Questions of Cash: I was told to get on my bike in Amazon delivery mix-up
Saturday 22 September 2012
Q. I ordered a Raleigh Equipe racing bike from Rutland Cycling, through Amazon UK, on 31 July 2012 for £204, including delivery to me in Jersey. It was needed for my son's cycling holiday, so had to arrive by 27 August. Rutland Cycling advised me it had been dispatched. A week later I phoned to find out where it was and I was told the bike "had been delivered".
Rutland Cycling admitted its system does not monitor the delivery date – so it only becomes aware of a non-delivery when a customer complains. By this time, it had sold out of this model and offered me another bike – a Raleigh Strada – instead. I was told this was a better model and the catalogue shows this is a more expensive bike.
I received an email from Amazon advising the bike had been dispatched. A week later I phoned them again. They checked and then I received an email saying there had been a problem with customs. The courier says it returned the bike to Rutland Cycling because the paperwork was not in order. Rutland said it had been unaware the bike had been returned. The bike was then located in its warehouse and dispatched again by the same courier.
A few days later – just a week before the holiday – I phoned to say the bike had still not arrived. I was then told there had been more problems with the customs authorities and the bike might not be delivered on time. Rutland Cycling refused to provide any compensation. I had to buy a comparable bike at last minute, but those available locally were £350 to £400 and I did not want to pay that much as the bike would be ruined on a scrambling holiday.
I ended up buying a second-hand bike, but the tyres punctured four times on the first day. I received really bad customer service. I complained to Amazon, which said that its review team would be made aware of my complaint, but for data protection reasons it could not let me know the outcome of this. MH, Jersey.
A. We took this up with both Amazon and Rutland Cycling. Rutland Cycling's head of marketing Sally Middlemiss said: "We sincerely apologise for the issues that [the reader] had with her order. We're an independent, family-run company with over 30 years' experience in the cycle industry and we pride ourselves on delivering excellent service to all our customers, in our shops and online. We dispatch many bikes outside the UK without complication – however, on this occasion, errors were made with the dispatch of [the reader's] bike, leading to the delays. We were asked to guarantee a delivery time which unfortunately we could not do and so issued a full refund to avoid any further disappointment.
We can understand [the reader's] frustration and we're genuinely sorry that we've let her down. We have since made several improvements to our procedures for dispatching bikes internationally, including changing our courier company, to make sure this doesn't happen again. Finally, we are pleased to report that we have this week been in touch with [the reader] and offered her a replacement bike, which she has accepted." You have told us that you are happy with the response of Rutland Cycling, which is now selling you the Strada model at a substantial discount – for £150 instead of the usual retail price of £279.
A spokesman for Amazon said: "We want all our customers to have a great experience every time they shop on Amazon Marketplace and unfortunately, on this occasion, the Marketplace seller was not able to deliver this order and a full refund was issued. We do monitor the performance of sellers on Amazon Marketplace and this particular seller has received a high proportion of positive reviews from customers."
Q. I worked in Germany from 1966 to 1974, contributing to my "rentenversicherung" (pension insurance). This was taken directly from my pay. I recently sought to apply for my pension from the German government. It has refused to make any payment to me, claiming that a refund was issued to me in 1976. I never received any such refund. They have failed to provide any proof that the money was refunded. TT, by email.
A. According to the records of the German pension insurance agency, you applied for a refund of your contributions on 22 September 1976. The agency's records also show that 8,060 Deutsche Marks were paid to you on 25 February 1977, representing the refund of your contributions. A German court has refused to consider your submission seeking a payment of your retirement pension on the grounds that you cannot prove that you did not receive the contributions repayment.
The pension insurance agency's own detailed records from that time no longer exist, so it is not possible to inspect the paperwork to establish whether it is your own signature on the refund claim. Our repeated requests to speak to the agency went unanswered. We also attempted to discuss the matter with your employer from the time. However, it is not listed in phone or business directories, it is not shown as trading from the address that it used at the time you were employed and there are no recent references to it on the web.
The German Embassy in London can also find no current contact details for the business. We must therefore assume it is no longer trading. It seems to us that all options in trying to obtain this pension have now been exhausted.
Update: On 18 August in Questions of Cash we published an inquiry by a reader who complained that Santander had written to say it had withdrawn from its promised "free banking forever" on small firms' current accounts it had taken over from Abbey. We advised the reader to complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service. We are pleased to report that Santander has reviewed its decision and will continue to provide these bank accounts to existing customers on a free of charge basis.
Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown
Problem gambling: Amid heavy advertising and a surge in remote sports betting, more and more 16 to 24-year-olds are now seen as 'at risk'
Make money as a mystery shopper
The HiFX guide to managing corporate foreign exchange and international payments
How to start your own internet business
Be warned of the dirty tricks the bailiffs pull
- 1 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 2 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 3 'Women should not laugh in public,' says Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister in morality speech
- 4 Is Ebola coming to Britain? UK health officials issue warning to doctors as outbreak fears grow
- 5 Ross Burden dead: MasterChef and Ready Steady Cook star dies at age 45 after suffering from cancer
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – Britain as others see us
A new Russian revolution: The cracks are starting to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
- < Previous
- Next >
iJobs Money & Business
£350 - £400 per annum + competitive: Orgtel: Project Manager (specializing in ...
£25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: Orgtel are seeking Graduate Trainee Re...
£45000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: ** HR Business Partner - Senior H...
£28000 - £32000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: PA / Team Secretary - Mat...
Day In a Page
A two-bedroom flat in a beautiful old vicarage, with many original features, close to the city centre
A three-bedroom 16th-century home with an aga kitchen, private gardens and heated outdoor pool, in Hadleigh
A three-bedrom home in sought-after Queen's Gate Mews, with Italian marble-finished bathrooms
Surrounded by glorious countryside in the village of Udimore, sits this impressive four-kiln oast and barn conversion
A five-bedroom house in the picturesque village of Kettlewell, north Yorkshire
An 18th-century former coaching inn with original staircase, open fireplaces and beams throughout
A Grade II-listed Georgian town house with three bedrooms and a south-facing courtyard, near Arundel Castle
Feel on top of the world at this über chic penthouse on the 37th floor of one of Europe’s tallest blocks.
A Grade II-listed Victorian villa with six bedrooms and two further cottages, all with spectacular sea views
A grade II-listed, Georgian cottage with mature 50ft garden, perfect for summer entertaining
A magnificent Georgian pile with turrets, seven bedrooms, a heated pool and four acres of gardens
Fairoak Farm has five bedroom suites, gym, outdoor swimming pool and golf course
Chic two-bedroom river-fronted flat with a private lift that delivers you directly to your home
A spectacular seven-bedroom Tudor pile, once owned by Henry VIII, with 18 acres of land
A seven-bedroom Georgian property previously used as a picturesque wedding venue
A split-level flat in a church conversion with two en suite bedrooms and 1,200sq ft of living space
A three-bedroom bungalow situated behind an impressive stone wall, £645,000
Windsor Castle overlooks this three-bedroom Victorian cottage located on one of Windsor's smartest roads
Chapel House is a former vicarage with nine bedrooms in the beautiful Upper Wye Valley
A five-bedroom B&B and separate owner's accomodation with potential for conversion
Enjoy summer by the Thames in this two double-bedroom converted warehouse in Rotherhithe village
A one-bedroom, luxury apartment with private gym and concierge service in Moorgate
A four-bedroom house in Hermitage Gardens with three reception rooms and landscaped gardens
A seven-bedroom Grade II-listed property with a separate self-contained apartment
A five-bedroom Victorian house with three reception rooms and galleried landing, £695,000
A six-bedroom farmhouse with five acres of land in a former cloth-making village
A secluded seven-bedroom detached house with large private garden, £490,000
A three-bedroom cottage overlooking Sarratt village green with open fires and solid oak floors
A three-bedroom maisonette flat in a Grade I-listed, Georgian townhouse in a sought-after location
A one-bedroom apartment located within a private gated development, north of Turnham Green
Look forward to a brighter future at two-bedroom Sunny Cottages, ideal for Londoners looking to downsize
A three-bedroom red-brick cottage with outbuildings and pretty gardens, £200,000
This three-bedroom flat within a former textile factory spans the corner of the fourth floor and has a balcony
A charming four-bedroom Oxfordshire cottage with oak floors and chunky-beamed ceilings, £465,000
A beautiful one-bed flat in a sought-after portered block, with access to Norland Square communal gardens
A one-bedroom flat within a Sixties school conversion with high-spec design and open-plan kitchen, close to Lambeth North Tube, £435,000
A 17th century four-bedroom house, with open fireplaces, cellar and pool, £600,000