On Wednesday 12th December I placed an order with OddsNPods.co.uk, whom I’d come across during a price comparison using Google. That was my first mistake. The item was a Christmas present for my girlfriend and I believed that by ordering almost 2 weeks before Christmas I was giving them plenty of time to dispatch before the last posting date (they say they post at the latest the end of the next working day).
By Friday I was starting to get worried that my order was still “Awaiting Dispatch” so sent a message via their contact form (ticking the “Urgent” box). On Monday morning still nothing so I called the number on their web site to be greeted by a foreign-sounding lady.
“Hello?” she said. Puzzled by the lack of a company-branded welcome, I went on to say I was calling about an order that hadn’t been dispatched to find out what was going on.
“What company are you calling?” she asked.
Getting suspicious now I asked her “What company is this?”
“I can’t tell you that information.”
WHAT?! Alarm bells were ringing now. I asked if this was OddsNPods and she said “No, it’s a different company,” although it didn’t sound like a company at all.
A quick google search revealed that OddsNPods were related to DataKits.co.uk, a company with whom some people had previously had problems (despite a supposedly good rating on Kelkoo). The WHOIS for OddsNPods revealed they were indeed part of DataKits but had hidden their phone number from the whois results because “The registrant is a non-trading individual who has opted to have their address omitted from the WHOIS service.”
I fired off an email to their email address (bypassing the online form this time), telling them if I’d heard nothing by the end of today I’d be taking matters up with my credit-card company, and then fired another email off to Nominet telling them to update their WHOIS entry (they’ve since done this and now show the address of OddsNPods.co.uk as: 9 Frensham Road, Southsea, Hampshire, PO4 8AD, which seems to be a residential address to me).
As of11:53 their web site seems to be down.
Warning: mysql_connect() [function.mysql-connect]: Can’t connect to local MySQL server through socket ‘/var/tmp/mysql.sock’ (11) in /home/oddsnpod/public_html/includes/functions/database.php on line 19
Unable to connect to database server!
Anyway, come Tuesday afternoon (pretty much a week after I placed the order) I finally heard back and they asked if I still wanted it.
I said if they could send it out first class the following day to go ahead with the order and they did. It arrived on Friday, safely in time for Christmas. It seems it’s not a scam after all but this “company” has serious customer service issues. Despite their good prices I’d think twice.