FoneM8store: Buyer beware!

I recently did some online shopping for an automatic air compressor to keep my car tyres topped up, and decided upon the Ring RAC600 Automatic Digital Air Compressor. Ring Automotive are a well-respected manufacturer and the product attracted positive reviews on Amazon.co.uk, and FoneM8store were offering the item for just shy of £22 delivered which seemed like a good deal.

I have used Amazon regularly since 2000, but having never bought from a Marketplace seller in the past, I was slightly dubious. Unfortunately, I decided to go ahead anyway.

To cut a long story short, I placed my order on 15th February, and it was supposedly dispatched on the 17th, with a delivery estimate of 19th-23rd. I emailed the seller on the 24th as I hadn’t received the item. The seller requested that I confirm my name and address so they could send a refund. I had already provided this information, which was the same as quoted on the dispatch confirmation, but was happy to provide it again.

I then received an email the following day stating that the replacement was “on its way”, and that I should contact them again in case of further problems. No delivery estimate was provided so I waited until 3rd March before sending another email to the seller to advise them that the item still hadn’t arrived.

I received a curt reply of “You definately have a problem with your local sorting office then , these things weigh a tonne, can you check with your local sorting office to see if they are holding any items for you at this time please.”

I had in fact already checked with the sorting office who had confirmed that they were not holding any items for me. I responded to this effect, and requested a full refund as I didn’t want to wait for yet another replacement that had no guarantee of arriving.

By now it was 5 March, but the seller told me that “we cannot refund on this item as yet as the replacement item was only sent out 6 working days ago, if this has not arrived by wednesday [10 March] of next week please feel free to email us back and we will sort this out for you.”

Fast-forward to today: still no air compressor – by now I’m frustrated but not surprised – so went back to the seller to ask for my refund. Despite having been in correspondence with apparently the same person – “Maria” – since February, she ignored my request and – déjà vu time – asked me to “please confirm your home name and address and we will send a replacement out by recorded delivery straight away”

I replied to remind Maria that the refund had already been agreed in the event of the first replacement item not receiving, but thought I was probably wasting my breath so have now filed a claim under Amazon’s A-Z Guarantee. Hopefully I’ll get my money back but Amazon’s website doesn’t give any indication of how long this is likely take.

I’ve always had a fantastic experience with Amazon.co.uk themselves in the ten years in which I have been a customer, and will probably continue to buy directly from them, but will definitely steer clear of Marketplace sellers. Amazon have taken a gamble by integrating the Marketplace feature so closely into their site and they need to be very careful not to allow dishonest sellers to tarnish their hard-earned (and, in my opinion, well-deserved) good reputation.

Right, off to Halfords, I think….

Update (16th March): I actually ordered the same item from eBay yesterday (for marginally less) and it arrived today. Lesson learned I think! Meanwhile Amazon say they should have a decision on my claim by 25th March.

Update (22nd March): I have finally received my Amazon refund! Glad to have my money back, after being without it for over a month.

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    15 comments on “FoneM8store: Buyer beware!

    1. D5120 says:

      That sounds pretty shite service matey. Spookyly thought, I bought the same pump from amazon, and paid £22.57 Inc delivery. I can’t tell from the iThingy app who I got it from, but mine arrived within 5 days.

      Will check the next time I’m in front of a pc :)

    2. Harold says:

      Very much the same experience – also FoneM8store – order placed 31 March 2010 – its now 6 May 2010 – order status “should be delivered”.

      Requesting the refund tonight.

    3. Frustrated says:

      Very same problem, order placed 26 April, 10 May still nothing. How can such bad service be allowed to run on amazon after so many complaints..?

    4. Chris Barnes says:

      Sorry to hear that others are having trouble with FoneM8 too. I hope you get your money back soon!

      It’s good to see that this blog post is appearing in #4 on Google, just below a couple of FoneM8store’s Amazon pages and a defunct site at fonem8.com, so at least people who Google the name will hopefully think twice before giving them any more business!

    5. Mike Worthington says:

      Wish I had read this before ordering with FoneM8…. now I’m in the same boat, waiting for an overdue delivery and no reply to my emails from them.
      BUYER BEWARE!!

    6. Keira says:

      I recently purchased a phone case as it was marginally cheaper than eBay. It arrived in good time, but is broken. When I asked to return it, I was given the standard instructions. I asked how they were going to refund my postage back to them (after all, it’s not my fault it’s broken!) and received the reply “what? how will you get the cost of postage to return the item refunded to you?” from the ever courteous Maria!

      Wish me luck!

    7. Chris Barnes says:

      Ouch! Good luck, Keira – please let me know the outcome.

    8. Dave says:

      Im having problems with these guys. They sent a ds battery within 2 days of order but it wouldnt charge so emailed and they told me to send it back which i did. They now reckon they havent recieved it 3 weeks later then finally (i hoped agreed) to send me a replacement. Today they ask me to confirm my address (is this delaying tactics). I still wonder if replacement will arrive and work.

    9. Chris Barnes says:

      Good luck Dave – hope it ends well for you!

    10. Doug McKenzie says:

      My saga is just starting… I ordered (and received) a car phone charger for my new iPhone 3GS. It didn’t fit so I emailed ‘Darrel’ to tell him that it was obviously the wrong one.

      I got an email back the same day saying “They should be the same unless it has been manufactured incorrectly, can you try it again?”

      My reply was “At the risk of sounding smug, both my partner and me work in IT and have done so for over 35 years between us. If I say the attachment is incorrect, it is.

      I spent 20 minutes trying to connect it and she spent another 15. If either of us were to try again we would be in serious danger of damaging the equipment or each other.

      As I said in my original email, I used a magnifying glass to compare the two and they are different. Short of using a vice to try and connect them, I don’t know what else to suggest. They simply don’t fit!”

      A new charger arrived the following day, but again, it didn’t fit and I sent another email to that effect. The reply was “Please do not take this the wrong way, but could you get someone else to try them, they just do not go wrong and to get 2 the same does just not sound correct?”

      Now seething, I took a photograph of the two connecting heads placed together (the mains charger, which fits and their car charger). The photograph clearly shows that the connecting guides are different in size and distance apart. I’ll send it to him this morning and see what happens.

      I won’t hold my breath.

    11. Doug McKenzie says:

      How embarrassing. I had put on a fancy protective cover and the inner one was blocking the car charger but not the mains one.

      Anyone got a recipe for humble pie?

    12. Chris Barnes says:

      Oops, it was brave of you to admit to that, Doug ;)

      I’ve noticed a similar problem with the iPhone 4 bumper – it accommodates official Apple cables fine, but some unofficial cables don’t fit.

    13. Doug McKenzie says:

      Not brave, Chris; I just felt like a numpty coming all the ‘high and mighty IT King’ when I was completely and utterly wrong. I did tell ‘Darrel’ that I was out of order and he took it well. I’ll make it up by buying something else from the store.
      Whilst I’m here (I just tripped over this site looking for info about FoneM8) does anyone fancy doing a skydive from 13,000′ for free? I have no commercial interest in asking.

    14. bryan yates says:

      place a order on the 10th dec 2012 and still waiting, wish i had read this before ordering from FoneM8( buyers take note FoneM8 is shite)

    15. bryan yates says:

      hi back again, good news my order is here and it`s all ok, but the service could be a lot lot better but ALL in ALL HAPPY WITH MY GOODS

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