UPDATE 2011-10-12: After Electronic Megastore seemed to be offline for quite some time I received an email last night from someone claiming to be the new owners of the site. Apparently he bought the site and/or business from the previous owners, and agrees they used to be very dodgy. He (the new owner) claims to be an honest businessman, and quite frankly I have no reason to doubt it.
There’s none of the evidence I list in my original post (kept below), and the domain ownership and other contact details have certainly changed. While I have no first hand experience of buying from this site so cannot recommend it personally, I don’t see any reason not to use it. If you’re still wary they accept Google Checkout (properly it seems, unlike the dodgy claims of their predecessors), and Google Checkout look like they have a good mediation process should anything go wrong. You can also rate the company once you’ve bought from them.
I’ve kept my original post below (I don’t like to delete things), but please be aware that as far as I can tell the complaints are for a totally different company which doesn’t exist any more.
The only slightly dodgy thing I would point out, is that the comment from a supposed satisfied customer (youngbuck) came within half an hour of getting the email from the new owner. Seems like too much of a coincidence to me, but you can hardly blame him for trying to undo the negative publicity!
Original (now out of date) post continues:
I watched last week’s Gadget Show last night (I’m a week behind), and saw their review on the Sanyo Xacti WH1 waterproof camcorder. They listed it as “from £165” which sounded amazing value, and considered buying it. Unfortunately it looks like they made a mistake on the price, as I couldn’t find a price anywhere near it.
I did find it at £189 however on a site I’d never heard of: Electronic Megastore electronicmegastore.com. I’m not sure what first made me wary of this site. Probably the fact it was at such a great price, and I’d never heard of the site before.
A quick Google Search came up with a page of customer reviews on Shobby. Some are great, but appear to be from similar IP addresses. The rest all talk about them being a scam run from a petrol station! This could be innocent and just a disgruntled customer/employee trying to spread rumours.
I decided to do my own investigations into the site, and have concluded that in my opinion the site is a scam, for the following reasons:
- A banner proudly states they accept PayPal and Worldpay, but when you go through to the checkout it asks you to enter your credit card details into their own form (which has a slightly suspect security certificate). It also has a logo for Paypal Virtual Terminal, which is a product meant to taking order by phone/fax!
- Another banner says you can “Shop without sharing your financial information”. Proved false by the above.
- There is no postal address displayed on the site!
- Images on the About Us page show reviews from Kelkoo, Shopping.com and Pricerunner. This is clearly a fake as there is no record of Electronic Megastore on any of these sites.
The links to Internet Shopping is Safe (ISIS) and Safebuy seem to be legit, which gives me little faith in those schemes. The McAfee Secure badge is real, but all that means is the site can’t be easily hacked, it doesn’t mean the people running it are for real!
I am not 100% that the site is a scam, but I wouldn’t place an order there. It will be interesting to see how long they last!
[Update]: I’ve had quite a few comments on this post, mainly from disgruntled customers. It seems in at least these cases that money has been taken by credit card, but when a refund is requested they ask for a bank account or Paypal account to return the money to, and don’t offer to refund the money back to the credit card (sounds odd to me). Experience of actually getting a refund seems mixed.
One thing I am able to learn from the comments, is they do actually have some products to ship, although the person in question received the wrong product!
Of course a post like this is only likely to get comments from the people who have had bad experiences, and it is possible there are some people who have had good experience.
I have also had a comment from Louise who works for the company. Obviously not pleased about this post, but fails to address any of the points made. The “customer” reviews she refers to are suspicious to say the least.
I would love for this company to be legitimate, but they need to make some serious improvements to convince me.
[Update 2]: See the top of the post (in case you haven’t already) – they seem to be under new ownership and none of the above applies.