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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Quote:
Thank you for contacting us at Amazon.com.


First, I would like to apologize for the confusion and frustration

that this situation has caused.


After researching the ReplayTV RTV4504 Digital Video Recorder with

40hrs of recording time on our web site, I found that there was an

error on the detail page of this item. It does not include the

Lifetime Service Fee. The one-time $250.00 service fee must be paid

to ReplayTV in order for this product to be activated.


You can find the details of this fee using the following URL:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/stores/detail/-

/electronics/B000068PJ3/rebate-info/300568/


As this information was incorrect when you placed your order, we

would understand if you would like to return this item for a full

refund. You'll find our returns instructions, address, and a

printable return

mailing label online at:

http://www.amazon.com/returns


I have also made a note on your order for you to be refunded in full

if you need to return the item to us due to the incorrect information

we listed on our web site.


I hope that this information is helpful and again, apologize for the

misunderstanding. Thank you for shopping at Amazon.com.
I'm not upset about it, it's what we all figured. Just wanted to let everyone know in case they didn't get this email!
 

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So what happened here is that Amazon advertised a product, and you ordered it. A week later they then charged your credit card the amount of the original item, but delivered something of lesser value. Isn't that bait and switch?


We know that Amazon changed the desription of the product about mid-week. If this was a "mistake" they were obviously aware of it, and had plenty of time to notify you about the change before taking your money... yet they failed to do so. I don't know what a credit card company's Dispute Department say about all this, but it might be worth finding out.


If you go look up your order on Amazon right now, what does the description say? At the very least they should have changed the description there to reflect any "error".
 

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I suspect they'd say "send the item back, we'll do an investigation and if you're right, we'll cancel the charge" -- you can get the same outcome with a lot less animosity and work by just taking Amazon up on their offer of a full refund.
 

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I don't want my money back, I want the product they offered. :)


Its a very fine line between "honest mistake" and "deceptive business practice". I'm just saying that if it was an honest mistake they should have rectified it before charging the credit card.
 

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How do we know that wasn't part of a marketing promotion from Amazon designed to lure customers away from Good Guys, The Wiz, Tweeter, and other retailers.
 

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We all suspected the price was in error and some people tried to benefit from it.


Anyone who tries to get something for nothing deserves what they get - nothing. Better yet, continue trying to get something for nothing and it's just a matter of time before someone gets the better of you.
 

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We all know it was a mistake on amazon part. Lets

just take it as that and move on. If you don't want

the replay unit you will get a full refund . No lose

no gain. To think that Amazon will take a $250 hit

times 100's of orders is unreasonable .
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by jimmcq
Isn't that bait and switch?
Actually, no. Bait and switch means, advertising one product that is a very good deal, and when you get there, they say, "wow, we are all sold out of that one, but we have this much more expensive product we can sell you if you wish something right now." It is also important that their original intent was to sell you a different and more expensive product. You would have a hard time arguing that they intended to do that, especially, given the discussion on here.


/carmi
 

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You know, I just don't think this can be treated like a typo. A week ago, maxtor drives were advertised as $149 drives, when they were really $249. They called the next day, and all of us who jumped on the deal respected them.


Amazon is different. They advertised lifetime service in the newspaper. They advertised lifetime service on their web page. The Lifetime service was the only dominant item in the description. It wasn't a typo.


Nor was I a vulture when I placed my order. I was impressed with the price. But there was no reason for me to believe that the offering wasn't an introductory price. Introductory prices happen all of the time.


If, after placing my order, they called me timely, told me they had a problem, and asked if they could have canceled the order, I would have let them. No foul. I did for the four maxtor disk drives I ordered. I would have for the 45xx.


They KNEW something was going on when it became a serious mover on that day. It rocketed up their sales charts. And it still isn't for sale anywhere else but at Amazon and SB. Obviously, this has been quite planned.


So, while I don't believe it was unintentional, it could have been. But when they didn't deal with the avalanche of orders they received, but simply reordered and restocked more, it became their bad.


Now they have shipped my unit.


Now they have charged my credit card.


