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Altec Lansing Orbit Speaker / Improper shipping charge

1 United States

I ordered a small speaker from this company, based on many positive reviews. Although no mention of backordering was made when I purchased it online on Altec Lansing's web site, I received an email several days later stating that it was indeed backordered; a few days later I received another email, informing me that the order had been cancelled, since the item was not expected any time soon.

I thought this was very unusual - unique in my experience - but, in good faith I believed them and ordered the item from another company (B&H) online.

I then received an email from Altec saying that the item had shipped!

I traded emails with Altec Lansing over many days, trying to cancel the order, and then, when it arrived (on the same day as the one from B&H!) trying to get an RMA to return it. (Contacting them by phone was impossible - long wait-times followed by voice menus leading to more wait-times leading to more voice menus...)

Finally I succeeded in obtaining an RMA via email. I returned the speaker via FedEx, and emailed Altec Lansing that I expected to be reimbursed for shipping charges both ways, since they had cancelled the order, that I had not authorized any shipping thereafter, and had, in good faith, ordered the item from another vendor.

I received a curt email directing me to the page that displays Altec Lansing's Return Policy (very restrictive) and stating that my request was denied.

I consider this to be slimy and actually a form of low-level theft. I may purchase items made by Altec Lansing in the future, but I will never purchase directly from them again.

I contacted Amex and requested cancellation of the charge (which included shipping one-way), and Amex did so immediately. Hence I do not need to wait for Altec Lansing to send me a refund... it they ever would. If they do, I will return all but the amount of the FedEx charge for returning the speaker to them.

The one positive note (pardon the pun): the speaker is excellent and the music on my cell phone never sounded better.


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