Late last week, I bought myself a Playstation 3 60gb (so that it would have the "PS2 inside" and be handling PS2 games without software emulation, and PS games at all). Stock of this item is almost nonexistent; it's not being made by Playstation anymore, and most stores are simply sold out of this model.
So I did what I always would have done when I worked at Circles. I found a company offering a brand new, factory sealed version of the item, checked their Better Business Bureau rating, and purchased from them.
This company was VPC Computers, Inc.
in Anaheim, CA. Maybe it should have tipped me off that they had a Yahoo! Online Store, but they had a good
BBB rating, so I trusted that.
(I'm currently on hold with the BBB in Anaheim, by the way.)
Their website took me all the way through the purchasing process, going so far as to offer me an order confirmation to print, which I did, and a tracking number. But I never received e-mail confirmation of my purchase despite them clearly having my e-mail address correct. I called today make sure the order went through as the website claimed it did.
I spoke to a sales representative who claimed his name was Ali Khalaj. Before even checking my order number, he told me there was no possible way I had bought a PS3 60gb from them because they hadn't had any in stock in at least the past week. Unlike most Customer Service or Sales representatives, he also sounded unabashedly unapologetic
about this happening, mostly because (he claims -- and may be telling the truth, I don't know yet) I haven't been charged. According to him, they run every credit card purchase manually, and since the order didn't go through, the card wasn't charged.
Now, if I haven't been charged, it makes the situation a good deal better. But still. They offer items on their website that they don't always have, and will run you through the entire purchasing process including taking your credit card information and offering you an order number and printable order confirmation without ever contacting you to let you know the item isn't in stock and you won't be receiving it
. And when I pointed out that this wasn't good business practice, his response was, "We're not a good business!" Throughout the phone call he seemed completely nonplussed as to why I would be upset if I wasn't charged, said that sending an order confirmation is not
confirmation of purchase. And when I went so far as to say that I wasn't even looking
for compensation at this point (since it was clear they wouldn't offer it and would claim I didn't deserve it anyway since I never spent a penny), just someone to get on the phone and tell me they were really very sorry this happened and to reassure me that they'd look into a way to contact people via e-mail when the item was sold out, he said the people who could do that were "unavahlabale" (just like the item was 'unavahlable') but that they would take my contact information and have someone call me back. When I asked roughly when, or who, they wouldn't supply that. There's no way they were going to call me. If they wouldn't contact me when the item was out of stock, why would they contact me about this?
I've called the BBB, and they think this is a valid misrepresentation case. But I still want my friends to know about this. Don't buy from these guys. They don't care whether you know if you've bought something or not, and you mean nothing to them unless you've given them your money.Addendum:
In case others are wondering, I found a new PS3 60gb on Amazon from a seller called the Peoples Books. They have a 96% satisfaction rating with 547 reviews in the past year, and over 2800 reviews during the lifetime of the business. I think it'll be ok. And it's ending up basically the same price!