Archive | March 2013

eBay Warning: meridian-shop

I’ve you’ve found this page because of a link on eBay or a Google Search regarding eBay user meridian-shop, I suggest you do NOT buy from them. I have experienced that they will do anything and everything to avoid replacing an item or refunding you.

I WARN YOU, DO NOT BUY FROM MERIDIAN-SHOP. Read on for more details…

On the 25th of March 2013 I received a wireless CCTV camera that I had purchased from eBay user “meridian-shop” at a total price of £17.33. When I connected it to my CCTV system I noticed the image had a lot of black horizontal lines going through it. I contacted meridian-shop to inform them of the fault. Bear in mind their own listings has the following text as a policy:

Warranty and Guarantee:
• 12 months Warranty. 30 days money back. Buy with confidence!
• If you are not satisfied when you receive your item,  please return it   within 14 days for a replacement or  money back. Please contact me before   you return it.
• If item defective in 3 month, we will send you a  replacement without   extra charger, or offer refund after  we receive the defective item.
• If item defective after 3 month, you can still send it  back to us. We   will send you a new one after receiving  the defective item. But you have   to pay the extra  shipping fee.

Before I go any further, let me point out this bright and colourful guarantee on their eBay listings:

meridian-shop

So I email them;

“Hi there. The wireless camera that I bought from you has black and dark horizontal lines going through the picture. I cannot use it with my CCTV system as the picture is not clear because of these lines. I’d like to send this item back to you for a replacement. Please confirm this is okay, and I’ll get it in the post on Monday.”

They replied;

“Dear customers, Thanks for your email! Could you pls take a photo of the item when you use it and then send it to us? As we need to know how it can not work! And could you tell us more details about the item? Do you see a code label like B1605 which stuck on the side of the parcel? 

Could you pls take a photo of the code label and send to us? 

Pls don’t worry, we just need the photo to make a record and confirm which product has the problem! 

Here is our address: 

fyemobile@gmail.com. 

After you send the photo to us, pls let us know which is your address! 

Once we confirm the problem, we will make a solution to you asap! 

Best regards”.

I sent the following grainy image and the barcode they asked for:

wireless-cctv

“Please find attached a screen grab of the camera when it is connected to my CCTV system. As you can see there is a thick black line that runs horizontally right across the screen. There are also several other horizontal lines further down that are thinner and less dark, but they are there. It is not interference from the wireless kit. It is a fault with the camera. The code on the label is “B1605″. Please find attached the code label”.

On the 26th they respond; 

“Would you pls check whether the connection is ok? And could you pls Check AV Video Cable AV cable is loose or another? Hope it can help you!”.

On the same day I reply;

“It is a fault with the sensor. However, I have double-checked the cables and all connections and the fault is still there. I would like a replacement or refund”.

This is a fairly simple case of returning a faulty item, as per their policy. Oh no, not with meridian-shop…

On the 27th they reply;

So sorry about that! In this situation, could we refund you 2GBP! And it will not affect your using! Is that ok? Pls don’t worry, we will follow your case asap!”.

I refused the option of a £2 refund. I email them back on the same day;

“I don’t understand. I cannot accept a £2 refund. This isn’t worth anything. The camera is fitted to a CCTV system. If it has a fault and cannot identify people in the image due to problems with the camera then it is useless. I would like a replacement or a full refund, as per eBay policy, as the item has a fault”.

They reply on the 28th;

“Could you pls change another one AV line and try whether it can use? If yes ,we will make a solution to you! Wait for your reply!”.

It’s clear to me that the fault is not with any cables, interference or other such excuse. I email them again;

“I have tried different cables FROM the camera output and also tried different cables into and out of the RF radio receiver. I have tried it on the other SEVEN inputs of my CCTV system and the problem is still there. Again, the camera is faulty. Not the cables. Not the receiver. Not my CCTV system. The camera is faulty”.

On the 29th they reply;

“Could you please change another one receiver or change other channel to try it? If it still not work, we will make a final solution to you! Is that ok?”.

At this point I am fuming;

“This is completely unacceptable. I haven’t left feedback on eBay yet but may leave NEGATIVE if this is not solved today. These emails have been going on for FOUR days now. This particular camera doesn’t have the ability to change channels. It works only with the receiver it came with. I do not have another receiver. The camera needs replaced, or a full refund”.

They reply;

“As the item still work, shall we refund 7GBP and you keep it? Look forward to your reply”.

I contact them again on the 29th;

No. Unacceptable. The item does not work as described. There is a clear fault with the item. It cannot be used to identify anyone as part of a CCTV system because the picture has black lines on it!!! I want a full refund or a replacement!”.

They offer me another refund;

“Thank you for your email. Shall we refund you 12GBP and you do not need to return it? You can use it elsewhere. Is that ok? Look forward to your replY”.

So, not only would they not exchange, they would not fully refund me. This was the last straw. I opened a case with eBay to raise awareness of the issue with the seller. At time of writing they have a 99% feedback. I have 100%. They currently have 18 negative feedbacks over the last year.

I would not consider them a TRUSTED seller due to what they claim as guarantees and warranty, and what actually happens. Avoid meridian-shop at all costs. Go with another seller, even if it means spending a few pence more.

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UPDATE: After raising a case with eBay they offered a full refund, on the premise I revise my negative feedback. I changed it to neutral.

UPDATE 2!: A week later, I received an email asking me to reconsider my Neutral feedback for 5-star Positive feedback. I was asked to supply them with details of the item and what the problem was. So clearly all those emails back and forth didn’t ring a bell!

The Fitzroy: Recce Mission

A while back (January 2013) I supported a Kickstarter project to fund a feature film called “The Fitzroy” (I get a GAS MASK from the movie as one of the perks for being a backer!). To quote the Kickstarter website; “The Fitzroy is an independent, live action, feature film; a black comedy set in a post-apocalyptic 1950’s Margate. The world is covered in a poisonous gas and the Fitzroy Hotel (a beached submarine) is the last place for a traditional holiday. The hotel is sent into chaos when one of the guests murders the hotel’s owner. It is left to Bernard, The Fitzroy’s hapless bellboy, to keep the hotel from falling apart as he struggles to hide the murders from the other guests and the ever-suspicious authorities.

The Black Widow submarine

When the project was funded I emailed the Production crew to offer my services with camera and recording kit on top of the funds I had already donated. I was pleased when they got back to me, asking if I could film some behind-the-scenes footage during the recording of the movie’s soundtrack with the Green Rock River Band. So in February I ended up in North London and got some great cut-away shots. After sending that footage off to them, they contacted me again to ask if I was free to shoot some more, and visit the actual submarine!

I’m not one to turn down that sort of chance-of-a-lifetime, and so I agreed. On Tuesday I travelled to Rochester to meet up with some of the production crew who were on a recce for the film. The submarine, an ex-Russian Foxtrot B-39, is 92 metres long and only 7.5 metres wide. It used to dive to 250m below with up to 77 souls onboard and stay submerged for up to 30 days at a time. It also carried 20 missiles…

I’ve been given permission to share some screen grabs from the raw footage, so here’s some shots from the day:

 

Approaching The Sub

Shooting The Hull

On Approach

Listing Sub

Please Don't Touch

Untitled

Up Top

Down Below

Forward Missile Room

Red Loo

Angled Meeting

Righting The Boat

Untitled

Ironic Bernard

Untitled

Exit Hatch

Beach Scene

Beautiful Sub

Untitled

Rear Missile Room