ED Magedson – Founder
Bradford Exchange Australia Very poor customer service Sydney, Australia Nationwide
In December 2012 I placed one order for two Wishes of the Heart bracelets as Christmas gifts for my niece and sister. The Bradford Exchange did not process the order as one, but in order to charge an additional $19.99 in shipping and service, processed the order as two. On the 11 December 2012 my Visa card with the Commonwealth bank was charged $159.95 for one bracelet, followed on the 17th December by the second $159.95 charge. I was annoyed at the double dipping but let the matter pass and awaited the arrival of the bracelets.
One turned up for Christmas but the other did not, so no gift for my sister.
After Christmas, of course, I tried to contact the company to see what had happened. I sent two emails and to this day, I have received no reply. Finally, I found a phone number in the FAQ section of the website. I tried ringing it, but of course, the office was closed until the second week of January thereby making it very difficult for any post-Christmas issues to be resolved. It seems the office was closed only for complaints, however, and not advertising material, which reached me in the post in the first week of January.
When I finally did get in contact, I was told that when processing the two orders, the second one had been declined by my bank. I checked with the bank and yes, that was correct. Because Bradford Exchange had placed the second order within five minutes of the first, the bank has a policy of declining such orders just in case a mistake has been made and the same order has been submitted twice. This policy seems very sensible to me and safeguards the consumer. Bradford exchange, however, seems unaware of this policy even though this is the Commonwealth Bank we are talking about. None of this was ever communicated to me by the company in December.
Once I had learnt all this in mid-January I wanted to have nothing more to do with Bradford Exchange so decided not to proceed with the second bracelet which had still not arrived by mid-January. I cancelled the order and was refunded the second credit card charge on 15th January 2013.. At this point I thought that the whole business was behind me.
Unfortunately, the first bracelet proved faulty. The clasp holding the charms broke twice while my niece was wearing it. Fortunately, she was able to retrieve all the pieces.
At the beginning of June, I rang the company explaining the problem. I was told to send it back with an accompanying letter, which I did. I was then out of the country until the end of July. When I returned and had heard nothing, I rang the company again, to be told that they had received nothing from me. I was instructed by the company to fill out a form which would initiate a police/post office check for the lost postal item. This I did and returned the form to the company.
About a week later, a replacement bracelet arrived with an accompanying bill for $159.95. You can imagine my reaction! When I rang I was told that I had received a refund for the faulty item in January(I had not yet reported/returned the faulty item at that time). The January refund had been for second bracelet I had not received.
The matter was then referred to a supervisor and I sent a copy of the above to her. A week and a half later someone did contact me. She was not really interested in what I had to say but patronised me by saying:
(a) that it was not their fault that I was not aware that the order would be processed as two and not one.
(b) that because the company was an international one the decision as to the office not being manned after Christmas was out of the control of the Australian branch of the company. She suggested that I was being unreasonable in expecting someone to be at the office to handle queries after the Christmas period.
(c) that I was the only one "ever" who had experienced the bank declining the second charge.
(d) that because they had hundreds of customers they were not able to contact me when the second charge was declined.
(e) that they were obliging me as a gesture of "goodwill" in sending a replacement bracelet when the returned item was lost in the post. I have never known goodwill to be accompanied by a bill for the goodwill!
The incompetency/stonewalling of this company is amazing.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 09/06/2013 02:17 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/bradford-exchange/nationwide/bradford-exchange-australia-very-poor-customer-service-sydney-australia-nationwide-1082143. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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