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Pixmania

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Reason : locked because it's such an old thread and only comes up when a new person joins who's done a search to slag them off.


dontforgetme 16 1.7k 7 United Kingdom
27 Dec 2005 12:30AM
I successfully bought a Canon S70 from pixmania, agreed, it didnt have an English manual but the functions are self explanatory to anyone vaguely familiar with a camera, and it came with an english adaptor.

Jessops wanted more than 100 more for it!

It arrived in good time as promised, and on top of xmas as well, so no real complaints from me.

I can see though that the lack of an English manual could be a real problem for some, and if you didnt realise this would be the case with Pixmania, I can understand why some will be very dissapointed.

They should make it very clear on the web site, but then sales wil suffer, so I guess they wont be doing that in a hurry.

Jules

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gerith 14 1
31 Dec 2005 7:45AM
I know that this issue has been raised before, but why on earth can't Pixmania advise its English customers that the equipment will not be supplied with English manuals and plugs? They 'kindly' sent me an attachment with 116 pages of manuals, which I decided not to print off to take on holiday. I ended up buying the manuals from Panasonic (7). When I complained they said that they usually deal with the European market!
2 Jan 2006 3:09AM
Dear Reader,

My name is Jonathan Ronnquist, I am a Corporal in the Military Police and live in Chichester, West Sussex. Following two incidents of unacceptably sub-standard service from Pixmania (the second is still ongoing), I have decided to take things a step further. To do this I will need your help.

First let me explain what I have in mind. From experience, one man and one complaint rarely shake a lot of ground. There are topics in numerous web forums riddled with complaints and warnings about Pixmania and its dismal record in dealing with customers in the UK. Yet, from what I see, nothing is changing. What we need is to collect these complaints and throw them behind a single demand for change. I am not talking about a law suit in the French court or a march on Pixmania's owners at Fotovista, but simply an organized single thrust of multiple complaints to the right agencies, thereby forcing them to do more than sympathize.

I therefore ask you not to be sceptical or shy away from contributing to this if you have a genuine complaint. I am not collecting money nor will I ask for any personal information beyond a name and a description of your personal encounter. Nor do I intent to represent those who contact me in any legal capacity. All I want to do is collect and have an open line of communication with as many of you as I can find, so I can advise on who to write to and what to include to ensure action is taken. Once there are enough people on board (my target is a hundred), we all write or e-mail the relevant institutions en mass. I can then follow this up, knowing there is enough weight behind the argument to ensure a result.

To make this easier, I have set up a unique e-mail address at MSN hotmail, to deal exclusively with traffic from this initiative. It is pixmaniawatchdog@hotmail.co.uk. Over the next two days I plan to find and join every British forum on the web with a topic about problems with Pixmania and paste this article into the topic as a reply.

In short, the problems as I see them and what I hope to achieve are as follows:

Pixmania may or may not be outright violating any French, British or European laws. I am not conversant enough in these fields to say. I would appreciate any help or information pertaining to possible legal issues from anyone out there as this would greatly strengthen our argument. Pixmania are however, deceptive in the extreme. And it is that deception which seems to be causing the trouble. From the layout of the web site, which gives no clues as to the location or national origin (France) of the company, to the 24 hour DHL delivery promise and drawn out returns process, Pixmania draw in customers with insufficient warning of the potential pitfalls involved. My demand, and Im sure you will agree, is that Pixmania lay all their cards on the table before accepting payment for its goods. This would be either in a clear link on their home page or as a step in the payment process. Pixmania will argue that all these things are covered in the small print, which you will have to tick to say you have read. This is not good enough. The fact of the matter is that people dont take the twenty minutes or more to read the entire terms of purchase. One, it is not practical, and two, most consumers trust (from experience) that this is just the basic legal rudiment to buying anything and will not contain a myriad of hidden legal cover for things you are not told upfront. Its a bit like slamming your brakes on to get yourself a new car, knowing the person who hits you from behind will be legally culpable regardless of the circumstances.

My demand (and thus our demand, should you choose to help) is this:

That Pixmania make the following facts known openly to all customers prior to purchase and insist on a tick in the box style confirmation (in addition to terms and conditions) that the consumer has read them.

