There didn't seem to be any Dutch supplier of spare parts, and so I subsequently began my search in the UK. Although there were more options, many had strange payment systems or did not deliver to continental Europe. I then found to another UK on-line supplier of spare parts - they had the part, it would be €64 in total and would be shipped within 2-3 weeks. So I placed an order and just over a week later, received an email confirmation that the package was sent.
Given that deliveries from the UK typically take about a week to arrive, I expected my package to arrive within a few weeks, at most. But more than a month later and no sign of the order (and no blended cocktails at the party). It was getting close to Christmas at the time, and we received a number of packages, but not my spare part. After sending a few emails with no response from the vendor, I was starting to get a bit annoyed. And since the original confirmation email had no tracking number, I had no means of knowing what had happened to my order.
While I was trying to find another way of contacting the vendor, I came across a forum with not so glowing stories about this particular on-line supplier. Furthermore, the stories sounded very familiar - orders not received, no response from the vendor and no indication if and when they would get their part. My heart sank. What to do now.
I decided to send a formal letter to the vendor, but also contacted the European Consumer Centre. They act as a mediator in trying to resolve issues related to purchase within the EU - and this service is free! And they were very willing to help get to the bottom of the situation. So while they started their investigation, I continued to try to get in touch with the vendor.
Early in March, I finally received an email from the spare parts supplier that the package had been returned to them with a note saying that it had not been picked up, although a card would have been left in our box requesting us to do so. Despite receiving a number of packages in December, I don't think we missed the card from the postman. The on-line supplier then mentioned that they would have to charge me for redelivery. At this stage, I just wanted my money back and certainly didn't want to pay another €19 to have the package reshipped and run the risk of it not being delivered, again. So I requested a cancellation of my order and a full refund.
Their response was that the postage and handling is not refundable and they would be deducting a 33.3% restocking fee - thus the refund would be approximately €25. What!! A restocking fee!!! For a part I never received let alone used!!!! I was livid. About the same time, the ECC had also had got in touch with the vendor, to which they received the following response.