back to article Ho, ho, HOLY CR*P, ebuyer! Etailer rates staff on returns REJECTED

Happy shoppers enjoying the Christmas cheer will be deeply disappointed in online retailer ebuyer.com – after it posted jolly pictures of its staff wearing festive-themed jumpers to show what a heartwarming company it really, really is. But, as noted by Reg reader Phil, the firm's Xmas celebrations hit something of a snag, …

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  1. Rukario

    Facebook

    "The photo was quickly yanked from the free content ad network,"

    Every time this is mentioned, someone in the comments points out the correction... this should read: "The photo was quickly yanked from the content-free ad network,"

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Facebook

      But in this case, there actually was content, though not for long.

      1. Rukario

        Re: Facebook

        It was a pathetic attempt at advertising, therefore doesn't count as content.

        1. LosD

          Re: Facebook

          It was a pathetic attempt at advertising that unintentionally became content ;)

        2. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I feel it in the air

      Oooh, isn't this a bit of good evidence to start a little bit of litigation.

      Anyone here had their return rejected? Trading Standards anyone? Sale of Goods Act anyone?

      If you buy from them you have rights, they own you a duty of care, not just the manufacturer. If this is their policy they might well be in serious trouble.

      1. messele

        Re: I feel it in the air

        Exactly. They cannot legally reject returns so, as usual, this is probably a bunch of shit-stirring crap.

        Still, nice baubles.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I feel it in the air

          I'm pretty sure you can reject returns in some cases.

          1. Goldmember

            Re: I feel it in the air

            "I'm pretty sure you can reject returns in some cases."

            Only for bespoke goods, such as engraved trophies or custom printed t-shirts. UK retailers fall under the Distance Selling Regulations, which permit anything standard and new purchased online to be returned, for ANY reason, within a specified amount of time.

            So everything purchased from ebuyer can be returned to them, whether it's faulty or you simply don't want it any more. They have no legal right to reject any returns, which either makes their little leaderboard very much illegal (in that they are misleading customers as to the customer's legal rights), or it actually is what they say it is; a measure of how many issues are resolved by tech support, thus avoiding a return.

            I've always had a good experience with ebuyer; quick delivery and properly packaged goods. But I've not had to return anything as yet, so no idea about their returns process.

            1. DanDanDan

              Re: I feel it in the air

              "which permit anything standard and new purchased online to be returned, for ANY reason, within a specified amount of time."

              The statutory period is 7 days, but it's important to note that not everything is included - e.g. Concert tickets, plane tickets, hotel reservations... there are probably many more examples.

              I wish the above were covered though; my girlfriend recently selected the wrong date to fly by mistake (don't ask) and only spotted it after the email confirmation was made. She then had to pay more than the flight to get the date amended.

              1. JeffyPoooh
                Pint

                Re: I feel it in the air

                3rdDan "She then had to pay more than the flight to get the date amended."

                If the amendment cost more than a flight, then why not forget about the over-priced amendment and simply purchase another cheap-as-chips flight on the correct date?

                I realize that there may be a rational explanation. Maybe.

                PS. Merry Xmas!

              2. TheVogon

                Re: I feel it in the air

                "there are probably many more examples."

                Software / games / CDs / DVDs spring to mind...

            2. Russell Hancock

              Re: I feel it in the air

              You can also reject returns if they are incomplete (i.e. no power cable, missing manuals, etc) or if the packaging is missing - the main point being it has to be in the original condition so that it can be sold again...

              Cheers

              1. AOD

                Re: I feel it in the air

                I do wish people wouldn't post misleading rubbish about the distance selling regs.

                Contrary to some opinions here, the return of an item in original packaging in a condition fit for resale is *not* a requirement of the regs. That doesn't stop some retailers from trying it on but that's the point when a trip to the following site will come in handy:

                http://dshub.tradingstandards.gov.uk/

                1. King Jack

                  Re: I feel it in the air

                  Too right. You pay for postage and PACKING. So they cannot refuse something if it's packed differently as the packaging is yours. I had that argument once. I told them to refund the P&P if they wanted the packing back, if not the item was on it's way in a ripped up box because that is how I opened the box. I got my money back.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: I feel it in the air

                "You can also reject returns if they are incomplete (i.e. no power cable, missing manuals, etc) or if the packaging is missing - the main point being it has to be in the original condition so that it can be sold again..."

                Wrong. You can require compensation, but you can't refuse the cancel of the contract.

            3. tin 2

              Re: I feel it in the air

              They can reject returns by making it absolutely impossible to return stuff. And if you do manage (for instance by posting it to them unsolicited) by not giving you your money back. Other retailers have caught on, try returning something faulty to Tesco phone shop. They won't take it. There's a world of difference between being entitled to return something and actually getting the retailer to let you.

            4. foxbatgb

              Re: I feel it in the air

              I've returned an SSD that decided not to be compatible with the laptop it was designated for. They accepted it back within the 7 day period no questions asked. I was very careful to keep everything including the packaging in pristine condition while testing the SSD.

            5. sorry, what?
              Flame

              Re: I feel it in the air

              @Goldmember, I once bought a silver Nintendo DS Lite from them, around the time that the DSi came out. It came with an American power adapter, where the official boxing said it was only for sale in North America and some related territories (not the UK), and they had packed a third-party charger too. This was not mentioned in the online description and when I rejected the product on the grounds that it was not as described, along with the way the boxing indicated "not for sale" in the UK, they grudgingly agreed to refund me (they updated the product details to mention the adapter) but I had to pay for return P&P.

              This still irritates me when I think about it and has meant I have never used them again. You might say "eBuyer beware".

      2. Tapeador

        Re: I feel it in the air

        That's a great point AC 08:22, with one or two problems.

