Like probably everyone who is reading this, I occasionally buy gadgets online, usually via eBay. I've heard of DealExtreme before and some people I know had ok experiences with it so I decided to try it - that was last year in December. Due to some bad luck and apparently horrible organization of DX, I still haven't received the things I bought. At this time, effectively I've been cheated for around $400 by DealExtreme.
At least among the people I know, this is a rare experience, so it may not be the rule, but it's left me with a very bad opinion with DealExtreme.
In mid December 2010 I have ordered two gatgeds, one for my self, one as a present. I knew it's a bit late for such orders but I've realistically hoped for an early January delivery so it wouldn't be that late. As I'm writing this, there is no indication I'll be getting them this March.
Here is what happened:
- I've ordered in the middle of Christmas shopping season, mid December; This is my own mistake and I don't think I'll repeat it mistake again.
- I've ordered the "EMS" express shipping - it was clearly labeled as available for my country. Around five days later I have received a notification from DX saying that it actually isn't available as stated but for additional $20 they would ship me (and apparently a pretty long list of CC-ed buyers so I'm not the only one) the items via EMS. I payed because without it, the original EMS fee for the order would not mean anything. Second mistake.
- In the second half of January, a package was delivered from DX. It contained an item (only one) I have not ordered. In fact, the item was completely unrelated and around 3x cheaper. I've contacted DX and they requested the item back for exchange. I did return it but didn't use any kind of expedited or tracked shipment method so I didn't have any kind of order tracking number to give to DX. They reported they don't trust me about sending back the item without a tracking number or a certificate, so they will apparently have to wait until they receive the item. I could complain that they didn't specify they need to track the shipment in advance but then I could have assumed they would be, so I'll just accept the added wait.
- That shipment contained only one item. When I looked at the order status at DX, apparently the other item was out of stock, despite still being listed in their web shop as available (and of this writing, still is). Their support eventually agreed that they could replace that item with another one, but even though I didn't receive any of the items, and stated that I would certainly give up on EMS by now, they will only accept a replacement that costs <= than the original ordered item, no matter the reduced shipment costs.
- By then, I've threatened with a PayPal dispute and the DX support simply stopped responding. took longer than expected to respond but I still have to see what will be resolved. Unfortunately, PayPal responded that they will not investigate any disputes about transactions older than 45 days and the dispute will probably just be recorded without resolution.
All that stinks of really bad business practice and horrible attitude toward customers. I have effectively been cheated for the original cost of the items, around $350, + the "special EMS fee" of $20 + the return item postal fee of $20, without any items received or any promises that it will be resolved.
I guess that when everything goes right - which is probably for most people - there is no need for such interaction, but when there is, DX falls apart. Buyer beware. And if dealing with PayPal *especially* be on the lookout for unshipped orders lasting more than 30 *regular* days (not business days) so you can complain in time.