CET UK insolvent

  Saos 08:57 17 Aug 2007
Locked

I decided to buy an Acer Travelmate C213Tmi and that’s where my troubles start. Firstly it was available only in the UK and I live in Switzerland. Secondly, not many UK companies deliver to Switzerland. On the Acer UK website, I found a retailer CET (UK) Ltd who do deliver to Switzerland and I decided to buy this computer from them. After several e-mails (inquiring about the product) to this retailer, I placed an order on 31.7.07. Not having a UK credit card, I choose to transfer money to their bank. I called them up using a phone number provided on their web site and an accounts lady gave me the bank transfer details. I transferred money on 1.08.07 and told this lady via mail.

On 3.08.07, she confirmed (via mail) that they had received the money but also informed me that they do not have the machine that I want. Therefore, I should choose something else or ask for a refund. (their website still showed 10+ in stock) As I did not want anything else, I asked for a refund and supplied my bank details. On 6.08.07, she wrote to me again and offered a Travelmate C213Tmi on their clearance list. After some hesitation I accepted this offer on 8.08.07 and she confirmed my order, outlined my refund (as the difference between two machines) and told me to expect delivery within 3-7 working days. I waited but did not receive either the money transfer or the laptop.

I wrote and called but no answer. Finally today, when I called, someone told me that the company had become insolvent on 7.08.07 and they will not be able to full-fill my order or return my money, as I placed my order before 7.08.07, and will send me a letter outline the procedure etc etc.

The whole process has left me with very bad experience. Not only, I do not have a product, I paid £100 pounds for delivery to Switzerland and ordered accessories for this laptop as well (a grand total of £1300). What do I do now to recover my money?

I do not understand why Acer UK still continues to list these guys on their website. Now when I look up sites like these, I find a lot of complains about CET UK (if only I had checked before). If Acer had not listed CET UK on their web site, I would have been more careful about buying from them.

  GANDALF <|:-)> 09:49 17 Aug 2007

'Not having a UK credit card, I choose to transfer money to their bank'..not wishing to be harsh but you can kiss the money goodbye. Never, never, never pay by bank transfer and always use a CC as you will be protected. As the company announced insolvency after you had paid you will be one of the creditors and the chance of getting payment is slim as not many companies go into insolvency because they have too much money. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but you will have learned a valuable but expensive lesson.

Make sure you contact the insolvency practitioners to make sure that your name is on the list of creditors.

G

  Saos 10:00 17 Aug 2007

Thanks for your response. I am sorry, I did not explain myself fully. I was actually advised by their sales representative on bank transfer. This is what he wrote-

'I can confirm we accept only UK credit/debit cards and we can only send the order to the UK billing address of the card. Due to security risks we can't send order paid by this method to any other address. If you require the order delivery to another address then payment must be made by bank transfer. It should be noted for all overseas orders payment can only be paid through bank transfer. '

Does the situation change under these circumstances?

Where do I contact these insolvency practitioners?

Thanks

  GANDALF <|:-)> 11:30 17 Aug 2007

Their website seems to be still running but they have 'we are experiencing tech problems' plastered all over it. I would expect that there will be an announcement on their site shortly and it should have the name of the insolvency firm. The person who gave you the 'advice' would be classed as an agent and at the end of the day if the company has no money then there will be no refunds. There is nothing wrong in companies, or their agents, asking for cash rather than CC but NEVER use these companies.

If any company refuses to accept CCs do not use them. I have bought from many foreign companies in Europe, Oz and the States, all of them accepted my UK CC without question, if any did not I would not order.


G

  €dstowe 11:40 17 Aug 2007

UK credit cards? No such thing.

Credit cards and the organisations that run them are international. I have used my credit cards (and debit cards) all over the world with no problems both when visiting a country and by Internet trading.

Someone has taken you for a ride, I feel.

  spuds 12:51 17 Aug 2007

If the person that you contacted last, sends you details, then this should contain information about the contact point of the company administrator, if the company is now insolvent. You will need to register as a creditor, and in all possibilities if you are unlucky, you may see very little or nothing of any payments that you have made.

Most credit cards contain the Visa logo, and as such are covered by Visa International, a world-wide organisation. I know its possibly to late now, but I would have thought that your credit card provider could have advised or arranged payment to the UK, if you had consulted them.

  laurie53 18:31 17 Aug 2007

"I can confirm we accept only UK credit/debit cards and we can only send the order to the UK billing address of the card. Due to security risks we can't send order paid by this method to any other address. If you require the order delivery to another address then payment must be made by bank transfer. It should be noted for all overseas orders payment can only be paid through bank transfer."

Doesn't matter what sort of credit card Saos used.

They only deliver credit card orders to the UK.

  Zonko 16:00 21 Aug 2007

Same thing happened to my daughter.

According to CET's web site any prepayments (which your payment was) were supposedly 'ring-fenced' to protect the consumer.

However, the Receiver cannot locate any such protected funds.

The Receivers for CET (UK) Ltd are:

Grant Thornton
4 Hardman Square
Spinningfields
Manchester M3 3EB

Telephone: 0161 953 6900
Fax: 0161 953 6901

Dicussions with them indicate that there is little hope of either yourself or my daughter receiving any money back as CET (UK) Lts owe their suppliers a considerable amount of money.

  Saos 08:59 22 Aug 2007

Thank you for this information. Let us keep each other posted of any new developments.

  Zonko 07:42 23 Aug 2007

As CET (UK) Ltd were an authorised Acer dealer, try contacting Acer and explain that you only bought from ShopAcer as they were an authorised Acer dealer.

Acer may have a scheme that protects consumers when one of their authorised dealers ceases to trade.

This is unlikely as I contacted Samsung regarding such a scheme (my daughter was purchasing a Samsung R70) and received a very polite reply which stated that they were sorry about the situation but that they were unable to help. I thought that they may have taken pity on a student who has been working all summer to earn the money to buy a new laptop; but no such luck.

However, it is still worth contacting Acer.

I also contacted SafeBuy as CET (UK) Ltd were supposedly following SafeBuy’s Code of Practice. Section 4.6 of the Code of Practice is relevant as it states that CET (UK) Ltd must ‘ring-fence’ consumer prepayments so that the consumer can be refunded if the company ceases to trade.

The problem is that a company is removed from the SafeBuy scheme when they cease to trade. This seems like a Catch 22 situation to me. The consumer believes that they can buy with confidence as their prepayment is protected by the SafeBuy Code of Practice if the company cease to trade They find that when the company does cease to trade that they are not protected as the company has been removed from the SafeBuy scheme!

Let me know if you have any success.

  spuds 11:15 23 Aug 2007

Zonko as provided some good advice, and it is worth making the effort of contacting these extra outlets for help and possible advice. I wouldn't imagine Acer will provide a laptop,after all its not really their problem if a company goes bust, but they may well consider future safeguards regarding the choice of retailers and how the retailers safeguard the potential customers in later years.

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