Well, today I was faced with yet another one of my “penny wise, pound foolish” incidents. And I had no choice here either. I bought two lovely vintage chairs for only $7 each. But they are not good for long hours in front of the computer. I have been enduring excruciating back pain and neuropathy in my legs, and I cannot blame it all on my autoimmune condition. It is the chair. My friend who came to housesit had the same complaint. So, I finally decided I would buy an office chair. All I could afford was $50 or less. I don’t have a car – how could I afford a car anyway? And I don’t have friends who would drive me to Ikea (or any other shop) and back. So I have to resort to online purchase.
The usual places I have had some experience buying from didn’t have a chair for less than $50 (including delivery), so I meandered to Soldsmart.com.au. BIG MISTAKE. I wasn’t aware of “Product Review Australia”, a site where one can search for reviews of goods and shops and services, so I didn’t know that Soldsmart had a terrible reputation. I learned firsthand the hard way.
The box was dumped at my door, dented, broken, dusty and dirty. I thought at first that it was rubbish left behind by an inconsiderate neighbour. It was only when I tried to move it that I realised it was addressed to me. I opened it and found the back of the chair seat was torn to shreds.
Most upset, I went back online and discovered that Soldsmart doesn’t provide a phone number, only an email contact and a fax number. Alarm bells, yes? Well, I sent 3 emails to them and after 3 days, still no reply. I even went to their Facebook page, and made several posts asking for someone to help me with my problem. Why several posts? Well, because my posts kept being deleted. Then I realised there must be someone, a page administrator, who is deleting my posts as they were being posted! Eventually, that someone barred me from posting at all! Clearly, Soldsmart has no intention to communicate with me about their shoddy service and damaged goods. So I lodged a dispute with Paypal.
Paypal was marvelous. Instant service! They reviewed my photos and my case description and said they would get a full refund for me, but I had to return the goods to the seller and pay the costs of postage myself. Now, that is a big problem, oui? I threw the box away because it was far too dirty to bring into my apartment, and anyway it was so broken I would have had to put it inside another box. Besides, how am I to afford the postage costs? And all for a miserable AU$44? Hobson’s Choice there. In the end, I just repaired the back of the chair seat, assembled it myself (there was no manual) and am now sitting on it. Again another example of poverty having no choice but to spend needlessly.
I am not one to cry emotionally over life’s hiccups, but I am most upset and outraged, and will be going through this travesty in my mind over and over in typical Aspie style. Anyhow, we’ll also take a typical Aspie logical and practical look at this experience. It is a learning experience. Basically, I should’ve done more homework. I shouldn’t have been in so much of a hurry to buy that I would depart from the tried and tested. I shouldn’t impulse buy when in pain – yes, I was in so much pain that I wasn’t thinking straight, just desperate to get a new chair! AND, finally, I learned that Soldsmart is a terrible terrible company to avoid at all costs. Also, that Paypal is pretty cool!
Beware of Soldsmart.com.au! Use Paypal, but know the pitfalls (you have to take photos and you have to bear the costs of return if you want a refund).
Irony was, when I checked my usual trusted sites this morning, they had just put up cheaper and nicer chairs for sale. Sigh.
What does a food centric Aspie do when stressed? Why, eat of course. And hug a Greyhound.
My very strange comfort food tonight…
Rice rolls, half a chicken thigh and some of that stringy chewy choy sum cooked earlier. Not pretty, but it did the job. And of course the Greyhound helped plenty!
Well, someone from Soldsmart finally sent me a reply, after prodding from Paypal no doubt. It is so preposterous, I just had to laugh out loud!
Based on the photo, I believe the seat is sat on the other side. The side you have shown us is the underside of the seat. Once assembled this side is unseen permanently. We do not provide compensation for issues relating to the hidden underside, back, internal or closed part of any item.
David (no surname!)
Speechless, I am!