“So we waited, and we still received no goods, rang back and they said they’re still experiencing a lot of sales – this went on for a number of weeks,” Mr Mesiti said.
Eventually, he said, they asked for their money back.
“They told it could take up to 25 days to get our money back, which is ridiculous,” Mr Mesiti said.
Mrs Mesiti said every time they contacted the company about their refund they were given the same excuses.
“I got so upset last time I rang,” she said. “I just thought, how can you be so heartless?”
Mrs Mesiti’s story is far from unique, as the online electronic store has topped the NSW Fair Trading complaints register for the second month in a row.
Complaints about the company and its affiliates have grown, too: Fair Trading received 50 complaints about Android Enjoyed in March, up from 45 complaints in February.
Android Enjoyed’s parent company Digital Marketing and Solutions Pty Ltd also owns Camera Sky, an online camera store that received 28 complaints in March and 25 in February.
NSW Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean said it was clear Fair Trading’s past actions against Digital Marketing and Solutions and its companies were not enough.
“Fair Trading has previously issued an enforceable undertaking against the company, and for a short time that appeared to be making a difference,” Mr Kean said. “But sadly it was short-lived, as they are not only back, but once again topping the list.”
The minister said while enforceable undertakings, an alternative to a court prosecution, can have “significantly greater benefits to the workplace, industry and community”, in this case Fair Trading needs to consider alternative sanctions.
“Their disappointing business practices are totally unacceptable, and consumers shouldn’t have to cop that,” Mr Kean said
Issues with the online electronics retailers go back years.
While Victoria and Queensland do not keep public consumer complaints registers, Digital Marketing Solutions companies have appeared on the NSW complaints register 18 times since the register opened in July 2016.
In September 2016, then Fair Trading commissioner Rod Stowe warned consumers about Android Enjoyed, Camera Sky and Klukkar after numerous complaints and an estimated consumer loss of $150,000.
Shortly after the warning, Fair Trading announced the group’s parent company – then Digital Skies Group Pty Ltd – was co-operating with the investigation. About the same time, ownership of the websites was transferred from Digital Skies Group to Digital Marketing and Solutions.
For those who have already spent money with Digital Marketing and Solutions companies, it seems they have little hope of getting their products or a refund or even contacting the company.
The “priority hotline” phone number on the Android Enjoyed and CameraSky websites was disconnected when Fairfax Media tried to call. The NSW, Victorian and Queensland numbers listed on the CameraSky website – there were no local numbers for Android Enjoyed – were also disconnected.
Mrs Mesiti is now in the process of going through her bank to get her money back. She said the Digital Marketing and Solution’s practice was “obviously a rort”.
“Looking at reviews, I found they’ve done exactly the same to other people,” she said. “I just thought, maybe there goes our money.”
Mrs Mesiti said companies such as Digital Marketing Solutions should not be allowed to operate.
“The goal would be that they pay everybody back, but very least they should get shut down,” she said.
She also said there should be better laws to prevent more companies such as Digital Marketing and Solutions from emerging.
“There needs to be better regulations now to protect people from sharks like this,” Ms Mesiti said.
And, she said, next time, “I would probably want to pay a little bit extra and get it in my hand, rather than online.”
Rachel Clun is a reporter at the Sydney Morning Herald. She was previously a reporter with the Brisbane Times and Domain.
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