Defective Product Return Policy Is Not Honored and Customer Service Is Dishonest


I have been a loyal customer for the last several years.  On 8/5/2006 I ordered a Cavalry 500 GB external USB hard drive for just over $209 including shipping and tax.  The drive arrived promptly, but due to my impending relocation, I did not open and try out the device for several days.  When I did connect the drive and power it up, it failed to accept any file transfers.  I have had many of this type of drive so I was certain that the drive was defective.

I checked the site for their return policy and I found the following information at

Defective Returns

Defective returns will be accepted for exchange or repair, at our discretion, within 30 days from the shipment date. No refunds or credit will be granted after 30 days, the terms of the manufacturer’s warranty apply. Please contact the manufacturer directly. (Please see important exceptions listed below).

A product must be diagnosed "defective" by a member of the Technical Support Staff at the manufacturer. You can get a list of manufacturer phone numbers by clicking here. Once it has been diagnosed, please ask for a case number and contact our customer service department for a return authorization number.

Any return found to be non-defective, once our warehouse has inspected it, is subject to a restocking fee of 15% and all non-product-related fees (shipping) are not refundable.

Despite this direction, I contacted Latoya at on approximately 8/22/2006.  She stated that although I should have obtained a RMA from the manufacturer, she had spoken to a supervisor and that I would be issued a RMA via email in 4-6 work days.  Subsequently I received no email communications from except for advertising. 

I called back in early September 2006 after being provided with a RMA number by Cavalry and this time spoke to Phyllis.  I informed her of the RMA number that I had obtained from Cavalry and that I had spoken to Latoya about this same issue without follow-up from eCost.  She stated that there was no record of my previous reques for a RMA, that there were three customer service employees named "Latoya", and that a RMA number would be issued in approximately 4-5 days.  I heard nothing further from 

I called back on 9/19/2006.  This time I spoke to Edward (#8892).  This representative informed me that my RMA had been denied; however, he could not say why my RMA was denied and he could not tell me why I had not been notified of the denial.  I asked to speak to a supervisor to explain this situation; however, Edward stated that a supervisor was not available, but that one would call me back later.  When I asked how long that would take, Edward stated that the call would be returned "today."

I informed Edward of the following planned actions:

1.  I would immediately call American Express and have the charges reversed and contested.
2.  I would post adverse information regarding this transaction to the BBB.
3.  I would post adverse information regarding this transaction to my website.
4.  I will never make another purchase from eCost.

I then called American Express and contested the charges for the drive (case #26201).  The charges were reversed.  As of the time of this writing, I have not received a call-back from eCost (I gave them my cell phone number.)

I will file a BBB complaint in the near future.


I received a letter from American Express stating that they had not been able to reach regarding my complaint.  They have changed my refund from an provisional refund to a permanent one.

I have written an appropriately negative review of on  I will no longer transact with eCost and I will encourage others to avoid

I could not file a BBB complaint because of the inability to match their internet address with a physical address.

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