I made an order on the 19th of June 2013 for two items. One was an 'Upper Playground Wall Decal' artwork and the other was a set of cheap party 'Test Tube Shooters' that was stock imported from third parties in the US by Karmaloop. Karmaloop don't actually have any of what they advertise in stock they simply act as the middle man and import the items for you. From looking at the website and its variations I assumed that this was a professional company which I could rely on so instead of ordering straight from Upper Playground I decided to go with Karmaloop. Boy could I have been more wrong.
Firstly the two items took almost a month to arrive when it stated a couple of weeks on the Karmaloop website. When they did the more expensive Upper Playground wall decals arrived badly damaged because the decals artwork had come loose and had been kicking around in the larger box. I emailed Karmaloop and they agreed to take it back and provide a replacement for which they advised might take a few weeks. I patiently waited for a month or so and when nothing had come and no contact had been made I emailed them to ask what the status of the order was. I was told at that point that the item had been refunded and the order cancelled. I checked my bank account and Paypal account and no refund had been made. I got back to them stating this and that I had requested a replacement that I had been waiting all this time for. After a lot of confusion they said there had been a misunderstanding with the warehouse and my item was still on order and to be patient.I waited and waited and waited. Each month or so I contacted them asking the status and the same thing happened each time. Each time I wasted hours with emails chasing them and every time they eventually put it down to poor communication with the warehouse and the order was still being fulfilled.
At this point I thought that this whole thing was due to Karmaloop being completely incompetent. However I soon realised that they were purposely messing me about and keeping me hanging on with a false hope. When late September arrived I contacted them yet again and after I went through this ordeal for perhaps the 4th time I decided it would be much better if I just requested a refund and bought straight from Upper Playground instead. So in the last week or two I have been chasing up a refund for which I have now been told a number of times that a refund has been made and should have been with me within one business day.
I was beginning to lose hope so today I phoned the customer helpline and was met with heavy breathing on the other end and the occasional attempt at saying hello. It was clear from the occasional responsive hello that the representative could hear me on the other end. I tried phoning a few times to no avail so I hung up and went straight into the online chat feature on the Karmaloop website and was met with the same representative called James. I questioned the promises of being refunded and he told me that the latest refund had been processed through Paypal and that because it was coming from a bank account it would take a bit longer. As I have been trading for years I knew this was nonsense as all Paypal transactions are instant or at least show up as pending in your account. Later Paypal confirmed this when I talked to them and said no payment was pending. I asked James how much was being refunded and I got a made up figure which I corrected him on. He then made up this elaborate story that he had talked to accounts who had issued a discount code by mistake instead of a refund and that he was sorting it out now (again).
After all this, I got straight onto the phone to the national fraud department 'Action Fraud' who have taken all the details and are informing the police who will be investigating this further. I contacted Paypal who have also taken down the details. Meanwhile I will be going to the Citizen's Advice Bureau with the full intentions of taking the company to small claims court. I am also going to contact all companies involved with Karmaloop and inform them of this case and ask them to stop trading with this fraudulent company.
If you are considering making any purchase with this company whether big or small, seriously just save yourself the trouble. Don't put my review down as a one off because it is obvious through my lengthy dealings with them that this is systematic and not down to one employee.
UPDATE: A day after I emailed my review to a customer representative and informed them that I would be seeking legal action I received the amount I was owed. Funny that! However to add insult to injury they refunded it the wrong way costing me roughly £2 in fees to Paypal. To avoid this unnecessary charge all they had to do was refund the original transaction, send it as a private payment or absorb the fee themselves. Yet they failed to do this very simple task. At this point I have had enough dealing with them so I am not going to reverse it and get them to do it again. Now I have most of my money back it isn't worth me wasting more time taking them to court. I have left my report with Action Fraud though in the hope that if others have a problem they will have enough evidence to act.
I came across Graff City through Amazon as they had a very hard to find art book which was at an excellent price and the little feedback they had received so far consisted only of praise.
The book came neatly wrapped in what appeared to be acid free paper and secured in a sturdy box. It was clear that whoever had packaged it had taken the utmost care doing so. I continued to order from them wondering if the service would be consistent and it was. Items were all dispatched the same day often immediately after placing an order. Freebies are on offer when ordering and customer support is always speedy, friendly and professional. The website is also top notch.