        This issue goes right to the centre of a problem of confused and conflicting principles at the centre of English consumer protection law. The duty of care extends only to fulfilling those obligations which are *established*. Until they are established, it is ordinary practice for every retailer including John Lewis, to resist all claims (return requests) at all cost. The ordinary practice is to pretend to the consumer that the consumer simply has no claim in law ("I'm sorry you're outside the manufacturer warranty so there is nothing we can do"), rather than admit that the retailer is merely resisting that claim. Your right to resist a claim is a basic right in law: it is no different from the right to defend yourself in court.

        However. We can see that a basic objection to this "right" is that some companies base their business model upon resisting all claims including those of clear merit. I'm not sure how you resolve this except systemically e.g. bring in statutory penalties for manifestly wrongful rejections of claims, e.g. £40 or 10% of the price of the item whichever is more.

        But even if we agree with all the above, there are reasons why OFT might not blink in this case - the obvious, that it could be argued staff are just jobsworths and need to be incentivised to look after the proper interests of the company, scrutinising return requests properly. Many return requests will be under the Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000 - a consumer will decide they just don't want the item. In that case the company is morally entitled to check to see very precisely whether the return falls within the permissible criteria.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I feel it in the air

          @Tapeador: I think that's pretty fair, not sure why the downvote.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I feel it in the air

          A minor point.

          Ebuyer, or any other retailer, that does not record (for training or other purposes) telephone calls to their staff has the right to reject any cancellation request by phone and insist of notification in another form.

          The relevant act is The Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000. Section 10 Subsections 3 and 4 which state:

          (3) For the purposes of these Regulations, a notice of cancellation is a notice in writing or in another durable medium available and accessible to the supplier (or to the other person to whom it is given) which, however expressed, indicates the intention of the consumer to cancel the contract.

          (4) A notice of cancellation given under this regulation by a consumer to a supplier or other person is to be treated as having been properly given if the consumer—

          (a) leaves it at the address last known to the consumer and addressed to the supplier or other person by name (in which case it is to be taken to have been given on the day on which it was left);

          (b) sends it by post to the address last known to the consumer and addressed to the supplier or other person by name (in which case, it is to be taken to have been given on the day on which it was posted);

          (c) sends it by facsimile to the business facsimile number last known to the consumer (in which case it is to be taken to have been given on the day on which it is sent); or

          (d) sends it by electronic mail, to the business electronic mail address last known to the consumer (in which case it is to be taken to have been given on the day on which it is sent).

          Since telephone calls (unless recorded) are not durable the retailer does not have to accept them as a notice of cancellation.

          Note: I have dealt with Ebuyer for many years and have returned goods to them (twice). They never attempted to reject my return. They did ask me to go through a check list, to ensure it wasn't a customer mistake, which I declined and they said OK.

      3. Sanctimonious Prick

        Re: I feel it in the air

        Go to the Jax.

        "they own you a duty of care"

        Check your spelling.

      4. tin 2

        Re: I feel it in the air

        Abso-fecking-lutely. A bang to rights, born to fail pile of crap OCZ vertex II. The absolute best they were prepared to do after literally MONTHS of wrangling was replace it with another. Which of course has remained in its box. I think I'll have my money back now cheers eBuyer.

      5. Daniel Voyce

        Re: I feel it in the air

        To be fair I have never had a problem sending something back to eBuyer - they did initially try and troubleshoot problems (Have you turned it off and on again....) and when they couldn't solve it issued an RMA immediately.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Tech Support?

      They don't look like they know much do they?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Tech Support?

        Who gives a fuck, it's Christmas, I can smell the pub from here and they have a few fitties in the picture, roll on clocking off time.

      2. Carl Fletcher

        Re: Tech Support?

        Why?

  2. A. Lewis

    Humbug!

    This reinforces my desire to avoid ebuyer. I've only ever had bad service from them.

    But still, in this season of goodwill, Merry Christmas to all, including them, and hopefully yuletide cheer will make them accept some returns!

    1. Timmay

      Re: Humbug!

      "May the Yuletide log slip from your fire and burn your house down!"

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Humbug!

        "May the Yuletide log slip from your fire and burn your house down!"

        I saw Peter Cook's parody of Roald Dahl's "tales of the unexpected" too. Change your name to Ronald, Timmay.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Humbug!

        "May the Yuletide log slip from your fire and burn your house down!"

        Update, there is a youtube video of the skit here 1.18in. Poor quality video.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4ADis2f6AE

    2. MrXavia

      Re: Humbug!

      Everyone gets different experiences, or have different expectations...

      for me ebuyer have been great, quick to do returns for faulty goods...

      Reliable deliveries, good prices...

      In actual fact I choose them over other companies when there is only a few ££ in it..

      Tech support? no idea since if I can't figure it out there is no chance someone on the end of a phone can (well unless your employing real engineers for tech support, which never really happens...)

      usually its not until you get to the 3rd level tech support in any company you speak to a real engineer, and then often the first rung don't even KNOW they have a 3rd level...

      1. Stephen 2

        Re: Humbug!

        The story is quite misleading, especially since they were given what seems to be a legitimate explanation. But I guess it's not such an interesting story when you know the truth.

        I used to buy from Ebuyer a lot, I especially liked that you can order so late in the evening and still get it next day. But I don't find their prices that competitive anymore.

        I've returned items before without any issue.

        But tbh I prefer Amazon with Prime now days instead of Ebuyer.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Humbug!

          Ummmmm. That 'legitimate explanation' doesn't really line up with the word 'rejected'... 'resolved' perhaps, but not 'rejected'.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Humbug!

            There is nothing wrong with the legitimate explanation.

            The board is supposed to reflect two opposite outcomes so it is only reasonable that they use two words that are the opposite of each other to reflect this.

            There are various words than could be used for the opposite of accepted (refused, rejected, passed up, turned down, declined) none of which are "resolved".