I will get the model I ordered early next week. If it doesn't perform as described, I will expect them to make good. Period. I didn't place my order in bad faith (although quite hopeful!). They had ample opportunity and notice to correct the issue. If they try to waffle now, they are messing with hundreds of peoples lives.


And SB knew what was going on all along. SB employees read this forum more often than daily. If there was something wrong, they could have said something to us. They also could have said something to Amazon. But nothing happened.


I am not going to pay to ship the unit back.


I am not going to drive it to UPS for them.


I'm not going to stay home from work waiting for UPS to show up at my doorstep.


And I want to see specific performance... I want what they advertised. I want what my order confirmation stated. I want what my shipping notification says I will get.


I know they probably have a bunch of fine print on their website. But that fine print can not override consumer protection laws. And that fine print can not override credit card contracts they have with Visa and MasterCard.


If they would have acknowledged their mistake and corrected it timely I would have graciously backed down. But now that my unit with lifetime service has been charged and shipped, I will do every legal thing in my power to make sure that I get what I paid for. I will dispute it with my credit card company. I will fight it with Amazon. I will even ask SB to make good on behalf of their reseller.


If, in the end, I do give up and send it back, it will be fully unpackaged and fully installed, and not in any shape that they can simply reship it to some other unsuspecting customer. I won't intentionally damage it, but I will treat the product like it is mine while it is in my control. And Amazon won't be able to ship it out to another customer, it will have to visit SB before it goes back into the sales channel at a discount.


So if they are going to give someone else that discount, why not offer it to me? I might compromise. But I won't just roll over.


Hundreds of people are affected by this. Hundreds don't have to roll over. Hundreds can ask for what they were promised. And hundreds can work them until some reasonable accomodation is proposed.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by 925
They advertised lifetime service in the newspaper.
Not for the 4500 series, they didn't. You are mistaken (guess everyone makes mistakes - not just Amazon). The newspaper ad in last Sunday's Seattle Times was for the old 4000 SERIES model 4080 which has ALWAYS included lifetime service fee for $999. I imagine this is precisely why they goofed w/ the 4500 series description on their web site - all the previous Replay models that Amazon has advertised really DID include lifetime service fee. Someone just cut & paste their old Replay text without realizing the 4500 series is different.


Good luck trying to get anything more than an apology & your money back.
 

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I can't believe some of post I have seen are serious but just in case I just have to say that anyone who is crying that they didn't get the free membership is being a baby. Everyone knows the description was from a similar product that was replaced by another product (the 4000 vs. 4500) with a different pricing model. It was an honest mistake. There was no conspiracy, no marketing evil doers thinking "yeah, lets piss people off but maybe make a few extra sales", it wasn't Amazon or Sonic Blue or space aliens using hypnotic ray beams plotting against us. It was an obvious and sincere mistake. What if they put as the price $4.99 or a $.01. Would anyone expect them to go ahead with it even if their systems charged the credit cards? Be realistic. Perhaps a lawyer will want to explain this, I won't, but Amazon is not legally bound to honor the obvious mistake nor have they committed any crime like bait and switch.
 

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This is form amazons "terms and conditions"


PRODUCT DESCRIPTIONS


Amazon.com and its affiliates attempt to be as accurate as possible. However, Amazon.com does not warrant that product descriptions or other content of this site is accurate, complete, reliable, current, or error-free. If a product offered by Amazon.com itself is not as described, your sole remedy is to return it in unused condition.



This is just small part of amazons terms and conditions (the stuff on just about every etailers web page we never read) I did not see anything wrong with trying to get that deal, but nothing you can really do when they caught it. We have all seen introductory offers so there was no way we could be positive it was a mistake, I just think we all really new it was.


Rare
 

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I hate litigious people, they're going to cause the downfall of freedom (some would argue that they already have caused the downfall of freedom).
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Guys, don't be silly. It WAS a typo, and you know it. Don't be a baby, be a big boy, understand that Amazon carries thousands (or hundreds of thousands) of items and this was a typo, on a single product. They will pay return shipping. They will refund everything. Trying to rip a company off makes you a thousand times worse than a big typo on Amazon's part.
 

