Goblin Dae (goblin_dae) wrote in bad_service,
Goblin Dae

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It was my little brother Sparks' eighteenth birthday at the beginning of November. A few years ago I bought him a katana on a display stand, and he loved it to bits, so this year I thought I'd get him a claymore (we're Scottish). There aren't many reputable places that sell good quality weapons in the UK, so I went to the same place I bought the katana - WeaponsGalore as I'd bought a few more things from them and always been really happy with their past service. I picked out a replica of the claymore from the movie Highlander.

They said they offered 24 hour shipping for £5.95 as opposed to their usual free 48 hours. It was currently Thursday and Sparks' birthday was the following Tuesday (my bad for waiting so long to finally decide what would make a special eighteenth birthday gift), so to be safe I decided to go for the 24 hour option. Only it didn't appear as an option anywhere in the checkout process. Ok, I thought, if they don't do it then it should still arrive in time, but to be safe I'll email them and ask if they can do it anyway. I also have it sent to my work address as the postman always comes to my door after I leave in the morning, and we have stuff delivered to work all the time. It's much more convenient.

Then I got to the end and found - shit! My credit card was missing. Lost, not stolen, but I knew I didn't have time to order a new one and they didn't take Paypal. So - and yes, I'm still kicking myself for this one, I KNOW it was a mistake - I used my Switch card. I would never have done it if I hadn't been so happy with the website before, but I trusted them, and so I thought debit would be fine.

I emailed them about the 24 hour shipping and got a response within a few minutes. Yep, no problem, they'll do that. They'll send it out today (it's still the morning)! Only thing is, they're about to update their prices so it'll be £9 instead of £5.95. It's a hefty sword and having it delivered the very next day will be awesome, so I agree.

Friday comes and goes. So does Saturday, Monday...I email them Monday afternoon to check that they sent it out on time and with the right postage and, uh, nobody replies. Tuesday goes. I beg forgiveness from Sparks (who is of course fine with it, but I felt like shit) and bought him a bottle of rum as a placeholder. Wednesday goes, and I email again (still no response) but that night I get home from work and find a "You Missed A Delivery" note from Royal Mail. Shit. I stop off at the post office the next morning and lo and behold, it's a bigass heavy flat box about the length of a claymore! This thing was 42" unboxed. Which I then have to drag to work without putting out any car windows or knocking out any small children. THIS was why I wanted it sent to my work.

Then when I finally get in and pull it out of the box to check it - waaait a minute? Why is the blade spotted with rust? Why is there a huge PAKISTAN stamped into it that wasn't in the picture on the website? Why is the silver stuff coating the hilt flaking off in huge chunks? I am pissed off, but I force myself to be polite and email WG.Com right away to let them know I would like a replacement, and a refund on the postage too. By the end of the day, no response and I start looking for their phone number. Only it has mysteriously vanished from the site and there's just a "New Number to be Added" placeholder. I Google them and try the two numbers I find. Nobody picks up. No answering machine either.

Three weeks and six ignored emails later (I no longer want an exhange, I've told them, I want a straight refund), I have pictures of the damage, copies of my bank statement and emails and I'm down at the Trading Standards office asking for help. I'm not stony broke but this was an extravagant purchase for me and my conscience won't let me give up and give my brother a damaged piece of crap for his eighteenth. I want my damn money back. Trading Standards can try and contact the company for me. They can't force them to give me a refund - that's a civil matter - but they can take them to task over the unlawful cancellation policies they have in their Terms and get some up to date contact information for me if I want to take them to small claims court for the money. Fine, fine. I just want to be able to get in touch with them SOMEHOW.

Fast forward to today. The Trading Standards woman I spoke to phones me up and tells me that the parent company that WG.Com claims to be part of was dissolved in July, even though their address was printed on the label of the box the sword came in. Furthermore, the owner of WeaponsGalore in prison. On drug charges. They will keep looking into it for me, but chances are I will not get my money back. There isn't even anybody left for my to take to court!

I'm kicking myself for not paying with credit, oh yes. At this point there's nothing else I can do except contact their webhost and warn them that the company is still taking orders and presumably people's money and details, but there's nobody behind the wheel. And I'm screwed for the money. Dammit!

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