  3. LeeS

    To be fair to them, I've always found the service very good, but not sure if I've had any returns, and when you consider how many hopeless users there are out there they would be stupid to NOT try and prevent returns, if they didn't everything you bought would be an ex RMA!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Never had any complaints either, atleast not until they switched to Yodel delivery.

      Ugh

      1. Mike Pellatt

        Give them credit. It's quite an achievement to find a courier worse than ShittyLink, wot they always used to use.

    2. wikkity

      If you've never had to return something you are very lucky. It took me ages to get them to agree to accepting some faulty memory from a pile of kit I got to build a PC. By the time I got a replacement I discovered that the graphics card that was in the same bundle was faulty too, but because the original delivery was now over a month they started to refuse accepting that claiming I should have reported it within 7 days. They eventually caved in after many emails about legal responsibilities and the fact I spent over £10000 in the previous year with them.

      By the time I got the PC built in was 2 months later and the price of the kit was on sale at about £200 cheaper :-(

      They did replace a dodgy laptop I ought on my personal account rather than the business one the above was purchased under within any problems though.

    3. jason 7

      I don't have an issue if they try a few "turn it off and on again" type routines with the customer before a full return. Most people are numpties. I still see plenty USB cables pushed into printer ethernet ports. For the sake of 5 minutes on the phone.....

      However, I do get annoyed if companies start denying all responsibility. If the product doesnt work it's not your fault but you sold it, take it back, deal with the supplier and make the customer happy. Not saying that's what Ebuyer was doing but it's a shame it still goes on today.

  4. frank ly

    'resolved'

    A much more friendly, positive and upbeat word.

  5. Tsung

    Not suprised.

    Bought a laptop from them, it was faulty, they wouldn't even entertain a return until I had phoned up and spoken to Lenovo technical support. Spoke to Lenovo tech support they agreed the laptop was faulty, and then ebuyer finally agreed to accept it back for refund.

    Makes me very wary of using them again especially for expensive items.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not suprised.

      Laptop arrive faulty. Use distance selling act + Sales of goods act, far more aggressive and brutal than any other method.

      Simply say that I wish to reject the item as it's faulty.

      End of.

      Don't take any crap of them. Tell them if they refuse to honour this you will have no choice but to take them to court. Also use the new weapon of choice and tear them apart on social media.factually though, don't make things up as that leaves you wide open.

      No if's, no buts, no nothing. End of.

      It's only because in this country we have accepted shit service for so long do we get it.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Not suprised.

        It's amazing the backtracking you get if you inform them a tape recorder is running and then ask did they really just refuse a legal obligation?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Not suprised.

          > It's amazing the backtracking you get if you inform them a tape recorder is running and then ask did they really just refuse a legal obligation?

          They don’t have a legal obligation to accept a cancellation by phone. The cancellation has to be via a durable medium* and unless they record the telephone conversation they have every legal right to ignore your cancellation request. Durable medium can be letter, email, fax etc.

          * Consumer Protection Act 2000 Section 10(3) and 10(4)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not suprised.

      Distance Selling Regulations. You have NO obligation to contact Lenovo and you can return the product FOR ANY REASON within 7 days of receipt. Outside of Distance Selling you STILL have no obligation to contact Lenovo (you didn't contract with them). This kind of crap has to be stamped out.

      1. The Stolly

        Re: Not suprised.

        To be honest I'd rather speak to the manufacturers tech support first to confirm a fault rather than some retailer's staff and it seems many manufacturers would prefer this too.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In der fence

    Id imagine most IT service companies do something similar, indeed, back in the dim and distant past when I worked for DSG, the general rule was - try and help the customer see the error of their ways*

    And in fairness to eBuyer, my recent experience of their service was very positive. Their courier of choice managed to lose# a HP MicroServer whilst it was in their depot, but eBuyer shipped a replacement very quickly once the minimal paper trail had been completed. I've also not had issues RMA'ing when some RAM sticks went bad last year.

    *except on Boxing day when everyone wants to return their unwanted tat, in which case (unless its software), JFDI.

    #have stolen by an employee

    1. GettinSadda

      Re: In der fence

      You can't justify illegal practices by saying others do the same.

      I hear that some roofing companies to very poor work and charge for lots of stuff that they don't do (because most customers can't inspect the work) but when a company is found to be doing this it is not a fair defence to say that all the local companies do it!

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I don't work at ebuyer but a similar online etailer.

    If you call us with a fault on say an HP prionter we will ask you to speak to HP to confirm its faulty. Within 30 days they will give you a fault confirmation then we can use this number to replace the faulty unit. After 30 days HP deal direct with repair replacement.

    Does not seem unreasonable to me. If the warranty is direct with the company i work for then you wouold fault find with me and if we could not resolve it then its customer services for returns etc. Thing is where I work we are more interested in getting the correct item to you the first time rather than selling you cheap crap. If you have 10 HDD's and call me and say 1 isn't working I wont argue :)

    Your rights are not changed and if you order as a consumer you have a 7 day no quibable return for non custom goods as covered by the distance selling provisions of the sonsumer rights act.

    1. Jonathan Bliss

      ...but SOGO

      The sale of goods act clearly states that as I have bought from you my contract is with you.

      I don't have to do all the work for you and work with the manufacturer to prove it is faulty. Warranty is extra protection above the sale of good act and you cannot force me to deal with the manufacturer or use the fact of a manufacturers warranty to overide my rights.

      http://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/regulation/sale-of-goods-act

      "If your claim is about a problem that arises within six months of buying the product, it's up to the retailer to prove that the goods were of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose, or as described when it sold them."

      Just becuase it "does not seems unreasonable" to you doesn't make you correct. This is typical of the attitude and traing in online companies and why we get such poor customer service.

      1. Fihart

        Re: ...but SOGO @Jonathan Bliss

        Too right !

