Customer service policy
Here at Scotch Whisky Auctions (SWA) we work hard to provide a quality service. We are always striving for continuous improvement and our aim is to consistently provide a positive customer experience. We acknowledge that it’s not a perfect world and mistakes can and do happen. We want to make sure that if you do have a problem with your order that you know how we are going to handle your issue going forward.
All complaints and customer service issues must be sent in writing. In the first instance please forward any issue to firstname.lastname@example.org with as much detail as possible.
We aim to respond to every report within 24 hrs or less excluding weekends and public holidays. In the majority of cases we will complete investigations and communicate our findings to you with 28 days or less. Should we experience a delay as part of our process we will endeavour to communicate with you on a regular basis to keep you updated.
Damage Complaints Policy
All Damage claims must be made within 10 days of the order arrival date. Any claim made after this deadline will be automatically refused.
All damage claims must be in writing, we are unable to accept these by telephone. Please send details of any issues as well as clear photographs that show the damage or problem and of the external packaging including the packing material and shipping box. This evidence is very important for your claim so please send as many detailed photographs as you can to show us how your order arrived, how it was packed and the damage or issues you want to bring to our attention.
SWA accepts no liability for bottles that we have not shipped or packed personally – including courier uplifts, collections and bottles packaged for the purpose of freight forwarding. SWA accept no liability for the condition bottles arrive to us in and whilst we will do our best to inform you of any faults as soon as possible - in some cases these may not be found until the Photography stage of the process, but we will contact you to let you know of anything we find that may be deemed as damage or as a fault.
Lots that are collected in person from SWA premises must be thoroughly inspected upon collection. SWA do not accept liability for any issues found after a Lot has left our premises. Any defects or issues must be brought to our attention at the time of collection as errors and damage claims may not be rectified later.
Shipments that are left for more than 24 hours at an Access Point or Carrier Depot are no longer protected by Loss & Breakage Cover.
SWA do not guarantee compensation will be payable even where Loss & Breakage cover has been purchased.
If you have reason to submit a damage claim, please ensure that you have retained all packing and packaging materials. Failure to do so will void your claim.
SWA understand that in many cases, bottles are purchased as collectables or for later resale and that you purchase from us based on the condition of the bottle at the time of auction, however, bottles are valued by the couriers as a product for consumption and compensation is unlikely for issues that are deemed to be minor. Although these can affect the resale value or collectability of a bottle, they may not be covered by Loss & Breakage. More information on cosmetic or packaging exemptions are available below.
SWA require photographic evidence of any damage/issues as well as photographs of how the box or boxes arrived and the packing materials. Please also be aware that the courier in most cases will want to retrieve the damaged item/box for their own investigations and you are required to provide access to the box and it’s contents. This investigation can take approximately 8 working days and by undertaking an investigation there is no guarantee that compensation will be payable at the end of this time.
Where loss and breakage cover has been purchased, your claim will be opened with the courier and they will investigate. Claims will be approved where there has been fault with packing, which is decided by the courier, or in transit by the handler. Courier claims are purely evidence based and are not decided by SWA. Please ensure you provide the evidence requested to facilitate the swift resolution of the case.
SWA will do our utmost to pack your items to the highest standards and in accordance with the courier’s instructions however fragile goods may be damaged in transit and this can be unavoidable. Claims will be denied for cosmetic issues or issues with the presentation packaging of the bottle that would otherwise not affect the safe consumption of the product. For example, dents to tins, scuffs or creases to boxes, broken wax or any other issue that does not affect the integrity of the cork/capsule or glass. We accept no liability for fragile components such as acrylic stands or glasses.
It is the recipient’s responsibility to ensure they open all boxes carefully and deflate air sacs prior to removing the bottle inside. Where this has not been done, the claim will be refused. There will be no exceptions to this condition and all claims will be denied where the damage has been caused after delivery.
If Loss & Breakage cover has not been purchased, each case will be reviewed on an individual basis. Please note that SWA will not compensate for cosmetic or packaging damage in the majority of cases.
If your order is lost in transit, we will open what is called a ‘Tracer’ investigation via the Courier. This will take approximately 8 days and the purpose of this is to locate the box(es) and determine if there has been damage or theft.
Where Loss & Breakage cover has been purchased, customers will be refunded in full less the loss and breakage premium paid.
The loss and breakage premium is never refundable.
If you have not purchased Loss & Breakage cover, we will be diligent with the Courier in trying to locate your order but compensation is not payable and in some cases, the loss will be something we can no longer assist with. Should you opt out and choose to ship without Loss & Breakage cover this is entirely at your own risk.
Where your damage complaint is regarding other issues such as a bottles authenticity, please provide photographic evidence or as much detail as possible so that we can investigate fully and ensure you concerns are handled efficiently and with care.
Please note if you attempt to reverse/charge back your payment your Loss & Breakage cover will immediately become void.
Once your claim or complaint has been escalated, all decisions are final.
Cork & Capsule Failure
SWA thoroughly inspect each bottle both when we receive it and package it for delivery however cork and capsule failure is a known issue with ‘second hand’ bottles of age. In cases where there has been a cork or capsule failure (leaking in transit from the cork or capsule), we cannot offer compensation, and this is not included under the terms and conditions for Loss & Breakage cover. SWA cannot know or guarantee how a bottle has been stored before it reaches us or while in transit to you. We accept no liability for cork failure under any circumstances.
SWA will not accept any unauthorised return and we accept no liability for any items sent to us without our prior consent.
Shipping is not refundable and free returns are not guaranteed.
If you receive your order and you are not satisfied, please write to us and we will consider your return request on a case by case basis.
Where your damage complaint is regarding other issues such as a bottles authenticity, please provide photographic evidence or as much detail as possible
All complaints and issues are logged and tracked as part of our commitment to continual improvement and customer service.
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