Chapter 18: Return of Merchandise for Refund

SEC. 1    REPURCHASE  POLICIES FOR MERCHANDISE RETURNS FROM ACTIVE UNFRANCHISE OWNERS 

Market America will repurchase from active UnFranchise Owners, any products that are currently marketable and in resalable condition and otherwise qualifying for return, if the purchasing UnFranchise Owner contacts Market America within thirty (30) days of the products being shipped (Repurchase Period) and follows the Merchandise Return Procedure set forth in this Chapter. Such repurchase will be charged a ten percent (10%) processing fee, debited from the purchase price refunded. There is no refund of the original shipping and handling fees. Any commissions paid on returned merchandise will be deducted from future commissions, by process of adjusting the Business Volume (BV) and Internet Business Volume (IBV) on the UnFranchise Owner’s account equal to the BV/IBV which was awarded for the returned products. 

Note: The thirty day (30) Repurchase Period gives UnFranchise Owners ample time to determine whether there is need to return the product for repurchase. No repurchase/refund is available beyond the Repurchase Period unless specifically provided for in this manual.


SEC. 2    GENERAL REFUND POLICIES

As stated in Section 1, above, an UnFranchise Owner may only return products for a refund, which are currently in a marketable and saleable condition. Qualifying returns for active UnFranchise Owners can be returned for refund if:

(A)    Product is on the current price list;

(B)    Unopened, and any seal is fully intact;

(C)    Not leaking;

(D)    Does not contain extraneous label or other markings;

(E)    There is no damage to the interior or exterior bottle or labeling;

(F)    Sealed-pack literature has fully intact packaging;

(G)    Is not food, custom product, or gift card;

(H)    Otherwise, in marketable and resalable condition; and

(I)    Not expired.

Products have a valid expiration date if the product has at least five (5) months’ shelf life remaining before the expiration date. Products expiring within five (5) months from the return date are not considered marketable and saleable. Dietary supplements in liquid form and Probiotic products have a valid expiration date if the product has at least three (3) months’ shelf life remaining before the expiration date. Dietary supplements in liquid form and Probiotic products expiring within three (3) months of the return date are not considered as marketable or saleable. 

Products being returned which do not meet all of the referenced standards or other requirements in this Chapter will be rejected and a refund will not be processed. 

Note: Due to FDA regulations, most other food items are not considered saleable and will not be accepted for return. Custom Formula products may not be returned for refund, because they are made specifically for one person and cannot be resold to anyone else. Gift cards cannot be returned for a refund for any reason.


SEC. 3    MERCHANDISE RETURN PROCEDURE

Market America assumes no liability for products, which would otherwise qualify for return, but which are damaged while being returned. It is the sole responsibility of the UnFranchise Owner to ensure the product being returned to Market America is in marketable and saleable condition, and to file any claims with the shipper for damages caused in route. To return merchandise for refund, UnFranchise Owners must adhere to the following procedure:

(A)    Written List of Products: When instructed by Market America, UnFranchise Owners must submit to refunds@marketamerica.com a written list of items and quantities they wish to return, along with the dates the products were purchased directly from Market America, identify their upline Executive Coordinator and provide the applicable order numbers for the products to be returned.

(B)    Initial Upline “Decline to Buy Back” Letter: UnFranchise Owners returning product for refund must always give the upline sponsor (if active) and/or the first active upline Executive Coordinator the initial opportunity to buy the product back directly from them and to retain the BV/IBV awarded in the organization. It is most expedient for UnFranchise Owners returning products to contact their upline sponsor and Executive Coordinator and offer to sell the product back to them at the current wholesale price less a ten percent (10%) handling fee. UnFranchise Owners must submit a letter signed by their sponsor (if active) or their first active upline Certified Executive Coordinator stating that they do not want to repurchase the merchandise and that they understand that any BV/IBV awarded will be deducted from the returning account. 

(C)    Return Authorization Number (RA#): Upon receipt of the written list of products and the initial upline “Decline to Buy Back” letter, the company will issue a Return Authorization number. No merchandise may be returned without an RA#. Note: RA#’s are only valid for thirty (30) days from the date of issuance. 

(D)    Product Return: The product must be returned to the company identifying the RA# on the outside of the box. All shipping costs must be paid by the UnFranchise Owner. No COD or collect shipments will be accepted. If the RA# is not written on the outside of the package, delivery will be refused. The package should be sent via a shipper that offers package tracking. Market America also recommends that UnFranchise Owners insure all packages they return to the company.

