If There’s Not Always Heroes, There Can Be Villains

My computer’s hard drive started the death whine of a bad hard drive.  And while it isn’t too hard to add or replace one on a desktop I must use a laptop due to space issues.  Replacing that is another kettle of fish.

Stretching the old one into spring became unlikely and early last month I started looking for a replacement,  I run more budget than flash and found a seller of the model I wanted.  It was a better place than Amazon of my regular dealer.  I checked the seller, Zoppels.com, and found one report. Now even good companies will get the occasional bad report, so that didn’t bother me. The other third party places I found them had nothing or had nothing particularly bad.

They wanted a nonstandard payment, of Amazon cards, and that should have been a huge red flag. But I’d used non standard on other purchases over the last twenty years and they were fine.  I made the order, I sent the payment.  They sent email confirming my payment and the next day, notice of shipping.

After the shipping time and too many days for weather slowdown, I queried on a Monday. no response.  Not even an auto response.

Next day, two queries through email and website.  No response.

The next day the same.  Now sick in the stomach, I went back to the Ripoff Report Site and discover that there is now a bunch of complaints on Ripoff Report and people have lost as much and more.  The email is dead as is other communications, How many are like me? Whoever used the card was a fraud site (and was possibly the Vytox site that does the same thing according to the Better Business Bureau)

I send my first query to Amazon to follow the money.  They were pretty good, after some hemming and hawing.  I convinced them that they needed to help me follow up as they were being used to launder and hide the fraudster’s money. If a consumer gets mad and has their credit card company charge back, Amazon will lose the amount of the fraud.  If they don’t want to be left holding the bag they needed to help trace the fraudsters.  They got back and said that the gift card had never been used, would I like it applied to my account?

Oh yeah.  I don’t have anything I really need for that much money on Amazon.  I still need another computer, but the one I want is more than amount I could spend.  This time I’m ordering from a site I already have dealt with, but it won’t be as nice as the one I thought I was getting.

Great Victory!  The baddies did not get the giftcard.  Follow the money, and pay attention to the red flags.

Later comes part two..

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