Buyers woes

Page may contain affiliate links. Please see terms for details.


MB Club Veteran
Aug 19, 2002
Not always
I'm just having a moan because you'd think in this day and age it would be easy to buy things without too much grief .

Back just before Christmas , having done my Christmas shopping and seen to family , with a little bit of cash left over , I decided to treat myself to a couple of toys .

Hence , on Christmas Eve , I placed an order with a well known UK video equipment dealer ( I'm not at the stage of naming and shaming ) for a new tripod head and a microphone for my camcorder . Although the website was quoting 2-3 days availability , I didn't expect anything until after the holidays , beyond the automatic acknowledgement of my order , and on Tuesday 6th January I had an email , sent on the Monday , saying the order was shipping - great , thought I .

I waited through that week , nothing came by Saturday , so I phoned up just before closing time on Monday ( 12th ) , expressing concern that it might have gone astray ..... only to be told the order hadn't shipped because they were still waiting for the microphone ! Although slightly taken aback , I knew it was just after Christmas and some supply lines would have been stretched , so agreed to wait since they said they expected it in 'soon' .

Patience being a virtue , I let it go until the end of January , then decided to wait for my bank statement to see whether they had taken my money ( I was reasonably sure they had ) . When the January bank statement arrived on Monday 9th February , I could see they had taken full payment on the 6th January , so I again telephoned , this time pointing out they had had my money for over a month and no delivery , nor any communication .

I was put on hold for a couple of minutes , to be told " Oh , we're still waiting on the microphone " . Of course , I retorted with 'you told me that a month ago - what is happening' . After a pregnant pause , I then asked if they had the head , to which I was told they did , and asked if they could then at least send that out in the interim , and if they did so , I wouldn't mind waiting a bit longer for the microphone . I was assured that I would receive the head within the next couple of days .

In anticipation of this head arriving , I ordered a bowl adaptor for my tripod legs to suit this new , smaller head - from another dealer .Adaptor ordered Tuesday morning , and in my hands Wednesday lunchtime : proper service .

Alas , the week went by : no head , so on Saturday 14th I sent the email below , giving them 14 days to deliver , or refund .

So far , the email has not even been acknowledged ! I'm now wondering if this company are a bunch of con artists ( been trading as a family business since 1961 ) or whether they are in financial difficulty . At least I paid by debit Mastercard and I have the option of chargeback in the event of non delivery .

I'll wait until the 28th , then in the event of no delivery , will request a refund within 7 days ; failing that , I will initiate a chargeback .

I just feel that I shouldn't need all this hassle ...

This was the email I sent on the 14th :

"Dear sir ,

On the 24th December last year I placed the above order for a Manfrotto 504 tripod head and a Sony ECM MS2 microphone .

While I fully appreciate than an order placed on Christmas Eve is unlikely to be processed over the holidays , I was happy to receive the attached communication ( dated 5th January ) that my order was due to ship on the 6th . Although I would have anticipated delivery later that week , I waited until Monday 12th before telephoning to enquire what was happening , my concern being that the order had gone astray in transit .

At that point , I was told that the order had not shipped after all , due to non availability of the microphone , but that you were expecting delivery soon . As I knew these microphones to be generally in short supply , and appreciating that you would only have ordered it after the holidays , I was not too concerned and stated that I didn’t mind waiting .

Having heard nothing further by the end of January , I started to become concerned . I waited until my January bank statement arrived on Monday 9th of February , at which point I was able to verify that you had taken payment in full on 6th January , before telephoning again .

On this occasion I pointed out that you had had my money for over a month with nothing having been delivered and asked what was happening ; I was put on hold for a couple of minutes , then told ( again ) that the hold up was because you were still awaiting the microphone . Having worked in retail some years ago , I do appreciate that these things can happen , but when I asked if you had the head in stock and could that at least be sent out , I was told I could expect it ‘within the next couple of days’ .

Alas , that was on Monday 9th ; this is now Saturday 14th and nothing has arrived ! To say that I am disappointed would be an understatement .

