Bad Shop – Ebuyer

Well to get the ball rolling on Bad Shops, I thought I would address the issues I had shopping with Ebuyer last September. Without going into too much detail for a first post, and I have bought from them quite a few times in the past, this last order was enough to ensure that, no matter what the potential savings, I wont shop there again.

Basically, I made an order for a 32″ LCD TV, a new graphics card, some mini-SD Memory and DVD blanks. Nice and simple. After I made the order I was sent an email from their customer services saying the order had failed (no particular reason) and could I try again. I duly recreated the order and this time it was successful. Too successful. Upon checking my account page, it appeared both orders had cleared and I was going to get two televisions. Wonderful.

I raised an “eNote” (this is a cumbersome system) which had little effect and I was informed by the system it could take up to 10 days to process the eNote – while the deliveries were going to take place in 5 days. Not wishing to be billed twice, I eventually called customer services and eventually got one order cancelled. At this point, while it was annoying that the eBuyer customer fulfilment software was erratic, it was not a major problem. Now for the rest of my rant, this was before expensive orders had free delivery, I had paid extra for the delivery to be within 5 days.
The next day I got an email informing me that my order would be delivered on (cant remember the exact date), which was the Friday that week (the fifth day). As the delivery windows are an entire day, I had to take a day off work. As you can imagine, nothing was delivered. I phoned customer services at 1500 hours only to be told deliveries can be as late as 1800. At 1830 I phoned up to be informed that my order was never going to be shipped anyway as payment had not yet cleared. Obviously dismayed that I had taken a day off work for a shipment which was never going to arrive the customer services assistant bore the brunt of some ire. As the customer services close at 1900, this was never fully resolved and I was informed i would be contacted by eNote with a new delivery date over the weekend.

On Sunday evening I received an eNote telling me the delivery would be on Monday. Lots of notice, but I managed to negotiate a short notice day off work. On Monday, 1800 rolled round and no delivery. Once again I phoned customer services who informed me that no delivery had been scheduled but it would be sent on Tuesday. Obviously at 1800 on a Monday there was no way I could get the time off, but fortunately my wife would be available to collect it.

Now by some miracle at lunchtime on Tuesday a delivery arrived. It was the graphics card. Nothing else. Once more, after work I called customer services to be informed that there had been a problem and the other items would be shipped separately. When I asked when I could expect them, no answer was forthcoming.

On the Wednesday the TV and the mini-SD arrived. Without any warning, other than an eNote sent to me one hour before the delivery informing me it was on the way. Fortunately my neighbours were able to take the delivery which prevented the farce escalating. Still no DVD blanks and now I was informed eBuyer was out of stock of them. Shocking.

Sheer bloody mindedness stopped me cancelling the order, and they duly arrived two weeks later – actually on the day the relevant eNote stated.

After complaining repeatedly to eBuyer by email, eNote and telephone to no avail, I wrote a ranting letter of complaint. The reply was the under their terms and conditions eBuyer do not compensate for any inconveience caused etc., etc., and the best they could offer was to refund the delivery charge. (about £10)

As a result of eBuyers dismal order fulfilment system I lost three days pay waiting for that order which, in the end, took nearly three weeks to deliver. This easily wiped out any savings I may have made based on their prices. As eBuyer is an online retailer, being able to deliver the goods the customer orders when promised is vital. It is probably the single most important part of maintaining customer loyalty and getting a brand recommended by word of mouth. In the past, I have recommended eBuyer. As you may guess, not only will I no longer EVER buy from them again, I would not recommend any one else did and actively advise people to shop elsewhere.

In the great scheme of things, I am only one person and my impact on their business is limited. If the balance of people like their service they will do well. Personally, I find paying slightly more (such as when I bought my new digital camera, it was £30 more but delivered free and exactly when said within a 2 hour time frame) for better customer service is more than worth it.

There may come the day that this blog has a section about which retailers we do recommend. If that happens I will let you know which companies have certainly come through with the goods 🙂