I am going against my rules for Sydney Chic on this post. Normally I choose never to write a negative review, I'd rather write nothing than do that, but in this case I'm breaking the rules. I made a huge mistake recently, I bought a Canon camera from a 'company' called CameraSky as I take a lot of photos in Sydney for my blogs. They look legit online, and after comparing with other companies, I chose them. I should have done more research on reviews first though. If I knew they were shipping from Hong Kong and not even based in Australia I'd never have trusted them. They obviously spent a heap of money on their website and SEO because they are rocking the online camera's for search engines. By the way I'm not putting their URL on this post don't want to help their SEO.
I have since discovered that NSW Fair Trading have warned Australians not to buy from CameraSky.
After one week I rang them to ask where my order was. I actually got through this time but my warning bells went on when I could tell the number wasn't Australian based. Sure enough the voicemail came on first that was either computer generated or someone who sounds like a computer, and finally the 'customer service' guy answered who was obviously in an overseas call centre. He would have to win the Award of the Decade for being the worst and rudest customer service person I've ever come across.
Now two weeks later it has taken me 1.5 hours to finally get hold of someone at this 'company'. They don't reply to emails and the chat line is a joke. Whilst I was waiting on the phone, which took 3 attempts because when it starts to ring it drops out even though you have been hanging in the queue forever (internet phone I suspect); I kept sending dozens upon dozens of emails asking "Where is my order".....still haven't had one reply from any of them yet.
The girl on the other end of the phone was hard to hear because, again, it was obviously an overseas call centre and she told me my camera hadn't been shipped because they don't have it. Why are they selling items online they don't have in stock? You can read plenty of other people who have had the same problem if you Google "CameraSky reviews".
So I demanded a full refund today. I was told that it takes 10 days to get my money back (you can read other complaints about this too on Google) because the "Finance" person was away. By now I was furious and I didn't hold back showing it! I doubt I'll ever get the refund to be honest. However Mastercard might come to the rescue on this one.
The CameraSky Facebook page lists itself as a 'local business' even though from what I can find out they are not a local business and the girl on the phone told me all products are shipped from Hong Kong. Even the Department of Finance, Services and Innovation can't find a physical address for them. On the website it states "With all three businesses based online, Digital Skies Group Pty Ltd has no physical operational address in Australia, despite listing a location in a large shopping mall on all three websites."
How they are allowed to operate in this country is beyond me. There are dozens of complaints about them and even a Facebook page set up to help prevent other people falling for their shonky practices.
As I said, I do not believe in writing negative reviews but I feel obliged to warn others to be more diligent when purchasing online. I also take full responsibility for not checking out reviews first. Lesson learnt, and I hope this article will help others not to make the same mistake.
DON'T JUST TAKE MY WORD....
My refund was credited to my account today. I believe only because I made such a fuss with about 50 emails one after another to the 'company', Tweets, posting on the Camerasky Facebook page, this blog post, ranting on my own Facebook pages, reporting them to Fair Trading, and my persistent calls and online rants. So there is hope for you too.
I have also received a personal call today (8th May) from the management of Camersky to offer their apologies and to ensure me they are taking customer feedback very seriously and putting in processes to make a better shopping experience for their customers. I appreciate this call and it gives me a feeling that Camersky are listening.
More good news. I bought the same camera today from the Good Guys in Alexandria and the customer service was exceptional. I have a guarantee, I have a massive discount and a bonus cashback of $50. I am very happy. I think such purchases are best done in person not online and to deal with a company such as the Good Guys who have been in business in Australia for decades - even before I was born!