A number of people have voiced their concerns about this company. Its feedback shows as 99.3% as of (today) 13th March 2009 and this (though seemingly efficient) actually covers up the fact that this 'conversion' rate to 'happy bunny' customers is quite poor. 4+ people a week are getting hassles, and though companies like these are stretching their customer service policy as to be almost a 'contradiction in terms' sometimes, they will often coveniently point to a high success rate in 'positive feedback ratings' to distract you from actually voicing any grievance. But just remember, that is their job!
It should be the 'norm' that customers are happy, and not offer feedback lamely as some 'exception', to people with concerns about defective goods or services. It's akin to the old cop-out given by politicians when they 'can't comment on individual cases' sighted as examples of a wider endemic problem with their policy and MO, that they would prefer to sweep away under the carpet. Why should you possibly be happy that others have got the service you haven't!? If ones house is in order, there is no need to make such excuses....right? More importantly if you have done the right thing before, then don't elude to it as somehow a remedy to the current failure, as does nothing for the poor customer at all. "Get on and maintain the standard which you are trying to wave or stand underneath ASM" I say...Probably falls on deaf ears mind. It smats of 'we could care less!....regardless of the intentions behind it. Also, asking people to pay extra money for goods that don't work, just to return them for an exchange, is basically damn rude...as well as unlawful.
The other thing that is noticable (apart from their protestations to the contrary about their 'customer care' policy) is that they seem never to leave feedback. Not very 'giving' this company huh!? Other reputable Ebay sellers have this set up automatically to respond upon receipt of payment, such are their convictions to do the right thing. However, ASM Direct seems not to have left feedback for any buyer in months, whether transactions have been good, bad or ugly, even though they demand payment immediately. All this seem a little one sided to you?...Yep, does me too!
With an automated service for feedback available to all, with ASM Direct you would have to ask why. They can't ever use the excuse they dont have time to do it, huh!? Also, ASM Direct seems to have had a number of recent changes to their direct telephone number too. The Trading Standards seem to be of the opinion that a direct contact number is a requirement to a trading license. As of this date, I can longer call for a response from them, because now they have set their phone to an answer machine (only) that merely redirects people back to the email process they seem so proficient in avoiding when it pleases them. I have given them a telephone number to call me instead, just to keep me posted of any progress, but they have never rang that either. you have to ask in which direction their conviction to service flows...I can't figure it out? Again, regardless of what they try to imply, this is hardly what you would call proactive, and appears more like blatant avoidance than any warm interactive climate of customer support. By the way, I am merely waiting on a replacement hard drive from them, as mine 'blue screened' and collapsed upon my first use of the Dell 450 Dual Core PC I bought from them. As they are currently still selling multiples of exactly the same PC with the same spec, to other said 'Happy Bunnies' as I type this guide, I honestly thought it would have been simple to just swap one for another within 24 hrs yes? Nope uh uh!..Seems I am still having to wait days. Oh, sorry, in fairness they did promise to get the drive to me today, in a very brief and uninformative 2 line email yesterday evening, but nothing arrived. And, of course, there is no reply still from them about it, even though I waited around all day in hope. But hey, its not important right?...I only need it for work, so the money I am losing and the fact some projects are falling behind too, should actually come second to ASM's own agenda of money making convenience, and customer service and should I really appreciate they are busy, yes? I leave it to you , the reader, to decide.
ASM Direct (UK) Ltd appears, at first sight at least, to have covered their bases for specific problems, almost as if they were 'expected', which is what bothered me! Although they might stipulate quite clearly that they have a warranty returns policy, and potentially force a buyer to enter in to extra expense for their own mistakes in returning goods, it is in fact Law (The Sale of Goods Act 1979 to be precise) that they MUST absorb the cost of ALL goods returned to them within the warranty period (lest they miraculously find it to be in perfect working order upon arrival!) and additionally absorb the cost of any replacement. Though they 'conveniently' ask that YOU (the disgruntled buyer) to return said faulty goods to them, with your invoice too (when merely a copy would surfice) this is a crock. If they insist, you entitled to claim this back afterwards. Remember, if their business keeps correct records, your Ebay item number, payment method, and signature of receipt on their courier chit to you, is more than enough in the eyes of the law. Why would anyone send you something you hadn't paid for (right?), unless of course it was on invoice, in which case you have to keep it to pay them later!...Why would you part with your reciept like that? Its because the receipt means nothing in the eyes of the law, but ASM Direct will use this as clause to you not returning goods correctly......allowing them to feel they cop-out again on some people.
Anyway, this guide is made as no 'specific' complaint (as yet!) against ASM Direct per se. I shall naively give them a few more days benefit of the doubt, and see whether my humanistic trend to see the best in people is well founded. But note the date of this guide. Then go back later and look to whether we concluded this simple exchange of small defective piece of hardware amicably, as the feedback will show whether this was beyond them or not. In clsoing, I am more alarmed, at this stage, by the company's misguided and misinformed stance on how it feels it can or should be dealing with such issues under the current legislation. It either knows the law and is taking advantage of those that don't know what that law is (naughty company...tut tut!), or hopefully those of you who read this will give them enough necessary 'heads up' to that law, to stop them from falling into heavy liability in the future.
NB. If it concerns them any, you will tell by their reaction immediately! This will clearly point to where their real stance on 'customer service' and satisfaction truly lies. They should, by rights, thanks you for it. Actions speak louder than 'positive feedback pointing' alone. These types of businesses have only got away with it because of their 'misdirection' to you, and others ignorance to those rights, plus Ebays indolent attitude toward enforcing trading laws. I hope this helps address this in some small way, with any company you deal with on Ebay in the future. ASM Direct basically have it all wrong....but I think they know that really!
In short, it matters not what is put in the listings on any Ebay auction, or any online platform for that matter. Your rights with a registered retail company remain the same, and they should have no cause (unless they somehow envisage problem scenarios in advance...which is highly suspect!?) for them to imply anything otherwise. Just because it is Ebay, and just because other customers have recieved their working goods properly is not a valid legal reason to fail people by blatantly infringing peoples consumer rights under this legislation. After all, that's what they are their for (so ASM Direct and others say so proudly), and they are there to serve you, not the other way around. Please be mindful of this, as ASM Direct currently gives false impressions of their own rights (and your adherence to those falsehoods), and their duties to your true consumer rights. The bottom line is that if they can do that, they can certainly (intentionally or otherwise) see someone purchase a certain 'product' that might not have been vetted quite as well as they would have you believe before it is sent out to you. It is not that this might all be a 'legitimate mistake' on their part either (accidents happen all the time), but watch for any 'knee jerk' reaction, and lack of balance regards any further customer convenience, and how you treated then, as that could be cause for concern. As I said, please be mindful....Companies do this on Ebay all the time, and Ebay lets them....all those sellers fees are just too yummie after all : ) ! ASM Direct Ltd needs to clean up it's act.