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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there, fellows.


I apologize in advance because I am aware this might not be the most suitable forum where to place this grievance of mine. However, I am so extremely upset because of a fraud case I am going through, that I'm looking for all the advise/help that I can. Being aware of the serious, knowledgeable persons who visit this forum, I have thought of it as an premium source of advise.


Please, be aware that living myself in Venezuela, South America, and being the fraudulent dealer in the U.S., the situation is particularly delicate.


The picture is as follows:


Back on January, I found one dealer (whose name I'll refrain from trashing righ now....I'll do that later!) for Bell'Oggetti a/v furniture and placed my order with them. Now, although my VISA credit card was then charged on the amount of $750 for that order, the shipment was never delivered to my freight forwarder in Miami, FL. In spite of the many e-mail notes I have sent to them since then asking for the status of my order, they have refused to issue any response. Furthermore, they provide no phone number or other alternate way of contacting them in their web site. Before April 29, they used to have one 800-phone number, which was always answered by a machine (never e real person). I decided to leave one strong message to the attention of the contact-person I knew by e-mail, complaining about their lack of committment to meet my order. A couple of days after, when I tried that phone number again, I found it had been disconnected and "erased" from their web site!


In view of all of these events, I have concluded these guys are not "clean" ones. I have been advised to take this case to the instances of the FBI, Attorney General's Office, State Consumer Fraud Dept., Better Business Bureau, and the Local Small Claims Court. But as a customer I am more interested in receiving the order than in spending time to sue somebody.


As you can surmise, since I live overseas, I am pretty desperate about this situation. Could you advise on how to legally proceed in a case like this?


Thanks a lot for your advise, fellows!


J.V. Gomez
 

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J.V., as Moderator I edited your title to avoid the word "fraud". Maybe it is, maybe there's circumstances we aren't aware of. Bottom line is we have forum rules outlawing use of terms like "fraud" to prevent the forum from possibly getting entangled in legal controversies.


But you post itself is polite and to the point. And frankly, I have no problem if you want to give us the name and address of the company, as a polite warning that you have had serious problems dealing with this company.


J.V. already knows that us lawyers can't do stuff for free (except on this forum), and that the hourly cost of an attorney representing him here in the U.S. on this will likely result in his losing a lot more $$ than he already has lost. My motto in my law practice is help the client, don't screw him or her more!!!! That's why I already gave J.V. the above suggestions about where to file complaints.
 

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Try talking with your credit card company. It might be too late, but they can usually help you out if your number was fradulently charged...
 

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As always, Cal makes a great point!!! Good thing you didn't pay me for my "legal" advise. I simply assumed you had already paid the credit card charge without disputing it, so its likely too late. But it doesn't hurt to call your credit card company and see if you are in time to dispute the charge, and give them the same reason you gave us above. Let us know what happens.
 

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JV,


If you paid through Pay-Pal, contact them. They have to give the seller 30 days to respond to their own inquiries, so don't waste time.


I was taken for $3,400 for a Sony 10HT pj in July 2001. I got most of that money back, but I had to deal directly with Pay-Pal. In my case I was dealing with a private party, not an established business, so I couldn't do much other than hope things would work out.


In the future I will always use an escrow service for large ticket items. Cost is 10% of the selling price, but I consider it cheap insurance.


I hope you will share the name of the company which has done you wrong. We would all like to know.
 

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Hi J.V.Gomez,


Contact VISA right away. They can refund the entire amount to you instantly and backcharge the merchant. Don't let them tell you it's been too long. Get a supervisor on the phone if you need to. I got them to reverse a charge that was almost a year old. It's a long story, like yours, but that's how long the merchant dinked around with the order. VISA gave me an instant credit and backcharged the merchant.
 

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Don has THE EXPERIENCE with VISA, etc. as he regularly accepts their charges in his business Granite Audio. Try whatever he says. Let us know what happens. And again, I have no problem you're telling us the name of the company in this thread, as this may avoid a similar problem for someone else.
 

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J.V.

Don is right. VISA should/will credit your account. I work in retail, so I know. We sometimes get disputes well over 6 months later. The VISA rep doesn't even ask us question. They credit the customer to keep them happy, and deal with us later. Since there will be no phone# or contact person on their side, I would assume you'd be taken care of.


Good luck,

Jose.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hello, fellows.


Thanks to EACH and ALL of you for your MOST helpful recommendations.


...You know something...?


...I finally received a communication from the dealer (ELLYSON AUDIO, http://www.ellysonaudio.com/, for the record) this morning. Interested in what came out? Just read the dealer's note I'm attaching below (it is self-explanatory).


Once again, thanks a lot to everyone! :)


J.V. Gomez


+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


May 6, 2002 NOTE FROM ELLYSON AUDIO TO ME



Destinatarios: JOSE VICENTE GOMEZ/GOMEZJV/MM/[email protected]

CC:


Asunto: CUSTOMER J.V. GOMEZ: PLEASE CONFIRM MY ORDER STATUS


Hello Jose, at this point I have been un-able to find your original shipment. Also, I have tried to credit your card with no success. Our credit card processing privileges have been revoked due to a huge mistake made by our bank.


The only thing that I can do at this point is ask you to contact your credit card company and have them do a reversal. I am sorry for this extra work on your part but I have no choice at this time.


Our business has been closed, as of late last week. The mistake at our bank with our accounts has forced us to loose our credit card processing. This has resulted in the closer of our sales department.


As you can see from our re-vamped site, all sales are now being handled by another site.


I do apologize for not getting back to you sooner, however all of this has been taking all of my attention.


You have no need to carry out your threats, we are no longer selling any items from this location.


Paul Dilley

Ellyson Audio.com
 

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This experience just emphasizes the need to carefully search out the feedback before dealing with unknown internet vendors. There are many web sites that contain feedback, I look at audiosurvey.com the most, but it's not the only site.


Many vendors seem to have as many negative comments as positive ones, mostly related to lying about whether something is in stock or not responding to inquiries about delinquent shipments. No price can be low enough to deal with this pond scum!
 

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J.V.,


I recommend you print out this email from the vendor that supports your case and submit it right away to VISA with your claim.
 

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I believe that the 60 day period in which to challenge a credit card charge is based on U.S. law (it is not because VISA wants to be fair and helpful)--Venezuelean law may not provide the same consumer protection. I don't know if VISA will apply the 60 day thing if they don't have to. Either way, it is important to challenge the charge IN WRITING as soon as possible. I got ripped one time and had to pay $450 for a CPU/mobo I never got because I waited--I thought a phone call (w/i the 60 days) was sufficient and when the form came from VISA I dawdled about sending it back in and had to pay because the written challenge was received after the 60 days.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks, again, to you all for the further suggestions.


Certainly, upon receiving the apology note from the dealer, I printed it right away and contacted my bank in order to submit my complain with this dealer to VISA. So far, both the people at the bank and the VISA's people have been very nice and caring (ie. not mention whatsoever on that my complain was being introduced "too late" or any other "but"). They told me to contact them again in onw week to tell me the news. In principle, I feel confident on that this problem will be easily clarifed and acknowledged by VISA. We'll see what happens.


Best regards to everyone!


J.V.
 
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