This company is most possibly the worst I have come across for all the lies and rubbish they tell you.
Their website is a well compiled one and they look very professional, but the items they sell have to be at least 400 times overpriced and they take time to try and source things that are difficult to get elsewhere, so when you end up buying one thing from them, you cannot find anything else to compliment it online, so end up having to go back for more.
However, to buy or not to buy is not the reason why I am leaving a bad review... its totally up to a customer whether they wish to enter into purchasing from this company time and again. My reasons for leaving a bad review are totally different and border more on the actual customer service and the way i was given the run around in a completely unfair, illegal and unethical way.
I purchased a very expensive set of lights which were to be sent abroad with a travelling party. The lights were purchased using a credit card and it stated they would be sent out within 48 hours.
A week later, no lights and no followup emails (except for the one that stated payment had been recieved).
So I called the company, quoted the order number and was told by 'Mike' that he would look into it. I left a number and he came back to me to state the item had been delivered by courier to the house 'right opposite my house'. I spent an evening househopping from house to house situated opposite my property, as well as neighbours on either side... no parcel.
So called back to let the company know my findings. Mike stated he would check back with the couriers, but didn't get back to me. Then a couple of couriers came to my address insisting the parcel had been delivered there, and signed for by a man (I live on my own, no men at the property) I stated this was impossible and that I had been told by 'MIKE' at tableop studio that the item had definately been delivered elsewhere. At which he stated 'MIKE' could not have known this and had given me incorrect information.
Anyway, after a lot of to-ing and fro-ing, they came to the conclusion something was amiss and that they would get back to me... they never did.
I called Mike again, and this time there was a lot of evasiveness. I was told in no uncertain terms that there was be an investigation, which I welcomed, and that a decision would be made shortly.
By this time they had my money for almost three weeks and I told them if a decidion was not made or a parcel of the goods not recieved within the next 4 days, then I would no longer need them.
I also left my phone number with them... again.
No follow up almost a week later, I called them again, and again. Mike was huffy and told me he was waiting for the couriers to get back to them. I was getting more and more annoyed by this time.
Again a week later, no calls, and no emails, so I called again, and was told that they were still waiting for the couriers to get back to them. I was fed up by this time and told them I didn't care how long the couriers took. I shouldn't have to wait for them anymore because I wasn't dealing with the couriers, i was dealing with table top studio!.
But he wouldn't help at all, and said I was going to have to wait until they were ready.
I was so angry, but decided to hold on another week. On calling back yet again, I was told I would be sent an email. I asked them to just tell me what they had decided and was told (no sorries or excuse me's by the way) that they could send me another parcel by royal mail as soon as I wanted.
I told them that I had already made it clear to them if the intial order did not reach me by a specific time, that I would be requiring a refund and not a replacment... at which Mike then proceeded to tell me that he could issue a refund, but it would be minus 10% of the intial payment as he would be deducting an order cancellation fee and a refund fee! And he would also have to deduct a charge for packing materials!
I was gobsmacked... absolutely flabbergasted!
What the HELL?
I told him this was unfair, unethical and illegal, but he came back with 'its on our website terms and conditions'.
Now being a loss adjuster, I'm used to dissecting terms and conditions of various websites and insurances, so I told him I would come back to him.
The first thing I did was to take a couple of photocopies with the date, of the terms and conditions of tabletopstudios website.
One for me and one for the courts (just in case he decided to change the T's & C's at a later date) then went through each and every condition pertaining to an order cancellation.
I could see they had a section on special orders and a condition that a 25% (atrocious)charge would be deducted on a cancellation of special order items, but nothing on a normal, off the shelf, order.
They also had a part where they stated a charge (not mentioning the percentage) would be deducted when an order is cancelled, but this also stated the charge would be due to the fee charged by the fee processing company (sagepay) and a refund charge by the same company.
Checking with Sagepay, I was told that as a merchant, he would have been charged 1.5% or lower for the initial fee processing, but this would have be refunded once a full refund was made through the same channel (I already knew this, but wanted to check anyhow)
Furthermore, my whole argument was
1. I hadn't cancelled the order, I would have been happy to recieve had the order been sent out and recieved as promised.
2. The second parcel had only been offered to me and had not been accepted yet, so there shouldn't be any packing materials charges.
3. The order was not 'special'
4. Any fee processing charges would be cancelled and returned to the merchant once he refunded me.
5. even if Sage pay were unethical enough to keep the charges, then it would only amount to 3% at the most, not the 10% he was quoting me.
I was incensed, and more so when he went ahead and stated that he would not be able to refund me until I wrote him an email to state I was 'cancelling the order and was happy with the refund offered'.
Having dealt with legal statements most of my adult life, I was no way going to do this!
But I am warning all others of this, incase you decide its safe to do so. If you do this, you have no come back! Neither in court or with your credit card company!
I wrote an email to him stating I was unhappy with what was being offered and outlined the reasons why, and that I was accepting the partial refund under duress, and would be taking this further.
However, a refund was still not forthcoming. On calling them AGAIN, I was told I had to wait for a disclaimer to arrive from the courier company, which I would have to fill and return at my own expense, and then wait until the courier company recieved the disclaimer back before tabletop would refund me.
I waited and emailed them 4 times after sending the disclaimer back, asking them to confirm when they would be refunding. I did not recieve a reply even once!
In the end, more than 2 months after having paid them, I decided enough was enough and spoke to my credit card company.
The company agredd that I should get a refund of my full payment and after getting the go ahead from me, they issued a chargeback and said they would send me a few forms to look over, sign and return.
Well surprise surprise, within a day of the chargeback being issued, I recieved an email back fron 'Dr Jo' of Tabletop studios, stating that they were sorry it had taken so long and as a 'gesture of goodwill' they would be issuing a full refund within a few days.
10 days later, still no refund (I hadn't sent back the papers sent by the credit card company because I didn't want to issue a chargeback if I was going to get a refund) so I emailed Tabletop, reminding them that a few days was not meant to stretch to over a week and that if I did not recieve a positive reply with a refund within the next 48 hours, I would cease to contact them and continue with the chargeback.
I got a refund that very day with a terse and rather rude email stating the email had been issued in full.
Please understand that the items they are offering can be purchased elsewhere for less money (as I have since discovered) and with a lot more customer service, and a lot less cheating. So if you are looking for photographic equipment in particular, feel free to message me with what you want and I will try my best to help.
Tabletop Studio are complete crooks and are happy to make a quick buck even when the customer has not recieved anything!
Witholding payment due to this and that is unfair and if this happens with you, I urge you to contact your credit card company straightaway. Don't leave it too long, espcecially when you find the tome of service is not as friendly as when they first take your money.