Warning re Projector People - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 29 Old 05-22-2002, 09:34 AM - Thread Starter
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This is a ‘heads up’ warning to all forum members regarding “Projector Peopleâ€, and one of their sales people, A.J. Abrams.

Short Story: A.J. contacted me privately and offered to send me an Optoma H55 projector. If I didn’t like it, I could return it as long as no more than 4 hours were on the bulb. He wrote that he’d give me a full refund.

The projector exhibited major rainbow artifacts. I put no more than 3.5 hours of the unit and returned it per instructions. Then low and behold I discover, 3 weeks later, that I’ve been hit with a 15% restocking fee. Projector People did not respond to my initial inquiry. When I tracked down “A.J.†he said the projector had 11 hours on it and was cosmetically scratched. This simply is not true! No way, no how. Most telling, several follow-up e-mails to A.J. in an attempt to resolve this problem have been ignored, so I’ve been forced to dispute the charge with my credit card company. I checked with Alan at AVScience before posting this warning.

A.J,. posts to this forum, but often does not identify himself as a representative of an on-line dealer. He appears to have started the interest in the H55 by posting rave reviews. He sounded credible, but used the forums resources (i.e. my private e-mail address) to directly sell a product.

Be warned.

Good Viewing,
John G

 

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post #2 of 29 Old 05-22-2002, 09:50 AM
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For what it's worth, I believe that *this* is the type of blatant dishonesty that prompted Alan to split the forums.

It's tales like this one that increase my cynicism toward salespeople in general. It's sad really... it's always been my desire to give everyone the benefit of the doubt in any transaction until proven otherwise. It's really disturbing when someone proves to be a "weasel", out to make a buck at any cost. They only succeed in making my cynical hide even thicker. :( What a shame.

John, I hope this issue will be resolved shortly.

Ken
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post #3 of 29 Old 05-22-2002, 10:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, Ken
How odd that, once I posted to the forum, I received an e-mail from "A.J.". It's just a coincidence, no doubt. Of course he is denying everything. Sadly, no one can "prove" anything at this point. I suspect this will be an expensive lesson (a $659.95 penalty), but I should have known when the salesman contacted me outside the forum. I should also have checked previous posts from A.J. and realized that his "review" of the H55 was not the review of a consumer, but rather from someone trying to sell the machine. Now I expect you'll next be reading an indignant "response" from Projector People. Just take it with a grain of salt.
Good Viewing,
John G

Good Viewing,
John G

 

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post #4 of 29 Old 05-22-2002, 10:26 AM
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Perhaps there is a win win situation that can be negotiated out of this. The sales guy offers to rescind the penalty and you promise to delete the thread.

Cheers
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post #5 of 29 Old 05-22-2002, 10:32 AM
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Johng….

Although I can’t address your issue with AJ, let me relate my own experience with Mr.Abrams.

I was in the market for a projector a month ago, and, being impressed with his knowledge as conveyed on this forum (as well as being cognizant of the pretty good reputation of Projector People), I sought him out for advise.

At the time, I was on the verge of returning a Panasonic projector I had purchased elsewhere. I had determined I would buy instead the Sanyo PLV-60HT, which Projector People and AJ carried. And I mean I was determined to buy it right then and there on the phone. Credit card ready, relationship established, I said “buy it†to AJ.

Before accepting the order, AJ probed as to my motivation in returning my several day old projector (which again, I had bought elsewhere).

Well, what was to have been a 2-minute phone call to order a new projector turned into a 25 minute discussion/education in the pros and cons of making that swap. Through his quizzing, he made me realize that the far cheaper Panasonic projector I bought elsewhere was far more suitable to my needs than the much more expensive projector that I wanted to buy from him.

As a result, he talked himself out of a sale and in the process saved me a good amount of money and headache. I can’t be any happier today with my Panasonic 711XU!

I don’t know if your experience with him is an anomaly.

I can only tell you that I have found him to be more than fair.

And let me remind forum members that as there are usually two sides to every story, please withhold judgement of any person or firm unless all sides of an issue are aired.
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post #6 of 29 Old 05-22-2002, 10:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi Folks,
I would LOVE to delete this thread. Yes, there are two sides to every story. Wolfgang has related a positive experince, and I'm glad it worked out for him. What makes this particular situation difficult is the fact the retailer failed to notify me when they received the projector back in what they say is a "used" condition. I, too, felt Mr. Abrams was knowledgeable. At the same time, I think it is only fair to forum members that retailers posting to the forum clearly identify themselves up front when posting a "review" of products that most forum members have not seen.

