Business Strategy and Model. We value our lifetime relationship with you (our valued customer) more than the value of a single sales or return and commit to maintaining the highest level of integrity the sector has to offer.

In this regard, we fully subscribe and remained committed to the Principles of Consumer Protection described in the 2016 OECD Recommendations for Consumer Protection in E-Commerce (CLICK HERE FOR A COPY) as part of our effective Consumer/Customer Protection Plan including protection of your Pre-Purchase; Purchase; and Post-Purchase transactional engagements on our platforms. This includes within the policies of exiting third party vendors and suppliers’ who trade as subscribers on our platforms.

In addition to the OECD’s Recommendations, within acceptable duties and responsibilities, we do our outmost to protect consumer/customers rights and ensure that we prevent common errors that would cause our valued customer any inconvenience, embarrassment, waste of time, and additional cost in your business transactional process with us including returns. This means, we pay detailed attention to:

Preventing returns due to the product purchased being substantially different in appearance and features than what was advertised on our platforms or website.

Adding as much detail and specifics as we can to each product descriptions, giving you as much details but as specific an information as possible to enable you make the right order.

Making sure to take and upload only high-quality, real-life photos of each products on our platforms or website.

Paying attention to unique and exclusive labelling of each item you dispatch (during pick-up from you) to us for service, ensuring that we delivery back to you the same and very product that was dispatched (picked-up) with the highest service quality and efficiency assured.

Please contact us at support@hobyclean.com.

We at Appleton Group LLC, its products, services, subsidiaries and affiliates recognize the importance of Consumer/Customers Protection including Return, Damage, Loss and Refund. 

In recognition of international consumer protection laws, policies, guidelines, regulations and protocols; we seek to earn BUYER’s trust and confidence as an inherent part of our Digital Transformation, Flexible Consumption, Everything as a Service (XaaS), Internet of Things (IoT) and Global Online On-Demand Business Strategy and Model. We value our lifetime relationship with BUYERS (our valued customer) more than the value of a single sales or return and commit to maintaining the highest level of integrity the sector has to offer.

In this regard, we fully subscribe and remained committed to the Principles of Consumer Protection described in the 2016 OECD Recommendations for Consumer Protection in E-Commerce (CLICK HERE FOR A COPY) as part of our effective Consumer/Customer Protection Plan including protection of BUYER’s Pre-Purchase; Purchase; and Post-Purchase transactional engagements on our platforms. This includes within the policies of VENDOR, SUPPLIER OR INNOVATOR who trade on our platforms.

In addition to the OECD’s Recommendations, within acceptable duties and responsibilities, we do our outmost to protect BUYER’s rights and ensure that we prevent common errors that would cause our valued customer any inconvenience, embarrassment, waste of time, and additional cost in their business transactional process with us including returns. This means, you agree and shall pay detailed attention to:

Preventing returns due to the product purchased being substantially different in appearance and features than what was advertised on our platforms or website.

Adding as much detail and specifics as we can to each product descriptions, giving BUYERs as much details but as specific an information as possible to enable BUYERs make the right order.

Making sure to take and upload only high-quality, real-life photos of each products on our platforms or website.

Paying attention to unique and exclusive labelling of each item BUYERs dispatch (during pick-up) to you for service, ensuring that you deliver back to BUYER the same and very product that was dispatched (picked-up) with the highest service quality and efficiency assured.

GLOBAL STANDARDS AND POLICIES SET BY THE INTERNATIONAL FABRICARE INDUSTRY (Regulated by the Drycleaning and Laundry Institute (DLI) International (https://www.dlionline.org)

(formerly, the International Fabricare Institute)

Return, Damage, Loss, Refund Policy

Our VENDOR, SUPPLIER OR INNOVATOR agree to follow the standards and policies set by the International Fabricare Industry and Regulated by the Drycleaning and Laundry Institute (DLI) International https://www.dlionline.org formally, formerly, The International Fabricare Institute. These policies are standard to all dry cleaners globally including classical retail dry cleaning stores.

