Dishonesty from online retailers

  square eyes 22:10 29 Jan 2010

Hi, I need to have a rant about this and hope to get several opinions from some of you.

I have mostly only ordered from Amazon. When i have, i recieve it within 3 days and the container box is how you'd expect from a high street store: ie: an undented box and nice unbroken seal. I get pleasure from opening that package, as i know i will find it just how the manufacturer (with whom i trust) intended.

Ive been looking for an HD camcorder and went through search engines such as dealtime etc. inorder to get the best price. I was unfortunate enough to buy from "bitesizedeals" who, contrary to the "in stock" statement, didnt even have the item in their posession having taken my money. My only hope from them was "we are expecting a shipment very soon". That wasnt good enough as "very soon" could be a week or a month, so i asked for a refund.

Second time around i went to, yes, both sites were offering the lowest prices, but this site seemed more honourable and had UK street address and claimed to deliver 5-7 days.
I was buying an "HDR-XR200VE" camcorder, or so i thought. It was listed as "HDR-XR200E", but having tried to find it on the sony site, it wasnt listed as that, but only as "HDR-XR200VE".
I could only make the assumption that Wolu missed out this letter in the detail.

I went ahead with the purchase. After 3 days without sign of dispatch, i contacted them. The email response was close to instant on several occasions. I learnt that my item was scheduled to be posted the following day, but it didnt make up for the truth about what i had bought. When i questioned the lack of the "v", i was informed that it was a different model that was lacking a certain feature. I quickly looked it up again, and found it on the sony site in South Africa and the Middle east. Its 230/240 V power and PAL 50 Hz signal, so i knew this would work all except the type of plug. When i asked about a sealed box, they told me it had been opened to check the contents (probably to put a UK plug on it!)

Now, ordering a brand new camcorder from a Uk site, I expect it to come sealed, no matter how low the price was. That way a 1 years warranty is just a compliment to something i know has been tested and not been messed with. I believe customers should be aware that it is an import and that the box has been opened. I assumed it would be made for the UK and put the lack of a V down to a print error.

I have asked for a refund from them too, and will now pay the extra £180, be good and learn from my mistakes, and buy from Amazon. I feel pretty sure it will arrive just the way i want.

Should these sites me more honest? Importa and opened boxes customers surely will want to know about in choosing who they buy from.

Comments please?

  Woolwell 22:43 29 Jan 2010

You have learnt a lesson - don't make an assumption. This item is listed on the website as HDR-XR200E. A quick Google search turned up the XR200, the XR200E and XR200VE all at different prices. The VE is listed on Sony's UK site. I would have checked before buying. Amazon sell the 200E and 200VE but the 200E is through one of their affiliated sellers. One of them has it cheaper on their own website than through Amazon. Having found out all of this I would have been cautious with my order.

  ame 22:48 29 Jan 2010

Many people come here ranting about companies that have mucked them about, as indeed have I. But you do not seem to have taken enough care about what and who you ordered from. This seems to be a repeat of your other post click here "New" in my book means not yet used, whether any seal is broken or not, but how can you prove that? "As new" is not the same thing, but may not be relevant to your case. If the model number is not the same, then you have liability - if not all, then at least a significant part. You must take great care when ordering online - but aren't Amazon great - cheapest not always the best.

  square eyes 22:52 29 Jan 2010

Yes, ok, we can be wise after the event cant we.

I did check, but was only checking UK sites as i was only intending to buy here. With UK only selected, i did not see the S African sony site with this model. I saw the other variations, but when this information isnt available, how are you supposed to know they arent errors? I had read from somewhere that the E meant it was European, but now i have no idea what any of the letters mean anymore. As with being "cautious", i had spent quite enough time reading all about the different cameras, at some point i wanted to buy one.
Have you always been so wise?

  square eyes 22:59 29 Jan 2010

I didnt come here for a bollocking. Im high-lighting a point. I did alot more research than many people will do, take my word on that. We are not experts when we look to buy a camera. A little more tact please.

Please respond to this paragraph..thanks

Should these sites me more honest? Imports and opened boxes customers surely will want to know about in choosing who they buy from

  ame 23:04 29 Jan 2010

We all get a bit too excited when we're about to buy something nice that we want. We've all made mistakes. We learn.....nothing is going to make you feel better than a refund....good luck.

  Forum Editor 23:09 29 Jan 2010

You learnt a lesson the hard way, as have many others, and you freely admit the fact - you'll not make the same mistake again.

The truth about on-line shopping is that to an extent we, the consumers, are our own worst enemies - we shop around looking for the cheapest price, and in our eagerness to make savings we sometimes forget the old adage that you get nothing for nothing.

Reputable traders like Amazon got to be successful by understanding the market - they know that people are prepared to pay a little more sometimes if it brings peace of mind. Millions buy from Amazon, and other reputable traders because they know that if things go wrong there'll be no arguing, and the traders know that happy customers tell their friends.

All the legislation in the world isn't going to protect people from themselves - caveat emptor must be your guiding principle when buying on-line. If an offer seems slightly to good to be true it probably is.

  square eyes 23:20 29 Jan 2010

Cant dissagree with anything there. When you see sites coming from shoppers guides ("Price Grabber" i think was the one) you expect they have been tried out and if they are proven to be incompetent or miss-leading, then i hoped they wouldnt be listed. I suppose the protection on line compared to the High street store is non-comparible. I think unless its Amazon, then i will email the company first to make sure my wishes are met. You're right, you get what you pay for, but i dont want to be limited to Amazon and think other sites deserve a go. Ive learnt... yes

  Forum Editor 23:28 29 Jan 2010

There are plenty of other highly reputable on-line traders, some of them quite small businesses.

  ame 23:29 29 Jan 2010

No sniping involved - just factual advice, I reckon. By the way, the post timings here are not quite right, which mucks up the sense of who's saying what a little bit.

  square eyes 23:35 29 Jan 2010

ame, i apologize, i wasnt really aiming at you....the timings were out, but i wanted to talk about this situation that was new to me, not about what a booby i had made :)

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