1. The company and its logistical base are in France. The majority of products are held in and shipped from France. This must be taken into account when interpreting the 24 hour delivery option.
2. in stock may not actually mean the product is in stock. Orders in the system may have already exceeded the stock on hand. This is in the terms and conditions and examples of this happening are rife in complaints I have read.
3. The majority of products shipped out are bought on the European market. This means the manufacturer intended that they be sold on the continent. The implications of this are two fold. Although the voltage of the product will conform to Britain the plug and manuals will not necessarily be British when the product is packaged and sold to Pixmania. Some products will contain both, but from what I have experienced and read most dont. To know this you would have to read through the terms and conditions where you are told that a converter will be provided. However, in my experience this is a hit and miss situation, as often no converter will be included. It also says that a web link will be provided where you can download and print (at your own expense) an English language manual. Even if both things are provided, the fact is that the quality and integrity of the product you have paid for is no longer what the manufacturer intended and what you thought you had paid for. The other consequence, and the more serious one, is that in most cases the UK office of the products maker will not be able to or be legally obliged to fulfil the manufacturers warranty of the product. Pixmania thus say that you have to send it back via them (at your own expense) if faulty. In my experience and in the experience of many others, it will take three weeks or more for the product just to reach Pixmania. Again, you have not received the quality of product you paid for. What you paid for was a product ready made to be bought, used and serviced if necessary, in England.
4. Although Pixmania buys its stock from the manufacturers of its products and are thus themselves the customer in the interim period, it does not check them to ensure they are fit for retail. If the product is faulty you, the buyer, will be the first to know. Thus, Pixmania simply pass the buck back to the manufacturer. So having waited three weeks for the faulty product to get back to them, You now wait another 3 to 4 weeks for them to send it back to the manufacturer. If Pixmania are refunded, then you are refunded. If not, Pixmania send you a bill for the repair or send you back the broken goods. Just to put this into perspective. Buy a PC from PC World, take it back a week later as faulty and you get a no questions asked refund or replacement. Thats service. PC World, having accepted the PC from its maker now deal with them. They dont drag you around with them because its bad service and simply rude.


In essence Pixmania are not delivering what they appear to promise. This is bad business and unfair trading. They may be able to undercut British market prices by purchasing their stock at lower continental prices, but this minor saving is negated when you realise it comes at the expense of the quality and integrity of the product you receive. My aim is to make both the problem and the scale of the problem known so that all customers buying from Pixmania go in knowing the stakes and thus quipped to weigh up the pros and cons before parting with their money. So to help put this right all I ask of you is this:

Send me an e-mail at pixmaniawatchdog@hotmail.co.uk giving a description of your problem with Pixmania. Use as much details as you like or feel is necessary. I will send you a survey style e-mail I have prepared and will tabulate the answers so I have some statistics to throw at the Trading Standards and other agencies. I will also e-mail back all the information I can gather on what we can do about it. If you have already taken action of your own. Please let me know what you did and who you contacted so I can build up a complete picture of what has been done and what works. Then, when we are at least a hundred strong (this will probably end up being more though), I will e-mail instructions on who to write or e-mail. If these go out as a wave, we will have the momentum required to get the attention and reaction that will be required to resolve this once and for all.

Please feel free to also e-mail with questions and I will do my best to answer or find an answer to them. And please help bring others on board that you know have had similar problems. The volume here will ultimately dictate the result.

And dont worry, Im not trying to start a revolution. Im just a consumer thats sick and tired of being extorted by bad and unfair business and Im going to do something about it. So good luck to us and lets put this right for our own sakes and the sakes of our fellow unsuspecting consumers!

Jon Ronnquist

PS. You can also write me at

7 Otway Road
Chichester
West Sussex
PO19 6BP
Carabosse 16 41.4k 270 England
2 Jan 2006 3:20AM
Well Corporal Ronnquist, in case you didn't see the link to the article about Pixmania earlier in this thread, here it is again!

Pixmania is a successful business with big expansion plans throughout Europe. It is not some little fly-by-night setup. I quote from the article:

"Now they claim to be the fastest-growing consumer electronics retailers in Europe, with an estimated turnover of 400m for the current financial year, a presence in 24 different European markets, and ambitions that extend way beyond even that."