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And as to the difficulties of returning, if you choose to do that ---


the one time I wanted to return something to Amazon (a Die Hard box set which had two copies of #2 and none of #3, which I didn't notice for several months), it was opened and it was well outside the stated return period. They sent me a postage-paid label, they offered to send a box, and they shipped the replacement before they got the return. Put it in the box, seal it up, and leave it on my doorstep and I was done. The only way they could have made it easier if is they'd sent out a warehouse guy to seal the box for me.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by jtl
The only way they could have made it easier if is they'd sent out a warehouse guy to seal the box for me.
And if he made you a good breakfast and cleaned the bathroom while he was there. If you want a 4500, you will have to pay what a 4500 costs. Neither Amazon nor Sonic Blue is going to eat $250 for every unit that was ordered. It is just not worth it to either of them, and while it might not matter to RePlayTV users if Amazon ceases to exist, it should matter if Sonic Blue cancels the product because they do not make enough money.


It is not as if no one knew how much the box was going to be. The day it was posted, people on here said it was a mistake.


/carmi
 

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So, to paraphrase:


"Amazon made a mistake, and we DEMAND the right to unfairly benefit from that mistake at Amazon's expense."



Nice attitude.
 

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And other people said it was a great bargain, an introductory offer, and a wonderful way to show the market for this product if the price is right -- at a time when there have been many concerns about this.


There are good deals around (for both sides!). I was able to buy my 30-hour Showstopper because of one for $350 shortly after they came out. Since then I've gotten quite a few people interested enough to buy ReplayTV's (OK, a couple bought Tivo's, but you can't win them all -- one managing to get a great deal as a BB employee.)


I'm not expecting to get "something for nothing" just a good value. At $700 the price for a 40-hr PVR is too high compared to both computer and consumer electronic products. The fact is, the marginal cost to SB of another subscription is miniscule, especially if the connection is my own broadband -- a condition I would be happy to accept.


The important point to my mind is that if this is just an Amazon typo, why haven't they bothered to notify me yet? If this was an error on their part and they are unwilling to honor their advertised price in a positive PR way, why do still show with the same description, same price, as an open order, waiting to ship?


Amazon and SONICblue both spend a ton of money on promotion and advertising -- and no doubt the Movers & Shakers performance of the 4504 attracted a lot of interest. With discounts, rebates and coupons flowing continuously you'd think that between the two of them they could at least proactively offer some positive resolution.


If not, I for one, am going to go from being a longtime advocate of both to a very disappointed customer.


And if it ships before they resolve how to make good, of course it's going back at their expense if they won't.
 

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I have to agree with 925 & Guy Online. Amazon has had plenty of opportunity to correct things. If the initial advertised specs were a true mistake, then they should have confirmed with everyone who ordered before charging their credit cards and shipping. The fact that the sales rank of the units zoomed up very fast and very high should have set off alerts within Amazon to verify that everything was copacetic with their offering.


It is not like Amazon has not had to deal with pricing and labeling mistakes before, they should have a system in place to detect them and a process in place to handle them and their fall-out. The fact that this situation was not handled with any sort of reasonable process lends credence to the belief that the pricing was a sale of some sort. Furthermore, actually charging a person's card is a lot more legally binding than simply accepting an order.


If this case is truely a mistake then Amazon needs to pay up as a punitive action for those people that it has charged and shipped product to without alerting them to the mistake and giving them a chance to cancel. Unless customers hold a business's feet to the fire for cases like this, the business will never need to correct the problems that lead to this kind of error and customers will continue to bear the cost of future errors too.


PS, I didn't even consider purchasing a unit from Amazon because I already own a 4000. So this opinion is not biased by any attempt at personal gain.
 

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What puzzles me is that no one at Sonic Blue ever noticed. Think about it, it's perhaps their most high profile product out of-what-a couple dozen devices, available through only a couple of retail outlets?

Wouldn't you have thought that ONE employee at SB might have, out of curiousity, visited the ReplayTV page on Amazon to see how their newest product was being represented in the marketplace and noticed a glaring error?

I'm not one of those conspiracy theorist types, but it's strange when you think about it.
 
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