        A warranty is an agreement between the retailer and the manufacturer in which the latter agrees to underwrite the former's liability to the customer for a limited period. This does not really concern the customer. His contract is with the retailer who is normally seen as having liability to repair, replace or refund faulty goods within a reasonable period. Consumer durables should be durable, so the reasonable period is much longer than the one or three years of a warranty.

        In the UK we often complain about higher prices compared to the US. Their lower prices are, in part, a reflection of different liabilities on the retailer. In many cases the warranty is all the customer gets. Quite widely reported problems have arisen with US companies trading in Europe applying American habits in our markets.

        Unfortunately, some (perhaps many) leading UK stores seem to have been training their staff to imply to customers that the warranty is all they get, in order to quite dishonestly sell "extended coverage". I recently overheard that going on in a well known high street bike store. And the assistant proclaimed that the normal warranty only covered the frame breaking !!!

        Such retailers may then refuse faulty returns outside the warranty period if the customer hasn't bought the extension. This was tried by a very well known high street store.

        They will back down in valid cases if you speak to head office. Interestingly, the UK's biggest electrical retailer has an arrangement under which one is then referred on to the manufacturer -- who readily agreed to replace a TV that had failed about 14 months after purchase.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What sign?

    I just see the wimmens!

  9. steveking1000

    Equal opportunities?

    Can't be a real leader board - the "top" scorer is a guy and all their tech support staff happen to be female.

    What do you mean they only wanted the women on their Facebook page?

    1. Timmay

      Re: Equal opportunities?

      BlackAdder, this is Bob.

      It's a funny name for a girl, sir.

      Yes, it would be a funny name for a girl, but it's a perfectly normal name for a strapping young lad like Bob, eh Bob?

      Yes sir.

      Bob should be a great help, He has a marvellous sense of humour.

      He, sir? He, he?

      See, you're laughing already.

    2. gotes

      Re: Equal opportunities?

      This looks more likely to be the technical team.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Many of these companies are typically just shifting boxes (albeit at small margins) and perhaps providing little in the way of support - effectively unless it's DOA the seems to be 'deal with the manufacturer'. Many even just ship direct from the manufacturer / distributor and probably just live feed from their stock.

    Ordered some stuff from ebuyer - well before the cut-off - but it never shipped. Had paid for a next day delivery so clearly that was not happening. It then shipped the next day and arrived the day after. I asked them to refund the delivery charge and they said they would only refund the DIFFERENCE between the delivery I had paid for and the one I actually received (i.e. the difference between a next day and 2 day delivery) - this was about a pound.

    Now call me picky but if I pay extra for a next day delivery it is because that is when I need / want the item. I'm sure it's in their terms and conditions somewhere but there is a difference between doing the absolute minimum (as in contractually they would HAVE to refund the service they had not provided) but refund the difference.

    They suggested I could just refuse the delivery and raise it as a return but it was not clear (and I did not have the time to clarify) if that would then forfeit my 'out' delivery charge - but the fact was I still needed the items so accepted them arriving late. In the end I complained to them and they refunded the full delivery charge but getting it done was far too much effort.

    Guess it's a case of voting with your feet (and money) if you get insufficient service and makes you realise why retailers like John Lewis and Apple do so well despite perhaps being slightly more expensive.

    1. Vic

      > retailers like John Lewis and Apple do so well despite perhaps being slightly more expensive.

      John Lewis do a price-match; if you post them the URL to $thing where it is cheaper, they will sell it to you at the same price.

      I cannot fault them...

      Vic.

    2. Fuzz

      Pretty sure they're wrong here.

      You wanted next day delivery, but you didn't get it. The cost for next day delivery is the total cost for delivery as it's not broken down into e.g. £1 for delivery + £1 for next day it's just £1 for delivery or £2 for next day. Ebuyer cannot substitute an alternative service and then expect you to pay for it.

      This said in my experience I've always found ebuyer easy to deal with, everything delivered within agreed timescales, the one return I had to make (faulty SSD) was no problem. I've also had a firmware warning from them to tell me I needed to flash my SSD or risk data loss.

  11. codejunky Silver badge

    Hahaha

    After the experience I had with them they deserve it. I bought a computer with no OS, a keyboard and headset. The keyboard had a broken key so I sent it back and got another, with a broken key so I gave up and bought from somewhere else. The headset broke after a few week so I bought another from somewhere else. But the killer was the computer which had a faulty fan speed sensor and so kept bleeping. I sent it back on the understanding that this easy fix will be promptly resolved and my machine returned to me.

    So... after arguing with the moron on the phone who claimed this little fix was deemed beyond repair and I wouldnt get the computer back decided I could have one of equivalent value. The problem being that all their systems had windows and so were lesser machines. It took half an hour to explain to these morons that it is a simple fix but they sold it this way so frickin fix it. If it is too complicated then send it to the manufacturer who will of course fix this simple issue.

    The result was that they sent the machine to the manufacturer, blaming the graphics card instead of the case fan and giving them the wrong contact details and delivery address to them. I contacted the supplier and got my machine back the next day in perfect working order with instructions not to bother with E-buyer anymore, if I have any problems I could go direct to them for a much better service.

  12. Tromos

    All in the phrasing

    If they had rated their tech support people on 'customer problems solved' I bet the picture would still be there but El Reg would be down one article. If the NHS were to do similar and publish figures for the number of people 'sent away from hospital' rather than 'discharged' it would become a national scandal.

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: All in the phrasing

      You're assuming that the panic-stricken PR droid was telling the truth, when they were almost certainly digging around for anything that wouldn't make them look bad, or possibly in breach of the spirit of the law.

      If it really meant 'resolved' then it'd say that.

      This is a company culture thing, and clearly indicates a "please go away" internal support culture rather than a "how can we help you".

  13. Andrew Hill

    This explains why they refused to accept an RMA for a motherboard with clearly broken capacitors. Eventually I took them to court, and they settled a couple of weeks before the hearing. Then they closed my account with no reason given.

