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Have you ever bought a phone from Simply Electronics?

Screenshot 2014-07-07 23.18.51

After my post yesterday about my wife selecting an Android phone, I decided to have a look at the most efficient way of buying an HTC One M8 online. I checked out Google Shopping to see what the cheapest rate was with them. I never tend to have a brilliant experience with Google Shopping but it’s usually semi helpful to at least get the rough market price.

The absolute cheapest I could find was from a company called Simply Electronics. Their price was £378.95 including free delivery.

This is a substantial discount on the HTC website (£549 — fulfilled via Expansys, who interestingly, will charge you just £469 from their own website). Amazon lists the HTC One M8 at a reasonably competitive £519., my personal choice for consumer buying hardware thanks to their ‘take 3’ buy-now-pay-later service offering, lists the M8 at a rather disappointing £579.

Back, then, to Simply Electronics. How can they possibly be retailing a phone at £141 cheaper than 800lb Gorilla, Amazon? Indeed the Simply Electronics price is actually cheaper than a factory reconditioned device for sale on Amazon at £389!

I looked around for some weasel words on the Simply Electronics website, wondering if I’d added a refurbished device to my shopping basked. Apparently not.

I then did some cursory research and ended up on this MoneySavingExpert thread filled with lots of commentary. Some posters (dating back from 2012) reckon the company is based in Hong Kong. I can only presume that this the HTC they’d be sending would be a Hong Kong, Chinese or similar derivative probably without a standard UK plug and so on.

Who knows?

Quite a lot of posters said that they did eventually receive their products but only after long delays (i.e. 10 or 11 days). That’s not actually too long. Just, in today’s next-day (or, same day!) world that I’m used to with the likes of Amazon or Very, that’s almost a lifetime.

Still. £141 saved compared to Amazon if you apparently wait for an unspecified amount of time and are happy to opt for a (presumed) non-UK spec device.

My preference — nay, my requirement — is a UK device for testing and evaluation. If you’ve used Simply Electronics I’d welcome your perspective. Would you recommend them to the Mobile Industry Review audience?

Right now I’m probably going to give the business to Expansys.


  1. One for the major US importers of foreign sourced handsets offers its own “equivalent to OEM” warranty service – thought that was a great idea.

  2. I once made the mistake of ordering a camera from Simply Electronics in 2011. They are part of the new wave of shonky online retailers that don’t actually carry any stock of anything. When you place an order, they place an order with a wholesaler somewhere in the world that enables them to offer the discounted price. Then you’ll have to wait a long and arbitrary amount of time until they receive the item to fulfil the order. When I realised they couldn’t deliver in a reasonable time frame, I had to go through lengthy phone calls with an offshore call centre to cancel and get a refund.. AVOID.

  3. They are based in HK, the goods come from there so if you get charged for Import Duty you’re not really going to save anything. What about somewhere like CEX – £420 for a A condition unlocked device? You’ve probably got enough old devices in a drawer to trade in against one 😉

  4. I ordered a yellow Lumia 1520 from them at the end of last year as a Christmas present for my daughter (who desperately wanted the yellow model, which was not available elsewhere at the time). I can confirm, like others, that this is a ‘Just In Time’ company based in Hong Kong, so how long you wait will depend on how long it takes them to source the product and then ship it to you. You may be lucky and get it in a couple of days, like I did, or it may take a few weeks, however it will arrive. Note that as it is coming from overseas (outside the EU) you will be charged Import Duty, despite the fact that their website FAQ says that this is covered in the shipping costs. Contacting them via email about this after receiving the goods yielded no response. How much you save will depend on what you are ordering. I saved a packet as this was only available in yellow elsewhere at the time for silly money and there was no possibility of waiting for it to arrive via regular channels in order to get it in time for Christmas.

