Departure from outward office of exchange

I’m playing the waiting game on an order from Chinese website focalprice.com. I suspect the package is coming via sail boat as it’s already been 3 weeks since my order was made and the China Mail website still has the same message:

Departure from outward office of exchange

When it works that is, most of the time it just says this:

由于使用用户过多,请再次查询 返回

Loosely translated as “Due to the use of too many users, again returned by the query”. Thanks Google.

I bought myself a JXD A1000 when it was on sale a few weeks back. It’s a handheld gaming machine that plays old games from the 90’s. Apparently it’ll play most GBA games which is great because the collection of carts for my original GBA is lying idle in the attic and I won’t feel too bad looking for replacement roms online ..

How to avoid Amazon Wishlist headaches

If, like me you have an Amazon wishlist you may be missing out on wishes if you’re not careful selecting them.

The wishlist is a great idea. Browse around Amazon picking items you like and add them to a public list that your friends and family can use to buy you gifts. The only problem is that Amazon won’t always deliver the goods, but you won’t know until someone tries to buy something for you.

The first I knew about this problem was when someone sent me a tweet saying they got an error buying a game on my wishlist. Alarmed, I tried to purchase the same item.

amazon-gift-registery-problem

amazon-gift-registery-problem2

The first time I saw the message “We’re sorry. This item can’t be delivered to a Wish List or gift registry address” I hadn’t noticed the previous “Marketplace items cannot be sent to Gift Registry addresses”. At the time I was a newbie to all this and didn’t realise the difference between the Marketplace and Amazon itself. Searching for the error message took me to blog and forum posts discussing the problem. None were on the Amazon website. Surely it wouldn’t take that much effort to hide the “Add to wishlist” button on Marketplace product pages?
I eventually found time to correct things, and replaced as many items as I could with those available from Amazon itself, and not a 3rd part reseller.

Does this apply only to Irish addresses on the UK Amazon website or is it a general problem?

Oh, and here’s another quick Amazon tip. Buy gift cards on the Amazon site local to the receiver. My wife bought a voucher for her sister in New Zealand, but we used the UK Amazon website. When the voucher was delivered and used, it didn’t work. That’s a waste of money and embarrassing too. I should have cancelled the payment through my credit card but never thought to do so at the time.

Important Message
There’s something wrong with the gift certificate claim code you entered. Please check for transposed digits, omitted digits, and similar errors.

You’d think they’d have these basic problems sorted out wouldn’t you?

7dayshop.com – review and my bad experience

It’s about time I posted this as it’s been over a month since I had any dealings with 7dayshop. Since then I’ve dealt with several other online retailers without a hitch.

When I shop, online or otherwise, I expect a reasonable level of service and care. When I shop online I expect prompt delivery of my order or notification if the delivery will take longer or products are missing. I also expect to be able to pick up the phone and ask someone where my purchased goods are.

A few weeks ago I was still looking forward to my holiday in Chicago. I wanted to buy a new camera to replace my broken Sony F717. The Canon 20D was the one I had my eye on!

My friend John ordered the camera from 7dayshop for me. I made out a list of products I wanted; camera bag, filters, batteries, and more. About a week later, on a Monday, several of the items were delivered but no camera. We thought there must have been a delay so we let it go for a few days. Here’s what happened:

Monday
Most of the goods from 7dayshop delivered. Camera must be delayed somewhere. Let’s wait a few days.

Friday
Getting worried now. This morning John left a message on their support page asking about the missing camera. He was given a Royal Mail tracking number to check the status of the package. I rang the Irish Post Office but they couldn’t help me. I went online again and entered the tracking number into the Royal Mail Track and Trace page. Unfortunately Royal Mail didn’t have that tracking number on their system! I rang them after that but again they couldn’t find any trace of the package in their system.

In the afternoon I left a message on the 7dayshop support page asking for an update on the missing camera. Thinking that it would be taken care of, I ordered memory cards, a camera case and a battery case from them. Immediately after placing the order I realised I had made an error in the address of that order so I sent them another support query with the correct company name. No reply all weekend.

Monday
It was with some frustration on Monday morning that I kept checking my email waiting for a reply. Finally a reply to my address issue. It couldn’t be changed as the order had been dispatched. My query about the camera was ignored. Several other queries were ignored too. I decided to cancel my Friday order in protest at their shoddy customer care. The camera case was on back order and that was canceled but I was told that the other items were in transit and couldn’t be canceled.