(E)     Business Volume Adjustments: If Market America receives a request to return product for a refund, in time to adjust the BV/IBV from the computer system, before it has been paid on in a weekly commission cycle, Market America will remove the BV/IBV from the computer system immediately. However, if Market America receives a request to return product for a refund after it has been paid on in at least one weekly commission cycle, then Market America will deduct the BV/IBV awarded, from future commissions.

(F)    Unacceptable Return: Upon receipt of the returned merchandise, the company will notify the UnFranchise Owner of the status of the return. If the return is unacceptable, the UnFranchise Owner must request in writing that the product be reshipped to his/her address, or the returned product will be discarded.  All request must be made within thirty (30) days of the return.

(G)    Return Processing Time: UnFranchise Owners should allow thirty (30) days for the processing of a refund, once Market America receives the product.  If the UnFranchise Owner returning the products or merchandise does not fulfill the requirements outlined herein, it may take additional time to process the return.

(H)    Non-Paying UnFranchise Owner Refunds: UnFranchise Owners may not return merchandise for other UnFranchise Owners. Only the purchasing UnFranchise Owner may return merchandise for a refund. If the product an UnFranchise Owner wishes to return was paid for by another UnFranchise Owner, the refund will be given to the paying UnFranchise Owner. The only time Market America will refund a non-paying UnFranchise Owner is if a signed letter from the paying UnFranchise Owner accompanies the refund request, authorizing Market America to refund the non-paying UnFranchise Owner. 

(I)    Shipping and Handling Charges: Original shipping and handling charges and return shipping charges are non-refundable.


SEC. 4    PRODUCT QUALITY AND SHIPPING ISSUES

(A)    Concerns regarding the quality of any product which has been opened by the UnFranchise Owner, such as discoloration, taste, or regarding the product’s dissolving properties must be sent to productinformation@marketamerica.com for determination as to whether refund is permissible.  An approved refund in these instances will involve only an exchange voucher in a sum equivalent to the purchase price of the product in question or the product may be replaced with a new bottle or package of the same product, at Market America’s sole discretion. Refund is not available where the bottle or package is empty or the contents are substantially used. Sufficient photographic information and/or return of the product may be necessary before a determination can be made.

Quality issues raised more than thirty (30) days after the original shipping date will require more detailed scrutiny to ensure exchange voucher or replacement is warranted. Quality concerns raised more than thirty (30) days after the shipping date cannot be refunded if the expiration date on the product has passed.

(B)    Issues related to shipping damage to the product packaging such as being crushed or appearing to have been resealed, damage to the product label, or product leaking upon delivery must be addressed to unfranchiseservices@marketamerica.com, within thirty (30) days of the product being shipped, and in accordance with the policies and procedures outlined in the Freight and Shipping section of this manual. If product hardening is noted upon opening, such must also be addressed to unfranchiseservices@marketamerica.com, for determination as to whether replacement is warranted, so long as no more than thirty (30) days has passed since the original ship date.

NOTE:  If an UnFranchise Owner re- ships product to another destination, such as to a customer inside or outside the country where originally delivered by Market America or its manufacturer, Market America assumes no liability for products damaged or where the merchandise quality is compromised because these shipping methods are outside Market America’s control.  


SEC.5    SPECIAL RETURN POLICIES

(A)    WebCenters: A WebCenter is activated at the time of purchase and is non-transferrable after activation. As a result, the WebCenter service is considered “opened” or “used” in much the same way that a piece of software, once installed and a license is applied, is considered “used” and therefore subject to a tiered refund based on the following parameters:

         (1)    Less than sixty (60) days, the UnFranchise Owner receives a ninety percent (90%) refund.

         (2)    Between sixty (60) and ninety (90) days the UnFranchise Owner receives a seventy-five percent (75%) refund.

         (3)    After ninety (90) days the UnFranchise Owner is no longer eligible for a refund.

         (4)    If at any time a website has been sold through the WebCenter, it is no longer eligible for any refund regardless of the date of purchase.

(B)    Fast Start Kits:  If returning a Fast Start Kit, the kit must be returned with all of its original contents to allow for a refund. No Exceptions.  If a partial kit is returned to Market America, it will not be refunded and will be returned to the UnFranchise Owner at UnFranchise Owner’s Cost. No Exceptions.

(C)    Returns Exceeding $1,000.00: On returns exceeding $1,000, a Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) statement must be sent to the company indicating that there are no liens or encumbrances on the product being returned and that the product was not used as collateral against any loan.

