Longmont Man Indicted On Suspicion of Charity Fraud - Page 7 - AVS Forum
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Old 03-01-2010, 07:32 AM
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One thing to note of you have Onix gear... there are plenty of other Onix dealers now, so while you won't have warranty coverage you will at least be able to buy parts if needed.
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Old 03-01-2010, 07:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandarf View Post

Many here not only had to endure Schifter still acting like everything was great, running around and hyping his products, but also all his supporters who seemed to take delight in constantly attacking other members, accusing them of being biased, having vendettas, an axe to grind, of being bashers, haters, of having no life, of being liars, of having agendas, etc... As I said, these, imho, were a big part of the problem.

I think the "constantly attacking other members, accusing them of being biased, having vendettas, an axe to grind, of being bashers, haters, of having no life, of being liars, of having agendas, etc" went both ways. Just as there were AV123 supporters, there were people that were the polar opposite, but resorted to using the same tactics.

Having said that, I do remember some cases where forum members here had legitimate issues with the company AND were attacked rather unfairly, as you suggested. In particular, I remember this thread:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...1010676&page=2

Quote:
Originally Posted by CitznFish View Post

Let me tell you a little story....


Back in Sept. of 2007 I purchased a complete set of AV123 spekers. Monitor 1's for front and center, Rocket dipolds for the rear, and ordered their NEW and "soon to be released' X-plosiv Subwoofer. Well fter a couple of months I received my monitor 1's followed by the Rocket dipolds. (November 11, 2007) At that time I asked when the subwoofer would be shipped. I was told later in November. The that date pssed and I asked again and I was told December. Then I never heard again from AV123.

So fast forward to early February and I again contact AV123 only to find out now that the X-plosiv subwoofer is still in development and there is no expected completion date for my order! It has now been 7 months since I bought and paid for everything. AV123 never updated me on the status, they have just left me hanging and have made it my responsibility to check on their progress.

Is waiting 7 months normal for small speaker shops like this? The communication is sub par at best. I would just get my money back but I want all the speakers to match.

They should have never taken orders for a product they didn't plan on developing. AS far as I know it's still just a sketch on a napkin.


Live and learn I guess. But AV123 certainly lost me as a good reference for their customer service.

What would you guys do at this point?


Thanks for letting me vent...

CitznFish

I remember this as a very fair complaint and one of the first warning signs for me about this company. Previously, if you look into my post history, I was considering buying a pair of speakers from AV123 to give as a wedding present to my brother, who lives in the US. I live in Asia so it wouldn't be worth getting a pair for myself, but I was so intrigued by all the positive hype about their speakers and thought it would be cool to get my brother a nice Strata Mini and matching tube amp, which from the reviews seemed like a really good match and a great deal. Eventually, they weren't in stock at the time (about 2-3 months before the date) and AV123 wasn't able to truly guarantee that they would get new ones in time for the wedding (though they were strongly hinting that it "shouldn't be a problem") so I dropped the idea. It was partly from threads like these that made me skeptical of their "word" (but not guarantee) and I certainly didn't want to fly all the way to the wedding empty-handed. Therefore, threads like these actually helped me to be careful and potentially avoided a disaster.

That's why when I read some of the replies, they put a sour taste in my mouth.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuance View Post

Well, I certainly wouldn't start a thread attempting to tarnish a company's rep with an already well known GREAT customer service rep. I would have been more mature and patient. Don't you think taking this up with their upper management staff would have been more effective?

Hey, you asked!

So did they charge you the full amount, or just take a deposit? Whichever one it was, YOU let them do it. That was your decision pal.

P.S. This has nothing to do with av123. I would feel the same if the guy said the same things about "Always With Wings." This could have been handled better and easier.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuance View Post

Judging from their popularity and well received products and customer service, I'd say that they aren't creating problems for themselves. The real problem was created by the OP himself when he supposedly (hasn't been confirmed yet) ordered a product that wasn't in production yet. Did he NEED to do that? NO! It's his fault that he didn't have the patience to wait until the product was finalized and available. There is no one to blame but himself, but instead he created a stupid thread bashing a company.

