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Learn from Experience:


The victim of online deceit.

The Straits Times - JUNE 29, 2004 TUE.

I EMPATHISE with online shopping victim Kathy Chia ('Shoppers face a Web of deceit'; ST, June 25) as I was in a similar situation.

In September 2002, I bought a letter-folding machine from a California-based company. I ordered the product online and paid through American Express. The amount was around US$350 (S$600), inclusive of shipping.

I was given an order code to track the delivery and the vendor said that I should receive the machine in six to eight weeks.

After eight weeks, it did not arrive so I wrote to the vendor by e-mail. I was told that the order had probably been lost and was asked if I wanted a replacement.

Of course I did and was assured that another set would be sent to me. Another four to six weeks passed but it never came.

The company did not answer my e-mail messages and, after a while, they were blocked.

When I reported the incident to Amex, it investigated the matter and, after another few weeks, said that if the transaction was more than eight weeks old, it would not be able to take action.

But how could I make a report when the expected delivery time was six to eight weeks?

Amex advised me to settle the matter with the company directly but it had blocked all my e-mail to it. And flying to California seemed silly.

I guess the public will just have to be more educated about purchasing goods online.