There's a seller on Amazon Marketplace called warehouse_deals_uk who describe themselves as 'Amazon.co.uk subsidiary with same five star customer service and 30 day returns policy'. In the seller's details it says 'We offer overstock, returns and slightly damaged merchandise, and refurbished electronics items at reduced prices with the benefit of Amazon.co.uk fulfilment and customer service.' They have 172397 feedback, 95% positive.
It was with some assurance, then, that I ordered a Samsung 40" 1080p LCD TV from them on 23rd May for the bargain price of £475. I'd been looking for this particular model of TV for a while, with the best price being around £750 on websites and the TV going for at least £600 on eBay. However I spent so long deliberating over (and saving for!) buying a TV that by the time I got around to it, the new Samsung range had been announced, so these older models quickly became harder to find. So when I saw this marketplace seller on Amazon selling one cheaply, and realised that the warehouse_deals_uk seller is a subsidiary of Amazon themselves I reasoned that they must have passed whatever stock they had left on to their warehouse division to sell at clearance prices. At that price I didn't care if the TV wasn't the latest version - it still has an excellent specification and has consistently high reviews, wheras the first batch of the new series have had faults reported and some mixed reviews, so I went ahead and placed the order.
Almost 4 weeks have passed and I haven't received the TV. My order details on Amazon told me that the estimated despatch date was going to be the 25th-26th May (I ordered it on a Friday and this was the next Monday-Tuesday, so you couldn't really ask for better than that) and the estimated delivery dates were 29th May-11th June (quite a wide margin). The 26th passed and my order details on Amazon didn't change - it still says 'estimated despatch: 26th-27th May' now, instead of telling me when/if it was despatched. The payment cleared from my credit card and I patiently waited a week. Then I contacted the marketplace seller, just to see if it had been despatched yet - all I got was an automated reply that essentially said 'Warehouse_deals_uk is a subsidiary of Amazon.co.uk, so please direct all enquiries to Amazon customer services'. So I did. Amazon's reply was basically 'We can't track this order for you because it was bought from our warehouse division'. Fair enough, I suppose at least that confirms that warehouse_deals_uk really are part of Amazon - at least they didn't say 'What?! Those liars are just pretending to be us. Thank you for bringing this to our attention, we'll go sue them now. We'll get you your £475 back when the court case is over. If we remember.'
Anyway, I waited until the 11th. Still no TV. I contacted them both again. Same automated response from warehouse_deals_uk. This time Amazon told me that sometimes there are delivery delays (what? on top of the 2-3 week margin?) and that I should wait until the 18th before complaining because they can't chase their warehouse division up until then. So now it's the 18th and I've complained to Amazon again, and am awaiting the outcome.
So I'm posting this here mainly because I'm annoyed and want to let off steam and figure that I might find some sympathy here, at this website full of internet shoppers who must have surely felt this pain at one time. But also I was just wondering if anyone had dealt with this marketplace seller before and what their experience was like? They currently have almost 60,000 items for sale and seem to deal with anything from books to large electrical items. Surely they don't always take this long to deliver?
I'm currently digging through their feedback to try to find mentions of delivery times, but you can only see the date feedback was left, not when the item was bought. I'm also trying to find a phone number so that I can phone the warehouse division direct instead of going through Amazon. Wish me luck!