Before I buy online from an site I haven’t purchased from before I usually do a Google search on the site name and the term “complaints”.
This has provided me with useful information on other people’s bad experiences, and has convinced me not to buy on several occasions.
I order it on a Friday morning, and the site promised next day delivery. It arrived the following Wednesday. Two chasing emails went unanswered.
When I tried the kit in my mobile it just didn’t work. I did all the recommended troubleshooting steps but the kit was definitely faulty.
I checked the return instructions on the site and emailed for a return code. I heard nothing back, and ended up sending eight emails, none of which were answered.
Luckily I paid on Visa so my card provider advised me to send the goods back by recorded delivery. I then provided proof of return to my card provider and the payment was refunded to my card.
To date I still haven’t heard anything from the site at all. I’ve written to my local trading standards department to make them aware of the problem as well.
I order goods regularly online, and haven’t had a problem before. My lessons from this were clear:
* always Google for other people’s complaints
* for big purchases try contacting the company before buying to see if they reply
* pay by credit card, not debit card
* always tell Trading Standards about problems, so they can take action if they get lots of complaints
* post information about your experience on your website or blog – help others avoid the same experience.
Update 15 January 2007 – check here for an important follow-up to this post and its comments.
Update 20 July 2007 – I have received an email from one of the companies that was named in the comments to this post threatening me with legal action if I do not remove this post and its allegedly libellous comments. I have no desire or inclination to get into legal proceedings and do not have the resources to defend myself against the threateningly large amount of damages they are seeking, so I have reluctantly removed the comments from this post and turned off further comments.
I have left the post here as I know its contents are a true reflection of the bad experience I had with this internet site. I also have email addresses for a number of other people who shared their experiences in the comments. If you would like to contact them for their experiences, please contact me and I’ll put you in touch.