Dry Clean and Laundry Policy: Our VENDOR, SUPPLIER OR INNOVATOR agree to exercise utmost care in cleaning and processing garments entrusted to them by BUYERs and to use such processes which, per industry standards, are best suited to the nature and conditions of each individual garment. Excluding situations of inherent weaknesses or defects in materials which may result in tears or development of small holes in fabric that are not readily apparent prior to processing, including color loss, color bleeding, and shrinkage; or against damage to weak and tender fabrics, trimmings, buckles, beads, buttons, bells and sequins; and that in cases of damaged items, their liability shall not exceed ten (10) times their charge for cleaning that garment regardless of brand or condition.

Household Items and Leather/Suede Policy: Our VENDOR, SUPPLIER OR INNOVATOR agree that though all household items, leather and suede garments are cleaned 100% at BUYER’s own risk, they commit to protecting the BUYER’s interest at all times and circumstances.

Damage and Refund Policy: Our VENDOR, SUPPLIER OR INNOVATOR agree that though theydo not accept responsibilities or liabilities for any damage or fading as a result of the laundry/dry cleaning process and as such no refund is allowed under this circumstance, you commit to protecting the BUYER’s interest at all times and circumstances.

Loss and Refund Policy: Our VENDOR, SUPPLIER OR INNOVATOR agree to exercise utmost care in processing clothing items received to avoid misplacement or loss of items. In the event an item misplaced or lost, they agree to full refund under the premises of:

The total replacement cost not exceed a dollar amount of ten (10) times the charge of cleaning that garment regardless of brand or condition.

The lost item entity not fall under the umbrella of household, leather or suede item as outlined by the “Household Items and Leather/Suede Policy”

Re-Cleaning Policy: Our VENDOR, SUPPLIER OR INNOVATOR agree that if a BUYER returns an item that is unused and in original package within two (2) days after delivery for recleaning, the will re-clean them free of charge.

ALTERNATIVE CONSUMERS/ CUSTOMERS PROTECTION AND DISPUTES RESOLUTION MECHANISMS

In addition to the dispute resolution mechanism described under our various policies (Terms and ConditionsPrivacy Policy; Intellectual Property Right (IPR) and Online Transaction Policy; and Contractual/Transactional Services Agreement), we offer non-legal alternative disputes resolution mechanisms as out of court settlement intended to mediate conflicts that may erupt between consumers/customers and 3rd Party Sellers/Suppliers to ensure better protection for both parties while reducing their transactional delays, risks, liabilities and costs. These include:

Online Dispute Resolution (ODR- Online Complaint Filing and Mediation) Mechanism”: facilitated through our “Consumer Protection, Legal and Compliance Unit” and enabled through our websites and mobile app, the mechanism enables you (Consumer/Customers) to file web-based complaints and receive redress via the internet from anywhere in the world and in multiple languages, including the facilitation of an entire online dispute resolution and mediation process online whole reducing your transactional delays, risks, liabilities and costs. This mechanism, as a first and alternative step to disputes resolutions, is provided to resolve disputes 100% relating to online purchases of goods and services on our platforms without going to court.

Our ODR platform is not linked to any trader. You can use it to send your complaint to our internal “Consumer Protection, Legal and Compliance Unit” acting as a Quasi-Alternative Dispute Resolution Body to help you resolve disputes relating to online purchases of goods and services on our platforms without going to court.

Our “Consumer Protection, Legal and Compliance Unit” exercises impartiality while mediating between consumers/customers and 3rd Party Sellers and Suppliers on our platform. This process is known as alternative dispute resolution, and it is usually quicker and cheaper than going to court.

In some circumstance, for objectivity purposes, we might recuse ourselves from the mediation process especially if we bear any direct linkage/interest to the complaint. In such instances, the parties will be required to appoint a neutral mediator so as to maintain the principle of fairness, transparency, effectiveness and accountability (please note that whereas our internal ODR process is 100% cost free to both parties, external and neutral mediators service will come at a cost to both the consumer/customers and the 3rd Party Seller/Supplier).

