Precautions before buying on line

  Andsome 18:07 27 May 11
Locked

I have had many good experiences buying from internet companies. Recently I ordered a camera from such a company. Alongside the picture of the camera was a delivery promise of 1-2 days, but when the e mailed acknowledgement came the delivery was quoted as 1-7 days. After 3 days I sent an e mail asking for a delivery date, and they could not give me one. I then gave them 24 hours to deliver or I would cancel the order. They sent an e mail back to say that the order had been cancelled, and that the relevant department had been contacted to approve this cancellation. My next step was to ask when my refund would be made to my credit card. The reply was that this was in hand and would take 3-5 days. I contacted them again pointing out that the 5 days had now expired. They agreed that the credit was overdue and said that the financial department had been contacted on my behalf. I have now placed the matter in the hands of the credit card company, who have assured me that they will take up the matter, and if a refund is not forthcoming they will make the refund to me themselves.

I have made a search of the internet, for complaints concerning the company and the results make terrible reading. The website to all intents and purposes appears to be a British company, but in fact they are based in Hong Kong. There are many horror stories of undelivered orders and difficulties in getting refunds on line. The credit card operator had a look at the website and was also of the opinion that the site looked British.

I have no intention of making slanderous statements as I do not want trouble, but would recommend to anyone that before buying from such a company that a search is made first.

The results of my search are as below.

http://www.freelancers.net/show_forum/20090202/205981.html

http://www.complaintsboard.com/complaints/simply-electronics-c206165.html

http://www.canyoutrustthem.com/index.php?go=quick_search&keyword=simply+electronics

There are many more.

  JoeC 18:36 27 May 11

I was going to get a camera from them - see link - but when you check delivery within the listing you see that Day 1 is the order, Days 2 -3 are for finding the camera, Day 4 is for quality checking,Days 5 - 7 is for getting it sent from Japan to the UK, then up to Day 12 is for delivery to you. That put me right off and I am going to buy from a UK company even though it may be a little costlier.

link text

  JoeC 18:39 27 May 11

God, my memory is going. The listing actually has Day 8 as prepost and packing, then Days 9 - 12 being delivered to you.

  spuds 22:32 27 May 11

If the item comes from Hong Kong then you have no chance in receiving it within 1-2 days.More like 1-3 weeks. Regarding refund of payment, then if this is in the UK, then the retailer would have up to 30 days in which to provide a refund, as per consumer law.Anywhere else?.

Buying perhaps cheap from abroad, could well be a grey import, which could cause many problems, including warranty claims, which the manufacturer may well consider void.

Websites can be very deceiving, so its best to check and so if they comply to UK or EU standards, usually with all the details of the company's contact information. If the website doesn't provide this information, then its a case of buyer beware perhaps!.

  Kevscar1 06:11 28 May 11

And you can also get hit for VAT and Import duty. Sometimes this means it isn't cheaper.

  Andsome 08:01 28 May 11

JoeC, that is the company in question. Believe me that there is NO WAY that those delivery promises would be honoured, neither would a refund be done as it should. You have to rely on the credit card company to recover or refund your money. I don't know why they are still allowed to operate.

  spuds 10:59 28 May 11

"I don't know why they are still allowed to operate".

And who is going to stop them , definitely not the people who are seeking a bargain, and at the same time do not bother to understand the very basics of internet shopping, by doing a few simple checks before parting with their money.

  Forum Editor 13:04 28 May 11

"I don't know why they are still allowed to operate".

First of all, let's get rid of the idea that by attempting to buy from this seller you didn't "bother to understand the very basics of internet shopping", as has been alleged in another post. You entered into the transaction in good faith, and the reason the seller is still operating is because lots of people have made successful purchases. Lots have posted complaints in various internet forums as well, but I know that many people - it's reasonable to assume it's the majority - have had no problems with this company.

You believed the seller was based in the UK, and that isn't the case, but it isn't automatically a reason to believe that there's something wrong with the seller, or that you wouldn't have received your camera in due course. I have bought several items (including an expensive SLR camera) from Hong Kong based sellers in the past, and all has been well. Delivery periods have been somewhat extended, but that's not in itself a cause for alarm - Hong Kong is a long way from here.

Trading customs and conditions in Hong Kong can sometimes be very different from those in the UK, and people who are used to receiving goods a couple of days after placing an order online are often concerned when nothing has happened a week or so later. Hong Kong sellers are not stupid however, they know full well that if they fail to supply goods they will rapidly have no business. You decided to threaten to cancel your order after a three day wait, which was perhaps a little hasty in view of the distances involved, but it was your decision.

Your card provider will investigate, and will make a charge-back if it is satisfied there are grounds for doing so. The company may want to wait for a while longer to see if the seller honours the promise of a credit.

In the UK the retailer has a period of up to 30 days from the date of cancellation in which to make the refund.

  Andsome 13:18 28 May 11

The website promised a 1-3 day delivery alongside a picture of the camera, that's why I cancelled the order when they could not give me a delivery date. As I stated, the website looks British and there is no mention of Hong Kong. When I spoke to the credit card company, the operator had a look at the website, and was as sure as I had been that the company was British. I found out that they were from Hong Kong from here. Sainsbury's Master Card have it in hand for me.

http://www.freelancers.net/show_forum/20090202/205981.html

  JoeC 13:58 28 May 11

See they have changed the delivery times (up next to the photo of item) to 11 - 12 working days. Down the page they have "Days 5 - 7 Procurement" yet the item is still listed in Burgess Hill?

  Forum Editor 14:42 28 May 11

"the operator had a look at the website, and was as sure as I had been that the company was British."

The Ebay page very clearly gives the business seller's address as being in Hong Kong. There is also a statement saying that the camera is "Non EU/UK stock"

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