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Simply Electronics - Beware


Standard Member
If you are contemplating spending hard earned money on an item such as a camera or camcorder, please note that Simply Electronics will supply you with "Grey Goods". This means that you have no warranty at all from the manufacturer - only Simply Electronics own 12 month warranty. Whilst this may cover most eventualities, it certainly has backfired for me. My Panasonic camcorder developed a fault during the first 12 months, but I was only able to prove this a few days after the period. Having rung Panasonic for advice, I learned that they would normally effect a free or cost assisted repair well after 12 months, but they were unable to do so as this was a "non-UK" camera. The camera needs a new lens assembly (£240) It transpires that Simply Electronics are not a UK registered company and so are not subject to Trading Standards. They are not interested in subsidising the repair to my unit.

Their web site does not let you know that you are buying "Grey Goods" when you get to the check out. Instead - if you dig deep enough through their pages you will get the gist that they provide their own warranty. (implying that there is no manufacturer's warranty).

Yes, the camcorder was cheaper than elsewhere, but in the long run it has turned out much more expensive. So, but at your own risk.



Prominent Member
As Mark advises, there are many threads all over the web about Simply Electronics, with lots of negative comments. This has been an ongoing situation for several years, and I must admit I am amazed that they still find enough customers, when a simple Google search would put most folk off!

To be fair to them though, they do advise in the first sentence on their 'about us' page that they are Hong Kong based, so it would not be unreasonable to expect 'grey imports' from them....

I think the best clue is their prices. As usual with these things, if it looks too good to be true, then it almost certainly is....

'Caveat emptor', as they say...


Standard Member
Yep, having mercifully paid them with PayPal for 2 Blackberry Playbooks I got a 100% refund after weeks of zero contact.

Surprised they haven't been fingered by HM Customs for punting themselves as a UK company yet directly trading out of the Far East.

Sorry it affected your wallet OP. On the upside, its a lesson learned. We've all done it.


Distinguished Member
Don't think UK Gov really cares, that's why Bankers are still plying their trade instead of being jailed, pending a public debate.

Sorry to read OP's woes . . . I guess he was unlucky as Panas don't usually develop faults just after the first year. . . . . don't really understand Pana's comment - either it is one of their Cameras, or it isn't. Surely to preserve their Name they should react wherever it was bought.

+If you buy abroad does every Manufacturer wash their hands?


Standard Member
Thanks for all your comments guys.

I originally posted this item to add to the many other threads and forums just to get more hits on Google searches etc. Whilst I was naive in buying from SE, my intention is to help prevent others from falling into the same trap. Panasonic UK told me that they were fed up with cases like this and that Grey Goods were a pain in the proverbials for them. I don't quite buy into this as Panasonic should not sell their goods to suppliers without warranty in the fist place. That would solve things.

Meanwhile I have written to Hong Kong Consumer Council using arguments that the UK Trading Standards suggest would be appropriate in the UK. They have asked SE to respond.

I have also sent all the details to BBC Watchdog and have also sent details to MasterCard.

If I get anywhere I will let this forum know.



Vanessa SE

Established Member
Dear All,

I would to offer my assistance in regards to any current issues with orders placed on Simply Electronics.

Please feel free to send me a PM with your order details (ideally your Order ID), and I will do my best to help you resolve them.

Kind Regards,

Simply Electronics Ltd.


Prominent Member
Well here's a turn up for the books! I've seen posts from Vanessa SE on several previous threads about SE, so presumably quite a senior SE representative?

If it wasn't for the fact it's a girl's name, I'd be tempted to say, I admire your b**ls ! :)

3 simple statements Vanessa, which I believe are true, and might have some significance to your customers / potential customers.

Please correct me if there are any errors.

Otherwise, to everyone else, 'Caveat Emptor'.....

1) You are a Hong Kong based company. You are not subject to UK trading laws.

2) You supply 'grey import' goods into the UK, which are not covered, in the UK, by a Manufacturers warranty, only by your own.

