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Aria Technology Limited / Deceptive trading practices

1 United Kingdom

PRICES - AVAILABILITY: I did not find the range of some products of Aria Technology Limited (‘Aria PC Technology’ –aria.com, aria.co.uk, etc.) as wide as some others’ –e.g.: Earlier it had just one double/multi-layer dvdv re-writer, when another already had three brands; when I looked for a 3-fan hard-drive cooler it had only 2-fan ones. Another’s comparable firewire card had also an internal socket, both 4 & 6 pin cables, free editing software –its, had none of those, on its own. For only a few pence more than cost its pack of 50 paper cd sleves, I got from another 100.

GOODS – DESCRIPTION – QUALITY: Firewire card’s picture didn’t show, description didn’t say, I asked if had an internal socket, it assured that it had –it didn’t. Ram didn’t work; told, it said that I bought cheap ram which didn’t always work on all motherboards that they were supposed to, and that I needed ‘better quality’ -costing more. Motherboard was described by it as 4gb ram & ok for 3200mhz –manual said 3.5gb max., 2gb max. if 3200mhz (told, changed its description to 3gb!!!).

SAFETY: Datawise, the pen drive would not keep the data -I had to scan, defragment, format it. Healthwise: its case not ok for usual motherboard clips/screws, front panel awkwardly screwed on could injure hand, damage electrics in opening to add front fan, case cables insufficiently secure.

DELIVERY: Only a few items I could choose postal delivery for & it seemed to deem non-receipt consumer’s problem; as to next-day courier delivery, I waited at home all day, phoned, “Delivery was attempted!” (it charges for redelivery) –can’t be but: used my tel. no.? “Aria gave it us wrong.”

TECHNICAL SERVICE: 60p per minute (+vat), that what did I expect if I didn’t buy expensive! (It was an averegedly priced popular, reputable brand) “Maybe you need to use 2 only 4 ram slots with 1x2gb ram in each [!!!] –the manufacturer may’ve since brought out something to enable it”!!!

RETURNS: Return form had to be filled in, but wouldn’t open except for its own brand –it referred to manufacturer (plus, nothing against ‘contact details’) although the manufacturer’s instructions stated even re. warranty to return through the supplier -and even though it was for ‘refund’ which on its RMA request form is acknowledged as a reason. Having used its ‘contact form’ repeatedly I had to email & telephone to get an RMA number (it won’t accept returns without it on package). When I did manage to get through, although it was asked & stated on the form, at long-distance cost to me, I faced questions: “What’s wrong with it, did you contact our technical service –what did they say? Details?” –it took 2 to 3 days to get an RMA number. Even though in writing it has acknowledged it as statutory cooling-off period return entitlement, its email said: “Nothing wrong with them –arrange to collect within 60 days” (it charges a ‘testing fee’ & for sending them back).

CUSTOMER SERVICE: Phoned (long-distance): “Form won’t open?! Websites sometimes go wrong –try later” (later, another: ”It’s got a manufacturer’s warranty, has it..?”). Still later, dial-response message: “This number is not connected” –sales: “Not connected?! Never heard such nonsense!”; it’s fax, same; email on its stationary automatically reissued RMA. When I managed to get through at advertised opening time: ‘They don’t start, don’t come in, until half hour later.’

REFUNDS: No mention, despite reminders, re. RMA item not its brand. In respect only of its own brand, after reminders, e-mail:’Credited, less 25% testing/re-stocking fee, use in 6 months -72hrs notice; if unacceptable clik’; it opened contact form -despite reminders it never responded. When asked to close my account & pay, and why 25% deduction? ‘Damaged it!’ –asked how, wouldn’t say. It would not refund “at this time”. Reason to claim from a receiver? ‘Not your business’. Told it knew the law, it wrote ‘Co. Sec.& MD, consulted, advised that refund will not be authorized.’ No response when its Managing Director was faxed and alerted to the law & that it verged on fraud.

COMPLIANCE: It wrote: “While these are often restockable as new (that I damaged them & that was why a restocking fee)”. I reminded that it had also written saying it had refused refund saying there was ‘nothing wrong with them’; it later wrote: “We are entitled to automatically deduct 25%.” I reminded that its email had said if credit unacceptable to click; later it wrote that it was entitled to [so] credit instead of refunding. It had written “to confirm” a purported telephone agreement that it would refund on the condition that (…); told that no conversation took place since my trying to get an RMA months before & asked to explain, it never did. Asked if its name changed & its proper name (which varied on later stationary significantly) to enable exercise of rights, it never said.

PRIVACY & ADVERTISING: Its description of itself mislead me, also, e.g., re. since when trading –differs on company house records. Closed a/c? Clicked ‘forgot password’ –5 year old a/c (it’d opened another) on internet! Upon viewing its website began unsolicited e-mail ads. (sometimes twice) daily, nothing on them to say no to. On new a/c opened I clicked not to send email ads. & stopped; suddenly an an email ad., just one (neither proceeded nor followed by any), and as on occasion of an email by it, recorded privacy infringements rose from 2 or 3 instantly to nearly 30.

COMPETENCE – DUE CARE: Its Terms & Conditions’ inconsistency put me off ordering software –one part said ‘unless seal broken’, another said “under no circumstances is software returnable”. It wrote: “As per your request, we closed your account” –then, later, “I shall arrange, as requested, to close your account”. It wrote: ‘I have blocked ads. to your e-mail ----.co.uk”, when told that on its records & on my communication my e-mail was ----.com, it did not respond. It wrote that it was deducting a testing/restocking fee also for an item I never returned; when told so, it did not reply.

ATTITUDE: It wrote: ‘You don’t make sense –none of your letters did!’ –asked to say what it did not understand so that I could explain, it did not respond. Asked what it deducted for what, how, why, it did not respond. Asked for my account history, it did not respond. Its company secretary & director did not reply at their direct contact addresses shown on official companies-house records.

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