(D)    Final Sale/Clearance Merchandise: Market America will sometimes offer reduced pricing where the condition of merchandise is within product quality guidelines but may not appear in advertised condition or may be approaching expiration dates as labeled.  The Final Sale/Clearance Products will be clearly stated.  There is no repurchase, refund, voucher or exchange available for these products.  Final Sale/Clearance Products are offered for personal use only, not for resale.  Business volume will not be awarded upon purchase of Final Sale/Clearance Products.

(E)    Cancelling UnFranchise Owners: UnFranchise Owners must notify Market America in writing that they are electing to cancel their UnFranchise Business. Products may be repurchased from the cancelling UnFranchise Owner within one (1) year of the original purchase date, less a ten percent (10%) processing fee, if the following apply:

         (1)    The original purchase was made by the UnFranchise Owner directly from Market America:

         (2)    The purchase occurred while the UnFranchise Owner Application & Agreement was in effect;

         (3)    The product is unencumbered and in the UnFranchise Owner’s possession; and

         (4)    The product otherwise qualifies for return and is in marketable and resalable condition.

Shipping and handling charges for the original and return shipment are nonrefundable. If commissions have been paid on an order that an UnFranchise Owner would like to return, the return will not be authorized.  

Qualifying Returns for Cancelling UnFranchise Owners are products, which are:

         (1)    Product is on the current price list;

         (2)    Unopened, and any seal is fully intact;

         (3)    Not leaking;

         (4)    Does not contain extraneous label or other markings;

         (5)    There is no damage to the interior or exterior bottle or labeling;

         (6)    Sealed-pack literature has fully intact packaging;

         (7)    Is not food, custom product, or gift card;

         (8)    Otherwise, in marketable and resalable condition; and

         (9)    Not expired.

Products have a valid expiration date if the product has at least five (5) months’ shelf life remaining before the expiration date. Products expiring within five (5) months from the return date are not considered marketable and saleable. Dietary supplements in liquid form and Probiotic products have a valid expiration date if the product has at least three (3) months’ shelf life remaining before the expiration date. Dietary supplements in liquid form and Probiotic products expiring within three (3) months of the return date are not considered as marketable or saleable. 

Early Cancellation Return Policy:

*Subscription kits are not refundable after ninety (90) days.


SEC. 6    ORDER CANCELLATION

All cancelled orders must occur before shipment and are subject to a ten percent (10%) processing fee. The ten percent (10%) processing fee applies to all cancelled orders, including but not limited to, UnFranchise® AutoShip Orders, orders placed through the UnFranchise Business Account, telephone orders and paper orders. For cancellations submitted after shipment, please refer to Market America’s Return Policy. Order cancellation occurring with frequency, indicating MPCP manipulation, is subject to corrective action.


SEC. 7    EXECUTIVE COORDINATOR’S BUY-BACK RESPONSIBILITY

The upline Certified Executive Coordinators (CECs) or higher UnFranchise Levels shall incur sole responsibility for buying back resalable product and useable materials. Failure to execute this responsibility may result in corrective action and possibly the cancellation of the responsible party’s UnFranchise Ownership.

(A)    UnFranchise Owners returning product for refund must always give the upline sponsor (if active) and/or the first active upline CEC (or higher UnFranchise Level) the initial opportunity to buy the product back directly from them (see Merchandise Return Procedure).

(B)    Market America will initiate an “Upline Return Merchandise Acknowledgment” letter to the five consecutive upline CECs (or higher UnFranchise Levels) only if: 

         (1)    An UnFranchise Owner cancels their account:

         (2)    Market America receives the initial upline “Decline to Buy Back” letter from the UnFranchise Owner who is wishing to return the product, signed by the sponsor (if active) and the first active upline CEC (or higher UnFranchise Level);

         (3)    The UnFranchise Owner returns the product to Market America; and

         (4)    The BV/IBV for the returned product could not be removed from the computer system before it was paid on in at least one commission cycle. 

(C)    The “Upline Return Merchandise Acknowledgment” letter shall identify the downline UnFranchise Owner, the product that was returned, and the names of the other four CECs (or higher UnFranchise Levels) who were sent the same letter.

(D)    If Market America receives no response from the five consecutive upline CECs (or higher UnFranchise Levels) within fifteen (15) business days from the date of the letter being sent, Market America will initiate BV/IBV reversal.


