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19 posts

Geek


  Reply # 74239 11-Jun-2007 08:02
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The saga continues -

Ok this morning I receive an email from the original owner. He tells me the phone was bought through his company but was not suitable for their needs so he returned it under a 14 day return policy. He had registered the phone at clubimate.com at the time.

Basically, Expansys UK then repackaged it (forgetting to include the USB cable), shipped it off to Australia for re-sale (out of sight, out of mind) and made me pay full price for it with missing components.

Expansys also sent me an email saying that the phone is brand new and had no previous owners. They say they have full information about its movements and the clubimate.com problem is probably associated with a mistaken number entered into the website by someone else.

This is a clearly untrue. If they had tracked all the sales, they would know about the previous owner (who by the way confirmed the IMEI with me). They just didn't bank on me finding his name and contact details and thought they could pull one over me.

I will see what they say now that I have new information from the original owner.

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Reply # 74244 11-Jun-2007 09:24
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Ok... Now this is becoming interesting.

AFAIK, Vodafone wouldn't accept a phone back if more than [x] minutes where used for calls. Perhaps you could check the call timers and tell us how much time was used on the Pocket PC for calls?

Also, it would be good if someone could tell us if a .co.nz TLD means the company is operating here?





 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 74248 11-Jun-2007 09:47
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freitasm:
Also, it would be good if someone could tell us if a .co.nz TLD means the company is operating here?



There is no record of any company called Expansys in the NZ Companies Register and if you look at their site they are clearly an Australian company that simply had a .co.nz TLD attached to their Australian store however lists prices in $NZ. I've encountered a few other Australian retailers who ship to NZ who have the same type of setup.

I believe you need to have an Australian ABN (Australian Business Number) to get a .com.au TLD, can anybody confirm this?



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  Reply # 74268 11-Jun-2007 12:56
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Yeah, you're right sbiddle. There are some requirements for owning a .com.au domain.

From MelbourneIT.com.au (an Australian domain registrar):

.com.au
.com.au domain names can be registered by Australian registered businesses. .com.au registrants must be:
a ) an Australian registered company; or
b ) trading under a registered business name in any Australian State or Territory; or
c ) an Australian partnership or sole trader;
d ) a foreign company licensed to trade in Australia; or
e ) an owner of an Australian Registered Trade Mark; or
f ) an applicant for an Australian Registered Trade Mark; or
g ) an association incorporated in any Australian State or Territory; or
h ) an Australian commercial statutory body.

Wonderdogger:
In regards to your concerns about not being told how much the GST would be, I don't think you really have any comeback. New Zealand GST is always calculated at 12.5% of the purchase price of an item, so you would easily be able to calculate this based on the price advertised on the Expansys site. Expansys do make it quite clear that they are based in Australia and not a New Zealand company, therefore the prices do not include New Zealand taxes and levies.

Having said that, New Zealand companies have been reprimanded in the past by the Commerce Commission for advertising products with the price excluding GST. I believe they were forced to display both prices (including and excluding GST). So, if the .co.nz domain makes them a New Zealand company (which I don't believe it does...) then you might have a possible course of action.

As others have suggested, "buyer beware"...


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  Reply # 74287 11-Jun-2007 13:41
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xcubed: Having said that, New Zealand companies have been reprimanded in the past by the Commerce Commission for advertising products with the price excluding GST. I believe they were forced to display both prices (including and excluding GST). So, if the .co.nz domain makes them a New Zealand company (which I don't believe it does...) then you might have a possible course of action.



But advertising goods in NZ as excl GST is still legal. It should be illegal (even if you are a business customer you still have to pay the GST when you phyically pay for the goods).

An overseas company charging somebody GST for goods sent to NZ would simply be inpractical as there are also customs duties to factor in and also the fact you don't pay any GST or duties unless the value to be collected is over $50. Whether you get charged by customs is also a hit & miss affair, I've imported goods on numerous occasions and have never been charged despite the correct values being declared. I've also been stung GST & customs duties on something that was about $2 over.

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Reply # 74298 11-Jun-2007 14:24
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I am just off the phone with a lawyer about this case.

There's no clear legal requirement for a company using a .co.nz TLD to have a presence here in the country, but the way he sees it the Australian, New Zealand and UK consumer protection laws are very similar, and if this item is indeed second hand then you would probably be covered in Australia.