    The model was a Hong Kong variant, along with Hong Kong firmware and Chinese language support, rather than a generic European or Global variant (possibly because it was only available in yellow in few markets at the time), so I had to change the settings to UK English before it was used (not too much of a problem). I believe Hong Kong, being a British colony at one time, have the same 3-pin UK plugs (if memory serves correctly). Anyway, it came with a standard UK plug adapter (and a 3-pin UK to 2-pin European adapter). I checked with Nokia Care UK and they do not offer warranty cover for products purchased outside they EU. This is probably the biggest issue I have, should something go wrong with it and I be unable to claim on it’s insurance cover. I suspect that most other manufacturers will be the same regarding warranty cover for non-EU imported goods (not that I agree with this policy at all in an increasingly globalised world).

  5. I’ve actually been rather good about getting my devices recycled Ric so this is a new purchase. You’re right, it doesn’t need to be new. I’ll have a look at some reconditioned ones for me (as I need to buy some new ones). I wanted Hetty to have a ‘new’ experience with Android so I’m willing to pay for that. But for me, yeah… doesn’t need to be new.

  6. Hi Ewan, I got a Nokia 1520 for £299 from them. Hong Kong spec, but sim unlocked. Customer service is virtually non-existent, they charged me twice and it took a week to get a refund. The phone took a month to arrive. But, I did not have to pay Import Duty and Expansys are currently offering it for £459 so it was worth the hassle to save £159!

  7. Geez that is SOME discount Chorotega! Very impressive… if you can put up with the delays and double-billing. Interesting!

  8. My advice – to avoid this company like the plague!
    I purchased a Sony phone from them in March – and it went wrong within weeks. After returning it, I waited three months for its return. It still didn’t work – and they are failing to sort it out!
    I am just getting the odd email saying that they will be in touch – and then nothing!
    Buying secondhand from ebay is less risky…

  9. Hi there, I should have done more research about the shop before buying from this company, although I have to admit that I think I’m lucky. I bought a new mobile handset (back in Nov 2014) which I think is brand new and fully operative, with all parts inside and accessories, however it seems a bit fishy, again I feel lucky and I’m happy as my phone is a jewel (LG G3), hopefully I will be able to tell the same in 1 year time. So I got the package delivered, and my findings are:
    1st of all it was my option to risk to buy from this site/guys and I always felt like I was risking £300 plus, so I felt I was betting against all odds
    1.- The guarantee seal was broken (I should have stopped and request refund, but what the hell, keep going) inside the box all seems to be OK, the handset and every component was still covered from fabric, all the plastic peelings on the handset looked like the item just came out of the oven), all looked and it is OK and again right from manufacturer. The only wrong thing was that the power adapter as it is an European, but it did not surprise me as this is not big deal to me. They included an universal power adapter, which is quiet neat. so not big deal.
    2.- The phone works fine, it connects to my mobile network, internet, wireless networks at home/work. However It does not connect to the 4G band which is a big low. the handset should be able to do that, but it does not give me the option. So I did more investigation and ultimately I was suggested to upgrade the Android O/S on the phone to the latest version available, which I did helped by XDA developer we site, this resolved the 4G connectivity issue and completed the entire cycle. Again I feel lucky!
    3.- I checked many websites for support and to make sure the handset is legit and not second hand or stolen from another country. All the test outcomes are positive, the item is brand new, does not belong to any black list, however the item is destined to be sold into the Asian market, Singapore most probably, as the footprint of the O/S tells that has an Asian ROM (to Singapore market)

    Things could go wrong at any point and to be honest the simply electronics website does not give any confidence for you to buy from them, and I would not expect any refund nor a positive outcome should I resolve to return the item the same day I got it delivered. It was all about risk, and I learned my lesson, I will not buy from them again! but I’m enjoying a great piece of technology. Or probably I will. Good luck!!!