I have not had any dealings with Pixmania (and wouldn't!) but I suspect that the best means of airing grievances would be to find out what is the French equivalent of the UK's Office of Fair Trading and pursue complaints via that route. You are not taking on a corner shop!! Wink
Pete Plus
18 18.8k 97 England
2 Jan 2006 3:40AM
One of the problems with the Internet is it can escalate situations. As CB says Pixmania is huge. And they appear to be satisfying huge numbers of buyers who are getting bargains. But with huge volume comes problems and a few problems can appear a lot when they are concentrated in forums like this.

If you search Pixmania we are third in the Google search - the first two are both Pixmania sites and many after are price comparison sites where Pixmania are registered. So anyone with a gripe will search Pixmania, read this thread and join in and then viewers will believe everyone feels the same. Just look back through this thread at the number of new members who've posted and then check when they last logged in. (the same day they posted, they join to post and never return) When you're satisfied with a service do you do the same? Search out forums and say good things? I think not!

I'm not sticking up for them, they will make mistakes, everyone does, but don't judge the company by this thread (or any other Internet forum) alone.

I agree that certain points need to be raised to make people aware of who and where Pixmania are and, through a group voice, this should be possible.

This reminds me of Watchdog and Dixons...they always seemed to be appearing for one reason or another, yet check out their stores...are they busy? are they selling to millions of other satisfied customers?
Just Jas 18 26.3k 1 England
2 Jan 2006 3:50AM
The only problem I have really had with on-line buying is with a certain magazine that that offers a service for sorting out on-line buying problems!

I shall have to email them complaining about themselves! LOL!

jas
Just Jas 18 26.3k 1 England
2 Jan 2006 3:58AM
I often wonder, when giving an opinion in these threads, and reading the opinions of the half dozen or so other members taking part, what the silent remaining 60,000+ members think.

Could be eye-opening!

jas
Carabosse 16 41.4k 270 England
2 Jan 2006 4:08AM
Total indifference probably - most not having used the services of the outfit concerned!
Just Jas 18 26.3k 1 England
2 Jan 2006 4:28AM
I meant in the general sense, CB, not particularly in reference to the company in question.

My comment was triggered by Pete's comment on millions of apparently satisfied Dixons customers.

We have some good discussions on here, but we do not know what the majority of members think anymore than we know what the millions of customers of Dixons (and the like) think other than presumably they must be satisfied!
Carabosse 16 41.4k 270 England
2 Jan 2006 4:39AM
If the majority of Pixmania's customers were dissatisfied, I imagine the company would be looking at closure plans rather than expansion plans!

Just my guess! Wink

A lot of people are prepared to put up with a degree of inconvenience in order to save a penny or two.
Just Jas 18 26.3k 1 England
2 Jan 2006 4:55AM
Well, you can't please all of the people all of the time!

However, vendors shoulder endeavour to please most of the people most of the time.

Some will be pleased none of the time - unfortunately.

The measure of the company is how many fall into each group, and how blatent each case is.

jas
Carabosse 16 41.4k 270 England
2 Jan 2006 5:00AM
"Pile it high and sell it cheap" was the key strategy for many of what are now regarded as 'respectable' companies, in their early days.

Customer service ranks a long way down the list when cheapness is on offer!
Just Jas 18 26.3k 1 England
2 Jan 2006 8:32AM
And paying premium rates is no guarantee of getting better service!
2 Jan 2006 2:37PM
Yes, I've read the article (or as much of it as I could stomach anyway). I am not under any illusion that Pixmania is a small time enterprise. I've made no statement to suggest I want them shut down, banned from trading in the UK or any other such unrealistic daydream. But what I have written in my post remains true and unaccpetable. The MO of this company seems to be to deal with anything other than a straight forward transaction as collateral damage. I'm sure they are racking in millions, and with a sucker logging on to the web everyminute, they will probably continue to do so. My humble aim is to give even the sucker a fighting chance to see through the fog, if only for a minute. with a co.uk address selling to British consumers, they are trading in the UK. They must then come under British law to some extent.

As for dealing with French courts. I think they would probably give Pixmania a run for its money in the hard of hearing department.
Carabosse 16 41.4k 270 England
2 Jan 2006 3:11PM

Quote:My humble aim is to give even the sucker a fighting chance to see through the fog,



Pixmania apparently had 2,500,000 customers last year. And you want to put together a list of 100 dissatisfied customers? Lol!! Grin

A drop in the ocean would be what any court would say to that!! Even if you got 100,000 names that would still be only 4% of the customer base.......