|The alleged deal.|
I sat & waited. And waited. And waited a bit more. In fact, I never actually received a confirmation email from the supplier, Bo-Vida, and I had to chase it up through their contact page. Allow 28 days for delivery it said. And after 24 days, I got an email. Not from Bo-Vida. From another customer, who had received an email with around 200 customers' email addresses on, including mine, giving excuses for delays. Now I'd not actually received that email, spam filters, maybe, but over the next few days, I received over 30 emails from complete strangers on the subject of Bo-Vida, their orders failing to be delivered, and problems with the tablets when they arrived. I was starting to get twitchy.
But never mind the twitchy. Think about what I just said. An email was sent out to customers with around 200 customers' personal contact details on it. Not hidden, not encrypted, just sent as a mass mailing. That's a breach of the Data Protection Act. Seriously. They've just broken the law right there, and fines for Data Protection breaches can run into hundreds of thousands of pounds. (It's fairly easy to avoid this if you have ANY tech savvy, you put your own email address in the "to" box, and everyone you're sending the mass mailing to in the "bcc" box, that way no-one sees anyone else's address)
Right. Back to the story. Data Protection breaches aside, we've now reached 26 days since my order was placed. I try to log onto the website, only to find that my password wasn't accepted. I tried to reset, and no email ever reached my inbox, or spam filter to allow me to do so, so I can't check on the delivery status. Fortunately though, I still have that email confirming my order, direct from the customer service team, as I didn't get the order confirmation. Remember that? Well, I replied to that, asking what's going on, and highlighting their data protection breach, and asking what they're going to do about that.
Plugged it in (that cable's very short, you know!), pressed the power button. All looks good so far. Loading screen, lock screen, yeah. Unlock the screen, and I'm greeted with CLICKCLICKCLICKCLICKCLICKCLICKCLICKCLICKCLICK. Non stop. It slows down to something like the Countdown clock when the power cable's not plugged in, but sounds like Desert Orchid on the home straight when it's plugged in. Not sounding good, really. I turned it to mute, but that makes no odds, it's not a sound like an email "beep", it's a physical noise, something's clicking away, and it's something to do with the power.
Oh yeah, and the power. It came half-charged, fairly normal for techy-things. Enough to fire up & have a little play, but wants a proper charge before you use it. So I left it last night for an overnight charge, in the hope this damn CLICKCLICKCLICKCLICKCLICKCLICK might shut up when it's charged properly. No such luck though. How much battery life do you think it has, considering it's a brand new piece of kit, and has just had a full overnight charge? It's a mobile device, meant to be used on the move, not tethered to a wall, remember. 20 minutes. Let me say that again, in bold. 20 minutes! That's not even going to get me to Cardiff on the train, never mind occupy me on jaunts to That London. It's barely long enough for a trip to the loo!
I've had a look on Bo-Vida's website, they'll only refund the p&p, because I bought through KGB. They've got a lovely returns form, which I've printed & filled in, and it says to send to "the freepost address". Except there isn't one, anywhere, on their website. Or even a non-freepost address. You know, one I'd need a stamp for. Even if I find it, that's only the £7.99 delivery charge. There's still the small matter of the £74.99 I paid to KGB. Who have an entirely separate returns policy, and tell you everything but how to actually claim a refund. I swear, I am going out of my tiny mind.
All I want is my money back, I don't even want the flaming tablet any more, it was just a way to get my phone back from Squeaky & her obsession for the Peppa Pig games on it. Actually, KGB's registered office isn't far from here, if I can't find Bo-Vida's address by Tuesday, I'll just go down there in terrifying person & scream until they pay me to go away. Anyone want to join me?
Note: Should I receive responses from either company involved, I will happily update this post, allowing them to have their say. The details given above are true and accurate to the best of my knowledge, I would not publish them otherwise.
I have now had responses from both companies, but only after I drew their attention to this post. I have received a return address, and an assurance that my refund will be processed on return of the tablet, which went off recorded delivery today. Bo-Vida have also reported the DPA breach themselves to the Information Commissioner's Office & put safeguards in place to ensure there is no repeat of the breach. I wish everyone else caught up in this mess good luck, and await my refunds.
I've realised that some people are still struggling to get a returns address from Bo-Vida. As I managed to obtain an address, albeit not the freepost one they mentioned on the returns form, I thought I'd share it. The address to return your faulty tablets (or any other faulty Bo-Vida items) to is:
11 Wycombe Lane
I was told that my tablet was being Quality Checked in December, all checks should be complete by 13/12/12. Heard nothing, so I contacted Bo-Vida AGAIN last week, and was told that my tablet was being Quality Checked, and should be completed by 16/1/13. Hmmmm. And then? Who knows?
And for people hunting for the returns forms, Bo-Vida hide this very well on their website, but it's at http://bo-vida.com/media/Return_Form_Bo_Vida.pdf
Update 25/1/13 (hopefully the last)
My tablet has now completed testing, and my postage & packing has been refunded by Bo-Vida. I've also had an email from KGB saying the refund from them should be received within 4-5 working days. So hopefully by the end of next week, I should be back where I started, slightly older, slightly wiser.