  10. i am still waiting on a phone 4 weeks on and am being thanked for my Order Backlog
    Apologies for the delay. We are working diligently to ship your order as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience.
    I’m not at all certain how this company operates out of Hong Kong but i wont use it again to be on the safe side.
    On a positive note Hong Kong should be a reliable trading country like japan but we will have to wait and see

  11. Avoid them like the plague. I did not know this was a hong Kong company the web site appears to be uk based.
    I ordered a samsung note 4 on the 1 December and it arrived on the 12th December 2014. I use the ee network and at home I have to use a ee booser, my note 4 would not work with the booster. On taking my note 4 to a local Samsung service center in Bournemouth I was told the the phone is a south African model and should never and been imported to the uk. Further more because it is not ment for the uk market there is no warranty cover on this phone.
    I have asked for a refund and I am still waiting for a reply

  12. I ordered a big jam boom box £180 .. So about average price for it to be honest. Anyway it came with a plug for a different country, not UK. So I thought, ok that’s annoying but assumed they may all come with that plug.. Anyway it was faulty and I’ve been emailing them for two weeks. It takes them days to reply, completely avoiding talking about the refund only talking about collection. They went 4 days with no reply to my email so I phoned their customer service to which their only advise was “try emailing again”
    They were supposed to send me some documents that were essential for the return otherwise the courier would not pick it up.. Three days and two emails later, no documents. They just keep saying “I’ve forwarded it to the appropriate department”
    The courier phoned me asking if I have the documents and sounded very unspurised when I said no and even told me how much bad feed back they get and that I should wait for my refund before I send the item back.
    I have now sent a very firm email saying if they don’t refund my money in the next seven days I will go to trading standards. All it has been is weeks of emails with out getting any closer to sorting the problem. I am concerned now that they will fob me off and I will be £200 down with an item that doesn’t work.

  13. Damn – I ordered a Samsung S4Mini last Saturday…. after searching the net, this company kept turning up on my UK based searches……. I even phoned their customer service and spoke to a non-UK person but it didn’t made me read any reviews…….. damn damn damn…….. My phone is now in the queue to be dispatched. I have emailed them to cancel the order but I suspect they will ignore it reading the other review. I not really want to get something not really legal. Going to phone my bank’s fraud department tomorrow morning and hopefully they can stop the payment – then I’m sure the phone will not be posted.

  14. Site claims despatch in 2-3 days, full payment taken on 11th Feb.
    Ordered two phones, but almost immediately cancelled one order.

    Almost three weeks later, no sign of phone or refund.

    Site appears to be a UK company, but all calls are routed to call centre in Phillipines. Have made several calls to the 0844 number, call centre staff promise to solve issues, but nothing happens.

    Email from Simply Electronics claimed that phone would be delivered today, 2nd March, but call to DPD Couriers confirms that they have not yet received the package.


  15. I first phoned customer service and then emailed them (through customer service) to cancel order. They initially offered me a 2.5% discount for the inconvenience that the order was delayed. I declined. I received my refund within a week. Think I might have been lucky reading the other reviews. I thought I had lost my money for good.

  16. Tale of caution

    I purchased Samsung S5 Mini for my wife as a Christmas present from Simply Electronics.My purchase genuinely had nothing to do with the price , it was just that they were the only merchant that had a white phone in stock. I will not discuss the saga of the phone getting here as in the big scheme of things it was a nuisance. Last week the phone went faulty. I sent it to Samsung for repair under their international warranty. 48 hour later the phone arrived un-repaired with a strange standard letter that the phone had internal damage.As I work in the industry I called Samsung directly , only to be told the phone is not genuine , it is a kluge! The shell is one phone and the motherboard and the content from another. Samsung very kindly sent me a letter stating this and a screen shot from the phone diagnostics scree. I have escalated through paypal and unless I get a resolution immediately I will start proceeding against them in UK and Hong Kong .

    Hong Kong police have a very nice and easy to follow website where you can report Cyber Crime . I am hoping that once UK Cyber Crime agency have a report as well as Hong Kong police and it brings in PayPal will motivate these jokers to do the right thing.