It has now been almost six weeks since my payment cleared and apart from one email to say my order was shipping , which turned out not to be the case , I have had nothing delivered and no updates as to what is happening .

I have tried to be patient over this matter and whilst I realise this is a relatively small order for my own personal home use and the first time I have ordered anything from yourselves , I would not have expected to be left for this length of time without any communication , beyond those initiated from my end . I might be completely wrong in imagining that I have been all but forgotten about , and perhaps you have been working tirelessly to obtain this microphone , but you must appreciate how it looks from my end .

In contrast , and in anticipation of the tripod head arriving last week , I ordered a Manfrotto 100mm to 75mm bowl adaptor for my tripod from CVP on Tuesday morning , and had it in my hand by lunchtime the following day : this is one of the suppliers I use at work where we have a substantial budget for broadcast equipment and , despite it being a small personal order , is the sort of service I would have hoped and expected to receive from yourselves . While on CVP’s website , I noted that they have both the head and microphone in stock .

If I am honest , I have to say that I ordered from yourselves rather than CVP ( one of my usual suppliers ) because your prices were lower , but had I known that I was going to have to wait this length of time I would have gladly paid the extra £40 or so .

In order to try to be fair to yourselves , I must now give you a deadline for delivery , after which , if the goods have not been delivered , I will regrettably feel obliged to cancel .

Since I write this on the 14th of February , I will allow a further 14 days for delivery , but if nothing has arrived by that date I will cancel the order and will expect a full refund of the £459.98 which was debited from my bank account on the 6th of January .

I would appreciate either a firm delivery date for both items or an early refund .

It gives me no pleasure to do this , but you must appreciate that I cannot and am not prepared to wait indefinitely for these goods . Had I at least received the tripod head as an interim delivery , or some regular updates then I might have been inclined to wait longer .

Yours faithfully ... "

Am I being too lenient ???
Thanks .

I just feel that I now have to follow due process to keep myself in the right .

Although my Mastercard Debit card does have some purchase protection , it is not quite the same as a credit card , hence my being careful how i go about this .

I have given them 14 days to deliver by email , but if they do not comply , then I will formally cancel on 1st March , both by email and by recorded delivery , giving them seven days to refund , failing which I will initiate chargeback or small claims procedure .

By doing the above , I will be seen to have been more than fair and reasonable and to have given them every opportunity to deliver the goods before cancelling .

ISTR that Distance Selling Regulations specifies a default 30 day limit to supply unless otherwise agreed.

The DSRs also normally give you the unconditional right to cancel before delivery anyway.
ISTR that Distance Selling Regulations specifies a default 30 day limit to supply unless otherwise agreed.

The DSRs also normally give you the unconditional right to cancel before delivery anyway.

Thanks for that , I had a look through DSR and it appears I have the right to cancel as long as the goods have not been despatched . Moreover , the trader's website says the same thing , so I just sent the email below :

"Dear sirs ,

I am disappointed to note that my email below , sent on Saturday 14th February 2015 , has met with no reply despite three full working days having passed since then : I feel this is unacceptable .

To date , you have failed to supply any of the goods I ordered on 24th December 2014 and for which payment in full was taken on 6th January this year .

Despite receiving an email stating that the goods had shipped on 6th January , then being informed on 12th January that they had not shipped after all and assured that delivery would follow ’soon’ , then a similar conversation on 9th February , nothing has been delivered and I have therefore lost all confidence in your ability to supply the goods I ordered .

With reference to the ‘delivery and returns’ section of your website :

"Change or Cancel an Order
If you wish to cancel or make changes to your order please let us know [email protected] who will be happy to change or cancel your order as long as it has not been despatched.

If your order has already been despatched or delivered, follow our Unwanted Product Returns within 14 days procedure."

I hereby wish to cancel my order forthwith and require a full refund of the £459.98 debited from my bank account on the 6th of January this year .

Please effect this refund immediately , otherwise I shall be obliged to initiate a chargeback via my card provider or to raise a small claims action .

If you have already despatched the goods , please provide a verifiable tracking number for the consignment by return .

