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I've had a good relationship with Dabs.com up until now. A distance relationship, but a good one. I purchased a CD Rewriter from them 18 months ago, fantastic little writer, done me proud. Whats more it was ordered online on a Sunday night and delivered by Tuesday - fantastic! And a great price too!
So when a friend of mine with no internet connection asked me to order him something 2 weeks ago, I had no worries about using them. There was a 7 day cancellation period according to the website, under the terms of some Government act brought in last year. This would be handy, as my friend was going to be away for a few days, and couldnt check the item until he came back.
So I ordered the item, (a Belkin USB - SCSI connector to attach an older SCSI CD rewriter to his new USB only Mac), again on a Sunday night. I had checked the Belkin website which stated that the connector could be used on the majority of SCSI devices, and although the CD rewriter wasn't on the list of known compatible devices, I felt safe in the knowledge that the 7 day return facility would cover me. The facility also existed to get it delivered to another address, so as we don't live near each other, I decided to deliver it to my friend's partners flat while he was away. By the following Thursday, it had again arrived! Good stuff!
By the following Wednesday however, I had a phone call. My friend had been back 2 days, and the connector wasn't working. He needed to backup some important files urgently, so the only option was for him to to go to PC World and buy a new CD writer.
So on Thursday morning at work, 7 days from date of receipt, I rang Dabs customer order number, (the only number I could get from directory enquiries) and a cheery message greeted me. "You are number 6 in a queue and we have 6 operators taking calls." "Wow thats something you dont get everyday", I thought. A customer service line with meaningful information. In about 30 seconds my call was answered. I explained the situation and the woman at the end of the phone told me she'd have to put me through to technical support. Fair enough. Cheery message again. "You are 13th in the queue". No message this time about how many operators, but you would imagine it to be similar to the number of sales people. So I waited... and waited...
HALF an hour passed, and I eventually got answered by an enthusiastic sounding man. After explaining the situation again, he looked on his PC and said "Oh you have to ring Belkin for this one, they arrange collection and returns themself. You need to quote the serial number on the box it came in." He gave me a freephone number to ring, and, although irritated by the length of time it had taken, I didn't see the need to complain. I hung up.
After trying to contact my friend for the serial number with no luck, I realised that I'd forgot to check whether it would be OK to send something back after the 7 day period, given the circumstances.
I called the main number again, and explained my situation - again... "Yeah I don't spose it'll be a problem" said the bored guy I'd got through to this time.
Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get hold of my friend until Sunday, and by that time I couldn't ring up until today because of the bank holiday.
So first thing this morning, I called Belkin. As soon as I told the woman there what Dabs had told me she laughed and said "Oh I'm sorry they've got it wrong, we only handle exchanges, and guarantee claims after one month of purchase." She was actually very helpful. She took the details of what I'd said, entered it in her records, giving me a reference number, and said she would make sure Dabs were informed of their policy again.
Next stop Dabs.
The sales lady sympathised and put me through to customer services this time. "22nd in the queue".
25 minutes later, got through to possibly the rudest customer service person ever.
"I'm afraid we have no record of your call last Thursday, so theres no proof you rang. We can take it back but there will be a 25% charge for it."
Now it was time to get annoyed. I told her that it simply wasn't good enough, and that if necessary I could prove that I called by getting a call record from work, identifying my 35 minute call the previous Thursday. She went away and came back, saying she'd spoken to her supervisor and they would reduce the charge to 10%.
I stuck to my guns however. As far as I was concerned, she was in fact calling me a liar, and I told her so. "Oh that's not the case, you just cant prove you rang last week".
"Hello???? Isn't that a contradiction" I thought to myself, but rather than arguing, I asked to speak to the supervisor.
Rather than getting the supervisor, she went away again and eventually came back and said they would waive the charge, issuing me a returns number.
I am sending the item back tomorrow, and I'll update this opinion once I get my money back. i have to admit that fills me with dread too.
(****UPDATE**** Got my refund today, 15/5/01. Shock horror.)
At the end of the day Dabs have lost my future custom through this completely inept and antagonistic attitude to after sales.
Isn't it strange how all the Dabs reviews here are so varied? I checked, and the glowing reviews are all about goods that arrive promptly, and the bad opinions are all about the customer service.
Dabs, if you read this come on get your act together. I am no longer recommending you to anyone, and won't use you again.
I hope the above horror story is a warning to everyone else too. Basically if you buy from dabs, you're on your own.
I've had nothing but good experiences with Dabs and have used them three or four times in the last couple of years... I guess with any company they have there bad points... glad it got resolved in the end though. SB.
gennymutant 20.05.2001 14:12
Sounds like one to avoid, definately. I agree that you should send them a copy of your op - perhpas it will encourage them to get their act together a little. Great op! - Dione