This applies to ANY company by the way, not just AV123. If a company offers pre-orders on a product not yet available, the buyer is the only one who makes the decision to purchase. Release dates get pushed back sometimes, no matter what the item is. Anyone with common sense knows this. No one forced him to buy then and there.

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Originally Posted by Nuance View Post

Who said he had to wait 7 months to ask for his money back? Who said he had to make a per-order rather than waiting until it was released? AV123 didn't; only he did. It hasn't even been confirmed that his card was charged more than a deposit to hold his pre-order. So then he starts a thread bashing a company because of his poor decision making? Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight...

Lots of trolls around tonight...

I just remember thinking how awful the OP was being treated. Here was a guy that was excited about getting his speakers from the company, and promised his speakers would be delivered "this month" month after month until they no longer reply to him. Then he finds out the speakers are "still in development" 7 months after he's paid for them in full. And when he posts his scenario onto this forum, which is as legitamite as any other topic here, he gets bashed for "attempting to tarnish a company's rep", not being "mature and patient", and that "[HE] let them do it".

Furthermore, he gets accused of just having paid a "deposit" for the speaker (as if that really matters) despite him already stated he had "bought and paid for everything", that the "real problem was created by the OP himself when he supposedly (hasn't been confirmed yet) ordered a product that wasn't in production yet", that it was "his fault that he didn't have the patience to wait until the product was finalized", that "there is no one to blame but himself", and that "he created a stupid thread bashing a company".

I mean really! I was just amazed and astounded that someone who's paid for a product and has waited 7 months for delivery would be thrashed like that, but the company actually doing the shafting would be considered having "GREAT customer service rep".

Then for actually trusting AV123 to do what ANY company would be expected to do, which is to deliver a product or service when paid for in a timely manner, the poster gets criticized for "his poor decision making" for actually dealing with AV123.

The pièce de résistance, however, must have been the parting kiss which is to label the poster a "troll".

Keep in mind that all these attacks on the OP for his legitimate complaints came on the FIRST PAGE. There were pages after this where there more attacks from the same poster claiming "the thread was intentionally started to smear av123. Its pretty obvious, well at least to those with common sense", "none of this has actually been proven as fact", "the OP had hateful intentions" and "[i]ts too bad the OP started such a hateful thread in which he attacked av123".

The fact that the OP had paid money for a speaker he didn't see for 7 months and discussed it in a speaker forum and then attacked as having "hateful intentions", intentionally trying to "smear" a company, and lacking "common sense" for making the purchase is truly unbelievable. The OP never received any type of apology for this attacked even when Mark admitted it was his company's mistake, and Mark gets hailed as a hero for "solving" a situation which should have never happened in the first place and which was IGNORED for 7 months until the OP had posted his thread about it.

I personally would like to thank that OP for saving me the GRIEF that he himself endured by posting his situation with AV123 on his thread, which made me think twice about ordering the Strata Mini and tube amp for my brother's wedding present, and having not arrived in time would have been extremely embarrassing and disrespectful to my brother on his wedding day.

I remember at the time wondering why I never saw nearly the level of vitriol against posters with complaints about other speaker companies, and what made AV123 supporters so adamant and staunchly supportive about this company that seemed to have more problems with their product and delivery than any other company. It's still a mystery to me, but I think the OP and others on that thread supporting him have been vindicated, and should be congratulated for saving people like me the awful experiences that many AV123 customers have endured.
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Old 03-01-2010, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Chu Gai View Post

The best thing, and it's hard I know, is for manufacturers to focus on their own business to provide value and integrity.

Actually, I don't think this is hard at all. Ending up in Mark's position, now that's hard.

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Old 03-01-2010, 08:51 AM
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KyaDawn, that thread was a total disgrace. Looking back on it now, it's a bit ironic.

