Consumers Speak: More Omni Technologies Hassles

Stephen L writes:

Congratulations … on exposing Omni Technologies, and for getting one of their famous obnoxious responses (I’m amazed they didn’t send it to you in ALL CAPS!). Michael G certainly isn’t alone
I was perhaps the first to get this treatment from Omni back in 2003:

In December 2003 I ordered RAM from Omni Technologies’ eBay store for my legacy Powerbook. The price was high and the cost of international shipping to Europe not much better. But their eBay feedback (at that time) was 100% positive and the cards came with a lifetime warranty. So I placed the order and about two weeks later the card finally arrived. I installed it that day and was a very happy camper.

But the following day the RAM card died. I waited up that night to make the international call to their “customer service” in Florida and was told that while they would replace the faulty card under warranty, I would have to ship it back first (at my expense) before they could send the replacement, but my shipping costs “would be refunded”.

Get the surprise ending after the jump.

After another long wait, the package finally arrived, but they had mixed up my order with some other poor bastard who had ordered RAM from them, sending me the wrong chips. Another midnight call to Omni revealed that the other customer had already notified them of the mixup and that they had been waiting for ME to contact them. Their response: ship the RAM back (again at my cost) and they will send out the correct replacement. So after a month I would be out the cost of the original RAM and two lots of registered international airmail and have nothing to show for it. But their customer service rep promised to refund all shipping costs if I forwarded the receipts. So I did the right thing and sent the RAM back.

Finally the third package arrives with the right RAM. I sent an email confirmation to Omni THANKING them for the card, and attached scanned copies of the postal receipts asking for the promised refund. Unsurprisingly, I didn’t hear anything back from them.

I called customer service again but they “don’t have” the receipts: as soon as they had them they would issue the refund. I mailed copies again, but heard nothing. I called the guy back, and he said they received the receipts but he would have to “check with accounting” and get back to me. Still nothing.

I called back a few days later and was told that accounting only issued refunds at the start of the month and that I would have to wait until the following month to get my money. Start of the month came and went and still no refund.

I called again. This time the rep seemed surprised that the refund wasn’t paid, but promised the refund within 24-48 hours. After half a week I still had nothing.

Sick of all this crap, I finally emailed them a note recapping the entire story, stressing that I had done the right thing by them paying to ship their products around the world and that they could at least refund my costs as promised. If they kept stalling I would have to take legal action to get that money back.

Miraculously, not only did they then refund the money, they sent me an obnoxious email claiming: they did me a favor selling me RAM in the first place, I was rude enough to send the faulty RAM back and demand a replacement, and that I overcharged them on shipping. But out of the goodness of their own hearts (which I had “taken advantage of”) and for the sake of “customer satisfaction” they have now refunded the money! A quick email back noted: they shouldn’t offer a product if they aren’t willing to sell it, they shouldn’t offer a lifetime warranty if they aren’t prepared to stand by it, the cost of return shipping (to cover their own screw up) was significantly cheaper than what they charged me, and I would be more than happy to provide them with their very first negative feedback on eBay.

Getting money out of Omni Technologies takes months, daring to post anything negative about them brings a very swift response [look how quickly they jumped on the Consumerist]. Hours after posting negative feedback on eBay, my inbox was full of hate mail from a range of people at Omni, in addition to notification from eBay and a third party arbitration group that Omni had lodged a complaint against ME and wanted my comments removed. It went to eBay’s arbitration service, but having already received my refund, and tired of the whole scam and continuing hate mail from Omni, I caved and agreed to a settlement: the comments would stay but would not effect Omni’s overall rating. The following day, I found eBay had “mutually withdrawn” my comments anyway, leaving Omni with a pristine record to suck others in.

Comments

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  1. RowdyRoddyPiper says:

    Wow…I can’t believe that E-Bay does this. Maybe they are just like any organization where there are two classes of citizens. My wife sells on E-Bay all the time and was told the only way she could have negative feedback removed was a court order.

  2. Smoking Pope says:

    You see? I think a lot of people assumed Omni was this sort of company based solely off of the rude e-mail Cary Jannsen (sp?) fired off. How you deal with customers/the press says everything about your company, douchebags.

  3. L'Emmerdeur says:

    Ebay is one of the biggest shams of all. It is well known that big sellers get special treatment, like removal of negative feedback. And if you use Paypal to pay for an item, then you are royally screwed because, guess what, Ebay owns Paypal, so they can punt you off to each other indefinitely.

  4. oldsmobuick says:

    never buy anything from florida! everytime i (or a friend) have been ripped off it’s been by sellers in florida (eBay and otherwise). i think they have really lax enforcement or laws or something. so my policy now is to avoid floridian vendors like the plague.