Sunday, 9 December 2012

If it sounds too good to be true... just might be.  I decided to treat myself recently. It's been a long year, and I've had some serious gadget envy going on, so when I saw a tablet pc with a shedload of accessories on the KGB daily deals website, for the princely sum of £74.99, I was pretty quick with my clicking finger.  I've bought from KGB, and other group-buying discounters before, and aside from a bit of hard sell from a photographer, I've never had any problems.  In fact, a couple of my colleagues had purchased a similar deal from a different supplier a couple of weeks earlier, and were really pleased with their buys, so I thought I was in safe hands.

The alleged deal.
That looks great, doesn't it?  £74.99 for all that. Notice the "perfect pressie" label too?  Sure you know someone who'd love to find this in their Christmas stocking.  Well, back in the first week of November, I agreed.  They called it a "premium piece of technological genius".

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.

The reality
I got a reply pretty quickly, saying my order was ready for dispatch next day, allow 2-3 days for delivery. No mention of my other point.  Ho hum.  2 days comes and goes, as does 3 and 4.  Five days later, yesterday, my parcel arrives.  Hooray!  I opened it up, and found...  No SD card, one stylus, rather than 2, and no headphones.  All advertised as part of the peripheral bundle.  Ah well, I can pick an SD card up for not much cash, I've got a couple of spare styluses (stylii?) knocking around with the DS, and my hearing's crap anyway, I probably wouldn't use the headphones.  Let's fire this baby up.

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.

UPDATE 11/12/12
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.

UPDATE 30/12/12
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:
Bo Vida
The Forge
11 Wycombe Lane
Wooburn Green
High Wycombe
HP10 0HD

Update 14/1/13
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

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.


  1. yes- had exactly the same experience - only that i paid with paypal and opened a dispute and hopefully get my money back from KGB and Bovida that way
    The tablet is a piece of **** my battery last a whole 2 min - so you with 20 min are lucky, though mine does not click but i will need to learn Chinese in the future to use it.
    Also arrived incomplete with extras missing
    My email address is viral now....
    I actually spoke to a woman at Bovida after trying for days and days and I asked her where they are located and she said "Brighton" so that might help you on your search.

  2. OOh thats rubbish I will come with you and scream at them I am good that sorting people out !

  3. Oh. My. Dear :( What an awful experience! I've always been very wary about buying from these "deal" websites, this has just made my mind up.

    I really hope you get it sorted hunnie, it's terrible at any time of the year yet alone before Christmas!!

  4. Oh dear, I would be tempted too but when something is true good to be true it often is :(

  5. I bought one too - except I am still waiting for mine to arrive - I don't even want it now that I've heard it is not fit for it's purpose. I have demanded a refund from KGB but they keep stalling me - I am loosing patience - this was supposed to be a Christmas present!

    I spent the same £74.99 to KGB plus the £7.99P&P to Bo Vida and all I have to show for it is stress and hundreds of emails from other disgruntled buyers saying that they have received theirs and they don't work.

  6. A bit of a poor show really. These deals often are very good so lets hope that KGB manage to give you your money back pronto

  7. Not happy ordered 2 have received 1 it is missing headphones and app centre is in chinese!! this would be fine if i spoke chinese!! it will not connect up to internet and has a battery life of about 20 minutes. i have contacted bo-vida and kgb telling them to keep the other 1 and refund my money or i will report them to trading standards. i am also going to go down the mastercard charge back route if this is not resolved quickly. goods are not fit for purpose!! i have spent too much precious time trying to resolve it.

  8. That is dreadful. I really hope you manage to get this sorted out. What a nightmare!

  9. Omg,same here I ordered one and still waiting,heard nothing or no.emails quite p off at mo,,xmas pressie for my son,im gonna try n get refund ,its disgraceful..

  10. Ive ordered 5 through Discount vouchers. These are my kids christmas presents and nothing has arrived . I am sooo fed up. I have tried to phone Bo Vida but you can not get through. I have emailed discount vouchers and no reply. I have been well and truely scammed at Christmas .

  11. Wow. You never mention the brand name of the POS device - do I take it that it didn't even *have* a brand name?

    It should be broadcast that, while there are some brilliant Android tablets around, there is absolutely no floor on how bad one can be. Because Android is Open Source software there is nothing to prevent someone installing it on a burning television and legally calling that an Android device. The only standard of quality Google can enforce is whether or not they allow access to their official app market, Google Play, so that's something to always look out for.

    1. No brand name, no distinguishing branding features. Just POS. Firmly bitten on the backside, I was.


You know what? I love comments. Sometimes I even reply! So leave me a message & brighten up my day!

Please note: Comments on posts over 14 days old are moderated, don't panic. If you're human I will publish. If you're a spammer, I won't, but you can't read this anyway, can you?