Adam
I took my time to compare prices and parts for a full PC build, against the specs and price of a ready-built Zoostorm which was on offer when I first saw it. The site has a customer relations platform, on which sales advisors popup to offer assistance when customers are browsing. During the two weeks which I was browsing the site, I spoke to the advisors quite a few times. I told the advisor(s) that I would be using the PC for 3D artwork and games development, and at first, I asked them to help me to build a PC (within my budget) - using the AMD A10 (quad core) CPU, which was in the cheap Zoostorm they had. They helped me to find the parts, and I added them to my account's "wish-list" as we went along. I did need their help on finding certain parts, due to a lack in appropriate search options on the site. For example, you can not search for a motherboard by RAM type, or for a CPU cooler by socket type. Each time I returned to the site to look at the possible build, I found that one or more of the parts in my wish-list, had altered in price to become more expensive. Some had discounts removed, while others had the price adjusted, or the discount adjusted, for no apparent reason. The advisors informed me that prices can change from time to time, depending on suppliers and offers. But the rate at which the prices were changing - left me a little dubious about the practices at play. After removing and replacing some of the parts in my wish-list a few times... When I finally came to make a purchase I found that the price of my original build, had gone from around "£300 -to- £330" up to "£350 -to- £380" (when comparing cheaper options with more expensive options). I found this to be quite a big increase in price to be fair, and so I decided to start a fresh, and looked at some of the different CPU's. I then found a CPU and motherboard, which were far better for my 3D creativity needs with a socket AM3+. I did tell the advisor(s) that I would be using a graphics card, and so the extra expense of an APU type CPU could be avoided, depending on the choice of motherboard. But they were unable to point me in the direction of these more ideal parts. I ended up buying an AMD FX-6300 (six core) CPU, and a Gigabyte GA-970-Gaming motherboard, with slightly slower RAM - Vengeance pro x16GB kit (1866MHz OC to 2000MHz). Which was far better suited to my needs. This being a six core build rather than a quad core, and with the AMD AM3+ FX CPUs' even stating in the description, that they are optimal for 3D creativity... I would have thought, that with the amount of times I spoke to them, the advisors could have pointed me in the direction of these alternate parts, but they failed to do so. The night before I made my purchase, I found another website offering some of the parts I was viewing, for a cheaper price. I told the ebuyer on-site advisor that I might end up making a purchase on that website instead, or might end up buying parts from both websites, at an inconvenience - as I would normally only buy computer parts from ebuyer, and I would prefer to keep all of my order in the same place. As I populated my basket with parts, I noticed that the 1TB Seagate hard drive, had a discount of £50 on it, making it's price £1.54 (inc vat). To some, this might seem like a mistake. I obviously added one to my order. Then clicked "add item(s)" on the account "order page". The page told me that there were another 18 of this item in stock, so naturally I bought them all! I made my purchase at around 3am to 4am as I was sleepless. At around 6am, I refreshed the page of the hard drive a few times, and saw the price be altered, back up to the normal price for the item, £50 (inc discount). Shortly afterwards, I received an email informing me that the item was completely out of stock. So I waited until 9am, for the on-site advisors to come online to assist me. Shortly after that the item's page was removed. They advised me that the item was no longer in stock, and that it had been flagged by their stock discrepancy policy. Then they advised that I choose a different hard drive for my order... and pointed me towards hard drives with a price tag of around £50. In the UK, we have consumer rights, and I believe that if you find a wrongly priced item in a store, and go to the checkout with it, the store has to honour the marked price (by law). However, they would not budge on this matter and offered me nothing but the cancellation of my order. I call this "sale-baiting", and believe it to be an underhand tactic, used to lure me in to making my purchase with ebuyer, rather than with the other website I was comparing prices to. When I said this to the advisor, and asked them if they would want such things to be written in a review, they asked me to hold on for a moment, and "went to speak to a manager". They returned offering me a free delivery, and a £10 discount off my next order. But this left my order without an hard drive, so I had to place another order for the hard drive straight away. When they cancelled the 19x 1TB Seagate hard drives from my original order, (amended the order) the money was instantly returned to my bank account. But when I placed the order for another hard drive (costing £50) the promised discount was not added... Due to some complication with the site remembering my payment details (I was aware of it doing this, but there was no option in the account settings to remove my card details). They then cancelled the second order, and asked me to place the order again to receive the promised discount. Once again, the discount was not applied, so the advisor amended the third order to have a free delivery. (Promised discount £10, delivery cost £8 so I still did not get that full discount). This caused me to be short on money, as the cancellation of the second order meant that £48 was held up in the payment process. They advised me that it can take "up-to" 5 working days for monies to be returned. This is something which could have been avoided all together, if they had just amended the second order. Or if they had honoured the first stated price for one of (minus the 18 extra) the hard drive which I originally went to the checkout with, and that would have been no different to them on the final cost of the order(s). With all that said, the parts I ordered did arrive the next day (Saturday). Everything was in good condition and working. The motherboard I ordered was stated as "Ex-display" but it had never even been out of the box, as the seal was still in-tact. The parts complimented each other well, and the computer I built is perfect for my needs. I have never had such issues before, and I will indeed continue to use ebuyer, and I will still recommend ebuyer to friends, and to the endless array of people who ask me for technical assistance. I am more a software guy, so even I sometimes need help with the hardware side of things, but many people ask me for help. But I write this somewhat negative and long review, as I hope that in future, ebuyer can offer a better customer service. And maybe even better training for their advisors. But until then, I would suggest that it might be better to avoid talking to the on-site advisors, and maybe even avoid using the wish-list on your account... as it seems, doing so can cause prices to vary, and it could well have been an honest mistake, but I call the price change I witnessed "Sale Baiting". Thanks, Adam.
5 years ago
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