    Just for the weary scammed people like me , some useful links ;

  17. I bought a Lumia 930 from them past 28th Jan 2015.
    The delivery is incredibly slow, it took 13 days since I ordered but, that was the minor of my problems with them:
    I received a faulty item. I requested a return 4 days after the delivery. They have been deliberately delaying the RMA form submission for 57 days so I couldn’t return the item until then. Then, from that very moment, they claim that I can’t be refunded or eligible for a replacement because more than 30 days has passed. It’s like a bad joke but not funny at all.
    At the moment I’m not getting any proper answer from them apart from apologies and referring me again and again to the reparation of the phone that I’m not accepting at all.
    Additionally, the items are brought from Hong-Kong or whoever knows, so forget about getting any UK warranty from the item brand here, I also tried.
    I’m starting legal actions against them, even when I know that I’m likely going to spend more money on that than the phone cost, but I consider is the fair thing to do with these behaviours that attempt against all consumer’s rights.
    My advice, think about it twice when you are going to order them something. The price is undoubtedly good but the risks are up to you as it seems they’re not going to take any responsibility if something goes wrong. I got the impression that they act as mere reseller of gray market items and got a workshop for reparations to strictly fulfil the minimum law requirements. So, good luck with your order if you finally decide going for it.

  18. I would not use this company EVER again, nor recommend them to anyone EVER. In my view they are a scam. They will take your money and not send you your item. They are probably hoping that a certain proportion of customers will forget about the order, or not enforce their legal rights. They told me nothing for weeks, then when I asked they said they needed to see a utility bill to verify my identity/address, then now they tell me there are problems with their suppliers but their website clearly states that both the items I ordered are in stock – so someone must be being reluctant with the truth (either the person who updates their website or the person who is responding to my emails). Meanwhile that is hundreds of pounds which has been missing from my account for nearly 2 months – I just hope I will be able to get it back. DO NOT USE THIS COMPANY! ps. I am someone who NEVER complains about anything so please believe me I would not write this unless I was convinced!

  19. I’ve purchased 3 items from simply electronics, a Samsung galaxy note 3, note 4 and gear 2 watch. I didn’t pay import on any of the items. Delivery can take 2-3 weeks because they use surface mail (road/rail/sea) which, I’m assuming is why delivery is free? I’ve never had any problems what so ever, and highly recommended them. If you order in busy seasons (summer or Christmas) delivery will obviously take longer

  20. Horrrible experience with Simply Electronics so far! Sent me Korean model LG GFlex 2 instead of US / Euro model – yes, half the price but it runs like a slug – massive lagging issues…. It came with Korean keyboard which is easy enough to change, but clearly there’s something wrong.

    After more research, there are reviews stating that the Korean model DOES have this lagging problem. Contacted customer services – RUBBISH! – 24 to 48 hours to respond – didn’t response so sent another email AND phoned…. disaster…. they just sent an email telling me there’s nothing wrong with it.


  21. I have been shouted at down phone the attitude is how dear i complain when item says shipped with in 2 to 3 days still waiting after 6 .
    Not based in UK as lead to believe UK number a front
    should not be aloud to trade here under false pretences.
    Will be reporting
    will be posting Video
    hope to get on watch dog
    You have been warned do not listen at your own risk

  22. Have ordered a camera which turned up as described in 7 days brand new, have also ordered 2 phones one I now have and one I ordered on the 24th September and I’m just waiting on, they do try to provide uk plugs as my camera came with one but phone didn’t. I have no issue waiting as the devices are new and as described, however there is no UK warranty they have to be sent back to SE for any warranty issues. If you want to save Money and want a device like the Note 5 that isn’t available in the uk then it’s perfect just be patient