I ordered a limited edition Tech Deck hand board off eBay that was a framed miniature version of the first skateboard I ever owned. So needless to say it had a lot of sentimental value and as the retail packaging was a display box and was meant to be used to display the board I messaged them upon purchase asking if they could please take a little bit of care packaging it.
The company dispatched the item from Germany so I had to wait about 2 weeks for it to arrive. When it arrived it was packed in a paper thin grey plastic bag with no protection whatsoever. I opened it and the retail box was completely destroyed. I was absolutely gutted as I was really looking forward to getting it. I opened a dispute in eBay immediately and for over a month of sending emails back and forth they messed me about and clearly couldn't have cared less. Each message I received looked like it had been written by a five year old, was about a page long and was really difficult to understand. I ended up sending photos of the damage but they kept saying they weren't receiving my emails even though the email address was correct every time. I sent the email about 20 times consecutively and they reluctantly admitted that they had received it but then said that there was no damage when it was clear as day and obviously unacceptable. They continued to taunt me in this underhand manor and mess me around but eventually agreed to take it back. I sent it back promptly to their UK outlet and then had to chase them again a week later to find out if they had got it. After confirming they had received it I then had to chase them for a refund and eventually they said that they would issue a refund within 24-48 hours. Luckily I was very much aware that the dispute had only 3 days left before it was automatically closed and I would have lost everything. So when after 3 days I had still not received a refund I messaged them again. I got no reply so I escalated the dispute to a claim hours before the dispute deadline.
I wrote two detailed messages to eBay customer services describing my experience and stated that I had sent the item back according to the seller's terms referring to their confirmation of it arriving back with them. Then Jenny Maguire and Janine Nason from eBay customer support kept sending me emails telling me to send it back with tracking. How the hell could I do this when it had already been sent back? I kept pointing this out to the representatives at eBay but every time they wrote a long message back seemingly ignoring what I had told them. I was then sent a request in the dispute to enter tracking which I couldn't refuse so I entered in the Royal Mail barcode. Maria Michaels messaged me afterwards telling me that the tracking indicated the item was currently in transit so could not yet refund me. I eventually lost my rag and told them I would be phoning eBay customer services in the morning to complain about their conduct. Another representative called Bernie Allen intercepted and apologized for what had happened. Finally someone who knew how to do their job, so about two months from when I had made the purchase I finally got refunded.
I left the worst negative feedback I could for the seller on eBay warning others what they were like. The amount of negative feedback the seller was getting was astonishing yet eBay had rated them a 'Top Seller'. Osuppliers then contacted me asking me to reconsider my negative feedback. When I asked why they hadn't refunded me the postage costs yet they went silent. I have still not had any refund for the postage costs to send the item back and wasted countless hours trying to sort the whole thing out because they literally couldn't give a damn how an item is sent out.
Osuppliers business tactic seems to be to flog as much as possible so all the negative feedback gets dwarfed to what appears to be an acceptable level to any buyer who doesn't carefully check their feedback. I strongly advise avoiding this company at all costs. They really disgrace good honest sellers on eBay who work hard to achieve the 'Top Seller' rating. Ebay should really intervene with sellers like this but I guess at the end of the day profits come first.
I order almost everything online and have done so for over a decade so I have had a very broad experience of postal services and the quality of their service. At times when I have made a lot of small orders from Amazon or another major retailer that use Yodel I have found myself inundated with damaged goods that have required a lot of time and effort to send back.
I could not understand how so many of my deliveries were getting damaged and only just noticed recently that all of the parcels that have had problems can be attributed to Yodel. Almost every Yodel delivery is either badly damaged or completely ravished. As opposed to [external reference removed] which has never let me down or [external reference removed] that are usually pretty good. A few times I have had to accept a parcel at the door that is literally falling apart. A friend advised me to not accept parcels in this condition in the future as it saves you having to pay any costs to send it back and waste time doing so. I truly have no faith in this company whatsoever and wish major online retailers such as Amazon would end their contracts with them.