    One could ask why I would still want to deal with such a godawful company. Answer: they're cheap. So I looked up all of their directors' names on LinkedIn and guessed at their email addresses based on the format they use, and copied them all in my communications asking what they thought they were playing at. My account was reopened a few minutes later.

    I don't think I've ordered anything since.

  14. NotaFanboi
    Happy

    Merry Xmas eBuyer

    Use of facebook excepted I have always found eBuyer to provide great service - including dealing with more than one return. It is a shame to see people get on their backs for a charity event.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No real surprise

    When my laptop failed due to the nvidia gfx chip fiasco it took me 18 months and 2 court visits to get them to accept they were liable. Ebuyer is great when all is well. Not so when you have issues....

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    From Left to Right!

    Maybe,No,Yes,maybe,yes,yes,maybe and hell yes!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: From Left to Right!

      no, yes, no, no, god no, yes, no, yes

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: From Left to Right!

        #5 has Wednesday legs ... Wednesdaygonnabreak?

        1. Nick Ryan Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: From Left to Right!

          pulse, pulse, pulse, pulse, pulse, pulse, pulse, pulse.

  17. Pete 61

    I stopped buying from eBuyer after they refused to replace a faulty item within the warranty period. Absolute sham of a company, I hope the few pounds they saved by not replacing my item was worth me not spending a few thousand with them.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'll order..

    The blond, fifth from the left please ... I'll eat that!

  19. Goit
    Unhappy

    What the fuck is all this 'Christmas jumper' shit. My work had it and I came in with my 'uniform' on - there should be a grumpy cat Icon.

    There used to be an ongoing joke about having to wear the really bad jumper grandma had knitted for you at Christmas, now we have a AmercaniZed bastardisation that has turned into a tradition of Christmas jumper day 'for fun'. Twats.

    Ebuyer can piss off too.

    Bah humbug!

  20. John Sanders
    Meh

    Read this with the "Jingle bells music"

    Why the F****?

    Why the F****?

    Why the F**** do I care?

    What the F**** do you make your employees while in the office wear...

    All I F***** care is that you ship working gear!

    Hey! Why the F****?

    Why the F****?

    Why the F**** do I care?

    I seriously hate the "Social" crap on the inter-webs.

  21. msknight
    FAIL

    Refused to recognise the law

    I bought a laptop from Ebuyer. It went faulty after 2 years. I had a manufacturers report to back me up that it was a fault, not customer damage ... eBuyer's response was that I was outside the 1 year warantee. I responded that under the consumer protection act I was covered and I had an official, legal gripe with eBuyer.

    Long story short, just before small claims court, I sent the report to the credit card company. They settled with me and chased eBuyer.

    The settlement paid for official repair of the laptop and it went on to run for another five happy years before eventually being so slow that I dismantled it for parts.

    I wouldn't go anywhere near eBuyer again. In my humble opinion, they're just slime.

    And yes I realise that i'm breaking my elf-imposed silence once again to post this. (Whadda yah mean, "elf", it is Christmas after all!)

    1. Rukario
      Joke

      Re: Refused to recognise the law

      Elf-imposed silence? What happened, Thranduil cut your tongue?

      Merry Christmas.

    2. Andus McCoatover
      Windows

      run for another five happy years before eventually being so slow that I dismantled it

      Crikey! What a can of worms in that statement!!! They don't get slower with age. We just get more impatient because the latest, greatest eye-candy doesn't quite load as quickly.

      Guessing Win-XP --> Vista?

      Should've Linux'd the fuc*ker! You'd still be using it now!

      1. msknight

        Re: run for another five happy years before eventually being so slow that I dismantled it

        Actually, it was running Linux from day one. That's why it lasted 7 years all told :-) Crikely, do you honestly think it would have lasted that long on Windows?!

        However, I wish we had a decent #! then, as Ubuntu has just gone the way of the bloat IMHO. Ever since they trashed netbook remixes. *sigh* those were the days.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: run for another five happy years before eventually being so slow that I dismantled it

          "Crikely, do you honestly think it would have lasted that long on Windows?!"

          I still have a couple of ~ 12 year old laptops still happily running Windows XP, and unlike a 7 year old Linux, they are still supported OSs....

          1. msknight

            Re: run for another five happy years before eventually being so slow that I dismantled it

            That's fair enough, if it was only the operating system, but the apps are the killer; if you are in an arena where you have to keep updating they just keep bloating.

            You can run this argument from many directions and each direction is valid on its own merits.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As a student

    I worked in the "OR" (Operational research) of a British company during the vacations. One of the products, a carpet cleaner, was showing a high rate of returns, and it was investigated. None of the returns were faulty (except for a couple blocked because people had filled them with undiluted cleaner and then left them to dry out).

    Each time the wheels revolved, a cam drove a little pump which dispensed cleaner onto the brushes. but a design feature was that if they revolved with no weight on the machine, they would not operate the cam (so it could be moved without spreading cleaner).

    OR discovered that the returns were because the owners did not like the clicking noise, and so tried to operate the machines without creating it. The product was never popular, but the solution was to put a large sticker on the machine saying something like "this product should make a loud click every revolution in normal use", and advise the retailers.

    I'm inclined to suspend judgement on ebuyer, though this may be because the one time I did have a returns issue it was fixed, quickly. The fact is that some customers are clueless, and they may need advice (even of the "did you charge it up before first use?" variety, or "have you actually got wifi?")

    1. Gene Cash Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: As a student

      So instead of fixing the damned annoying noise, you put a sticker on it... and we wonder why businesses are going to hell.

      This is like one of the local restaurant chains (Olive Garden) deciding the background music was to blame for their decline in customers, not their crap food.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: As a student

        I think that's a bit unfair. Perhaps you've never operated a vacuum cleaner, or ridden a motorcycle, or you would realise that some noises are rather inescapable (unless you are prepared to pay rather high prices, and even Dyson's aren't silent).