3) Unlike most reputable online dealers, you deduct money from credit card accounts at the point of order placement, NOT at the point of goods dispatch.

As I say, if people are aware of these important facts, it may help them with their purchasing choices.

If I'm wrong, please advise where?.....

(Small wager with myself here. There will be no response to these points..)

EDIT: I see that Vanessa SE has visited this site, since this post ws made, so it would be fair to say that my statements are not contested.

Be warned.. this is NOT a UK based company.

They do NOT offer goods for sale in the UK, with UK Manufacturers' warranties...

They WILL charge your credit card at the point of sale, regardless of the actual stock situation..
Last edited:


Standard Member
Hi Vanessa

I don't think that a PM is necessary - the facts are clearly stated in my opening thread. In essence the camcorder developed a fault within 10 months of purchase and it was just a few days past the 12 month period that I was finally able to locate the problem, with Panasonic UK's excellent technical service. The proof that the fault was there at 10 months is in a file that I still have dated in May 2012 and which was clearly taken at an event this year.

Under UK standards I would have no problem in recovering full repair costs as the unit was clearly not fit for reasonable wear and tear. I have only used the camcorder to film two school productions and for three trips abroad.

I have raised inquiries with SE - (see ticket LTK1213301522202X) - but the response has been that since I am beyond 12 months of purchase, and since I have sent the unit to a Panasonic recommended repair centre there is nothing that you can do or are prepared to do.

I have paid £250 to have this unit professionally repaired, whereas if this was not a Grey Goods import, Panasonic UK would have paid for the repair.

As I have stated in previous posts, I have raised this with HK Consumer Council, and with the BBC Watchdog program which investigates cases like this on behalf of consumers in the UK.

If you really want to provide a solid service to UK customers and want to show that you are a responsible company:
1) I would welcome a refund for the value of this repair
2) I would like you to state at the final stage of your check out process that you will be supplying this item without any manufacturer's warranty. An not to bury this information elsewhere on your web site.

I'll gladly post another message on this forum if you respond in a positive way.




Standard Member
Hi all

No progress I am afraid. I have had an email from Adrian Baldesimo Customer Service Manager, which included the following - which is not true as Panasonic will not cover any warranty for Grey Goods.:

On the other hand, as per Panasonic UK warranty for camcorders such as the Panasonic HDC-TM900 you purchased from us also comes with a 12-month warranty. Please refer to the link below.
Support - Panasonic EU Warranty Information - Panasonic UK & Ireland

So, it is obvious that I will not get anywhere, but I will continue to explore any avenues that warn people of SE's trading conditions.

Cheers all




Standard Member
Hi All

Just to let you know that SE have offered to refund half the money that I have paid out to fix my camcorder.

I have maintained a civil dialogue with Adrian and following a recent exchange if emails, he asked me to explain all the circumstances of the fault and timings etc.

So I am a lot happier than I was a few days ago.




Established Member
The trouble with the Daily Mail article is that it moves quickly on from a guy allegedly 'conned' by SE (why didn't he cut his losses and just buy a £10 keyboard?); to a serious swindle, of a type that has been around since before the internet, where a dim-witted punter hands over money to a stranger for goods he hasn't seen and don't actually exist.


Established Member
I just wish people to do more research into companys before handing over hard earned cash ,especially to foreign companys that may have a spoof website . Do people who actually believe they are saving money in the long run .Many times I read the goods dont come under any warranty terms in the UK for a start .So ,they may lose out big time .


Established Member
Yes it always pays to do the research. Often a too good to be true offer is just that. However I have on occasion "taken a punt" and been lucky - although I was always ready to accept a loss. I ordered some CCTV camera's from Hong Kong and knew the risk and was prepared - however they turned up exactly as were advertised and are still running nearly 2 years on. So you pay you're money and take you're chance. Anything over a few hundred and I'd always purchase from a reputable retailer and always try to use credit cards where possible. (I keep one credit card solely for on-line transactions in case anything goes wrong along the way).

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