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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, after …

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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,"

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Trollface

Re: Facebook

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

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Re: Facebook

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

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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.

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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.

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Anonymous Coward

Tech Support?

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

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Re: Facebook

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

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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.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I feel it in the air

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

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Bronze badge

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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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Re: Tech Support?

Why?

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Re: I feel it in the air

Go to the Jax.

"they own you a duty of care"

Check your spelling.

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Re: I feel it in the air

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

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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/

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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".

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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.

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Re: I feel it in the air

"there are probably many more examples."

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

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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!

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Re: Humbug!

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

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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...

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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.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Humbug!

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

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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".

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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.

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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

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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!

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Anonymous Coward

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

Ugh

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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.

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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.

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

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'resolved'

A much more friendly, positive and upbeat word.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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)

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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.

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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

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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!

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