There was a recent documentary by Dispatches called 'Post Office Undercover' that sent undercover reporters to work at certain postal depots. They managed to film postal workers throwing parcels back and forth the warehouse to purposely damage fragile parcels so they could take them home at the end of the day. I can't remember if Yodel was featured but you can rest assured the same thing will be happening with them. The investigator then interviewed management confronting them about this behaviour and as usual management spewed out round about explanations that eventually cause anyone to lose all interest and cease listening. The obvious solution is to place someone in management on the warehouse floor but I guess that would mean paying a floor worker a reasonable salary. Hopeless.
I would also like to add that this mysterious [private data removed] who seems to be praised in all the positive reviews, reported my review to Trustpilot delaying its publishing as with every other negative review posted recently. It seems odd to me that this [private data removed] even exists, why can't the company just do its job? It's obviously not just a handful of bad employees, the appalling service appears to be deeply rooted and systematic. I would advise anyone who has had to chase up their delivery via telephone to check their phone bills and request a full refund.
Laura Gaine found this review useful
I have shopped with a few of the most popular E-Cig online stores since the E-Cig was launched in the UK and without a doubt Cloud9 has been the best experience every time. From what I know it seems to be a family run business and as with most small family run businesses they take great care and effort to ensure all orders are fulfilled to the highest standard of service.
Cloud9 has always stocked the best quality products on the market and has the most competitive prices. Every order is sent out wrapped carefully in what appears to be acid free paper and packaged sensibly for transit. I have made quite a few orders over the years and only ever had one problem with a Clearomizer that arrived dead. Usually you are expected to test the hardware upon arrival as there is a limited period allowed to return dead on arrival products however I emailed them and as it was the first time I had made the mistake of not testing it they were happy to send out a replacement promptly and free of charge.
Unfortunately Lisa from Cloud9 has had health complications recently as mentioned on the site when it is not in operation. So the site has been down from time to time and orders have only been taken at specific times. I hope that Lisa gets better soon and I send them my best wishes. I will continue to favour Cloud9vaping in the future when buying electronic cigarette products.
The online shops that I tend to order from the most are Amazon or Play. Both are fairly equal in the way they package items (inappropriately) and deal with customer returns (very well).
Although Play has the edge over Amazon when it comes to packaging. Sometimes this is pure chance that the things I have ordered have come undamaged but when I order from Play they do make a little more effort to protect the shipment. And I have never had a book or any other item for that matter that has been damaged from them.
While Amazon usually have more products and are often better priced I feel safer ordering from Play. So I am willing to spend just a little more to go with them if they have what I am looking for. This means a lot because I do all my shopping online and I get really sick of sending things back because they simply aren't packaged properly for transit.
So if Play expand their range of products and match prices with Amazon I will favour Play. I really hope they take into consideration how they package products because they can improve vastly in this area as can Amazon and many other big online retailers.
As yet I have only complained about certain online retailers because my outrage dealing with them brought me to this site so this review is of a retailer that actually gets it. Drjays is a fine example of online retailing and how it should be. Firstly their website is exceptional with excellent presentation, clear photos of the products, easy navigation and the option to view products in order of them being added so you don't miss a thing.
There is one problem in that they don't give individual sizes of clothes which means as it is based in the USA I have learnt it is too risky and too expensive (for returns) to buy jeans. It is also pretty risky buying tops but since I regularly buy the same brands I have come to find what their typical sizes are and have mostly avoided disappointment. When I first started buying from Drjays a few years ago I ended up having to resell a lot of stuff on eBay because of this as it was too expensive to send back.
The customer service is second to none. I have ordered a considerable amount from Drjays and a couple of items have turned out to be damaged or faulty. However my emails were replied to within one day and replacements were sent out hassle free.
More recently Drjays have introduced an incredibly good value shipping method for overseas which determines any tax at the time of sale and is the cheapest shipping from the USA I have ever had to pay. My last order was bought with this method which is an economy post but arrived just a few days after my order. When I first started ordering from them shipping was with FedEx or a similar service which was grossly expensive. When it arrived in the UK it would often be taxed and I would be charged a ridiculous admin fee which would altogether almost double the price of what I had paid for the products. Thankfully those days are over and with the new shipping method and currency exchange rates plus the offers on the site you can get some great bargains.
Which brings me to my last point. The prices on Drjays for the products themselves are much better than any UK shop and there are often reductions and offers which make shopping with them a no brainer.
