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, 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 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.