ramblings from the noisedoctor

January 25, 2009

avoid big city direct

Filed under: lame companies — Tags: , , — noisedoctor @ 12:15 pm

I’ve been meaning to get around to posting my experience with Big City Direct as a warning to anyone who is considering buying from them.

Around 4 months ago, I was shopping for an HP iPAQ rx5915 Travel Companion. It’s a Windows (yeah, I know…) Mobile device w/GPS Navigation (Tom-Tom) built in. I was looking at refurbished items to save some cash, since at the time, it wasn’t much more expensive than a mid-level GPS unit and would give me some benefits as a Pocket PC as well.

I found the best price ($199) through buy.com. I honestly didn’t pay attention to the fact that this was one of their “Marketplace” sellers. Buy.com took my order and sent me a confirmation. The next day, I got an email stating:

We are confirming that the seller, Bigcitydirect of your Buy.com Marketplace order has cancelled the following item on your order…

I emailed buy.com and got a canned response:

If you have any questions regarding your Marketplace shipment, we ask
that you contact the seller directly. The seller’s contact information
can be found in the order detail located in your My Account or in the
email we send to you confirming the purchase of this order.

So, I emailed them and got nothing. I called them and was told: “The order was canceled because we no longer sell that item.”

Okay. If that’s true, I can accept that. I still think you should have some better inventory systems in place to not advertise an item you can’t sell (isn’t that considered “bait and switch?”). However… the kicker is that a week later, guess what was advertised on buy.com? Yup. Same item, same condition, $299. Oh, so I guess you do sell the item, you just don’t want to sell it at the price you advertised.

Bad company. Bad. And buy.com, shame on you for having such a company as part of your network. I used to have the utmost respect for you as a company. Now, not so much.

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