Buying a Cheaper Unique Mobile Phone or Tablet for Less Might Cost you More in the Long Run
28 November 2011
When I bought my new Canon Camera Recently (the lovely 7D) I was shocked to find out the RRP was $2300 in Australia, $1600 in the USA and $1300 in Hong Kong. The result is I bought it from a grey or parallel importer in Melbourne (ironically across the street from Canon Australia’s head office.
If I have a problem with the camera I have to send it not to Canon, but the grey importer, a risky business at best.
I am personal friends with a buyer from Harvey Norman that was unable to price match the camera as my buy price of $1500 for the imported model in Melbourne is less than Harvey Norman’s own buy price. Canon is well aware of this but there is nothing they can do. Here the consumer benefits but the retailer loses out. Luckily for retailers the volume for these sorts of purchases is still the exception rather than the rule.
However, when a device is not supported in Australia, and the company is grey importing a device (like a mobile phone or tablet ), then the issue gets a bit riskier for the consumer. What happens when you need support and the device is not supported in Australia. Usually a mess and the consumer can suffer.
A good example of this model is Expansys UK Doing business as Expansys Asia for Australia.
They will sell you a mobile phone that is either not available in Australia (due to legal issues perhaps) but may also not be supported by the manufacturer in Australia. This can be a real problem for tablets and mobile phones, unlike cameras where there are no updates.
I good example is I have the Samsung 10.1 P7510 tablet, one of 3 Samsung 10.1 models with only the 10.1V being supported in Australia. Currently there is a problem getting support and updates in Australia.
Smaller companies like Expansys a company many are not aware of in Australia are not doing consumers a great service as many do not know the device they are buying is a grey import and updates and when service is likely to be a problem.
All you have to do is Google, ‘Problem Expansys’ to see some of the problems companies like Expansys are offering consumers and one to definitely be aware of in 2011 and 2012
Companies like Expansys should let consumers know when items are being grey imported and support may (and likely will) be an issue. Worse still if / when they quit doing business in Australia the consumer can be left high and dry with no support and no warranty.
This is not in the long run good for the retailer that cannot service the customers or the consumer that is not aware of their likely challenges
Update / Disclosure :
Firslty there are other grey selling sites other than Expansys.
I have not used Expansys asia so do not know if they are good or not.
I chose Expansys Asia they offered to send me something they did not, and it messed me about.
I used Expansys UK when I lived there and was a delighted customer and even set up a corporate account.
I wanted to review a phone, and offered to buy it (before they told me they were shipping me one and did not (they said that on multiple occasions).
This is NOT about their customer service/delivery. This is about the issue of buying grey products when consumers do not know know they are grey.
However, as time goes on I do now have concerns if they treat a fan-boy this way, once they offered a product, how must their customer service be to the rest of their customers.
I have said on a few occasions I am pro grey market buying, but for the uninitiated to can be a mine field and I am more concerned by the tweet.
I told Expansys about some negative press and questions that were out there, as they were kind enough to send me a phone, I was not going to run the story.
Had they told me they were not interested I also would not likely run the story.
But they said they were going to send me a unit, and it messed up by reporting time when they did not but also removed the conflict of interest I would have had otherwise, and it shows to be deceit by them (slopiness or both) .
Anyone else would have said yes (and meant it) or said no and meant it.
Saying yes and meaning no could be confusing and what Expansys did here,
Have I got my facts wrong?
Expansys claims yes, but refuses to address a single specific, but instead choose to attack a now once loyal customer, geez