Jun 2, 2012

Buying Direct, the Indirect Way

Being the lazy, cheap, often gullible fruitcake I am, I decided to check out the incredibly cheap body armor I found on-line with DXdealextreme. For $54 delivered, they appeared to be selling upper body armor similar to the expensive spread. Since practically everyone in the US is selling the same crap from the same Chinese factories, I "reasoned" going direct to the Chinese distributor might be a pretty quick and efficient way to get my upper body protected. After two weeks of waiting for delivery (which put the gear in my hands exactly two days after I last went dirt riding), I got a tiny package in the mail from DXdealextreme. I ordered XL and they shipped a tiny thing they labeled "medium." I haven't been this "medium" since I was 12 years old.

I fumbled around the DXdealextreme website until I found the customer complaint area and sent them a note describing the problem and asking for a right-sized replacement. The following is what I have received from the company in the last month:

Dear customer,

Sorry to hear that.

Would you please go to our forum and search for related information? Sometimes the issues that customers raised could be resolved by topics in our forum.
Thanks for your assistance.

Best wishes!


  Response from Customer 5/4/2012 5:49:17 AM HKT (UTC+8)

It's hard to imagine a response that could resolve your company having sent the wrong size. Again, I ordered extra large and you sent medium. The problem is unresolvable without a replacement.

Request   (Responded) from annaCustomer Service Staff 5/6/2012 9:48:55 PM HKT (UTC+8)

Sorry but please return thw wrong item to DX.

Please accept our apologies for the defective item.

In a DOA situation a reimbursement for return shipping fees is available. Please return the item(s) using the least expensive shipping method preferably with tracking number to the address below. If you choose to return the item without a tracking number, please keep the shipping receipt. After your shipment, please take a picture of the proof of shipment (shipping receipt, certificate of posting, tracking number stub, etc). We will arrange the replacement and reimbursement for your return postage after the package is received and processed.

1941 Davis Street, Ste. B Unit 31
San Leandro, CA 94577

Please note, an RMA confirmation letter was sent to your email address, please check the mail contents, print out the attached RMA label and affix the label to your returned package. If you cannot print the label, please write down the RMA code number on the outside of the package.

Return shipping fee reimbursement is up to 60% of the item's price to a maximum of $40 USD; we will cover the actual postage (according to the receipt you provided).

IMORTANT: Please use the least expensive method to ship the item(s) back. Courier services such as EMS, UPS, FedEx, TNT, DHL etc are NOT eligible for return shipping cost reimbursements.

IMPORTANT: Please remember to include a note in your package indicating the following items, this note will help us to expedite the processing time for you.

1. Your order number,
2. SKU numbers returned and quantity, and
3. A short description of the problem(s) of the defective unit.

If there are any further inquiries, please feel free to contact us at anytime.
Thank you for your patience and understanding.

* Incorrect usage excluded.
** The order shipment date and order notification are provided to you by email.

  Responsefrom Customer5/28/2012 6:40:02 PM HKT (UTC+8)

The unit was returned and received by the STONE BRIDGE GROUP on 5/21/2012. Has the replacement and refund for shipping charges ($9.13) been sent yet?

Request  (Responded)from annaCustomer Service Staff5/28/2012 7:53:00 PM HKT (UTC+8)

Sorry.After your shipment, please take a picture of the proof of shipment (shipping receipt, certificate of posting, tracking number stub, etc).

  Responsefrom Customer5/28/2012 9:10:07 PM HKT (UTC+8)

FedX 763502915000134

Request  (Responded)from annaCustomer Service Staff5/29/2012 12:58:10 AM HKT (UTC+8)

thanks,would you please show us how much the postage?

  Responsefrom Customer6/2/2012 8:41:41 AM HKT (UTC+8)

This cycle is becoming depressing. I sent the armor, along with the original receipt and shipping receipt, to your US office, Stone Bridge Group. They obviously have it now, but you've chosen to ignore your own shipping instructions and pretend to be ignorant of the whole transaction. A month after ordering the armor, I have nothing but expenses to show for my experience with your company. You haven't even bothered to replace the item with the correct size part.

The only upside from dealing with DX dealextreme, for me, is that I have something to write about in my magazine column and blog. Since the blog gets 100,000 hits a year, that ought to be interesting advertising for your company. When I finish with this note, I'm going to contact my credit card company and begin working on reversing the charges for the product you have failed to deliver.

Thomas Day
Minnesota Motorcycle Monthly Magazine

So, now me and Paypal are going to wrestle with how I get my money back from DXdealextreme. From here out, I am going to save my money and avoid anything that appears to be shipped from China.

It just gets better. Finally, DXdealextreme's representative has agreed to send a replacement for the original screwed up order, but . . .

Request   (Responded) from annaCustomer Service Staff 6/4/2012 2:31:01 AM HKT (UTC+8)

Ok, thanks, we will arrange the replacement for you, are you OK with that we keep the postage $9.14 as store credit; you may use the credit immediately to get something else. Or, you can leave the credit and use it later at a time you like.

Please let us know which way works the best for you.

Thank you for your understanding.

Have a nice day

  Response from Customer 6/4/2012 7:04:03 AM HKT (UTC+8)

I would prefer a refund of the return shipping. This experience has been miserable enough that I can't imagine doing business with DX again. And I would warn anyone away from doing business with a company that can't get an order right and, then, throws up a dozen obstacles between the customer and fixing the company's mistake. 
I will spare my gentle readers from the rest of this transaction, no matter how it transpires, but I'm going to consider this a lesson-well-learned and try not to stumble into the Chinese money pit again.

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