ECost.com Complaint - ECost: THIRD World Class Customer Service
Exactly 7 minutes after I placed an order for a WD 2TB external drive on November 13, I noticed that the model number did not match the photo shown at eCost's site and cancelled the order. It was after-hours, so I followed up with a phone cancellation first thing the next morning. The eCost representative acknowledged the discrepancy and said she'd notify the "warehouse" immediately to cancel. Two days later, I was notified that my order had been shipped and phoned eCost again. The representative told me that I would have to accept the item and pointed me to the eCost ALL SALES FINAL policy. I held out for a manager and was told that yes, in this case, of course I could simply refuse the shipment and a full refund would be issued.
Two days later, shipment arrived, I refused it as instructed, and two more days later, UPS tracking showed me that it had arrived back at their warehouse. I phoned eCost again to inquire about the refund and was told that, as soon as the warehouse notified them that the item had been returned, my refund would be processed (the UPS tracking was apparently not sufficient). Another week passed, I phoned again. This time, my refund was in the works and would definitely appear in my PayPal account within a few days. Another week, another phone call. This time, my refund was in the works and would definitely appear in my PayPal account within 7 to 10 business days.
Red flag time. I said that I would hold off filing a dispute at PayPal if eCost would send me this promise in writing. They complied (of course, the 7-10 business days started from the time of this email, not from when they had actually received the item back, 2 weeks earlier).
Two more weeks, no refund. I phoned eCost again and was told that my money had been refunded two weeks earlier. I said it had not. They said they would look into it.
So, now one full month after the item was safely back in their hands, I filed a PayPal dispute. I was immediately phoned by an eCost representative who said, "Did you file a dispute with PayPal?" I said that I had, and he said that my filing the dispute was the reason I hadn't received my refund. As though that weren't absurd enough - that the dispute I had JUST filed was the reason they had not refunded my money during the entire previous month - he told me that they would not process my refund unless I cancelled the PayPal dispute.
BIG RED FLAG TIME. I flatly refused to be bullied into giving up this only leverage I had, and went immediately to PayPal to escalate my "dispute" to a "claim." Lo and behold, there appeared my refund.
In a nutshell, I would buy electronics out of the back of a stranger's pickup truck before I would buy from eCost. If I had not had PayPal's buyer protection (which they tried to bluff me into surrendering), I have no question that they would have simply stolen my money.