Wednesday, 28 December 2011

E-Bay dealing with faulty goods problems when it turns out the UK company is in Hong Kong

Earlier this year I bought a mini SD card from a company calling themselves flashman852.  E-bay led me to believe the company was in Bristol.  The goods arrived but subsequently proved to be faulty (outside E-bays 45 day deadline)  *reason for delay explained below.

I called the company who agreed to a replacement providing I paid £2 p&p through Paypal which I did.  Time passed and goods did not arrive.  Numerous messages followed and they finally dispatched another replacement. This also has not been received and the company (now known to be Rambook) are stalling and blaming the Post Office.

Neither E-Bay nor Paypal will intervene as it is out of the 45 day deadline but E-Bay did give me access to the company details and it turns out to be Howard Cheng in Hong Kong.  Had I known this company was based in Hong Kong and not Bristol I would not have placed the original order.  Of course now any consumer follow up is useless.

Whilst this is all over a low value item the principal would be the same whatever price goods.

Can we now longer trust E-Bay to tell us where the vendor is based nor to help follow up on problems after 45 days?

* SD card and was put into my new smartphone.  The phone kept freezing so I explored the possibilities of the phone being faulty.  Eventually I eliminated this and then thought maybe it was the music downloads that were causing the problem. Finally a friend with the same phone established that the card was faulty.  I contacted the company who immediately agreed to a replacement.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Credit card problems abroad - when things go wrong on a joint account

We use Nationwide UK as our bank account and both have a visa card.  Steve is the primary account holder.  Last week the card was refused in a store in Spain and again this week on line shopping from UK.

I contacted Nationwide who completely refused to deal with me as Steve is the primary account holder.   Even being told he is seriously ill in hospital and speaking to a supervisor had no effect.  I asked could they simply investigate the problem and deal with it without telling me what the problem was and they said not.  I also asked to speak to someone in higher authority and was refused and told there was no one who could help as it was the data protection act that was the problem.

They said they would either accept a phone call from Steve or faxed authority to deal with me.  At this stage I will not put Steve through the stress of even knowing about this problem so I have drawn a blank.

Moral of this is that if you have a joint bank account MAKE SURE THE AUTHORITIES HAVE PERMISSION TO DEAL WITH BOTH ACCOUNT HOLDERS assuming all other banks are as unsympathetic as Nationwide.  

Sunday, 18 December 2011

European Health Card

Following my use of the European Health card for dental treatment in France we are now testing it out for hospital treatment in Spain.

Steve had been feeling unwell for a week or so and we decided to get him checked out at the Doctors. We went to a local clinic, showed them his passport and European health card and they issued him with a temporary SIP card for Spain.

Using the SIP card we were given a free appointment at the Doctors.  Following on from this Steve has ended up in hospital and is having treatment for leukaemia.  At the time it was diagnosed the Doctor said a 3 day overland journey back to England by motorhome would be too long and flying back posed too much risk of infection so he would have to be treated in Spain.

At Alicante hospital he is undergoing chemo which will be for at least a month.  I contacted the British Consulate to clarify the ruling on what is covered by the European card and they quoted "necessary treatment".  They asked when we entered Spain, how long we were staying, when we were last here and whether we had used the card in Spain before - all to establish that we were neither living here nor using Spain to get treatment quicker than in England.  Based on all this I was assured Steve's initial treatment was covered and if we opted to continue our journey in Spain and he needed further "necessary treatment" for the same condition he would still be covered.

Whilst his has put a temporary stop to our gallop we do plan to get back on with our travels as soon as possible but it just goes to show that we have been right to pack in as much as we have done over the last 15 years.  You just never know what is around the corner.