I have used Amazon for many years without a problem save two times and in both cases, it was an Amazon re-seller based in the USA.
The first time, my credit card details were clearly passed on and used to buy a plane ticket from Miami to some island in the Caribbean. OK VISA refunded me but Amazon were in total denial that my cc details had been mis-used.
Then recently, I bought a book from a reseller in Chicago which never turned up. All sorts of excuses but the first approach by Amazon was to deal directly with the reseller, which as I say had lots of excuses but no delivery. It took some time and some shall we say frank exchanges of emails but today I was informed that Amazon would refund me.
I have never had a problem with any Amazon reseller in Europe and Amazon UK have always been very responsive even refunding in one case, the return postage when it was my purchasing error.
The point, my counsel is never use an Amazon re-seller that is based in the USA as based on my experience they are shall we say not as reliable as we have the right to expect.
An interesting experience. I too have had problems with American vendors, as their consumer laws are very much in the favour of the business. You may be aware that even Apple fell foul of this issue when they introduced the 4G iphone to Australia without realising that Australia has its own unique frequencies and the phone would never work. Apple's initial response was "bad luck" until the government threatened to ban all of their products. Be very careful. Also, American traders are allowed to sign you up to periodic debits from your credit card without informing you, so watch out for that one, too.
Hi Peter et al,
Although this is marginally off topic, I might add a cautionary note of importing stuff into France from outside the Common Market (now morphed into the politised European Union).
There are usually taxes to pay on imports and the customs service seem execrable in France. My partner was given a nice saucepan for a Christmas present from her daughter in OZ from an American Company. When it arrived in France it was stopped for tax to be levied at the French port of entry. It cost about €20 inc handling charges and duties, which we paid, and that was the last ever heard of it. The cost of taking it further far outweighed the accumulated costs of pan and duties.
On another occasion I bought some cheap (if you call €100 cheap) glasses from China which were tracked to Charles de Gaul airport and then 'disappeared'. Then my daughter's suitcase accompanying her from America had the locks broken and a note inside to say it had been 'inspected' by customs. It was found to have a number of high value fashion items stolen from it. I would imagine that once the customs had opened it, the luggage handlers helped them selves.
Although there have been a number of court cases concerning criminal employees at France's various points of entry it still appears the Customs and Duty management system is chronically inefficient and has not got a handle on it - bit like the suitcase, I suppose.
I have had nothing but good service from CDiscount in the last couple of years. I have bought large electricals, furniture and small electronics, PC parts, swing set for the kids to name but a few items and never a hitch with delivery or supply EXCEPT for a dishwasher which got lost in transit apparently (how you can lose a dishwasher I will never understand) but they promptly refunded when I told them. Although I did then receive an email 2 months later stating that as I had failed to collect the said item from the point retrait it had been returned to them. I did begin to think the collection point had misplaced it at the time. PriceMinister - also only good experiences so far.
I used to be a major Amazon marketplace seller - earning around £5000-6000 a month from them and I have never had any qualms about buying on the marketplace and have never had any bad experiences either, even from Chinese sellers!!
It is so extraordinary that CDiscount gets such bad reviews. Look hard and you will see that suppliers are often the same as Amazon and Priceminster, even BuySpares a bit. I have never had any difficulty with them but then the need has not yet arisen. Otherwise you are right Richard. When I did resort to complaining high up the food chain, like directly to Steve Jobs, it was because I was not getting a response from Amazon themselves and their supplier simply fobbed me off. I encouraged other people to do the same, now I see that the complaints procedures have been improved, still not the greatest, but better. Yet I have had one wrong delivery, one never sent out but no rebate (at the time) and a couple of damaged things I had to pay to send back despite what they claim. Given the number of orders I have placed in several countries that is actually excellent service. I have premium and have never had a late delivery or any problems, although the delivery company seems to have stopped sending an SMS immediately before the driver is in the area.
Amazon do score best in my experience although other people I know curse them profusely. Perhaps there is a bit of the 'luck of the draw' with any of them.
You stand a chance of getting this sort of occurrence with any reseller.... not just Amazon. eBay is notorious for it.... and for goodness sake stay well away from CDiscount here in France!!!
I have only ever had real problems with USA suppliers. Both have disappeared from Amazon after lots of bad reviews and clearly complaints. I have had problems here in Europe but never on the US scale.
I've been ordering from overseas this summer and was surprised about the rapidity of service, quality of book. I don't recount to have run into any particular problems.
It's unfortunate things like this still occur.
The reseller will feel the repercussion of such a bad practice, likely a penalty with Amazon.
They are very strict about how all orders are to be shipped in time, quality of product etc.etc.
Their partnership contracts don't leave blank space for interpretation.