10 May 2012

Ripoff alert – Melbourne (National)

Keith Clarkson from Event Sound (NSW) draws our attention to a disturbing ripoff.

He noticed some unkown activity on his credit card (around $4500)  a few weeks ago from a small audio distributor in VIC, we believe they sell cable & home theatre stuff.

“I have never bought anything direct from them but I purchased some ready made cases from a Melbourne based importer last year, & this purchase had gone through as in the name of the merchant who just charged my card the $4,500 without authorisation”.


“I contacted the ready made cases guy and he said it was not him but he was helpful and concerned. He advised me  to contact (redacted) as (redacted) had been involved in his earlier business – and he used his Merchant facility for transactions when he was setting up his firm as he had none of his own, but his firm and (redacted) are not working together anymore.

“I called (redacted) who said he would contact his bank to check the transactions ( 2 separate ones for around $2250 each) & he called back to confirm it was so , & he said he had made a mistake (twice !) with his merchant facility as it was a one click transaction  (strange my merchant facility is a lot more complex) he had accidentally charged me (twice)  instead of someone else.  He asked if I would wait a few days for the refund so he didn’t have to process on his merchant facility as reversals are costly & he would pay me back direct into my account quicker than a merchant refund

“I said I could wait a couple of days for this to resolve


“After a few days of nothing, I contacted him again & he said he didn’t have the funds clear yet , could i wait a few more days , alarm bells started to ring & I advised him if it wasn’t done the next day I would have to report fraudulent transactions to my bank

“He said if i must go that route i would be waiting longer as could take up to 21 days for a claim to be processed, I said then please pay me tomorrow otherwise I must go this way.

“A few more days pass & nothing, I call my bank & advise them of the situation, they said they will send forms to complete but because I had originally given the merchant my  credit card details for a previous purchase it was not a fraud claim but a merchant dispute!

Meanwhile the case seller guy in Melbourne has been in touch a few times asking if it is sorted & where I am up to & advising that I do pursue claiming with the Bank if (redacted) has not refunded , I get the impression he knows that (redacted) is possibly pulling a fast one & is genuinely trying to protect me, of course he feels bad, he (the Melb case importer guy) gave the guy my credit card details in the first place!

While waiting for the forms I email (redacted) again & say I have the forms for claim, does he have anything to say or offer me before I proceed & he just blackberries me:
Hi keith
Pls wait

“Then nothing , I have called & left messages to try &  resolve amicably  & he kept saying he had refunded money & wait a few more days for it to show in my banking etc , but nothing has come through & I am now in  a merchant dispute process with my bank.

“Please warn others to be vigilant & check statements in case its happening to them too.”

CX regrets we have to redact the names – sadly if we name the guys, they have a legitimate defamation claim in the supreme court. While we don’t mind a righteous fight, it should be easy enough to double check the bona fides of vendors when you buy stuff.

Stick to known importers with a track record, we say.

Note: none of the culprits in this story have ever appeared in CX Magazine.


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