SEC. 8       COMMISSION REVERSAL PROCESS

The Commission Reversal Process shall apply when all of the following occur: (1) products in resalable condition are returned to Market America for a refund, (2) BV/IBV for the products could not be removed before it had been paid on in at least one weekly commission cycle, (3) a refund of some type (refund check, credit to the Market America account, etc.) will be or already has been issued, and (4) Market America receives no response from the five consecutive upline Certified Executive Coordinators (CECs) (or higher UnFranchise Levels) within 15 business days from the date of the “Upline Return Merchandise Acknowledgment” letter being sent. Market America will initiate the Commission Reversal Process as follows:

(A)    The computer will multiply the total amount of BV/IBV returned by a commission payout factor (i.e. average percentage payout on BV/IBV from the previous 12 months). The result will be the total amount to be subtracted from commission checks in the reversal process. Example: 200 BV returned x 58 percent (6/5/95 to 6/5/96 average) = $116.

(B)    The computer will locate the most immediate of the five consecutive upline CECs (or higher UnFranchise Levels) qualifying to earn a commission check for the next available weekly commission pay cycle and subtract the respective amount from the earned commission check. If none of the first five upline CECs (or higher UnFranchise Levels) earns a commission check during the next available weekly commission pay cycle, then the Commission Reversal Process will continue to search each week until one of the five upline CECs (or higher UnFranchise Levels) earns a commission check.

(C)    If the identified CEC (or higher UnFranchise Level) qualifying to earn a commission check during the next available weekly commission pay cycle is the first (immediate) upline CEC (or higher UnFranchise Level) from the UnFranchise Owner returning the product, the process is complete. Remember, in accordance with policies and procedures contained in the UnFranchise Manual, it is the immediate upline CECs (or higher UnFranchise Levels) contractual obligation to purchase (buy back) returned product.

(D)    If the identified CEC (or higher UnFranchise Level) qualifying to earn a commission check during the next available weekly commission pay cycle is not the first (immediate) upline CEC (or higher UnFranchise Level) from the UnFranchise Owner returning the product, then for the next available weekly commission pay cycle in which the immediate upline CEC (or higher UnFranchise Level) qualifies for a commission check, the Commission Reversal Process shall subtract the original commission reversal amount from the immediate upline CECs (or higher UnFranchise Levels) check. During the weekly commission pay cycle in which the original commission reversal amount is subtracted from the immediate upline CEC (or higher UnFranchise Level), that same amount will be reimbursed to the upline CEC (or higher UnFranchise Level) who originally had the commission reversal amount originally subtracted.


SEC. 9    RESHIPPING RETURNED PRODUCTS

When product is returned to Market America for any reason, if Market America has not paid on at least one weekly commission cycle that includes the returned products, then all BV/IBV for the returned products is immediately removed from the computer database. UnFranchise Owners have thirty (30) days from the date that Market America receives product back (for whatever reason) to request that any returned package be reshipped.  

(A)    Within thirty (30) Days: If either the paying UnFranchise Owner or the ordering UnFranchise Owner requests Market America to reship product, within thirty (30) days from the date Market America receives a returned product, and the BV had already been removed from the computer system, then the BV/IBV will be put back for the date of the original order. Accrual date corrections or adjustments caused by the removal of BV/IBV due to returned products will be considered on a case by case basis.

(B)    Over thirty (30) Days: If neither the paying UnFranchise Owner nor the ordering UnFranchise Owner requests Market America to reship product within thirty (30) days from the date Market America receives a returned product, Market America will not reship the product. The paying UnFranchise Owner will receive a credit for the amount of the order based on current returns policies, less the ten percent (10%) percent processing fee. After the thirty (30) day period, if the product has not been reshipped, any accrual date corrections or adjustments caused by the returned products will no longer be considered. After the thirty (30) day period, if the product has not been reshipped and Market America was unable to remove the BV/IBV from the computer system before it paid on at least one weekly commission cycle that included the returned products, then Market America will implement the Buy Back Policy and, if necessary, the Commissions Reversal Process. 


SEC. 10    RETAIL CUSTOMER RETURN POLICY

A customer making a purchase from an UnFranchise Owner of product other than food, custom product or gift card has thirty (30) days after the sale, to cancel an order and receive a full product refund from the selling UnFranchise Owner, so long as the returned product meets the Sec. 2 return qualifications.   

UnFranchise Owners may receive a refund for the products it has accepted as return from their customer, less a ten percent (10%) handling fee, from the company, provided written notification along with a dated retail receipt is received by Market America within thirty (30) days of the products original ship date to the UnFranchise Owner, and otherwise following the qualifying policies and procedures contained in this Chapter and in the Freight and Shipping Chapter of this manual.