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Reply # 74463 13-Jun-2007 09:29
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For the sake of fairness if you publicly post private emails someone has sent you (which you shouldn't), you should also post all the emails you've sent them.







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  Reply # 74469 13-Jun-2007 10:00
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Yes I suppose you are right about showing the emails I sent that prompted his replies mike. I won't post all of my emails but will say that they were very matter-of-fact about points of law. I will post in full the last one I sent which prompted his latest response. It follows ...

Consumer laws exist for a reason. They are designed to build trust in business for consumers. It is a price merchants pay (which often is ultimately distributed to the consumer via price in any case). Without this trust, I would suggest to you that your sales volume would be considerably less than what it is at the moment over the internet. People would stick to trusted offline retailers if they knew they might be receiving pre-owned phones at full price while missing components and being unable to be operated on support sites.
I don't suppose you would be happy with a reputation as a business of one that promises brand new phones at discount prices (provided there isn't something we honestly didn't know about beforehand - in which case it's just tough luck for the consumer)? I would suggest to you that as head of your company, such a reputation isn't good for your business in the long term.
On the topic of experience, prior to studying law, I operated a full-time internet business. I am aware of the fickleness of consumers at times but I am also aware how easy it is for businesses to take advantage of ignorance with careful wording of their communications. After selling the business, I decided to fill in a lot of the grey areas in my understanding of the law as it interested me. Some aspects of it seemed unfair to me as a businessman, but since studying it in greater depth I have learnt that these laws are there for reasons which benefit both consumers and businesses. I would hope that this experience might, in the end avert any greater damage to your reputation and ultimately your sales.
I am disappointed you didn't accept my offer. I have documented this experience on a popular IT forum (to considerable local interest I might add - which might tell you something). I will give you a chance to respond to the accusations in your defence after I receive the USB cable and access to clubimate.com.


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  Reply # 74485 13-Jun-2007 10:31
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IMHO you're now the one trying to do the dirty, not him..


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Reply # 74490 13-Jun-2007 10:47
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  Reply # 74492 13-Jun-2007 10:57
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Well the fact remains that I own a secondhand phone that I paid full price for, and to have it replaced would require paying another $178 in fees and another two weeks in delays, with no guarantee I won't have exactly the same problems.

I just wanted a new phone. I paid for it. I paid the necessary charges. I didn't ask for a pre-owned phone. I don't think its "dirty" to ask for a discount on a second-hand phone that I was assured was brand new.

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Reply # 74494 13-Jun-2007 11:02
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If possible why not send it back? Don't get a replacement from them. Contact NZ Customs and ask for a refund if possible. And then buy one from a local retailer.







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  Reply # 74495 13-Jun-2007 11:04
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wonderdogger: Well the fact remains that I own a secondhand phone that I paid full price for, and to have it replaced would require paying another $178 in fees.


Why would you need to pay another $178? Customs won't charge you if the phone is being returned and replaced. You just need the correct paperwork to ensure you aren't charged on the replacement.





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  Reply # 74497 13-Jun-2007 11:06
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And who would pay the Australian customs fees when I send it back to them? According to their way of thinking, I would expect they would take the fees out of the amount I paid when refunding me the money. Afterall, according to them, none of this was their fault so I just have to cop it.

sbiddle : If that's true about NZ customs, and others have told me its not so simple, then still - more paperwork, more delays, more uncertainty. I think I will just take the phone and warn others of the risk. I don't think that is "dirty" of me at all.

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Reply # 74501 13-Jun-2007 11:35
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Buying from overseas is always a risk and you don't need to tell others about it... as said before... buyer beware. Often people want cheap option, but in doing that, it risks having to pay more in duty fee, services, or whatever... that's why sometimes it is a peace of mind to buy locally, albeit more expensive. You get what you paid for.

(My view on this goes similar to those who are interested to bring/import TVs or whatever devices into the country... there's always a risk involved, and whether you'd be willing to take it or not...)




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  Reply # 74549 13-Jun-2007 20:02

Adding to this, and mostly on the import duties side of things -
We import equipment from an Australian distributor for resale in NZ, when things arrive they have what ever applicable taxes added and charged to our Fedex account - you aren't charged taxes on Sample/Demo items and also not taxed on 2nd Hand Goods (ironically in this case). I've been reading this thread and am amazed a person with 2000+ posts on geekzone isn't smart enough to even know the basics of importing goods.....
If returning the Phone and its clearly stated on the customs declaration that it is a return - they won't be charged for it coming back in to Au. To be honest as they're a busy enough importer/exporter they will have an account with Customs AU and can no doubt question/fix any duties charged if you sent it back.