Tuesday
I called the European Consumer Centre in Dublin and was advised that because the Canon 20D camera had not yet arrived it is 7dayshop’s responsibility to see that it is delivered. I sent 7dayshop a letter in the post stating that if I didn’t get delivery of the camera within 14 days I would be looking for a full refund to which I am entitled to under EU Directive 99/44/EC. I left another note with that information on 7dayshop’s support page.
I rang Royal Mail again to check the tracking number. The operator couldn’t believe it had disappeared so completely from their system!

2 hours later John was sent an email saying he must get a refund from Visa. He has to wait 30 days from the time of the order to make the claim, and it will take Visa a further 30 days to refund him.

Later
Having been burned by 7dayshop, I ordered the Canon 20D from Technikdirekt. It arrived within a week.
I ordered a Canon 70-300mm zoom lens from AC-foto. They accept COD and that arrived within a few days.
I ordered a Panasonic Lumix FZ5 from Pixmania and that was delivered within a few days.

My memory cards did appear eventually, but the battery case (value £1.99) failed to show up. On closer inspection of the goods that were delivered by 7dayshop, the camera case and ND filters were missing too. I’m going to call it a day on my dealings with 7dayshop. I recommended them to others in the past but never again.

Here’s some reviews of 7dayshop. The positive ones usually are those that go without a hitch, otherwise it’s a tale of trouble and woe. Leave your story as a comment here. Maybe, just maybe, 7dayshop will take note of them.

In conclusion
When something goes wrong, it’s reassuring to be able to ring up someone and find out what’s happened to goods you’ve spent your hard earned money on. 7dayshop don’t have a customer support phone line. Sure, there’s a phone number on their whois record (01481 257336) but it’s answered by a machine telling you to fill in the support form!

Who do I recommend you buy your camera or electronic gear from? Anyone but 7dayshop.com!
Apart from the awful customer service, it appears that 7dayshop.com source their goods the USA. If you don’t live in the USA that means your goods will be without warranty as electronic goods rarely have global warranties. They must also be making a killing on price. They charge in Sterling, their prices aren’t that cheap, and the US Dollar is weak! Surely some of that profit should be ploughed back into the company?

Try these guys instead. They may ship you a non-English manual, but you get a European warranty, and English manuals can usually be downloaded and printed out.

  • Technikdirekt – very reasonable prices, slow delivery by Deutch Post.
  • AC-foto – no secure server, doesn’t accept credit cards online, but COD is ok, if a little expensive. Very reasonable prices too.
  • Pixmania – a bit more expensive, had some trouble with them during the summer but they’re only a phone call away and were helpful. Fast delivery

7dayshop.com – No Warranties in Europe

I used 7dayshop.com fairly regularly in the past to purchase memory and the occasional camera, and most of the time it went without a hitch.

I’m waiting on a camera from them at the moment too but it was ordered before I knew the following: they ship US sourced products with US warranties! Reviews are mixed with some people having good experiences and others bad.

If you do find yourself without cause to complain about an online store what can you do? If you live in the EU there are laws regarding distance selling (UK version).
When you receive the goods you have a 7 working day cooling off period during which you can send the items back to the retailer without giving a reason. This is akin to browsing in a shop and not buying. You may have to pay the postage to return the goods however.

7dayshop, in their camera policies page do state that they’ll pay the postage if a manufacturing defect is found within 7 days or less.
If you have the item for more than 7 days you must contact them via their support page. It’s not clear whether they’ll have the item repaired/replaced or not, and later on they say, “If the item was purchased more than 1-year ago, then the warranty period is up, and you must contact the manufacturer directly – not us – to arrange for a repair to be made at your expense.”
But if the warranty wasn’t valid in the first place…

The Oasis.ie page on consumer affairs has links to more information that should broadly apply across the EU.

Later.. I don’t recommend 7dayshop any more. Read my 7dayshop review and please avoid them!

Where to get memory cards?

For future reference. My brother asked where he should get memory sticks for his new camera. I asked on #linux.. Here’s a few suggestions if you live in Ireland or the UK.

Later.. I don’t recommend 7dayshop any more. Read my 7dayshop review and please avoid them!