I like Ice Cream!
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Old 03-01-2010, 08:54 AM
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hmmm... so now my question is has anyone spoken to av321 today? are they open yet? are they answering their phones? are they still open?
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Old 03-01-2010, 08:59 AM
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Call them PE. If you talk to Kyle ask him if he got my emails.

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Old 03-01-2010, 09:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KyaDawn View Post

I think the "constantly attacking other members, accusing them of being biased, having vendettas, an axe to grind, of being bashers, haters, of having no life, of being liars, of having agendas, etc" went both ways. Just as there were AV123 supporters, there were people that were the polar opposite, but resorted to using the same tactics.

Having said that, I do remember some cases where forum members here had legitimate issues with the company AND were attacked rather unfairly, as you suggested.

Yep, there is a lot of crow about to served up.

An audiophile likes to talk about how much they spent and how good it sounds.

A DIY'er likes to talk about how little they spent and how good it sounds.

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Old 03-01-2010, 09:03 AM
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Has anyone called steve wilkos or jerry springer yet? Either would be a hilarious venue for this, if in different ways.

Ha I can imagine both...
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Old 03-01-2010, 09:14 AM
 
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I just want Mark Shifter to explain one thing to me (and perhaps to the Readership). What was the purpose of 'Bob' ? Another poor member (Mark F) also had the misfortune of having Bob intervene at some or other point in the entire transaction process.

Who was Bob ? More importantly, what was he ?

I'll send Shifter a letter in jail but I hope he reads it. I just need to know who Bob was and why he was in 95% of my conversations with Shifter. Once I understand the truth then I can rest easy. It's been several years now and I still shiver at the prospect of Bob being out there, whose purpose is somehow unknown to 99.9% of all human beings except Shifter. I doubt AV4321-zero had any knowledge of Bob holding stock for clients.

Heavens... to.. Betsy.

Regards,
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Old 03-01-2010, 09:20 AM
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ok someone explain this "BOB" person and or thing to me please??? i'm completely lost here.... this needs clarifying othewise it's just an inside joke most of us will not understand.
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Old 03-01-2010, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Pure-Evil View Post

ok someone explain this "BOB" person and or thing to me please??? i'm completely lost here.... this needs clarifying othewise it's just an inside joke most of us will not understand.

Benzoate Ostylezene Bicarbonate ???
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Old 03-01-2010, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Pure-Evil View Post

ok someone explain this "BOB" person and or thing to me please??? i'm completely lost here.... this needs clarifying othewise it's just an inside joke most of us will not understand.

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Old 03-01-2010, 09:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chu Gai View Post

This whole raffle business, which is terrible but it's only part of the iceberg, is incredibly messy. It's the kind of mud that doesn't come off easily at all. If you're a manufacturer and you decide you want to take a public shot at this, whatever your intentions might be, you're now getting down to the Shifty level and playing in that mud. The best thing, and it's hard I know, is for manufacturers to focus on their own business to provide value and integrity.

I am curious whether some of the magazines (print and on-line) will pick up the story. I think some of them have fairly recently reviewed and recommended the product so it might behoove them to at least quote the news article (for those readers who might consider a purchase based on the reviews).
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Old 03-01-2010, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Randy Bessinger View Post

I am curious whether some of the magazines (print and on-line) will pick up the story. I think some of them have fairly recently reviewed and recommended the product so it might behoove them to at least quote the news article (for those readers who might consider a purchase based on the reviews).

Nah, they'll stay in their circle the wagon position and keep their positive reviews flowing.

Except for Audioholics who has been shining exception...
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Old 03-01-2010, 09:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Bessinger View Post

I am curious whether some of the magazines (print and on-line) will pick up the story. I think some of them have fairly recently reviewed and recommended the product so it might behoove them to at least quote the news article (for those readers who might consider a purchase based on the reviews).

http://www.audioholics.com/news/indu...ted-grand-jury
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Old 03-01-2010, 09:48 AM
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Nah, they'll stay in their circle the wagon position and keep their positive reviews flowing.