        When you can make a reliable,silent, cam-operated dosing pump for liquids for a few pence, let me know. Until then, explaining to people that this is not a bug but a feature seemed sensible.

        My point was a more general one about providing customers with information. Among the issues I've come across in the past:

        1. Cars being complained of to garage because, after running in, the temperature gauge did not go as high. (proposed solution: a temperature gauge that somehow always showed exactly the same level across the entire acceptable running range.)

        2. Complaint of fuses blowing in a 4-way extension lead because the user thought that the 13A rating applied to every outlet.

        3. A customer complaining to a boatyard that the water in their gas boiler had frozen during the winter, causing it to burst while the boat was unattended (as the boatyard owner remarked, "I know I'm supposed to be able to do everything but up till now nobody has asked me to arrange for it not to freeze in winter")

  23. MJA

    I like the one in the ho ho ho jumper...

    I think most people instantly forgot the point of the article in order to rate the ladies.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  24. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
    Stop

    On the other side of the fence

    Any system which rewards rejecting legitimate complaints is utterly wrong but businesses should be able to reject illegitimate claims.

    When you have people breaking things then claiming it was faulty when delivered, claiming it is faulty when they simply don't understand how to use it, demanding replacement without return simply to get a freebie; you start to develop a different perspective.

    Not all companies can afford to allow themselves be taken for mugs. That simply pushes up prices, can make them uncompetitive, even put them out of business or laying off staff. Perceived poor service isn't always the result of company culture but having been bitten too many times in the past.

  25. Billa Bong

    Benefit of doubt

    For the defense:

    #1. Where does it say "leader board". The pixelation makes it hard to make out the top few scores and people are in the way of the rest - it does *appear* that they're in %age order just based on the top two, but "Dan" may be the first alphabetically.

    #2. To receive back RMA kit that is not faulty hurts us as consumers because it pushes prices up. Maybe before laying into them you should be thanking them for checking that the kit is indeed faulty before accepting RMA. Oh, and getting people to call the *actual* technical experts to confirm the kit is faulty is also a sensible move, particularly if the staff don't know their arse from their elbow

    For the prosecution:

    #1. Never accept crap service. I've read a few people who've said it. If you've stated the issue and they've not acted on it in a satisfactory way then FGS tell them. I'm a support division manager and I take that stuff very seriously, but read the "finally" note below.

    #2. If RMA is the only metric they're looking at then they deserve an additional slating for it. I score my guys on the number and complexity of the issues resolved with the customer to the customers satisfaction, no matter what the actual issue resolution.

    And finally:

    Geeze you guys, calm down a bit. There will always be people who they don't manage to satisfy 100%, but if you go off on them then you *will* be marked as a bad customer. Work with them and let them know exactly what the issue is - take photos, talk to them politely (as possible). You'll find they'll be less hostile and easier to work with. If you're not getting on with the individual you're talking to, ask to talk to someone else.

    1. Billa Bong

      Re: Benefit of doubt

      I'm guessing the 3 thumbs down are from the people who had to put in some hard work to get something RMA'd. I don't mind - but all I was saying was ebuyer might be crap but I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt since me and my team have to deal with overly aggressive people on a daily basis; as humans, and those not at the source of the original issue that's caused you to call us we're more likely to help people who are pleasant to deal with. Like it or not, aggressive customers get poorer service because support people don't want to deal with you.

      ** Edit: and a thumbs down on this one within 1 minute! Awesome. I'm going for a record. Maybe you'd like to explain why me telling you that there may be more to this story is so offensive to you? I thumbs down your thumbs down, sir.

      1. gotes

        Re: Benefit of doubt

        I don't understand why some people get so worked up about downvotes. Here, have an upvote, hope it makes you feel better.

  26. Luke 11

    He'll freezes over.

    I can't believe one of those pretty girls is qualified to reject any of my RMA claims. Is one of them called Dan?

    Hide all the ugly boys and bring out the reception staff.

  27. Jess--

    Never had a problem with ebuyer (apart from citylink who cant decide whether my house exists or not)

    had my fair share of returns with them too, got a couple of memory sticks waiting to go back right now (they failed after 9 months)

    I generally detail the fault finding I have done to save them having to work though it with me.

    I have done work with a similar retailer to ebuyer and worked on their tech support line, Best one I had was a customer wanting to return a brand new PC

    they had gone for top of the line on everything for the machine aroud £7k (built to order) and a few of us had looked at the machine when it was built simply because it really was top notch.

    customer was on the phone swearing at everyone that "this f*****g machine is no good, it won't f*****g turn on, you will refund my f*****g money right now" etc etc

    eventually I calmed him down enough to work out he was pressing the reset button instead of the power switch.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ebuyer Returns

    I found Ebuyers returns department to be marvellous.

    I had an LG Blu_Ray writer that failed after 13 months. I contacted LG who told me to get lost as it was more than a year old. I then spoke to Ebuyer on the off-chance and without any prodding they took it back and sent me a brand new unit with an improved spec.

    Had the same experience with them with a LCD panel that packed up where Samsung were disinterested to say the least (claimed it wasn't a UK model). Ebuyer again sent me a new monitor with no hassle at all.

    I expect a lot of returns from the average punter is for stuff that isn't actually broken. I've got some good deals buying "B grade" items online down the years. Stuff that has been returned but is fine. Just picked up a electric radiator for half of RRP. It was a return. Nothing wrong with it!

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    DUMB DUMB DUMB

    I was left speechless by those lot once when I placed an order ten minutes before their ships-the-same-day cutoff time of 11pm and when said item didn't arrive the next day I was told WELL, THIS IS BECAUSE YOU ORDERED IT TEN MINUTES BEFORE THE DEADLINE!! Looking at that photo now I understand completely...