Unless some startling new development occurs, I'll "sign off" on this thread. My intention in posting was to give a 'heads up' to forum members so they can proceed with caution. Some times a deal that is "too good to be true" turns out to be just that. Sadly, it is virtually impossible for forum members to actually see all the projectors being written about. That's why this forum is so valuable, and why it is important for those who post to let us know, up front, of any potential bias or motivations. The Optoma H55 has potential, but the rainbow artifacts killed the deal for me.

Before closing, I should add one thing. While waiting for the RMA from Projector People, I contacted Optoma directly about the rainbow artifacts. I received several replies, both from sales and engineering. They seemed genuinely concerned and wanted me to run some tests on the machine. I'd already boxed it up by that time, so I couldn't do as they asked. Though this particular projector wasn't acceptable for me, I was very impressed with Optoma's quick and sincere response.

Thanks all & Good Viewing,
John G

Good Viewing,
John G

 

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post #7 of 29 Old 05-22-2002, 11:13 AM
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...and thanks to AVS owner(s) for being fair and objective.
Really, this is such a great forum!
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post #8 of 29 Old 05-22-2002, 11:33 AM
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…You can tell it’s a dead day on Wall Street when I spend my afternoon reading AVS…

Johng…Your complaint about AJ Adams, as I read it, is that he did not identify himself as a retailer.

Hmmm. In which of his posts did he hide that fact?

Was it in this one http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...hlight=optoma, where he gives his email address as ProjectorPeople.Com?

Or was it in this one http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...hlight=optoma, where he provides a lengthy shootout of projectors viewed by himself and his SALESMEN?

Or was it this one, http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...hlight=optoma, where he says he just received 50 Optima projectors?

As a senior member, you surely are aware that AVS removed handles that identified the company people worked for (when it was a competing projector company). Prior to implementing that rule, I remember seeing dozens of posts from AJ Adams under the handle “Projector Peopleâ€.

Seems to me AJ Adams not only did not hide the fact that he was with Projector People, but he was completely upfront about that as well.

I can understand having a grievance about how your return was handled. But alleging that you had no clue about the identity of this mysterious AJ Adams, is a bit hard to believe.

I, for one, have benefited from Mr. Adam’s contributions to the forum. It would be a loss to the forum if he were now understandably reluctant to further share his insights with us due to the accusations of members that may be promoting their own agenda,
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post #9 of 29 Old 05-22-2002, 11:55 AM
 
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Ok now here is the truth of the matter.

A. John Graves was never contacted privately. He did a quick quote on Projector People site and was contacted in direct e-mail from there. He then informed me he was a AVS forum member and was interested in the unit. I have all the e-mails to back this up and will post them if necessary.

B. The machine received was obvioulsy placed upside down on a hard surface and scratched numerous times. I saw this for myself. John admitted in e-mail form that he did in fact try and ceiling mount it and may have put a scratch on the unit. Again I have all e-mails to prove what I am saying.

C. John was contacted within 12 hours of every e-mail he ever sent. Again I have all e-mails to back this up

D. John stated directly in e-mail that if I didn't bend to his wish that I remove the restock fee, he would inf act bash us on this site. Again I have the e-mails to back this up

E. I would ask and tell anybody that if you damage a projector you should take resposibility for it. We have delt with MANY AVS forum people before and have had returns form them before . Every one of them will tell you we do not behave in such a matter.
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post #10 of 29 Old 05-22-2002, 12:01 PM
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I see this thread turning ugly fast.

What I don't understand is that Alan approved posting of this thread without (I'm making an assumption here), hearing AJ's side of the story. I hope that is not the case, as that would be patently and inherently unfair. :(


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post #11 of 29 Old 05-22-2002, 12:09 PM
 
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Actually they did allow this post without hearing from me first. And there are ways of proving the truth of the complaint. Again we save all e-mails.

Here is Johns original response to our standard e-mail response from quick quote inquires on our site. As you can see, this was NOT anything to do with AVS forum. Take eveything else with a grain of salt as well from his post.


Hello AJ,
I'm still looking, and trying to decide whether the Optima 55 is worth a try
or whether I should wait for the new DWIN. Obviously the price difference is
significant, but if I can get a good price on the Optima, it might be worth
a try.

FYI, I'm currently running a Davis DL-S8 and use a Crystal Image Scaler v
2.0 with it. Am I correct to assume I would continue to use the C.I. with
the Optima?

