back to article ASA keelhauls Ebuyer AGAIN - this time for dodgy disk ad

Web souk Ebuyer has been scolded for misleading promos about the price and warranty options for a disk drive. This is the second time this year the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) has sent the East Yorkshire-based online reseller to the naughty step: back in July the toothless watchdog pulled apart Ebuyer's sales pitch for …


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  1. Anonymous Coward


    I don't know why Ebuyer keep pulling these stunts.

    Years ago they had a terrible reputation but have truly redeemed themselves in my eyes over the past 4-5 years. I buy a lot of kit from them and they are always very reliable. They have also been very decent when kit has failed.

    Their 11pm next day dispatch cut off is also an excellent innovation. I'm expecting the bell to ring any moment with the delivery of an emergency replacement HD I ordered at 10.55pm last night!

    So why let the marketing department trash the reputation of a business that has been building a good reputation over the past few years?

    1. Lee Dowling Silver badge

      Re: Sigh


      Look at the sanction they got. They're not allowed to run an old advert again. That's it. End of. Case closed.

      And yet they probably stung quite a lot of people out of unnecessary warranties and those who thought they were getting a good deal.

      The ASA is a toothless watchdog. All bark, no bite. And not once has anyone ever really cared about whether they could rerun an ad after it's already finished showing.

      Fine 'em the price of however many customers took up the offer times by the amount they paid over the odds, times by a decent factor like 5 or 10, and then you'd get decent adverts and companies NOT pulling these stunts.

      1. VinceH Silver badge

        Re: Sigh

        "The ASA is a toothless watchdog."

        Quite. Which reminds me, they want some feedback from me about a complaint I made recently. I feel like going to as much effort as they did.

        The complaint was about Sage. For the latest version of Sage 50, the site mentioned VAT returns, saying something like "It's now possible to submit returns directly from the software (now a legal requirement)" - the bracketed part being the reason I objected. Sage ignored me, so I took it to the ASA. Some time later, the ASA told me Sage had changed the wording of their own volition, so they left it at that. Oh, that's okay then. There's no chance any naive people just starting out in business and looking for accounting software might have believed Sage's claim in the intervening time, is there? Grrr.

        Oh, and let's not forget the time ASA completely ignored another complaint I made, while the ICO agreed with me and told the subject not to do it again. (The ICO are also toothless, but at least they recognised the validity of the complaint - which was about spamming.)

        1. I think so I am?

          Re: Sigh

          Cant the ICO no dish out £500k fines?

          1. VinceH Silver badge

            Re: Sigh

            "Cant the ICO no dish out £500k fines?"

            They prefer to say "Tut tut. That was very naughty. Don't do it [to this person] again."

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I used to love Ebuyer..

    But then I signed up to their newsletter. What a crock. They often use an image of something like a 32GB stick with 'from 3.99' (or whatever price) then you go through and see that the one for 3.99 is actually 1GB and the 32GB is actually 'from' 40 quid or something.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I used to love Ebuyer..

      the product reviews were useful to. especially to filter out obvious rubbish or highlight possibilities. but they've gone.

  3. JimmyPage Silver badge

    It would need to be an amazing offer ...

    if I were to use eBuyer again. Last year, I ordered a disk on the Wednesday before Good Friday, as I was travelling to see the 'rents and they wanted an upgrade. I splurged out the extra £ for "guaranteed" next day delivery.

    Next day - nada.

    Of course, this meant I didn't get drive for Easter Weekend. It was actually delivered Wednesday. Yes. A next-day-delivery that took six days.

    Unfortunately for eBuyer I had contacted ParcelFarce before speaking to eBuyer. So their attempt to blame it on Parcelforce was the final straw. PF said the item in question had been put into their system as a normal delivery - and they had the audit trail from eBuyer showing it was because eBuyer had wanted it that way. Of course the upshot of this was a wasted weekend when I *did* have the disk drive.

    1. Stoneshop Silver badge

      Re: It would need to be an amazing offer ...

      A next-day-delivery that took six days.

      From a .sigquote: "The website said 'Next day delivery'. Unfortunately they didn't say which day it would be next to"

  4. Alan Gauton

    Ebuyer Deliveries

    Ebuyer seem to make up delivery times - the last two times I've ordered items for a specific delivery day. In both cases they were a day late. On contacting ebuyer they say because of where I live, deliveries will always be a day late. So why offer a specific delivery day option? I wouldn't mind so much if I lived off the UK mainland, but I don't. And they almost always seem to use 24hr delivery services.

    They also frequently advertise free delivery on orders, which when I go through to the checkout miraculously changes to not available in your area. Maybe if I lived in a remote location, but I live in a town 15 miles from a city, on the main traffic corridor to another city...

    1. Stephen 2

      Re: Ebuyer Deliveries

      I always used to have problems with delivery.

      The 'order before 11pm' thing is amazing and when it work's it's great. But it seems like the couriers are hesitant to actually deliver.

      I used to wait until about 1 or 2pm before I'd call the courier (especially if I'd seen one of their vans in the area). They'd always say the same thing, that they were going to deliver the next day. I'd say 'but isn't it meant to be a next day delivery, so it should be here today?' and they'd just reply with 'well yes, but, well.., uh okay we'll have someone drop it off' and then it would come a few hours later.

      It got a bit tiring having to call the courier each time and actually ask them to deliver it on the day they're meant to. Ebuyer would always refund me the full postage cost if it was late (cant remember if it was credit or straight refund).

      1. Stephen Tordoff
        Thumb Down

        Re: Ebuyer Deliveries

        Apparently they have stopped doing full postage refunds (at least without arguing with them). From a recent discussion with them (I paid for next day delivery; items didn't arrive until the day after):

        >When your delivery expectations have not been met we will refund the difference between the delivery option paid for and the delivery option received.

        > [This] policy is not detailed on the site. [W]e appreciate that this item was delayed a day [so] we have only charged you for a 2 days delivery.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    You just can't trust e'm....

    This is part of the reason I no longer deal with eBuyer, they used to be my supplier of choice but over the years they have just become more and more dishonest; it was also costing far too much time to chase orders that wern't shipped, were incomplete or contained the wrong items; some times it saves money to spend a little more and use a supplier you can trust.

  6. nigel 15

    despite the ruling...

    they still haven't changed it. I've come to the conclusion that the 'WAS' price on ebuyer is complete fiction.

    the complaint was about the WD20EARX by the way.

    1. Anonymous Coward 101

      Re: despite the ruling...

      The 'was' price on a product is a load of shite, regardless of the retailer or product. If the retailer didn't just illegally make up the 'was' price, then the 'was' price is just inflated above fair value for a period of time. This allows them to reduce the price to normal level so they can scream about the 'discount' in adverts. For example, sales at DFS or other furniture shops work in this fashion.

  7. No, I will not fix your computer

    I still like 'em

    Last thing I bought was a laptop, Probook 4530s i5 2.5Ghz/4Gb/320Gb for £420, free delivery, arrived next day, best price I could find, and as it turned out fastest delivery by some margin (running OSX very well now).

    As with any supplier shop around, they shift a lot of kit so expect some issues - as with any large box shifter, I've spent ~ £7k with them over the years, returned two things (one DOA drive) and had one thing missing (replacement sent), I'm happy with that failure rate, my mate ordered an Android media player from them, total junk didn't work, PSU missing, late delivery, was his first (and last) order.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Don't fine companies, fine people

    There's no point fining a company, it just gets passed on to the customers.

    Companies don't make decisions, people do. That's why some people are paid so much, right?

    Nothing's going to change till people realise this and the system of rewards and punishments is adjusted accordingly.

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