Even AffordableAudio???!!! Remember those run-ins on the other website?

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Old 03-01-2010, 09:49 AM
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Could someone please clarify the "Bob" thing?

The previous post may contain spoilers, which will make the post less aerodynamic and increase handling at high speeds.
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Old 03-01-2010, 09:50 AM
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i called av321 this morning and they are there and operating....hopefully i'll get the parts that i've already paid for at least... susan said she'd have the stuff shipped out on wednesday for me...i'll wait to see.
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Old 03-01-2010, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by DamageMcRamage View Post

KyaDawn, that thread was a total disgrace. Looking back on it now, it's a bit ironic.

That's a good way to put it. The attacks on the OP certainly was disgraceful. I'm still puzzled how AV123 was able to "inspire" such loyalty that someone in a PM described to me as "cultish", especially in light of all the issues that were coming out regularly despite the denials.
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Old 03-01-2010, 10:05 AM
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Yep, there is a lot of crow about to served up.

And overdue apologies as well, particularly to the OP of that thread. Sadly I don't think that will happen.
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Old 03-01-2010, 10:06 AM
 
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ok someone explain this "BOB" person and or thing to me please??? i'm completely lost here.... this needs clarifying othewise it's just an inside joke most of us will not understand

Ask Shifter ? No seriously. This is what happened. I placed an order with Shifter around a year ago. The arrangements were that he would organize shipping of the subwoofer using Bax Global couriers.

However, he had other ideas. He wanted to save costs and told me that he found alternative routes that would save me money. Of course, I had already paid full shipping prior to any of this. So you can understand where I'm going with this.

Now, this is where it gets a little weird. When I asked what arrangements were being made for me, he told me that my subwoofers were being sent to Bob's place. Of course, I had no prior knowledge of a Bob, I didn't know who he was and how he factored into the conversation; there was no precedence for a Bob. He just sprung up in conversation.

I tried asking what he had to do with anything but his answer was so vague that it had no meaning. Eventually I questioned Mark wondering where my stock was and why there were such long delays.

Now I was one of the first foreigners to actually have these subwoofers shipped to my location. This transaction was not AV4321-zero related because at the time overseas shipping was not allowed.

No, it was arranged by Mark Shifter. So any and all emails had to go directly to Shifter himself. Kyle and all the other employees had no actual information to give me. This was a little worrying.

I had to pay an arm and a leg to bring these subwoofers in. An arm and a leg. I kid you guys, not. It was a small fortune and it was a risk on my part. Now the thing was, when Mark started his pseudo-bullsh*t (alright, it wasn't pseudo-anything, it just was bullsh*t ) and ignored my emails wondering where my stock was, after so many delays ('Well, your stock has left the factory', but that excuse was used several times over, almost using the exact same wording and sentence structure ! ) well, I then started to wonder if I would receive my stock at all.

I was promised my subwoofers would arrive within 3 weeks of ordering. I realize I live far from the States, however, almost 4 months passed by, if I remember correctly.

I then emailed him and demanded an explanation which is when he almost fired me as a client. Apparently at the time his mother was in hospital, sick. Whatever. Soon afterwards, he phoned me personally and told me that he was sorry for all the delays and that everything was okay with my goods. Bob had them and they were in good hands.

Now, Mark F can perhaps elaborate more on his experiences with Bob. All I know is that the guy is shrouded in mystery. I kid you not. I'm not making this up, the guy exists.

I eventually received my goods, but as everyone knows by now, only one subwoofer was working. The other had a faulty amp.

