A lesson in online shopping.

There’s a first time for everything, it’s said. And today I discovered I’ve finally fallen foul of a dodgy online retailer. Remember those pedals I mentioned? The ones I ordered on Monday?

You know, these ones:

A friend had originally found them for me on wiggle.co.uk, but they were out of stock so I found myself another supplier. And unfortunately I ordered them from Bonthrone Bikes.

All looks okay, doesn’t it. Well, it certainly did on Monday morning, although when I revisited the site this morning to see if I could track the order, I found that none of the links on the site go anywhere any more. Hmm. Curious. Must be something wrong with the website, I thought. I’ll give them a call. And their phone rings, and rings, and rings. So I googled them to see if I could find another number. I couldn’t find another number, but here’s what I did find: hordes of people complaining about non-existent service, payment taken but goods never delivered, and multiple referrals to trading standards. Take a look at the comments on Review Centre and Bike Radar and you’ll see why my heart sank.

I rang my credit card company to stop any payment being made if possible, and thankfully it would seem that they haven’t tried to take payment yet. Looks like I’ve been lucky.

Lesson learned: unless you’re going on personal recommendation or with a well-known reputable brand, always do your research before choosing an online retailer.

Still, in one sense it’s quite a good thing, as I’ve now ended up ordering these, even better, pedals – for the same price:

And this time, I went on a personal recommendation and bought them from SJS Cycles. (Thanks, Carol!)

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