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Online shopping horror stories, with 129% added rantage potential

Falconer

Registered Member
What's your worst experience with online shopping? Ever got burned? What'd you do about it?

Much as I'm genuinely interested in those questions and a discussion would be great, I mostly posted this thread because I NEED A RANT. Trust me, the caplock anger is desperately needed in this situation.

Long story short, a company I bought from via Amazon Marketplace have now been screwing me around for six weeks at least. And I am reaching boiling point on the frustration/pissed-offness/general going-to-kick-some-arse-pretty-soon.

Long story longer: Back in mid-April, gf and I ordered an Android tablet for my birthday via a company selling on Amazon Marketplace. My birthday's May 19th, but we agreed to order early as the delivery information said I could be waiting up to three weeks, and we wanted to be sure it'd be here in time. As it turned out, it arrived in a couple of days. Everything good so far.

I somehow managed to keep my sticky paws off it until the actual day of my birthday, despite it sitting in its box on the shelf mocking me from about April 20-somethingth to May 19th. Got it out of all the packaging, set it on to charge, went out to buy a 3G sim to put in it. Came back, tablet's fully charged, yay! Insert little pin to get sim tray out -- this is before even turning it on, 'cos the instructions said to put the sim in before you set it up. Fair enough.

Except the sim tray won't come out. After much patient wriggling by my gf and much cursing from me, she finally gets it free, only to find it's completely deformed. I mean, it looks like it's melted inside the main casing. No wonder it was so hard to get back.

My b'day was on a Saturday, so first thing on Monday we emailed the company to say look, this thing's damaged, please can we send it back and get a replacement? The company made me take a photo and send that before they'd even give me an address for the return, which made me suspicious and edgy straight away; gf said that's probably just their policy, calm down, Lex, chill. So I keep a lid on my fuming (fair play, I do tend to go off on one on the slightest provocation, so I took a deep breath and tried to simmer down), took the photo, sent that on. Finally, a day or two later, the company emailed and said okay, here's our return address.

So I package it off and send it back on, I think, the Thursday of that week which would have been the 24th. Then I don't hear anything for a good few days. Eventually, I get an email back entitled "Feedback Request", whose text runs as follows:

Thank you for your purchase with us. Your order has now been shipped to you and we are awaiting confirmation of receipt. Please contact us if you have any queries relating to your transaction and we will be happy to assist you. It is our aim to please all of our customers and we aim to supply you with the level of service that you deserve.

We are progressing our business to Amazon and we want our name to spread further through the community, we would really appreciate it if you would spend the time to leave us feedback on Amazon. It only takes 2 minutes of your time and will benefit us for years to come. To leave feedback for your order please [go here, do this, blah blah. Yours sincerely etc.]
Awesome! So they're sending a replacement straight out to me!

A week goes by with no sign of the replacement. Since the first one arrived way quicker than they said, I'm a bit concerned, so I email them asking for a tracking number for the package their last email promised me. Response?

We have taken it to Sony and they haven't accepted as they claimed it to be physically damage. I am also concerned that you have realised this after a month of its purchase. However, being fair I can try to find a replacement sim tray for you to compensate you.
Bear in mind, I said in the very first email that this was a birthday present and not opened until May 19th, regardless of purchase date. Now I know I'm a wee bit in the wrong for not making it clear at point of purchase that it was a gift and would be opened later, but given that I did explain that in my first email to them, I didn't like the snippy attitude in the second sentence one bit. Also, WHAT THE HELL, you just sent me an email saying a replacement was on the way and you were 'awaiting confirmation of receipt'? And now you're saying that's not the case? And it took ME EMAILING TO ASK WHERE IT WAS to find this out?!!!

Huge barrage of snippy emails back-and-forth ensues, which I won't bore you with.

Eventually, FINALLY, on June 14th (two months after initial order; very nearly a month since I got in touch initially to send it back), they emailed to say Sony had apparently changed their mind! Now they're sending out a replacement sim tray which will take 2-3 days, after which they'll send the now-working tablet on to me.

This is all well and good but I went to Prague for a week on the 19th and I didn't trust them to get it to me before I left. Since I don't like their impatient attitude I thought I shouldn't leave them wondering so emailed to say okay, I'm going on holiday (but there'll be someone in at the address you have to accept the parcel), I'll let you know if it works when I get back on the 28th. They acknowledge that and say they'll await feedback on the 28th. All good.

So an awesome week is had in Prague, and I'm bouncing when we get back, expecting my replacement tablet in the mail box at the apartment lobby. Nothing. Nada. I check with the main office to make sure nothing for either me or gf has shown up: it hasn't. Straight up to the flat and email the hell out of the company.

Problem? The sim card Sony supposedly sent supposedly doesn't fit. Again, it took me enquiring to find this out, they didn't think to email me and let me know when they found out they wouldn't be able to honour their promised delivery time estimate. Oh, and they outright lied and said they HAD tried to email but "it didn't go through" -- not possible, as ALL of these emails are going through Amazon's 'emails to sellers' function, not one of them has even touched my personal email account.

So gf and I "wtf" about this for a minute or two and then email back and say look, you have until Friday 6th July to ship a working tablet to me or you can just refund the money. They've now had it back for longer than I had it in my possession. And I never even got to turn the thing on!!

:(:(:(:(

*deep breath*

Okay. ... I actually feel better for getting that out of my system, but uhh... apologies for the MEGA POST of doom, there. Seriously. I think I broke it up so it wasn't a textwall but I apologise for the massive reading comprehension exercise I dumped on you there. Guess I really did need to vent!!

So come on, how about you? Have you ever been burned by shopping online? How did you deal with it? Or has everything always been sweet for you? Or do you happen to have any advice for where else I can take this (my mum says Amazon, which is the next step if they don't refund next Friday, or Watchdog, or the Better Business Bureau or something like that) or similar?

Subject: sometimes, online companies suck balls. Discuss.
 

Falconer

Registered Member
Update on this -- I think it's been long enough that a second post will be OK, but if a mod wants to merge them, that's okay by me.

We (gf and I) finally got sick of them messing us about and went straight to Amazon's A-to-Z guarantee, which protects you against (among other things) dodgy Marketplace dealers like these cowboys. Amazon are currently investigating, but the girl we spoke to sees no reason why we shouldn't get a full refund from them.

I'll be using that to go to Curry's in the high street to buy one, and keeping hold of the receipt, believe me!!
 

dobzy

Registered Member
Oh no, I'm so sorry to hear about your frustrating Amazon experience! :( My only bad experience on-line was with Amazon as well. Years ago, I had ordered a few on-line e-gift cards from them- & all of them except one went through. Basically, I got screwed out of $25.00... for some reason the code didn't work, or something- it's been so long I don't remember the specifics. I do remember being on the phone with multiple people and being very upset that I was never issued a new one. The code in question was actually for my sister- we literally opened the e-mail with the code right after it was sent and tried to use it & it was invalid.

I refused to use Amazon for like two years after that... but now I use it all the time & have had no problem. I've ordered gift cards since & all has been well. I had to send one item back (brand new juicer's power was already dead), but free return shipping & the replacement worked wonderfully.
 
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