Buying from the Internet

I have been caught out once or twice with dodgy dealers who haunt places like eBay (check out any threads you can find on Jason Pitcock, who ripped me and about 60 other folk off for Apple kit and is now being put on trial by the FBI). So it is with a great deal of trepidation that I enter into any online deal that looks too good to be true.

However, I have to say that the Alpine sat nav gear which Kara got me for my recent birthday has made me think again – there *are* some decent people ‘out there’.

We bought the unit from and throughout I was worried that I couldn’t speak German and didn’t want to appear too ignorant by ringing them and speaking in English. How wrong could I get… I *did* pluck up the courage to ring after I had exchanged several emails.

What a thoroughly nice lot of people to do business with!

I dealt with Marta (or rather, she dealt with me), who has answered all of my questions graciously and basically worked really hard to make me feel at ease with it all. The money for the unit was sent via a bank transfer and I received a UPS tracking number almost right away. The goods came, they are all fine and there was no hitch at all.

Well, perhaps one small one – the actual DVD with the navigation details on it didn’t arrive – no worry though, a quick email to Marta and I got a most polite and apologetic reply, with a UPS tracking number the next day.


I am pretty easily pleased, but sceptical of online deals. This deal and this company have challenged my view – they are based in Memmingen, about 80 miles west of Munich. I think when the unit is installed I’ll use it to drive over to them and say thank you in person.

The unit is due to be fitted this coming week – I’ll write about how that all goes as soon as it happens.