Thanks,

John Graves
J.Garland Communications

-----Original Message-----
From: AJ Abrams - PP [mailto:aj@projectorpeople.com]
Sent: Monday, April 15, 2002 6:35 AM
To: ******
Subject: Projectors


It seems that you have been looking into getting a computer projector. I am
following up to make sure you found everything ok. Please send me an email
response with one of the following

A) I am still looking
B) I bought somewhere else
C) Because you seem like a cool guy, I want to place an order.


If you choose A or C I will throw in Free three day shipping. If you bought
somewhere else, please let me know and tell me what I can do to get your
business for next time.

Have a great week and hope we can do business


AJ Abrams
Senior Account Rep/Product Analyst
Projector People
1-800-639-3010 X2289


Notice that none of this was to his e-mail here at AVS

[Just removed johng's e-mail address]
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post #12 of 29 Old 05-22-2002, 12:30 PM
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AJ,

Sorry you got put through this, and I hope it doesn't dissuade you from continuing your valuable and appreciated postings.

Thanks

Noah
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post #13 of 29 Old 05-22-2002, 12:31 PM
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AJ,

Was the unit brand new when you sent it out for demo?
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post #14 of 29 Old 05-22-2002, 12:36 PM
 
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David, Yes we don't and will never sell anything used without full discloseure. John never tried to say it was used either.
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post #15 of 29 Old 05-22-2002, 12:38 PM
 
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Thanks Noah, It's very hard to make these kinds of decisions. I wished to god it didn't happen this way, but what is a company to do when it happens? We can't change policy because we are threatned.
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post #16 of 29 Old 05-22-2002, 12:46 PM
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Please post the correspondence or info on your website that would have made the purchaser aware that the 15% restocking fee was possible.....Regardless of scratching, if there is not a posted disclaimer or a forefront discussion regarding this - it isnt a fair business practice. I am a distibutor/wholesaler myself with return priviledges in our product and we have never had such a policy so I am inclined to side with the buyer...Especially if its a "subjective" policy....

Dave
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post #17 of 29 Old 05-22-2002, 12:51 PM
 
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D_olds

All the information is on our website and was stated in e-mail (again I have the e-mails to prove). If you've never heard of a fee for returning damaged goods, I have no answer for that. I can't think of any company on earth that would accept it. If you wish the e-mail's that talked about a restock fee, please contact me in private and I'll be happy to send them. The policy is VERY clear on the site and is not subjective. Damage is damage.
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post #18 of 29 Old 05-22-2002, 12:54 PM - Thread Starter
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OK, I wasn't going to post further to this thread, but since A.J. decided to quote e-mails from me and included my private e-mail address....

Look folks, there is a dispute. A large part of it deals with the specifics of the transaction. A.J. has accused me in private e-mails of attempting to "threaten", "bully", and use "strong arm tactics" (his words) in order to get the return of a 15% re-stocking fee. This is not true. His company never notified me that it found any problem with the projector upon its return. I can publish all the e-mails I received from A.J. which back up my side of the story, but at this point it seems like a waste of time. My intention in starting this thread was simply to give a "heads up", not start a public "He Said/She Said" debate regarding the specifics of this transcation.

Because A.J chose to publish my e-mail address as part of his response, and because this has become an argument which cannot be resolved in this venue, I've asked the moderators to close and/or delete this thread.

...and I'm still hoping to replace my venerable Davis DL-S8 which, based upon this thread, is looking better and better by the minute :)

Good Viewing All,
John G

Good Viewing,
John G

 

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post #19 of 29 Old 05-22-2002, 12:57 PM
 
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Because the e-mail I put on the post proves that your original statement was incorrect about how you contacted me? Please do close the thread. I think it's now very clear.
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post #20 of 29 Old 05-22-2002, 12:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by D_Olds
Please post the correspondence or info on your website that would have made the purchaser aware that the 15% restocking fee was possible.....
Dave
http://www.projectorpeople.com/projectors/testdrive.asp

Looks pretty cut and dry to me, although I can't comment on any particular arrangements that AJ and John had in and above standard policy.


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post #21 of 29 Old 05-22-2002, 12:59 PM
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In all fairness to both parties, no one (with the exception of John and AJ) knows the full truth behind this incident.

That said, I want to make it clear that regardless of the circumstances in this case, *I* have been burned by similar tactics many times (and I'm sure I'm not alone), and therefore stand by my original post.

Although I didn't explicitly mention AJ and his company, the implication was there... and if John indeed "embellished" his side of the story than I owe AJ an apology.

Ken
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post #22 of 29 Old 05-22-2002, 12:59 PM
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Well, I can say this....I would expect a more apologetic and sincere rather than abrasive tone from any supplier.....This is more than enough for me to eliminate this supplier from my list of possibles....

