The never ending quest for an £8 refund

Published on 25 April 2008 in , ,

Here’s a fun one. I recently had a dodgy DVD – KYTV Series 1 actually. Put it in a DVD player and wow, the loud grinding noise was insane. Half the DVD was unwatchable.

So I returned it to Amazon (actually – Amazon’s “preferred” trader on Jersey). They refunded my postage and sent a second DVD.

Second DVD wasn’t as bad, but still there was half an episode where the DVD was unwatchable. I even tried (and don’t try this at home kids, because it’s bad and wrong, mmmkay!) copying the DVD on my computer – see if I could copy it to a blank DVD+R and play it that way, but the computer’s DVD drive couldn’t cope either.

So back second DVD went. And Amazon’s policy is, if you do two returns due to faults, then cancel the order.

Fine. The email comes through – we’ve refunded your money and postage.

This is about a month ago, and I keep my eye on my credit card statements and yes, the second postage is refunded, but for some reason, there’s no refund for the actual DVD.

Hmm, I goes. Hmm, and hmm and hmm. I trawl through Amazon’s website and finally find the contact form. I drop them a line to say “Look, there’s been no refunded” and get a response back saying “Yes, there has – these are the payments we’ve refunded – in two parts”

And lo, I do reply and say “Look, actually I’ve only had one payment and that doesn’t match either of the amounts you’ve said I should have had.”

And lo, do they reply and say “Yes. We sent you an email. These are two amounts you have received” – this time incidentally, their postage refund is actually what they gave me – “But if you haven’t had it, we ask you to speak to your credit card company and get them to provide written confirmation. Then fax it to us”.

I sigh, mutter about it being vaguely a reasonable request and load up the Egg website and send them a message asking them nicely to help.

So Egg reply “Nope, you’re right, Amazon wrong. No refund – that we are happy to confirm. Trouble is, we’re a paperless bank and we don’t do letters. Perhaps you could send them a copy of this secure message instead”.

At which point I want to cry� I have an internet retailer that wants a fax, and a bank who don’t know what paper is.

And all this for the princely sum of £8…


  • Kevin says:

    My formula for refunds is simple.
    1. I make a request for a refund stating the exact problem.
    2. If no action, I send an email request.
    3. If no reply to the email after 3 days I send a repeat email.
    4. If still no reply I send a letter to the “Disputes Department” of my credit card company with copies of my correspondence.
    It seems to work every time.
    It is important to differentiate between one off faults and design faults. It is no good asking for a replacement product when a design fault is the cause because you will get another just like the first.

  • dan connolly says:

    Have you noticed a potential piracy issue with indigostarfish dvs? My wife bought a harry hill dvd and it looks home made, didnt come in cellophane, had no hollographic imprint, and has ink spray blurring on the dvd edges, like it was done on a home made dvd printing machine.
    As an empoyee of ITV, this ultimately takes money from the corp, then my own wages! I’d like to find out if anybody else has found them a bit suspect

  • Andrew Bowden says:

    I’ve ended up with quite a few things from Indigostarfish and haven’t noticed anything wrong with what they sell. Indeed, I got two CDs last week that both looked very legit.
    They’re a slightly mysterious sounding organisation, but if you do some digging, it turns out they also handle contact lens distribution for Dollond & Aitchison.