Monday, 3 December 2012

Broken Egg Games AKA How to open up a credit card dispute

Well, it's finally happened. I've finally had to open up a credit card dispute after years of shopping online. I mean, the law of averages meant I was bound to do this sometime. 

So who is the other party involved in this dispute? It's Broken Egg Games, manufacturer of warmachine tournament trays. I was looking for a tournament tray to put some of my warmachine stuff on during tournaments and warmachine nights, so I didn't have to keep the miniatures all the time. And they were one of the ones who came up during my search. Between them, battlefoam and fools, they seemed like a better option since they made really large trays. So I made the order. That was on the 3rd of November.

Now their website says that it usually takes 14 days for the order to ship because of production lead time. So I wasn't in that much of a hurry, until 20th Novemeber...When I realised they still hadn't shipped the order or even sent me any notifications.

Due to the recent maelstromgames fiasco, I've been a lot more sensitive to any delays in shipping products. It used to be that I was lot more lax in waiting for merchants to send me my stuff. But with the way maelstromgames collapsed and how it didn't ship godknowshowmany peoples orders, that's pretty much all changed. 

So I sent an email to them via their webpage's Contact us option and didn't receive any reply. One day later, I posted a message on their facebook wall asking if my order had shipped yet. Still no reply, but even more mysteriously, my message had disappeared in the next couple of days. This was on the 23rd. I sent another email again but when I didn't receive a reply after 3 days, I decided 'to hell with this' and decided to initiate a dispute.

Now, for those of you who ever need to do this, all it involves is going down to your banks local branch and sitting down with a customer service officer or relationship manager or WHATEVER they call them now, and explaining your circumstances. At which point, they'll give you a form to fill in. Once you're done with that, they'll escalate things and try to contact the seller. If the dispute has been successfully resolved in your favor, you'll receive the credit in your next credit card bill. 

So would I still buy stuff online? Yes. However, there are a few points to note. 

  1. Always keep in contact with your seller if you think your products are taking a while to ship
  2. Keep in mind the period in which you can open a dispute. For Paypal, I think it's something like 45 days. For my credit card, it's about 30 days. Hence, once you think you're not getting your stuff, just open the dispute first just to protect yourself.
  3. Never ever close a dispute UNTIL you receive your actual physical goods. This is advice that has been given countless times. This is because once you close a dispute with Paypal, you can NEVER EVER open it again, even if the seller doesn't send you stuff. Some sellers have used this to try and get their customers to close their disputes by sweet-talking them or persuading them somehow, and then once the customer closes the dispute, they never see their stuff. Even if they show you a shipping number, don't close it until you get your stuff. You have nfi what can be in that package or if the number is even real; if it's not a tracking number. 
  4. Buying from merchants with track records is no guarantee. As Maelstromgames and brokenegg have proven, even they can sometimes fuck up.