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Doing business with on-line companies

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I tried to purchase a couple of Secure Digital cards from this company and they never shipped them.  It's been 3 weeks since I first contacted them about the error and have gotten the runaround from Day 1.  Both items were supposed to have rebates, but now the time is past to collect the rebates and they still haven't even let me know what the deal is.  The first "Account Executive" I spoke with said an investigation would be started, which would take 3 - 5 business days to complete.  A week later I called and found out that the investigation hadn't even been initiated.  The second "Account Executive" said that the first would notify her supervisor immediately and get back to me.  The next week, I spoke with the supervisor who said she was out of the office and that she would need to have the warehouse do an inventory count, which would take 24 hrs, but that she would contact me with the results.  48 hours later I phoned, but could not speak with the supervisor (she was away from her desk) but I left a voice message sying I wanted to cancel the order, since one rebate had already expired, and the other would expire before I recieved the item.  Now, three weeks later, and I still haven't heard from them.  My only recourse was to call my credit card company to dispute the bill (which by the way went very smoothly, and they said I didn't have to pay the disputed amount, and that they would look into it, Citibank Mastercard by the way).

I also sent an email to Ecost.com stating that I wished to cancel the order and that if the items were shipped, I would consider them a gift and would not pay for them and would only return them at their expense.  I had read a post where this happened to another person, and they were charged to return the items to Ecost even after the order was cancelled and they shipped anyway.

Another sneaky thing this company does is to advertise low or no shipping costs, but after you submit your order and give your credit card number, the company bills you for a "handling fee" on each item ordered (around 3% of the cost of the item).  Since this charge has already been levied against your credit card, the only way to get out of the deal is to call and cancel the order, which may or may not fly.  Numerous posts have said that items advertised as "in stock" get backordered, sometimes for weeks at a time.

The company spun-off from its parent company, PCMall, last April, and from the comments I've seen about them, then number of bad reviews since April far outweigh the number of positive reviews.

My advice is to stay away from this company!!!!

If anyone else has advice about online companies, pro or con, feel free to add to this thread.

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