More than 15 years working as an editor for the Dutch PC Mag taught me a thing or two about buying online, but you’re never too old to learn.
Remember this radio? Now I don’t care about these at all, as they’re not really suitable for Ham radio purposes. A local construction company however was very interested and asked me if I could help them buy 10 of those and program them. I agreed, for a small fee, and under the condition that they would pay me in advance.
After studying the small print on AliExpress.com / Alibaba.com, I figured that it was safe to place the order, as long as I sticked to their Buyer Protection Program and used a credit card instead of scary things like Bank Transfer and Western Union. Good I did. Within one hour after ordering and paying I got the following mail from the seller:
Thanks your order . but I am very sorry to tell you we make mistake . This cost is no include shipping cost.As this is my fault .I willing give you discount . You just need pay another 35USD to me. You will get 10pcs. If my boss just receive 216USD, he will not alllow me ship 10pcs to you. Pls help me.
Best Regards and Thanks”
Darn. I should have listened. I heard of AliExpress problems in the past, and some ham operators stated that this company should be avoided like a leaking nuclear power plant. All of this made me stick to eBay and 409shop.com.
Time for action, of course. I immediately e-mailed customer support and asked what to do next. Soon afterwards I replied to the seller:
this is my first ever order on AliExpress, normally I use eBay. Asking for extra money after I paid never happened to me. Because I’m also new to AliExpress, I forwarded your e-mail to AliExpress customer service and asked them what to do. I will get back to you as soon as I know more.
Within a few minutes, the seller replied.
Very sorry , I will ship 10pcs to you. As this is my fault I bear the lost for this order by myself. I will ask my boss allow me ship 10pcs to you. Hope next time you continue support my business.
Best regards and thanks”
Apparently the problem is solved, but I can’t be sure until DHL dropped the shipment on my doorstep. Until that moment my payment will be withheld by AliExpress.
P.S. If these radios ever arrive, I’ll give them a quick review.
Update: seller raised the price from $216.50 / 10 pieces to $300 / 10 pieces.