There were better ways to approach this issue from the supplier point of view...I am quite disappointed.....

Dave
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post #23 of 29 Old 05-22-2002, 01:09 PM
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Quote:
All the information is on our website and was stated in e-mail (again I have the e-mails to prove). If you've never heard of a fee for returning damaged goods, I have no answer for that. I can't think of any company on earth that would accept it. If you wish the e-mail's that talked about a restock fee, please contact me in private and I'll be happy to send them. The policy is VERY clear on the site and is not subjective. Damage is damage.
Its called "unconditional return" policy.We have one, I know other places do. Maybe a different business/industy, but trust me, they do exist....

And so do a few other things you may not be aware of:

"The customer is always right"
"Best offense is a good defense"

etc....I would have been quite sympathetic to your cause had you used more tact in your replies to this post, but you decided otherwise. I stand by my statement, there were other ways to handle this....

For starters, you could have stated you were sorry about the misunderstanding but your policy was clear...You didnt, you had to be asked about it....Your tone was much in the posts than in the "happy-go-lucky" emails...

I am sorry about the misunderstanding, as with all issues like this I have no doubt both sides have truths and mis-truths to their stories, I am just sorry about the way you went about presenting your case, it was wrong....

Dave
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post #24 of 29 Old 05-22-2002, 01:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by D_Olds
Well, I can say this....I would expect a more apologetic and sincere rather than abrasive tone from any supplier.....This is more than enough for me to eliminate this supplier from my list of possibles....

There were better ways to approach this issue from the supplier point of view...I am quite disappointed.....

Dave
Your company gets venerated in a public forum, and you expect an apology from a company representative? A company's reputation is its livelihood, and unfortunately, we tend to view no response as admission of guilt.

Now, I agree that a tit-for-tat argument where noone other than AJ and John know all the facts is not the best procedure for resolving a dispute. But, I put that blame on John for the original post. This dispute should have been resolved outside of this forum. I understand John's frustration, and he may very well be in the right, but to say that AJ is wrong for responding, without laying some of the responsibility on John for originally posting, is irresponsible.


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post #25 of 29 Old 05-22-2002, 01:18 PM
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Quote:
Your company gets venerated in a public forum, and you expect an apology from a company representative? A company's reputation is its livelihood, and unfortunately, we tend to view no response as admission of guilt.
No, I dont...but there are better ways to approach it than posting private emails in a public forum - its bad for AT BEST...!!!

I dont really want to do business with someone who has threatened us with the phrase "we save all emails" like it ammo or something? Do you?

And I do disagree with the no response - Wolfgang put in a HUGE defense for the company and his post alone makes it seem like an isolated incidence and I alos think we tend to take original post like this as brush them off as "wild accusations" - I know I did, UNTIL the supplier flamed the thread.....

Sorry, thats how I see it and I dont think its an unreasonable opinion....

Dave
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post #26 of 29 Old 05-22-2002, 01:23 PM
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I must state that I have been in contact with Mr. Abrams via E-mail and telephone on several occasions for advice, and have never gotten a "sales pitch" for any projector.

In fact, even though he knew that I am from Canada, and there was a good chance I wouldn't purchase a projector form him, he still continued to give me good advice about which projectors to consider. He even returned a call, at his own expense, which I had made to him. The conversation went on for at least a half an hour, and still no sales pitch other than a "perhaps we can do business sometime" shortly before the call ended.

I still have not purchased a projector, but because of my personal experience talking to A.J., I wouldn't hesitate for one second in buying a projector from ProjectorPeople.

Thanks for the opportunity to express this opinion, AVS.
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post #27 of 29 Old 05-22-2002, 01:30 PM
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thanks johng. i'll avoid this Projector People in the future. i hate when salesman try to get over on the customers.

:p
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post #28 of 29 Old 05-22-2002, 01:30 PM
 
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Dave you are correct to a point, I should have been more polite but I let the anger of the defamation get the better of me. If the orginal post had stuck to the facts, that we charged a restock fee and that he doesn't agree that he caused damage, I would have been a bit more friendly with a response.
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post #29 of 29 Old 05-22-2002, 01:37 PM
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Ok I am going to close this down.
Both sides have told their story and for the most part this thread has remained civil.

I dont think keeping this open with benifit anyone and things will heat up and turn nasty.

Hopefully there will be a follow up post stating both parties have come to a
resolution:)
Alan Gouger is offline  
Closed Thread Digital Projectors - Under $3,000 USD MSRP

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