Regards,
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Old 03-01-2010, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by KyaDawn View Post

That's a good way to put it. The attacks on the OP certainly was disgraceful. I'm still puzzled how AV123 was able to "inspire" such loyalty that someone in a PM described to me as "cultish", especially in light of all the issues that were coming out regularly despite the denials.

i think because the accusations coming out were so outrageous and impossible to believe (or we didn't want to believe at least).... none of us wanted to believe that a person we put so much faith in could possibly be involved in the things he was being accused of. That said, he is still innocent until proven guilty.....i'll reserve final judgment until the trial is over i guess....

i still feel sick though.
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Old 03-01-2010, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by goneten View Post

Ask Shifter ? No seriously. This is what happened. I placed an order with Shifter around a year ago. The arrangements were that he would organize shipping of the subwoofer using Bax Global couriers.

However, he had other ideas. He wanted to save costs and told me that he found alternative routes that would save me money. Of course, I had already paid full shipping prior to any of this. So you can understand where I'm going with this.

Now, this is where it gets a little weird. When I asked what arrangements were being made for me, he told me that my subwoofers were being sent to Bob's place. Of course, I had no prior knowledge of a Bob, I didn't know who he was and how he factored into the conversation; there was no precedence for a Bob. He just sprung up in conversation.

I tried asking what he had to do with anything but his answer was so vague that it had no meaning. Eventually I questioned Mark wondering where my stock was and why there were such long delays.

Now I was one of the first foreigners to actually have these subwoofers shipped to my location. This transaction was not AV4321-zero related because at the time overseas shipping was not allowed.

No, it was arranged by Mark Shifter. So any and all emails had to go directly to Shifter himself. Kyle and all the other employees had no actual information to give me. This was a little worrying.

I had to pay an arm and a leg to bring these subwoofers in. An arm and a leg. I kid you guys, not. It was a small fortune and it was a risk on my part. Now the thing was, when Mark started his pseudo-bullsh*t (alright, it wasn't pseudo-anything, it just was bullsh*t ) and ignored my emails wondering where my stock was, delay after delay, well, I started to wonder if I would receive my stock at all.

I was promised my subwoofers would arrive within 3 weeks of ordering. I realize I live far from the States, however, almost 4 months passed by, if I remember correctly.

I then emailed him and demanded an explanation which is when he almost fired me as a client. Apparently at the time his mother was in hospital, sick. Whatever. Soon afterwards, he phoned me personally and told me that he was sorry for all the delays and that everything was okay with my goods. Bob had them and they were in good hands.

Now, Mark F can perhaps elaborate more on his experiences with Bob. All I know is that the guy is shrouded in mystery. I kid you not. I'm not making this up, the guy exists.

I eventually received my goods, but as everyone knows by now, only one subwoofer was working. The other had a faulty amp.

Regards,

so your subs were shipped to someone named BOB in south africa, and you never met him but somehow got your subs? who actually did you meet to get your subs? and did you ever get a replacement amp to get the 2nd one working? i seem to remember hearing some of this...please clarify further..i'm very curious.
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Old 03-01-2010, 10:28 AM
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Yes, I saw that and kudos to Gene and the crew for doing that. I thought, though that I saw a fairly recent glowing review on one of the on-line magazines. Can't remember which one though. And didn't Stereophile give one of their speakers a good review and have spoken highly of Mark in the past?
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Old 03-01-2010, 10:30 AM
 
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Isn't Bob some Nigerian who is always working on getting you money from a special bank account?

I have no idea.

Regards,
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Old 03-01-2010, 10:40 AM
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Yes, I saw that and kudos to Gene and the crew for doing that. I thought, though that I saw a fairly recent glowing review on one of the on-line magazines. Can't remember which one though. And didn't Stereophile give one of their speakers a good review and have spoken highly of Mark in the past?

Your right, I want to say it was Affordable Audio. I think the latest review at Stereophile was on a Onix product early last year but I'm not for sure. Not really a follower of Stereophile.
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Old 03-01-2010, 10:43 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Pure-Evil View Post

so your subs were shipped to someone named BOB in south africa, and you never met him but somehow got your subs? who actually did you meet to get your subs?