  30. CAPS LOCK Silver badge

    Returns? To Ebuyer? Hahahahahahahahahahah

    A Kafkaesque nightmare.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I have no idea why this kind of thing surprises people - do they not work? Most jobs will have targets.

    Whether it leads to bad service or them not meeting their legal obligations is a separate matter.

  32. This post has been deleted by its author

  33. Captain Dallas

    Stopped using them years ago...

    I had a lousy experience returning something six months old a few years back and never used them again.

    Can't say this piece is a surprise, have a feeling Ebuyer's days are numbered.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Pint

    I spent a couple of years working for a certain electrical retailer (deceased December last year, as a hint) in "Technical Support". We were scored on a number of factors but largely on what was termed screening - convincing the customer it was a software issue (not covered by a standard warranty, but chargeable to fix) or a product characteristic, rather than a fault, and therefore keeping a machine out of the repair system.

    And yes, there were whiteboards with leagues on, screening incentives, high fives, and supervisors walking round shouting "CMON GUYS GIVE ME SCREENS!". Feel rather ashamed of it now, but I had a family to feed.

    I knew the company was in the brown stuff when an alcohol based incentive turned out to be a tin of soup....

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Customer Care

    Not surprised

    This is the company who will happily sell you goods on Next business day delivery, will take your money upfront but will hand them over to Yodel who promptly lose the goods ( this was a £400 item that I needed quickly)

    Ebuyers response to being asked to resend goods as any half decent company would so they could meet their side of our agreement was tough

    You just need to wait for Yodel to look in their warehouse

    The goods turned up a few days later

    I understood from someone at Yodel that there was the possibility that Yodel might delay jobs for companies who were tardy in paying their bills but I have no idea if this is what happened here

    Not impressed with either company

    Our company refuse to deal with them after this as it makes us look like a bunch of incompetent imbeceles if we order kit that does not turn up on time

  36. MattW99

    Shower of ****'s

    Years ago I swore I'd never buy from them due to their appalling customer service. Glad to see my continued boycot is justified.

    Many happy returns ebuyer ;)

  37. Trigun

    Customer Service Ethic

    I've never dealt with ebuyer so I don't know what they're like. However, for many years I worked as a tech support guy making my way up the ranks (I've now moved on, department-wise).

    Fortunately for me, the company I work for have always tried to stay within the spirit of the law (as well as the letter) and customers pick this up very quickly. This means that although the person calling might not be overly happy that their goods turned up late/something has gone faulty/etc, they are at least confident that things will be sorted out as quickly as they can be. This goes a long way to getting the customer back - the reason for customer service.

    What I find strange is that some companies don't have this view point. How can you think that a customer will come back if they feel that they have not been dealt with properly when something has gone wrong? Of course, you can't always keep a customer if what they are asking for is very unreasonable - but most people are not like this if they are being helped properly.

  38. Zmodem

    they all look like they are named sharon or tessa, and i would`nt trust nobody from essex giving me tech support, so i have never brought anything from ebuyer or any big shop, they`re prices are alway higher then corner and random shop on ebay and wholesalers with 10,000 stock levels

    get yourself a massive toolbox full of tools for £100 on ebay, when a screwdriver cost £10 in homebase and £3 on ebay and its exactly the same

    1. Zmodem

      security is paypals problem and the billion people that use it everyday along with business accounts

  39. green_giant

    Colleagues Delivery

    I remember a previous colleague being gob smacked when he ordered a CPU and hard disk from them and it turned up in an A4 envelope. Not one of the special bubble wrap kinds. Just an envelope. Amazingly it didn't work. As they had similar practices when delivering to businesses they were quickly banned by procurement for the company too.

  40. fearnothing

    I've had to return stuff to eBuyer, and they've not given me any trouble - I returned a case because they sent me the wrong model, and some RAM that was faulty. All they did was check that I'd done the troubleshooting on the RAM to ensure it was definitely that which was at fault.

    Mind you, that was years ago, so it could have changed in that time.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ebuyer are useless. I tried to logon but forgot my password. They then direct you to password reset page. It asks for your DOB and email address. I does not accept them. I try to create a new account but it won't let you because you are already registered. The only other option is to phone them on a £1 a minute 'help' line. I just shopped elsewhere. It was cheaper and it looks like a dodged a bullet.

  42. Dave Robinson

    I think they're great

    I have bought almost literally shed loads of stuff from ebuyer over the years, and have always found everything well packaged and delivered on time (often early). I've never had an issue with returns... just last week I bought some memory and accidentally ordered a single stick instead of a kit of 2, and they accepted it back no problem.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Priorities

    Just dipped back into this article to find people are *still* waffling on about tech goods returns instead of the lovely ladies in the picture! Blah blah consumer rights blah blah blah... Hello girls!! Anyway they're all lovely but if pushed I might single out 6 and 8 as personal favourites! Anyway, sale of goods act blah blah blah.. Merry Christmas all!

    1. Diogenes

      Re: Priorities

      prezactly. I am surprised nobody has commented on some unfortunate shadowing & creasing on the "Ho ho ho" lady directly below the 2nd "ho" :-0

  44. Andus McCoatover
    Windows

    Don't get it....

    Tech Support - percentage of rejected RMA? Aint that the point?

    Surely, it's "Sir, have you plugged it in? Is the green light on? Does that discarded box with "Toner Cartridge" written on it feel suspiciously heavy?"

    I have to say that the Company Spokesperson explanation is perfectly plausible.

  45. SmkyQrtz

    RMA Wha?

    This is a horrible and shocking revelation.

    By the way, I'm rating the one 3rd from the right as the winner every time.

    1. heyrick Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: RMA Wha?

      My favourite is the one with glasses and the big penguin jumper. Cute (both). It's off the facebook link, different picture.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Change the word rejected to resolved and there is no story.

