Archive for April, 2011

eBuyer, HotUKDeals and advertising products at prices they can’t get

Alex has never used eBuyer before, but often checks the offers’ site; HotUKDeals.

On 24th April, he spotted a great deal on a Samsung Syncmaster BX2231 that eBuyer were offering for just £83.33. At the time of ordering, he noted there were 23 remaining in stock. He paid, and received confirmation that my order had been allocated stock and was waiting arrival of his shiny and reasonably-priced computer monitor.

Until this morning!

He received an email telling him there was a stock warning on my order. It wasn’t clear what was going on, so he was forced to phone their expensive customer services number. While on hold (14 people in the queue…), he found the SAME monitor on their website for £160+! (Ed: It’s now been discontinued)

After eventually getting through, he was told that they would be happy to send out a monitor if he paid the full amount! When he asked why the price was different they tried to tell him it was a different monitor. When asking them how it was different because of the exact same spec, he was told “I don’t know, you’d have to ring Samsung”.

He was also told that; “We had a few at a lower price and they’ve sold out, we can’t send you out one of the monitors in stock because we’d be losing out…”

That is after already allocating him stock, and being unclear on emails whether he’d get it.

Not only has Alex lost out on a well-priced monitor, he’s had to deal with eBuyer. There is some legal basis on when this happens. I’m no lawyer, but as I understand it – so long as the advertisement from eBuyer wasn’t deliberately misleading; and they aren’t still running the advert, they’ve not done anything they can be prosecuted for.

However, promising him the stock; then saying they have ‘no stock’ – and claiming that the same model advertised at a higher price is a different model is very very suspect. Even if the authorities aren’t interested; we’ve heard that this game has been played before by eBuyer. If any of our visitors ever come across this with eBuyer or another company, it might be worth contacting the ASA on their Complaints Form. They now deal with internet advertising.

You can find a few hundred more people who’ve had very similar experiences on the thread on HotUKDeals.

It’s really sad to see other people having this problem. We really would love to hear from you all about your experiences.

As Alex has rightly put it: “Never again.”

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011 Uncategorized 5 Comments
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