The procedure was simple. The subwoofers were supposed to leave the factory and directly go to Bax Global where they would be couriered to my location (via air freight). After all, this is what I paid for. What Mark did was send my subwoofers to Bob's place. They remained at Bob's house for weeks until eventually Bax Global picked up my stock.

I was notified of this by email. However I did not give Mark permission to send my stock anywhere other than Bax Global. I made myself perfectly clear as a client. So what I don't understand and probably will never understand is why my stock was sent to Bob's place to begin with, why it took weeks and weeks for Bax Global to pick up the stock and then why it took so long to reach my shores.

I import items from all over the world. I know precisely how long it will take to have an item shipped from the US to Cape Town. It does not take a month. Heck, it does not take 3 weeks.

However, once I learned that my second MFW-15 was, indeed, faulty, I immediately emailed Kyle who promptly told me that I had to email Shifter since the transaction was not AV4321-zero related. After all, this was 'The Graham Company' I was dealing with, so any and all emails, queries; all of that would be handled by Shifter himself.

So I emailed Shifter who then liaised with the repair technician (I think Mark is his name) and within 3 weeks I received my second replacement amp. My second amp was working for a very limited amount of time before it died.

I then asked for a second replacement amp. More and more time passed me by. I started to get used to the fact that I had one working subwoofer and the other was just there for display purposes. That's how I felt. It was just a decoration that had no purpose. So eventually, once I managed to get my third replacement amplifier (it was dented and therefore couldn't fit properly into the enclosure) I temporarily connected it and left it lying on my carpet floor. It looked hideous.

Another issue with all of this was Customs. They gave me so much grief. The one replacement amp that died I threw away, thinking it was not worth a dime. However Customs demanded that I send that unit back to AV4321 (or to the repair center or whatever ). Since I didn't have that unit in my possession, Customs wanted me to pay the full retail price of that item. That, by the way, is over $100. How do I know that ? Because Mark sent me an invoice stipulating that it was a warranty replacement. However, Customs did not agree with this. They demanded I follow protocol.

I can only surmise the previous replacement amps managed to sneak past Customs otherwise I would have had a literal nightmare on my hands. I had to organize paper work, had to email back and forth, get authorization here, authorization there, make hundreds of unnecessarily phone calls to mitigate an issue that really shouldn't have existed to begin with !

Luckily, somehow, I have no idea how, one of the replacement amplifiers managed to sneak past Customs and got delivered to my local Post Office. This was the last issue that I experienced (besides the humming of all replacement amplifiers, that was a constant factor). After all the heart ache and heart attacks, it was over.

The thing is, after all of this, I wondered why I had bothered to go through all this effort to secure these subwoofers. Where they really worth the effort to get them to S.A ? Hell no ! I could have bought a Paradigm Sub 25 (an infinitely superior sub in every way) after all the shipping costs were factored into the equation.

Regards,
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Old 03-01-2010, 10:52 AM
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oh i'm sure the Sub25 from paradigm is a better sub...i'm sure it's good but for us here in north america the price difference is huge. i still would have bought my mfw15s for their price/performance
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Old 03-01-2010, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Pure-Evil View Post

oh i'm sure the Sub25 from paradigm is a better sub...i'm sure it's good but for us here in north america the price difference is huge. i still would have bought my mfw15s for their price/performance

Wow... just wow. This really shows how much he paid. Price really was the only reason these things sold, as you mention yourself, you bought them because of the return for the price.

How many people has this guy screwed?

Clearly it's in the thousands
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Old 03-01-2010, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by goneten View Post

I just want Mark Shifter to explain one thing to me (and perhaps to the Readership). What was the purpose of 'Bob' ? Another poor member (Mark F) also had the misfortune of having Bob intervene at some or other point in the entire transaction process.

Who was Bob ? More importantly, what was he?

I think it's best to just avoid Bob.



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