His suggestion is to use this to leverage a positive response from Expansys. Write a letter and make sure they receive it, explaining that this item is not new, and the goods are not as represented.

This covers the second hand issue.

As for GST, nothing that hasn't already been talked about here.







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  Reply # 74307 11-Jun-2007 17:05
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Thanks for all the great info and help. I have been trying to call Expansys periodically through the day and only get their voicemail. They have not since replied to my email telling them I know who owned the phone and that I have been in communication with him. Basically I demanded an explanation of why they told me it had never been sold before and why it is missing a USB cable. I didn't even mention the GST issue - it has always been peripheral to the secondhand issue. (I do strongly think their lack of disclosure of the full charges would be found misleading though. )

I will keep the forum informed as the situation develops. I will probably send that letter that Mauricio's lawyer suggested if I don't hear from them in the next day or so.

Just for interest's sake, here is the email I received from Expansys this morning (details removed). As described above, this is clearly untrue but they didn't realise I was in contact with the owner at this stage.

Thank you for your email enquiry concerning i-mate JASJAM with IMEI , sent to you on June 1 2007 on our invoice number .
We have checked our records and confirm that this phone with this IMEI was brand new when shipped to you. Everything we sell is tracked by unique serial and IMEI number, and we have a complete history of every movement of each item.
As we have sold thousands of i-mate handsets over the past three years, we have had several similar reports to yours over that time, and in each case it turned out to be because somebody else had registered their phone with Club i-mate using either their genuine IMEI with a mistyped digit/s, or a made-up IMEI so that they could have access to the Club i-mate site. It is more likely to be the former because many i-mate IMEI's would be close together.
The only that has purchased from our company anywhere in the world was in Devon UK on March 2003 - he purchased a memory card.
I suggest you contact Club i-mate again and ask them to check and correct their records - you are welcome to copy them this email as evidence that you indeed have this IMEI number.




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  Reply # 74366 12-Jun-2007 11:29
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The latest is below. The explanation is plausible but is also contradictory to what was previously said. It seems it is just "tough luck" that I received a secondhand phone - because they claim they never knew about it. I asked that they send me the USB cable and give me a discount for the lack of access to clubimate.com and that I was sold a pre-owned phone.

Dear sir
It seems that you are convinced that we have lied and tried to deceive you, despite our previous correspondence.  That is simply not so.
We are a worldwide organisation and because i-mate (of whom we are a workdwide partner) manufacture only one phone for all markets, we source from several countries as stock is avalable.
In this case the i-mate JASJAM we sent you was purchased brand new by us from an i-mate distributor called European Telecom.  We ordered 20 units on April 5 and received them (including yours) into our UK warehouse on April 10.  On April 12 your unit was transferred from our UK warehouse to our Melbourne warehouse, arriving on April 17.  There it remained until you ordered and we shipped, on June 1.  Note the dates - all are after the date that the person notes that he returned the unit to his unspecified supplier.
So, if it is the same unit, both we and you have been supplied with a unit that may have been used, WITHOUT OUR KNOWLEDGE.  The first user probably was exceeding their rights in actually registering the phone and then deciding it was not suitable, and probably omitted the USB cable when sending it back to whoever thery got it from - possibly European Telecom, or possibly a retailer who then sent it back to European Telecom.  I reiterate - it was not us.
You have demanded an explanation and now you have it completely. I am the manager of eXpansys Australia/NZ and have all along been replying to your correspondence - it is not something we treat lightly.  Please advise whether you wish us to send you a replacement missing cable, which we can do immediately, or whether you wish to return the phone for replacement.


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  Reply # 74371 12-Jun-2007 11:46
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If you do return the goods for replacement ensure that you speak to customs in regards to this first. If you don't do things properly you'llpotentially be stung with GST and customs duties on the replacement product and will have no comeback.




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  Reply # 74373 12-Jun-2007 11:55
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Thanks. Yes I noted the GST issue in my last email to him. He has now responded to my request for a discount with the following.  Clearly he didn't like me quoting the legislation at all. I told him I would give him a chance to respond to accusations on this forum after I have received access to clubimate.com and the missing USB cable.