If I hear nothing within 24 hours , and do not see the funds in my account , I will initiate the chargeback on Friday 20th February 2015 .

Yours faithfully , "

I'll follow that up with a hard copy in the post tomorrow and see what happens .
Miraculously , 12 minutes after sending the above email , I received the following reply !

"Hi Derek

Sorry fore the delay on getting back to you I will get this order resolved for you

Regards xxxx xxxxxx"

I have given him until close of play tomorrow to either give me a firm delivery date or refund .
Do they have a twitter handle?
A post to twitter on their bad service will almost certainly generate a satisfactory response.
Polite, informed threats; don't you just love them? I wouldn't be at all surprised if you receive a promise to have everything with by early next week.
Polite, informed threats; don't you just love them? I wouldn't be at all surprised if you receive a promise to have everything with by early next week.

If I get a written undertaking to deliver the goods within my original 14 day deadline , I will give him a chance .

If he defaults there will be no more chances and I will name and shame him on the video forum , printing his broken promises for all to see .

At no time has there been any need for emotive or abusive language , and everything has been calculated and carefully worded in case I had to resort to a small claims action . At every stage , I can be seen to have acted reasonably and patiently , and have just agreed to give him one final chance to deliver - just what the court would want to see .

At least he has replied to my email , which proves he read it , so no need to follow up with recorded delivery .
Do they have a twitter handle?
A post to twitter on their bad service will almost certainly generate a satisfactory response.

They do have a presence on both twitter and Facebook ; only I don't , and I don't particularly want to subscribe to either .
I'm sure you know people who DO have Twitter and Facebook accounts who could do the needful for you if it came to it.
They do have a presence on both twitter and Facebook ; only I don't , and I don't particularly want to subscribe to either .

I didn't either until a recent oven warranty problem. Their customer service dept were ignoring me for over a month.
A twitter account was established & customer services slagged off.
Strangely, problem addressed within 24 hours.
At the other end of the spectrum , I placed an order on Amazon on monday evening for a 32gb HD card , paid a total of £11.08 inc vat , and opted for free delivery by the 21st. Surprisingly , it arrived tuesday morning.
I think you have been exceedingly tolerant to have waited so long for goods that you paid almost £500 for , and I would have had no qualms about naming and shaming them in post 1. Absolutely 100% p155 poor service, and their lack of response would set alarm bells ringing for most people.Hope you now get the matter resolved to your satisfaction.
Unless they come through today , they will have blown their final chance with me .

This dealer also sells via Amazon , although I didn't find them that way . Had I bought through Amazon from them I might have had more protection , and another avenue of complaint .

All the same , if I get messed around any further , I might inform Amazon anyway .
Well , come 6pm I had heard nothing , so I emailed him saying that , in as much as I had not heard from him , I presumed he was unable to fulfil the order , therefore I wanted to cancel immediately and required a full refund .

To give him credit , I received an email back some 15 minutes or so later stating that he had processed the refund , and a duplicate email from Amazon ( he is an Amazon seller , although I had ordered directly with him and not via Amazon ) .

All that remains now is to check by the ATM on my way home tonight and verify the money is there .

All being well , I will reorder from a trusted seller , who I have already checked has the head and mic in stock .

If the first guy is to be believed , the problem was availability of the microphone , rather than the head .

Despite all that has happened , I still think it would be bad form to name and shame the guy on an open forum , but if any members are worried that they might be ordering from this seller , they can PM me and I'll confirm privately whether or not someone you are thinking of buying from might be this person ( I already had one PM today on this very subject ) .
To draw a line under this , the refund showed up in my bank account today .

I have now reordered the microphone from a trusted supplier who were showing it in stock for immediate dispatch and have an eta of tomorrow for delivery .

I was still having second thoughts about the MN 504 head , so in the meantime I have ordered a used MN 505 from another trusted supplier and have been advised to expect delivery on Wednesday . This head , although an older model , seems to be well thought of and should do the job for me until such time as I can afford a Sachtler , Vinten or whatever .

Both of these vendors are ones I have bought from on multiple past occasions and have always been reliable .

Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom