Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Mutton Dressed as Lamb

Recently I ventured into the world of the "Complete Entertainment Exchange". I thought that I'd grab a bargain while gaining my wares for the big desktop build I'm planning. I'd looked everywhere for the perfect monitor. It didn't have to be really fancy or up-to-date. Just something that displayed images, movies and games. The only thing I was stumbling at was the resolution. I won't bore you with the details but what I want is becoming less and less available. So on I went. My quest for the perfect display. One of the CEX shops had opened in my native Aylesbury. So I thought I'd give them a go. Their website http://www.webuy.com is, to their credit, quite good. It's clear, concise and allows you to trade easily with the company. The business model is good; buy low, sell higher. It's tried and tested. I began to get the feeling that this is the place I was going to find my display...

...Huzzah! I found one. The right spec? Certainly. The right size? Definitely. The reviews? Bit meh but we'll go with it. It was marked as B Grade stock. A quick Google told me that CEX grades products as B if they have minor cosmetic damage or not in the original packaging, neither of which bothered me. Glancing down to the bottom of the page I saw that magical "Paypal" symbol you gotta love that logo. Payment bliss. I almost will companies that adopt this method of payment all the success in the world...well almost. So believing that all was well I proceed to complete my order. It's done, finished, my order should be winging its way to me. I look the very next day on the CEX tracker. Everything seems dandy. Apparently my purchase has been found in the Walsall branch. Excellent!

The Friday however was a different story. I received an email from CEX saying that my order had been cancelled because they could not "source" my goods. Now correct me if I'm wrong (I'm not), but hadn't they already told me they'd found it? I thought that if by some freakish coincidence the product had been sold and around the same time as I went to the site it was worth checking the site again. I went through exactly the same channels as before and lo and behold the monitor was still sitting proudly on webuy.com. How bizarre. I decided to give them a bell. But wait! no telephone number on the site?! That is strange and, somehow, unnerving. In my experience, companies generally refuse to put telephone numbers in public view when they don't want to be spoken to. I was about to find out why.

The only channel of communication they offered was email. I have no real problem with that as long as the right outcome is obtained. So anyway, I get in contact with the customer support who tell me that my "details could not be verified". 

-'Which details?' I ask

"Dear Customer, your Bank and address details did not match" She says

Now, I'm no expert in retail, banking or, in fact, real estate but I'm pretty sure no one lives at the bank.

-'Why do my bank and postal address have to match?' I ask, a little confused and more than agitated

"Please contact your bank regarding this issue" She says...

-'I don't understand what the issue is. How can I ask the bank about it?' I enquire.

I'm yet to receive a reply from wecare@webuy.com. Somehow I don't think I'll be getting one either. Either way they've lost a customer. It's a shame because it seemed so promising. But then I suppose it follows that age old saying that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.



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