I am abolutey astonished that you have not accepted my detailed explanation.  We could not possibly have known that a brand new phone supplied to us as new, had been briefly supplied to somebody else (unless they had told us first in which case we would have told you BEFORE shipping to you).  And the complete history referred to was of course the history since we bought it as new, not before then - it appears that you expect us to know everything including the names of the people on the assembly line who manufactured it. 
I earnestly hope that when you become qualified and experienced you will realise the antogonism and lack of respect for lawyers that quoting various legal acts and penalties evokes from normal honest people who have done everything right. I have spent considerable time, including over the weekend, on your complaint.  I also point out that we have acted honestly, ethically, promptly and completely openly with you throughout your transaction and your subsequent correspondence.
We will send you the cable and will request i-mate to reset the Club i-mate registration.  This may take several days and we will advise when completed.

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Reply # 74374 12-Jun-2007 12:06
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wonderdogger: I earnestly hope that when you become qualified and experienced you will realise the antogonism and lack of respect for lawyers that quoting various legal acts and penalties evokes from normal honest people who have done everything right. I have spent considerable time, including over the weekend, on your complaint.  I also point out that we have acted honestly, ethically, promptly and completely openly with you throughout your transaction and your subsequent correspondence.
We will send you the cable and will request i-mate to reset the Club i-mate registration.  This may take several days and we will advise when completed.


There you go, this is the solution for your case, and as commened before, the explanation is plausible.

As for the comments "when you become qualified and experienced", I hope you, and others, don't do business with Expansys in the future. If this person had left this out of the equation I am sure all would be closed with smiles. But the way he wrote it, I certainly don't want to make business with Expansys anywhere in the future.










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  Reply # 74375 12-Jun-2007 12:13
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I am not entirely happy with the outcome. He also thinks the buyer should cop the risk of things he doesnt know about. However, in his defence, when he was commenting about being "qualified and experienced", I think he was referring to the fact that I told him I am currently a student (mature-aged mind you Wink)

Thanks for everyone's help. I will let you know if there any further dramas.

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  Reply # 74377 12-Jun-2007 12:27
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Ah such is life... another reason why best buy locally, so you can easily deal with issue like this. Next time, check your local IT channels first and see if they can get it "cheaper", though may not be earlier/first when compare to Parallel Imports, but PI is just not as trusty in my book anyway.




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19 posts

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  Reply # 74461 13-Jun-2007 07:18
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Not an update - just a final email from him (in case you're interested) after I told him I had documented the experience on a popular IT forum (didnt mention names). Anyway will let you judge for yourselves but I personally won't be buying from them again. He doesn't seem to understand that the $150 I asked for is is not a Mafia-esque request to "make this go away" but because of the cost of the clubimate registration I have to pay and the fact that I paid $1300 for a second hand phone from his store that was supposed to be new. Also doubted my "agenda" by posting on this forum. Kind of leaves a strong bad taste for me.

Thank you for your lengthy explanations and we appreciate your comments. We are in fact a highly reputable and trusted online retailer so yes we do value our reputation. We are also fair and reasonable people, and the law requires all parties involved in any consumer-related activity to be the same.
This is why we have taken considerable time and effort to reply in detail - far more than would be usual or justified - to your emails. It is also why we have made an offer to you of either a replacement new phone or a new USB cable plus getting the Club i-mate registration reset, and that is what our offer remains. However, you have chosen to demand payment from us to you af an amount of $150 to make this go away, and have already posted adversely on a popular forum despit this matter not being finalised. To some people this could suggest that you may have a different agenda from our agenda of providing good, proper, fair and appropriate customer service.
I remind you that at no stage have you said that the device we sent is other than perfectly good and in new condition, and that in fact you only realised it had been in the hands of somebody else when you went to register it. We shipped it properly believing it to be a brand new phone, and you now continue to criticise us as if we have deliberately or by neglect done something wrong or improper. In fact we have merely fulfilled our sale to you as advertised (we even took the trouble of emailing you first to warn you about NZ GST and customs charges that you may not have been aware of - how many other overseas suppliers would do that?), and now have completely and properly offered you several fair and reasonable options to help you overcome any inconvenience or injury that you may perceive.
Once again we apologise for the fact that apparently a phone bought as new by us and supplied then to you, appears to have been returned to the distributor by somebody before it was then supplied to us.
We wish to finalise this matter which in the normal course of events would not require protracted correspondence, and will ship the missing cable to you tomorrow and contact Club i-mate for registration unlocking, unless you notify us by 12 noon Wednesday June 13 (NZ time) that instead you will be returning the phone for replacement.



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