Our ODR process is easy to use and takes users through the dispute resolution process in a step-by-step basis. It provides translations in key global languages (English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, and Portuguese) and has inbuilt time limits for resolving complaints.

To create a complaint, both the consumer and trader must be subscribers of any of the Appleton Group LLC’s Online services. By subscribing unto our platforms, you agree to use our ODR as an alternative dispute resolution mechanism as a first step to resolving transactions related conflicts that may arise.

How to make an Online Complaint and Activate an Online Mediation:

File an online complaint to support@hobyclean.com

As we take every complaint seriously, we urge you to only file a complaint if and only if you have reasonable and sufficient grounds to do so taking professionality, personal and system ethics and integrity into account.

Once you have determined that you have sufficient reasonable, professional and ethical grounds to do so, we highly encourage you to file your complaint within 3 business days after receipt of delivery or after the expiration of the expected date of delivery per the tracking notification on our system. This is because our escrow payment system (described below) holds payments that are due to the 3rd Party Seller/Service Provider for up to 7 business days before release without a complaint being filed per our policy.

Enter a few details about yourself, the 3rd Party Seller/Supplier, your purchase and what your complaint is about.

Upload required and relevant documents (invoice, purchase order, photos in PDF format, the vendors assigned number retrieved from our platforms). You can submit your complaint right away or save it as a draft.

You have 3 weeks to submit your complaint if you do save it as a draft. After that, all drafts are automatically archived and remain inactive for data protection reasons. However, you may reactivate the complaint within 6 months after the archiving. Thereafter, the complaint will be deleted from the system.

You have up to 12 months to file a complaint. Thereafter, you forfeit the right to do so.

Processing your complaint

Once we receive your complaint, we immediately notify the trader and begin the initial mediation process to legitimize the claim and resolve the dispute within 7 business days.

Feedback notifications for final closure, request for additional information, or an indication that the ODR does not have the capacity to handle your complaint warranting an advance to next level, via the platform and linked to your email, shall be sent to you.

You will be given 3 business days to respond (accepting the terms of closure, providing additional documentations and information, or taking an appeal to activate the non-alternative dispute resolution mechanism as provided under our various terms and conditions). You will be provided an additional 7 business days beyond the initial 3 business days to respond, after which your complaint will be archived. However, you may reactivate the complaint within 6 months after the archiving. Thereafter, the complaint will be deleted from the system.

If our “Consumer Protection, Legal and Compliance Unit” cannot handle your case, you will also receive a notification with the reason why.

How to complain if you are a trader

If you are a 3rd Party Seller/Supplier registered on our platform, you can also use the ODR platform to send your online consumer dispute for review by our “Consumer Protection, Legal and Compliance Unit”.

The same process and rules as in the case of the consumer/customer’s filing will apply.

However, you will be required to upload required and relevant documents (invoice, purchase order, photos in PDF format, the transaction assigned number retrieved from our platforms).

What is the next step if my complaint is not resolved through the ODR?

If our “Consumer Protection, Legal and Compliance Unit” cannot handle your case, with the notification explaining why, you will be provided with guidance on how to escalate your complaints beyond the ODR mechanism and in accordance with our various policies.

An Internal Escrow (3rd Party) Payment System”:An escrow is a financial arrangement where a third party holds and regulates payment of the funds required for two parties involved in a given transaction. It helps make transactions more secure by keeping the payment in a secure escrow account which is only released when all of the terms of an agreement are met.1 In this case, as Appleton Group LLC provides an intermediary e-commerce Digital Transformation, Flexible Consumption, Everything as a Service (XaaS), Internet of Things (IoT) and Global Online On-Demand Platform facilitating trade between buyers and sellers, under this mechanism and as part of agreement with 3rd Party Sellers and Suppliers, we shall serve as an Escrow Agency, safeguarding and withholding all payments made through our platforms for goods and services offered by 3rd Parties in our secured escrow account. We shall only remit final payment to 3rd party sellers/service provider after 7 business days pending satisfactory delivery to buyers without a complaint. Where a complaint arises, particular payments related to specific consumer/customer will be withheld beyond the 7 business days until a full resolution is reached.