So all in all a great shopping experience with excellent customer service, huge selection of products with great photos, easy payment system and delivery... They just need to get more accurate fitting guidelines. If not for every article but for every brand. I hope Drjays continues to be successful and that other online shops follow suite.
Since I posted my first review Paypal seem to have taken on board a lot of complaints customers had with their service which is encouraging. The website and payment system is well designed and it makes online payment very easy without the need to always fill in all your details.
If you buy online and use the pay with Paypal button then you are covered by their buyer protection. So if anything goes wrong Paypal will most likely sort it out for you and you will get your money back. I cannot praise Paypal enough for this buyer protection feature as it has saved me an absolute fortune over the years as there are so many dishonest, irresponsible and incompetent sellers out there. My only complaint with this process is that Paypal require you to send all items back with tracking which is very expensive in the UK. Also if you have to return an item you are expected to cover this cost yourself even when the seller is at fault which is very unfair and does nothing to deter bad sellers.
The downside to Paypal is the amount of money they charge for seller transactions. I sell on eBay regularly and by the time eBay has taken insertion fees + final value fees + Paypal fees you are left feeling like you've been robbed. I also sell on Discogs.com and their fees are a fraction of what eBay charges but as a seller you cannot compete without offering Paypal as a payment option for buyers so you are still left paying the Paypal fees for receiving money for goods.
Overall Paypal is a great online payment service which has really improved the experience of buying online. I hope it continues to improve and address the few remaining issues I have mentioned.
Jodine Rose found this review useful
As an example, just recently I bought an expensive RAID enclosure that has taken three attempts to complete the order and a period of almost a month in waiting time. The first time it came it was sent in a box which survived the deadly pitfalls of Royal Mail/ Parcel Force handling. Although once I opened it I found that the retail box was crushed and in tatters as if something hefty had driven over it. Some bright spark in the warehouse must have thought it was appropriate to send it in that state.
When I had to send the item back I arranged a specific date but Parcel Force arrived a day earlier. I had to drop everything I was doing and package it for them only for them to make out it was somehow my fault. Second time it arrived in the same packaging and on first inspection it looked fine albeit the seal was broken on the retail box. I then discovered the RAID enclosure itself had been badly handled by God knows who and had scratches all over it. I was hoping third time lucky but this time they thought it was suitable sending an expensive piece of hardware through the post in a plastic bag instead of a box so the retail packaging was crushed again. I inspected the hardware which finally was in reasonable shape so I just bit my tongue and moved on.
I just cannot believe that they are so completely careless about a product that cost over £200. Now if I decide to sell the item on it will be missing a box and therefore I lose money. This is simple stuff Ebuyer, get it right! In future I will avoid Ebuyer which is a great shame because they have great products at good prices. It just isn't worth the time and misery.
UPDATE: I ended up having to send the RAID enclosure back AGAIN because it was faulty and AGAIN they sent the item out simply wrapped in a thin bag even though I asked the customer service on the phone to please package it in a box as it kept getting damaged. Luckily this time the box is in slightly better condition and the RAID enclosure appears to be fine so now a good few months from my initial purchase I can finally put this dreadful experience behind me.
Helen Alderson found this review useful
Again another online retailer who couldn't care less how many products they damage through careless packaging. The amount of times I've had to send books back, in particular, because they have carelessly thrown it in a box or unprotected envelope.
I no longer buy anything from Amazon that is delicate or fragile and is likely to get damaged in the post. Instead I buy from independent sellers with only 100% feedback which has saved me a lot of time and misery. It is a shame because I have a long list of books I would have ordered from them and am still trying to track down from alternative places that are reliable.
It's not just low cost items either, I've bought very expensive PC hardware and electronic goods that have been wrapped inadequately and arrived completely crushed and damaged. You'd think Amazon would be concerned about how much money they are losing due to this but it clearly doesn't seem to bother them at all. Very sloppy indeed and a terrible waste of everyone's time. Buying online should be a pleasant experience not a hazard.
Obviously the good reason for shopping with Amazon is their prices, the range of stock and the option of a free delivery. I also shop with them because they tend to replace items promptly and with no fuss. Their free returns system is actually quite effective and easy to use.
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