  23. Absolutely shocking service

    Still awaiting my refund

    Check all reviews on these cowboys and be guided

    Negative reviews are left for a reason

  24. Galaxy note 5
    I ordered my phone on 22/09/15 due to price but soon started to wish I hadn’t due to all the negative comments out there about the site.
    I had still my old phone and was using it till this one arrived, so waiting wasn’t an issue. 5 days went before I had an update. “stock has been kept aside” then another 5 days” sorry for the delay but we have a backlog” then later another note saying I’m in priority for despatch then waiting. waiting 4 days. That all said I was kept in full contact even when I emailed customer services about the wait/ they contacted me within 6hrs apologising. eventually it was marked despatched, full tracking number and ability to follow it from Hong Kong. arrived today 20/10. Fantastic. box unopened. started changed settings from Chinese( before I panicked as no instructions I just u tube the settings) now all up and running. great phone.
    If your prepared for a wait its worth every penny. I will buy again. Don’t just view the negative comments

  25. Wish I’d researched them before making a purchase… let’s just say having now seen reviews on this company I’ve cancelled my purchase via my credit card company and also cancelled my credit card and having a replacement reissued meaning I’m without my cc until replacement arrives :0(

    Guess as a basic Google search will show….Simply Electronics look too good to be true because they are too good to be true…AVOID!!!!!


    I bought an LG G4 leather black and it was listed as AVAILABLE in STOCK…
    Now all the difficulties described above are MY problems, excuses are
    ‘sorry we have a backlog, it will be with you within the 10 working days promised’, and yet no dispatch note, my order says allocating the product….
    How can we be protected against this BAD EXPERIENCE by shopping online?

  27. They are not a scumsters. It is genuine company. They are dreadfully slow with delivery and provideyou with plenty of progress info that is unnecessary and sometimes frightening but they do deliver. Live 3-4 weeks from the purchase date.

    I was really allarmed with all bad reviews but had paid them already befor reading those. Got panicked after about a week of waiting and contacted them. I was issued proper ticket number and they came back to me within two days. I’vebeen reassured that my item is in stock and will arrive eventually even though they can’t say exactly when but definitely within next two weeks. Bingo. Just got my phone yesterday- excellent genuine condition and the price is good too!
    If you don’t mind waiting do not fear and order from them, but if you need the item urgently you might be disappointed

  28. So can I confirm that you never actually purchased a phone from the company or through their website and simply cancelled an order from reading people’s reviews? I just wondering on what basis you’re making this review and telling people to avoid if you’ve not actually used the company or have any experience to add?

  29. AVOID Simply Electronics!

    I can only assume that any positive reviews you may come across are fake/written by staff.

    This company is dishonest and untrustworthy. I ordered a mobile phone from them 5 weeks ago, with the promise of delivery within 4- 10 business days. My money was taken instantly, yet I am still phoneless.

    After over 20 email communications and numerous phone calls they still cannot confirm when my phone will be dispatched, despite altering their delivery time online to 2-5 working days! Complete con artists. Please don’t make the same mistake I did.

    Googling reviews for Simply Electronics proved enlightening, I only wish I’d done it prior to purchase.

  30. I ordered a htc phone for my son september 2015 it was a xmas present by jan it was broke so i sent it back and im still waiting for it to be repaired so i would recomened no one by from this company

  31. They won’t send item or refund. They just find excuse to keep you waiting, don’t trust them, still waiting for refund.

  32. At the point of having waiting for a refund for more than a 40 days I would strongly advise against making purchases with Simply electronics. Unfortunately lots of really kind but absolutely useless and deceiving responses from their costumers service. I suppose dealing with warranty issues must be a nightmare too.
    Marko, EU

  33. When I realised that delivery would take too long (I travel frequently for months at a time), I cancelled an order for an ipad pro 8 weeks ago, still no refund! I suspect most people give up and that’s their business plan! BEWARE, THEY’RE DISHONEST / FRAUDULENT.

