I recently ordered some electronic goods from a company based in Germany. My order, which I paid for by credit card, consisted of three items. I ordered by website, well outside of their opening hours, and shortly after ordering, I e-mailed, apologising and asking for my order to be changed, clearly stating that I now only wanted one of these three items (the most expensive of the three). At this point, my the transaction had not been processed, and my card had not been charged.

The following morning, I received an e-mail telling me that they received my request before shipping, and that the two items I no longer wanted had been successfully cancelled. However, a mistake had been made and they had sent me two of the item I did want, and that this item must be reclaimed. Only after asking was I informed that I had been charged for both. This transaction on my card amounted to more than my initial 3-item order.

They told me that I would be refunded as soon as I had sent the item back. I informed them when the package had arrived, and they told me they would sent me postage labels and a collection would be arranged. This is an inconvenience in itself, as I don’t have a printer to print the labels on. What aggravated me further, is they then told me I wouldn’t be refunded until they had received the goods (presumably adding up to another week before I get my money back).

It is now 4 days since they overcharged my card, and over 48 hours since I was told I would be sent labels. The labels have still not been sent, and I’m getting increasingly annoyed by it all. My last e-mail to them reminded them money has been charged to my card which at no point have I authorised, to which I have received no reply.

Am I entitled under EU law to demand my money is refunded immediately? Furthermore, when refunded, am I even obliged to return this item? Had they refunded me straight away (or even refunded me to the surplus value exceeding my initial 3-item order), I’d have returned it without a second thought, but their conduct (including unapologetic and somewhat abrupt e-mails) is making me progressively less inclined to bail them out of what was their mistake.