Also I've used expansys before and I found them reliable enough - if anything you're communication with them has made me more sure of them. It was an honest mistake - move on.



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  Reply # 74551 13-Jun-2007 20:13
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OT - I do not see how someone with over 2000 post must be a customs expert but if thats how this site works i must re-read the conditions of joining /OT

I have sent a few thing to Aussie via courier and declare the value at $150 and as "demo" products and the people at the other end have never had to pay customs fees. (I was not lying on any of them its just what I send).

I am hardly horrified by Expansys, it sounds like they have bent over backwards to help you out here. I would be very happy with the service you have got here, especially since you will almost never get this kind of service from a fair few NZ based online stores.

Good luck with what ever option you chose, however I would not be surprised if they did refuse to sell to you in the future.


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  Reply # 74558 13-Jun-2007 20:59
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lotech:  you aren't charged taxes on Sample/Demo items and also not taxed on 2nd Hand Goods (ironically in this case).


I know this is getting a wee bit OT but from my dealings this is incorrect. I purchased some radio equipment off eBay and despite being second hand had pay both GST and import duty on it - the irony being the fact it was Tait equipment originally manufactured in NZ!

I dealt with customs directly and they were quite clear that no exemption applied for 2nd hand goods even when I challenged them on this and another customs broker I spoke to confirmed no such exemption existed.



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Reply # 74567 13-Jun-2007 21:26
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Sooooooo anyone want to buy a brand new JASJAM phone, never been used before*, not missing anything like USB cables or anything like that**, and you will have all the benefits of free support at clubimate.com*** for the tiny price of $1300****?

Hmmmmmm? Tongue outWink



















* well that's what the courier told me
** cause that's what the outside of the box says. i read it myself
*** trust me. they're good mates of mine
**** plus GST and customs fees

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Reply # 74573 13-Jun-2007 21:41
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Well, I don't think anyone here wants this one now. And we trust you have decided what to already, seeing there are lots of input about this issue...







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  Reply # 74649 14-Jun-2007 12:13
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Just a final exchange for those interested in these issues or think I unreasonably accused Expansys. You now have enough first-hand info to make your own judgments. In a nutshell, you can't get a refund from them but they will pay the fees to make a replacement.

(Note that I have changed the title of this thread so as not to unreasonably alarm anyone)


Me :
I have been very balanced on the forum and people have had a chance to see your responses to my issues. Some people have even commented that they are now more confident of Expansys after reading the thread. It seems the general consensus of the forum is - your company acted reasonably in the circumstances - but this all just goes to illustrate the dangers of buying internationally and it is better to buy from local retailers even if the cost is higher. This goes to my earlier point that strict consumer laws and higher standards of conduct ultimately benefit businesses.

I would also add that by law you have greater responsibility than just to act "reasonably" when it comes to dealing with consumers. Perhaps many similar e-tailers have equivalent policies to your own and perhaps that provides you with a basis to differentiate yourself in the market.

Further, it seems to me that for all you know, European Telecom might just be selling you their pre-owned phones. At the very least, I assume this experience has identified a potential problem in your supply chain.

Two final questions - if a customer returns your phone in a similar situation, would you have paid any and all customs fees in Australia for the return, or in NZ for the replacement or would you have expected the customer to pay for it? Also would you refund the money in full if the customer simply wanted his money back (and had paid by PayPal)?


Expansys :
I have been doing some further investigation, and have actually spoken to the CEO of eXpansys worldwide about this. We have'nt used European Telecom very much, it was just that they were the only distributor that at that time had stock of some items that we needed. I am tld we will not be using them in the future. There don't seem to be any reports of other incidents from the shipment; yours was the only one out of that order that came to this region.

I agree entirely with your point that this highlights the benefits of purchasing mobile phones locally, and in general we have tried to only include on the NZ site those ones that we know are not otherwise available within NZ; the JASJAM used not to be available and was just left showing.

With respect to reasonableness, I differentiate between customer service and response to complaints. Customer service should always be excellent, as should response to complaints, but the latter also implies that all parties act reasonably given the nature and circumstances of the complaint, and available remedies. It's also the factor upon which consumer affairs authorities tend to base their mediation.

With respect to your final questions, we would not expect the customer to pay charges for returning the phone to us, or for us returning the new one back to them. Customs and GST charges should be minimal because it would be designated both ways as a repair/replacement, so we would be expecting to pay principally for shipping costs. We would not however contemplate a refund because we we would only be able to refund the customer's original payment, which would mean he would be out of pocket for the GST already paid direct to NZ customs. They don't issue refunds unfortunately.

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