  34. My experience is same as of most others. You order a product, then after looong weeks of chasing and being offered a usb key fob as a “compensation” they tell you that whatever it is you ordered is out of stock. You request a refund and weeks later still nothing. When you chase them they keep saying they are sorry for delay in “initiating” your refund and its is on “priority rank”. Clearly this is a scam/fraud operation. I am yet to find a person who actually received a refund from them – the only ones that get their money back are the ones who go to their banks. I reported them to the Auction Fraud, to my bank and visa, and to Hong Kong Customer Affairs and Hong Kong Cyber crime Police. I’m amazed they’ve been going on for this long ripping people off! I urge everyone to start reporting on them. They ripped me off, they ripped you off – together we can stop them!

  35. Similar experience, waited 3 weeks for a phone to arrive, then cancelled, and have been waiting 4 weeks for a refund. Phone their customer services dept is pointless. You get a polite response saying the finance dept are having issues with the refund process. Bet they don’t have issues taking peoples money! I paid by credit card thankfully, so I am not directly out of pocket…..yet. But I would definitely urge people to report them to Trading Standards and whoever else in order to stop this company from trading

  36. I have seen these jokers around for years and years so took the gamble, baited in finally by the very low prices. They are holding over £830 of PayPal funds so far. Ordered one phone and after 10 days of not even so much as an update I wanted to change the order. They advised me to place a new order and they would refund the old order. So far after 2 weeks nothing been sent and no refund forthcoming. Today the 0844 4990616 phone lines they advertise are dead and the website is offline. Emails are ignored. The refund they promised had been actioned a week ago that would take 2-3 has not happened. Reading these other rants is making me v nervous. I was desperate to get the phone in time for a birthday gift that has been and gone and that person is without a phone at all. Now I have no choice but to pay full R.R.P locally due to empty promises and lack of support. So now its the long slog and battle to get my money back through PayPal. Buy here only if you enjoy playing daily games.

  37. I have brought 3 phones – HTC one m8, m9 and now 10. All took a while to come through but all within the time they said. A little slow to confirm order but it came through. Phone and cables all correct for UK. excellent service and brilliant prices – would use again.
    I’ve heard the issues from others but I have had the same problems with other companies big and small.
    cheers Richard

  38. I had the identical experience to you and am still waiting esp now that the site is offline. I’d urge anyone buying a phone from an online retailer to check whether they are based in Hong Kong (inc those on Amazon) and avoid. I don’t hold much hope in getting my money back.

  39. Any one buying from any site that has a base in Hong Kong should ask themselves, do I want to take the risk of parting with my money and getting nothing or paying more from a UK based retailer that I have a better chance of holding to account. Bar the experience from Richard below, it’s clear that this company (and i’d guess some of the other Hong Kong based retailers) are a scam. Check out Trustpilot for their ratings (around 4 stars) compared to their own ratings system. There are far more genuine cases of being ripped off than the rare exps of a good service.

  40. For the record, I bought an item that was in stock, but due to ‘backlog of orders’ wasn’t available even 4 weeks later. Asked for a refund and am still waiting several weeks later. Contacted my bank and agencies in Hong Kong notifying them of simplyelectronic’s activities. Site is now down – hopefully meaning they are being investigated/shutdown.

  41. My problem at the moment is having my phone fixed! I originally purchased from them July 2015, the service itself was fine, the phone arrived within the waiting time stated without any delays. In February this year I started discussions with them about fixing the fast charging section of the phone as it had stopped working. Once I finally got them to send me all the details that I needed to send the phone off (around mid june) I sent it off, to receive a confirmation email stating that the repair would take 2-4 weeks. This was on the 29th June. Last we heard from them was the 26th of July stating that an email would be sent when the item was fixed, however no real update given.

  42. Well, I think they’re gone and I’m disappointed. The phone I’m writing this on is a Samsung Galaxy s5. It’s a fabulous piece of equipment. I had to wait a few weeks. So what. I bought it for 420 euros. Vodafone here in Ireland were doing it for 550 euros. Had it since the end of January 2015. I couldn’t be happier with it. I was thinking of getting a new phone and went on the site but it says they’re not taking orders. As I said really disappointed. There’s nobody doing those prices.


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