Without question this has been my worst online buying experience to date.
I ordered several lights on 03 Oct 2009, the payment was taken immediately - almost £500. I was told delivery would be 2 - 4 weeks.
After more than 10 weeks of excuses, I demanded my money back. Some of the lights then magically came in stock. I still cancelled most of the order and like many others have complained, took another 9 emails, several weeks and a formal Final Notice before Legal Action letter before I got my money back. Many others have never seen their money again by reading reviews here.
This company is full of excuses, here are some direct quotes out of emails from them:
"we will have a firm delivery date within the next 7 working days." (June - *******@newlightingdirect.co.uk) (turned out they didn't)
"this order is booked in for delivery the next week and will be sent out on a next working day delivery as soon as it comes in." (June - *******@newlightingdirect.co.uk)
"the manufactures for these and they have told me that they are running behind on the orders." (June - *******@newlightingdirect.co.uk) (This is the recurring theme - their supplier keeps letting them down apparently)
"please be assured I will follow your order through personally if you are prepared to keep the order with us." (Diane - *******@newlightingdirect.co.uk)
"i am sorry but we physically can not do this on the system as it will not let us process a refund when there are good waiting to be invoiced." (June - *******@newlightingdirect.co.uk) (that one is a personal favourite!! - they have a computer system which doesn't allow refunds while you still an order outstanding, and that's supposed to make it okay - how handy)
"I can see that the refund has been processed for you by the accounts team but if you are saying it is not in your account then i will get the accounts team to look in to this for you" (June - *******@newlightingdirect.co.uk) (Turns out it wasn't processed)
"We have tried all we can to keep you happy as stated I am very sorry for the delay but this was out of our hands." (Mark - *******@newlightingdirect.co.uk) (maybe this one is my favourite?? They've tried all they could to keep me happy?? Hilarious - I wouldn't call holding on to my money to the point Legal Action was underway "keeping me happy")
When I informed the company of my intent to write a review about them, this is what I was told (by Mark - *******@newlightingdirect.co.uk):
"your review as others is liable and can be met with legal action."
Unfortunately for Mark, the contents of this review are based on emails from New Lighting Direct, and my experience as described. The cheek to suggest that I should be worried about legal action if I went ahead and told others how I was mistreated.
It also has not helped this company seem to be impossible to contact by telephone. It is listed as "01325 288099" but is strangely engaged almost permanently. I tried and got through once after trying 40-50 times, and got told I couldn't talk to anyone in the Customer Services or Accounts department, as they don't have phones!
Needless to say I had to resort back to email.
Now to help those who are still struggling with orders not delivered and refunds not issued:
1. Issue a formal Final Notice before Legal Action:
You must do this before you can pursue legal action. Templates for this letter can be found here - http://www.consumerdirect.gov.uk/after_you_buy/making-complaint/template-letters/letter_before_action/
And here is the address to send it to:
NEW LIGHTING DIRECT LIMITED
UNIT G12 MORTON PARK
MORTON PARK WAY
2. Request a refund:
Make sure you have clearly asked for a refund, even in an email. The Distance Selling Regulations say they should do it as soon as possible, but they have 30 days maximum.
3. Issue a CHARGEBACK:
If you do not have a refund within 30 days, issue a CHARGEBACK.
If you used a Debit Card, and have not received goods within the stated time (2-4 weeks) (and a maximum of 30 days as stated in the Distance Selling Regulations) you can call your bank and ask for a CHARGEBACK to be issued on a fraudulent transaction.
Tell them you placed an order online with a company who did not deliver the goods or give you a refund and you think is fraudulent. The bank will investigate and they can reverse the transaction if found to be true.
OR 4. Credit Card:
If you used a Credit Card, contact your CC Company and explain as above - they can conduct a similar process to get your money returned.
5. Make a complaint to Trading Standards:
Please help stamp out this immoral activity by reporting your experience to the authorities - 08454 04 05 06.
If you haven't yet bought from them, take the advice from the growing number of reviews and don't bother.
When I mentioned these other reviews to Jason the "Sales guy" who doesn't do Customer Service queries, he told me most of the reviews are false and have been placed by their competitors. I struggled to believe him, and in any case, my review is real.
Some of the other reviews which quote emails are also amazingly similar to those I got, therefore leading me to believe they are genuine.
In any case these reviews are only here to help you make good decisions. I'll never buy from them again, and I'll be advising others the same.
Good luck to all.