    I worked for a company where over 80% of returns were not faulty. Of course the customer has a right to return them anyway but if the reason it doesn't work is they haven't managed to install it correctly then 2 thi GS happen

    1. The company now has in effect second hand goods - this results in prices going up to compensate for the loss

    2. The customer then buys another product which also won't work and is still unhappy.

    Just because you can do something, doesn't always mean its the best thing to do.

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    eWho?

    Never heard of them before now; so I guess this has worked out okay to some degree.

    1. Andus McCoatover
      Windows

      Re: eWho?

      Sorry, mate, I think you're thinking of eStreisand, eOsbourne or eNokia.

      Out-of-date beach house floating burning platforms. But, whaddo I know?

      But, close enough.

  48. Patrick 17

    I spent over 6 months fighting with Ebuyer to return a TV I had ordered that they'd sent with an incompatible power supply. I had to complain to trading standards in the end. I'll never order from them again. At least with Amazon you get a decent returns policy.

    1. Combustable Lemon

      I purchased a motherboard (actually the components for an entire computer) from them a few years ago because they were cheaper than the company I normally use. There was something wrong with the motherboard that to this day i still don't understand, it kept rebooting the machine intermittently. I diagnosed it by replacing every other bit except that which obviously took time but it transpired that the motherboard was faulty from day 1, obviously at this point eBuyer dragged their heels over taking it back. I think in the end they dragged it out for the better part of a year before finally refunding the money (i posted it back to them with a note explaining the issue after they refused to take it back the nth time...). I'll never use them again and to this day I’ve stuck to that. I'd rather pay more to not have to deal with that crap when something does go wrong.

  49. Lallabalalla
    Trollface

    the term 'rejected' can easily be taken out of context here and escalate

    ..., especially on social media channels. Channels like The Reg? Which specialises in taking things out of context? #justsayin

  50. Brother52
    Happy

    no problems here

    Ebuyer has been my supplier of choice for several years now and over that time I have had reason to return a couple of items, I've never had a problem with this, it's one of the reasons I use em.

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Picture

    Yes, no, yes, yes, no, yes, no, yes.

  52. Greg D

    Idiots

    I like how everyone jumps on the bandwagon without knowing anything about their internal policies or methods.

    Fact is, most returns are not faulty, or may be just bogus requests (or attempts to gain from their occasional delivery cock-ups where they deliver two of the same item).

    This is more than likely a way to get staff to think twice before accepting any and every RMA willy-nilly. I highly doubt this is how they actually rate their staff performance and base anything meaningful on it. More of just a talking point for lunchtimes in the kitchen.

    That said, I've never had an RMA request rejected. Then again, all my requests were genuine faults or ordering mistakes.

  53. gskr

    No problem with ebuyer returns personally, had a motherboard that went bad after about 10 months, contacted them and explained what I'd tested, they took it back, saying they would test it themselves, and a few days later confirmed faulty and sent me a slightly higher model replacement, as they had no stock of the original. That was a few years ago mind!

  54. SPGoodman

    Always been happy with EBuyer

    I hope that this has been taken out of context.

    I have bought from EBuyer many times in the past and will continue to do so. I've returned items before without issue, found the delivery better than Amazon and what they have in stock better than my local computer shop.

    This won't stop me buying from them, and I'd rather online retailers like this (who actually have UK-based customer support staff, even if they are rated on KPIs) stay around rather than being left to go down the Amazon/weird third party seller on Amazon route.

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: suppliers asking the customer to phone manufacturer Support before refund

    I would say, that whereas the supplier cannot legally insist on the customer contacting the manufacturers' support services before issuing an RMA Return, it sometimes makes a whole heap of sense to suggest doing so. Some commenters on The Reg, which is primarily read by somewhat technically-minded people, seem to forget that most consumers simply have no, or limited, technical knowledge of the products they are buying.

    If a return is authorised, based on a fault described by a customer, and it is found, upon return, not to be faulty but simply a configuration/set-up issue which could have been picked-up by a call or email to manufacturer Tech Support, time, expense & frustration has been exercised by both the retailer and the customer. Naturally, this is something which retailers seek to minimise. After all, the profit margins per-unit, for online retailers, are minimal anyway.

    Also, it is impossible for staff at a retailer to have technical knowledge & training for every product that they sell, and in-depth Tech Support of someone elses' product is beyond the remit and resources of a company such as Ebuyer. The customer is paying the retailer to provide the product as described, at the price agreed, NOT to provide Tech Support of said product: that's the manufacturers' job.

    Example #1: Customer buys an Acer (or whatever) laptop. Upon switching on, Wireless doesn't work. So the customer assumes that the device is faulty, and phones retailer to ask for an RMA Return. The retailer politely asks the customer to contact Acer's Tech Support line: after all, it's their product, not the retailers'. Acer tells the customer to press the "Wireless On/Off" key/button, and magically, wireless then works! Customer is happy because it's fine, he/she has learned how to resolve the issue if it happens again, and he doesn't have to wait for a replacement. Conversely, the retailers' time hasn't been wasted by processing a return for a non-faulty product, and re-selling the returned product while sending a replacement to the customer . It's a win-win situation.

    Example #2: Customer buys a D-Link NAS box without a hard disk. They add their own hard disk, and it isn't detected. Retailer verifies that the customer is trying to use the correct type of drive (SATA or whatever), and asks them to call D-Link Tech Support. D-Link find out that the customer has simply inserted the hard disk incorrectly, or simply that the customer has not formatted & initialised the disk, and walks the customer through the process. In the end, he/she is happy that it now works, and again, it's one less return for the retailer to worry about.

    In essence, technically-minded people often take for-granted the fact that they know what hardware is compatible with what, how laptops/PCs/tablets etc work internally, how to access firmware interfaces, what plugs in where, and how to fix simple issues. Most people, don't. Whereas a "geek" could phone up the retailer, with confidence, and say "this item is definitely faulty, I have tested it & set it up as it should be", most consumers are simply not at this level.

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