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Bad On-line Shopping Experience

I hope that this isn't out-of-line for this audience, but I would like to warn my fellow CNET users of an on-line vendor to avoid. That vendor is Page Computers (store.pagecomputers.com).

On 12/17/06, I placed an on-line order for a Hewlett Packard C6180 Photosmart Multifunction Printer for $209.27 (with shipping $232.95), which their website indicated was in-stock. On 12/18 Page Computers billed my credit card for the total purchase price of $232.95 (most reputable retailers don't charge your card until the product ships). Then on 12/20 then sent me an email that they were cancelling my order:

"1128732, Q8181A#ABA is currently unavailable. We try our best to fulfill your order as we appreciate your business, and your business makes our business successful. We feel it is in your best interest that we cancel your order, so that you have ample time to source the product from another supplier. We do not benefit from turning your business away and apologize for any inconvenience. Unfortunately, we do not accept backorders because the manufacturers provide us with unreliable ETA's (estimated time of arrival) for their products. We would not be providing the best service to our customers by holding an order and not knowing when it will be available to ship."

But on that day, again according to their web site, the item was IN STOCK, but now the price (minus shipping) was $245. I have checked every day since, and the web site still shows it to be IN STOCK (with the price changing daily; so much for 'unreliable ETAs). When I spoke with one of their representatives before New Years they indicated that the product was indeed in stock, but they would have to check the warehouse for quantity versus orders received.

It seems very strange to me that they can update price instantaneously but not the 'availability' status (as most other on-line retailers
can). My feeling is that they would have taken a loss on the item if they sold it to me for the price they advertised, so instead of completing the sale they cancelled the order under the pretense that it was unavailable, and hoped that I would re-place the order at the new, higher price.

Then last week, the daily price on the MFP dropped down to just a $1.92 over what I ordered it for. Do you think they would ship me one and fill my order (up until the middle of last week, their on-line order status showed my order as 'ON HOLD', not 'CANCELLED')? Nope, when I asked them to do that, they finally cancelled my order in their system.

The credit back to my credit card?? That was finally processed by Page on 1/5 (they said on 12/20 that they would do it immediately).

I have filed a complaint against Page Computers with the California Dept of Consumer Affairs, California Attorney General's Office and the Better Business Bureau of the Southlands (see http://www.labbb.org/BBBWeb/Forms/Business/CompanyReportPage_Expository.aspx?CompanyID=13002354&sm= for the BBB report on Page).

Lastly, I came across this 'business' via the MacWorld web page; after reviewing what info they had on MFPs, I went to check prices on the C6180. This took me to pricegrabber.com. There were no negative reviews posted against Page on 12/17, otherwise I would not have placed an order with them (negative reviews have shown up since then, with some supposedly being submitted prior to when I placed the order - possibly a lag between submission and posting???). Oh, and just so you know as well - I submitted reviews of Page at pricegrabber.com and shopzilla.com before the New Year as well. As of today shopzilla has not posted my review; pricegrabber just did so yesterday.

Bottom line - avoid Page Computer, and help spread the word to others. I've used many other good on-line retailers, but this is clearly one to avoid.



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It could have been a lot worse

In reply to: Bad On-line Shopping Experience

Credits back to your credit card can in fact take a few days for some unknown reason. At least you didn't have to fight with them to get your refund, and they were willing to cancel your order rather than hang onto your money and force you to wait for the camera to be available.

I ordered a DVD box set once from some fly-by-night outfit, and when it arrived not only was it used (it was advertised as new) but one of the DVD cases was empty! They instructed me to return it by USPS mail which I foolishly did (as opposed to sending it by some trackable means like FedEx). They denied ever getting it back and it took a lot of phone calls, letters and threats to get my money back.

Nowadays I always use Amazon or some other known, reputable dealer even if their prices aren't the lowest (I can recommend Abe's of Maine or Beach Camera for your particular purchase).

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Indeed it could have!

In reply to: It could have been a lot worse

I have the good fortune that my credit card company gives me the date of the transaction (like when the credit was initiated) as well as when it posts to my account. In this case Page started the refund on 1/5, but it didn't hit my account until 1/9.

Personally, I don't just buy from whoever offers the lowest price; I check out the reviews, any track record info available, etc. Pricegrabber had nothing but rave reviews of Page (no negative posts at all), and I didn't have access to the BBB report on them either. I think pricegrabbers rating of Page is overstated, as Page deals with enough folks who go back and give them a high grade, whereas those they cancel orders on just look for someone else to sell them what they are looking for. I've been buying on-line for over 13 years now, and this is the first bad experience I've had despite my routine caution.

As for my printer, I got it for $6 more from PC Nation, who did not bill my card until it shipped, then when I called to follow up with a tracking number the call was answered right away, number provided. I ordered it on 1/5, it shipped on 1/5, and arrived yesterday.

My point here is to spread the word to others to avoid doing business with a low-life outfit like Page Computer.

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Was going to ask

In reply to: Indeed it could have!

what companies you've had good luck with. I work retail and most people will complain about real or perceived problems but will not complement about good service.


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Good Experiences

In reply to: Was going to ask

As I mentioned in my post, PC Nation was good in this case (I will go back and post a good review for them).

Others I have dealt with in the past with good experience is Amazon, PCConnection, MacZone, Other World Computing (macsales.com), MacMall. These are my core companies to deal with, and make every attempt to work with them, but I'm also looking for reputable businesses who will give a good, safe deal.

Yep, it seems to be human nature to only complain and not pass along good experiences. That is not the case for me. Good or bad, I pass along my experience; treat me good and I'll talk you up, try to send business your way. If your interest is to only pry as many $$ out of my hands as you can with no regard to what product/service you're providing, I'll certainly let others know not to do business with you.

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My wife ordered a watch online from a company

In reply to: Bad On-line Shopping Experience

They sent the watch in a timely manner (no pun intended).:)

Upon seeing the watch, noticed that it was hard to see the time. The representation of the watch, online, clearly showed the hands on the watch. They were happy to obliged a return of the watch. She did some more research to find a watch. A similar watch was found -- same brand -- and she decided to go to the maker of the watch instead of an intermediary. She ordered that watch, only to find the watch was no longer available. To this day, that watch is still on the site, apparently available to anyone who wants to order it. Anyone else who orders it also find out it is not available. Makes you wonder.

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